Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Making up for Lost Time

After a bit of time off, what better way to jump back into things than with some random rambling?

(If you are listing off better ways... shush!)

A major metric for Internet sites is the amount of clicks a web page receives. This is an important number for generating ad revenue, or it can just be used to keep track of how many people are actually stopping by.

Now, we have an AdSense account here at the Ducks. (We also sometimes use the plural pronoun, even though this is a one-man operation.) If you notice on the sidebar off to the left, there are ads.

(Note: I know that I'm not supposed to tell people to click on them so I can get a couple of bucks, and I'm not, but I think it is okay if I mention their presence, since it's not like they are hidden and I'm only stating the obvious. If any AdSense police are out there and this is wrong, please let me know.)

When I first started blogging -- back in the early 1980's -- I put up the Google Ads with the misguided notion that it would bring me in some money.

("Show me the money!" is what I specifically said to Google.)

(Yes, that line was stolen from me and used in "Jerry Maguire.")

(I am now starting a formal boycott -- as opposed to my "casual" one -- of that movie. Alright, so who's in with me? *sound of crickets chirping*)

(Crickets are evidently quite passionate about boycotting "Jerry Maguire.")

To date, I haven't really made any money from it -- AdSense, not the Jerry Maguire boycott -- and that's okay with me.

So why keep the ads up?

Well, I use it to see how many people are reading -- or pretending to read. (The AdSense Analytics don't do a good job of establishing as to whether people actually read the words I've written, or if they just stop by to see my awesome profile picture. I consider this to be a design flaw and am commissioning super computer genius extraordinaire Bill Gates to fix it.) Somewhere a while back (probably the early 1990's, if I remember correctly), I had taken AdSense off of my blog -- well, it's not like I was making money with it -- but then I lost the ability to see if people were actually reading.

That annoyed me.

Consequentially, the Google ads have been back up since and will remain so forever. ("Forever? Forever, ever? Forever, ever?? Forever never seems that long until you're grown..." Sorry, that was a brief "Miss Jackson" interruption.)

Geez, that's a long-winded way of getting to where I need to go... even for me. (Fortunately, loyal Ducks readers know how I roll.)

So people want other, different people to click on their respective web pages. To accomplish this, they must capture an individual's attention. Admittedly, that is quite difficult to do in this A.D.D. Age, what with the whole Facebooking and Twittering and Ducks Out Of A Row-ing and all. (Note: If you read that in a Bill Cosby voice, it is considerably more enjoyable. Please feel free to go back and do so. I'll wait... but not all day. We've got things to do here!)

Well, I was on a site -- can't remember which one, though -- and one of the things they were trying to draw clicks from was "Celebrities Eating."

This got me thinking... Who really wants to see pictures of celebrities eating? Or, a better question, why? ("I always wondered what it looks like when people eat and I assumed celebrities do it better than anyone else.")

Are there people who think that celebrities don't eat? Do those people consider celebrities to be some kind of miraculous beings, like angels? I suppose I just don't get the whole "fame" thing. I am, as are many of the bloggers around these parts, a writer. To be completely honest, I would love to have my words be read by millions of people. If I made money from it -- unlike the whole AdSense fail I currently have going on -- that would be fantastic. But do I want people to know who I am because of it? No. I simply don't care.

(Heck, I've even wondered about how much true anonymity I would have by using a pseudonym...)

(Note: I understand that the odds are quite minimal, but people do become famous authors, so "quite minimal" means "there's still a chance." Why, yes, I AM an optimist. How could you tell?)

But I'm starting to think that I am not in the majority here in our society. There are so many people who want to be on tv "just to be famous." Why? That makes no sense to me. I mean, let's take a look at those Jersey Shore kids...

[Full disclaimer: I've never actually seen an episode of Jersey Shore and I never will. MTV is probably okay with this because I'm not in the target audience. The fact I have, and use, a brain excludes me from that particular demographic. I base all my JS opinions and whatnot off of articles I read. Is that fair? Eh, probably not. Do I care? No, because I think I get the gist of it. A bunch of "Italian" -- quotes needed because they aren't all of that particular ethnicity -- kids get drunk, hook-up, fight, do laundry, tan a lot, and go to the gym. I'm just not seeing much there worth seeing. "But it's dramatic." I don't care. Shakespeare was a master of drama. So why don't kids try reading MacBeth? "But it's easy drama." Nothing in life that is worth it is easy... except maybe being outside and enjoying a beautiful day. That doesn't take much effort, but is totally worth it. "But, but, but..." But nothing. The Jersey Shore boys and girls might be good people. I'm not saying they aren't. I'm saying that I will never care enough to find out one way or the other. The show is trash. Period. Take the half an hour or hour and do something to make yourself a better person. Get some exercise. Read. Volunteer. Or, if you need some relaxation, watch a tv show that was actually written and created and requires talent. Appreciate the efforts of others. Don't envy a bunch of losers who think they are important because they are on tv acting like idiots.]

[A second disclaimer: Monday was my 32nd birthday. Apparently it turned me into a 78 year old curmudgeon.] (Very appropriate that I mentioned Bill Cosby somewhere up there.)

Alright, that is enough rambling/venting for one day.

I’ll probably post again tomorrow. In the meantime, just know that this random dude living in Holland, Michigan is wishing you -- my loyal readers -- the very best!

Editor's note: The whole "Show me the money!" thing didn't happen. He may or may not be boycotting the movie -- it's tough to keep accurate tabs on him (If you hadn't noticed, he's quite strange.) -- but the line is definitely not his. We just felt that should be noted.


  1. You are one of the few long-winded bloggers that I don't skim over. Thanks for the laugh.
    PS - Does your "editor" still have hair?

  2. youre funny :)
    I turn 33 in December...30 wigged me out, but I think its smooth sailing until 40 ( good luck with that)

  3. Yeah! Ducks is back! I agree with Jolene - I never skim. It's way too much fun :)

  4. Happy happy birthday!!! I hope it was fantastic!

  5. I finally put a counter on my blog and didn't want to start at 0 so I set it for 3500. That was like 3 weeks ago and it's already up by 1000. So now I'm all flummoxed as to what to do. Should I just start over at 0? Or leave it? I'm kicking myself for not adding it when I started my blog. The count is really interesting. There's no way to assess how many visits you get by just comments or followers.

  6. Happy Belated B-day! You've managed to give us Outkast AND Bill Cosby? Perfection!

    P.S. I turn 29 AGAIN this year. Can you believe it?

  7. Happy birthday, and welcome to the mid-thirties, where backs creak and curmudgeonly discussion occur with frightening frequency!

  8. I have still never made it through Jerry Maguire from start to finish. I walked out of the theater (I was a teenager, so $$ was far more irrelevant to me than the present). I figure all the clips on random VH1's I Love the 90's fleshed it out enough for me to never require completion.

  9. I too keep Ad Sense up, partly for the tracking and partly for the hope that someday I can cash out a check from Google and feel like I'm "all that" because Google sent me a check. :)

    My ad sense ads are only on my sidebar which means I don't get hits from people using an RSS reader (like I do myself). I've added the general "analytics" tag to the bottom of each of my posts to help capture RSS readers, but I haven't yet wanted to put the google ads into the feeds themselves...mainly because it seems like the "context sensitive marketing" from Google is never quite as context sensitive as it should be. The resulting ads they put up never seem to really apply to my blog content and thus I doubt anyone will ever click on them (without my begging them to).

    I do, however, add amazon links to some of the various posts I make and I have had people click through on those. I think the cash out point for amazon is $25 and I'm currently sitting at a cool $8 of hits...woo-hoo!

  10. Hi, is organizing a short story writing contest.

    This is for all the writers out there who have a knack for creative writing. So, if you have what it takes to claim the winners 'prize' money, which is $100, drop us an email with your 'short story submission’ composed within a 550 word limit. The last date for submission is 10th August 2010.

    For registration, queries and for all the insiders’ info, do check the provided link -

    happy writing!

    Team - Short Story Book

  11. Jolene - Thank you so much!! That is one of the best writing comments I've ever received. I mean, I sometimes worry about the long-winded nature of my writing, but the reassurance is awesome. :)

    p.s. Our beloved editor does still have hair, but mostly he wanders around, mumbling to himself and sighing almost constantly. (I'm quite worried about him.)

    Tara - 33? Do people really live that long?? (Perhaps the fresh Canadian air and lack of unnecessary violence helps?)

    Rebecca - Thank you kindly! More reassurance!! I love it and am feeling truly spoiled. (By the way, I was in a bookstore a couple days ago and couldn't stop thinking about "Retail Wednesday" stories. I kept chuckling to myself while thinking about some of those encounters.)

    Laura - Thank you for the b-day wishes! I actually had a rather nice one and am still feeling a good "buzz" from it. (Uh, that is not at all related to alcohol. I swear!)

  12. Karen - My two cents? I'd let it be as is. I mean, it does give you a reasonable metric, regardless as to the number you started at, you know?

    Beth - Thanks! If I was truly technologically adept -- and loyal readers know that I am not -- I'd try to create some kind of Outkast/Bill Cosby mash-up. It would be genius and take the Internet by storm. Then I would sell my newly acquired Internet to the highest bidder (probably Bill Gates, but let's not rule out Jay-Z here...) and retire to a tropical paradise. Also, I'd buy a gold-plated dog dish for the Tweakster. (Maybe -- and I use the word in its most definitive term -- I'd do the same for Kitty Meow and Allie Cat... but only if they are nice.)

    Eh, it is probably for the best that I do not possess that kind of ability.

    Lydia - Thank you so much! I'm now going to take a careful -- so as not to break my hip -- sip of my tea to creaky backs. Cheers!! ;)

    Dorn - Trust me, any VH1 synopsis of Jerry Maguire will undoubtedly contain everything you need to know about the movie. (p.s. I'm a huge fan of the VH1 "I love [fill in the decade]" series... except for all the wasted time I can spend watching them.)

  13. Okie - You know, not only do I get ads that have nothing to do with whatever I'm writing about -- which, admittedly, tends to be "about nothing" ("This is pretty much the blog version of Seinfeld!" will be the new motto one of these days.) -- but I've also gotten ads appearing for "Ducks B Gone" or something along those lines.

    Now, given that this is "Ducks Out Of A Row," why would I want the ducks to be gone? Why would my readers, the potential advertisees -- go with it folks -- want to click on something that advocates getting rid of Ducks? Answer: They wouldn't and, in all likelihood, didn't.

    Another example I can think of was a blogger I follow (I'm kind of sure it was "Sara Without an H," but not positive) had been talking about d-bags who wear polo shirts. At the bottom of her blog was an ad. "Express - Polo Shirts Half Off." (Or something to that hilariously inappropriate effect.)

    Gotta love blog ads, huh?

  14. Reberto Alberto - I could not have said it better myself. Thank you for your profound thoughts and the enhancement you have brought to the discussion here at the Ducks. Please feel free to stop by anytime and share more of those pearls of wisdom with us, if we may only be so fortunate as to bask in your wisdom once again.


  15. Happy birthday!

    Fun and ineresting.

  16. Happy Belated Birthday, my friend!

    I also don't watch the reality tv drama...have no desire to. When someone starts arguing on a show I'm watching, I change the channel.

    I've yet to hear of anyone who's made any green w/Google ads...

  17. is awesome, it even showed you what exactly your readers have clicked on and how many minutes they spent on each section. It shows EVERYTHING. Viewers will never be able to read anonymously again haha ;)


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