Changes around here – WordAds coming

You might have noticed things look a little different today.

I’ve been asked to be a part of WordPress’s new “WordAds” program beta test.

I’m a programmer… I’m a geek… how can I resist being part of a beta test? 😉

The theme I was using wasn’t compatible with WordAds, so I had to pick a new theme. Just as well. I didn’t really like the prior theme, it was just the best for my needs of all the available choices at the time. But like all things in the WordPress world, always moving, always evolving, always improving. A lot more themes available now, and this new one I think looks good and offers a lot of features that fit my needs. So it all works well! I like the new look a lot more than the prior one, or really any theme I’ve used previously on this site.

So new theme, rearranged a few things, added a nice banner image. BTW, that banner image is a picture I took of a storm cloud that was rolling through my area on April 26, 2011. It was a HUGE storm, truly wicked to watch the cloud as it was rolling through. One of these days I’ll try to post some of the video I captured of it.

Anyways… the big change is WordAds. Because the back-end of this blog is presently hosted using the free wordpress.com hosting, you’ve probably already seen some advertisements when you come to the site. I believe the only thing that’s changing is the type of ad, from the old wordpress ads to these new WordAds. Exactly what it’ll all look like I don’t know… haven’t seen it yet.

This is my personal blog. It’s where I post what I want to talk about, from whatever angle I want to present it. This blog was not created to be a money-making venture. I tend to stay away from product promotions and other such things because that’s not what my blog is about. Plus, I don’t want to get into the bias that plagues a lot of magazines that do reviews but also advertise from those manufacturers. I mean, when was the last time you read a gun magazine that said the gun sucked? They can’t… the same manufacturer they review also gives them advertising dollars, and do you think that company will want to advertise with a magazine that trashes their product, no matter how honest it may be? I don’t want to get into that situation. If I say something is great, it’s because I think it’s great. If I say something sucks, it’s because I think it sucks likely due to my experience with it. I want the freedom to be able to do that without worrying about revenue pressures.

Thus advertisements that appear here? They appear due to the agreement with the server host. I have no control over them, and I have no idea what they are showing. In fact, while I knew they displayed ads in the past I never saw them because they don’t show them to me. Not sure if that’s because I’m the logged in blog owner, or all wordpress.com-based admins don’t see them, or exactly what causes them to be suppressed, but I don’t see the ads myself. So I generally don’t know what’s being advertised by wordpress. But, IMHO it’s a fair trade because I’m using their site for free, but they need to pay for all the costs associated in enabling me to do this for free.

We’ll see how this goes. It’s a beta test, and it’s a voluntary program in general (I could opt to pay wp.com an annual fee to suppress ads, or I could do my own full hosting on my own site… which was always my goal, but I have inertia to overcome, plus there are benefits to staying with wp.com vs. wp.org).

11 thoughts on “Changes around here – WordAds coming

  1. Well, disclaimer: I’m still peeved at WP.com for thinking they have a right to hijack my email and create accounts for it just because I used it on one of their other services…..so I’m pre-disposed to dislike it.

    I assume as blog owner you still can’t see the ads? Previously the only ads I noticed here were a box or banner above the comment box and occasionally between posts. Now there’s a noticable banner ad ABOVE your header at the top as well as a box on the top of the side bar, but I’m not noticing anything else just yet anyway.

    • Not sure what you mean about creating other accounts for it. What’s the deal there?

      As for seeing the ads, I don’t see them at all. In fact, going to the website from another computer where I’m certainly not logged in, I don’t see anything. But I had trouble activating WordAds this morning, then eventually it kicked in when I tried again some hours later. Someone from WP contacted me and we’ve been exchanging emails. I suspect there may be a configuration problem somewhere… all things on my end say it’s active and enabled, but apparently not. *shrug* We’ll see. The joys of beta testing.

      As for the banner and box… if by banner you mean the picture of the storm cloud behind the blog name, that’s my own thing. And box on the top of the side bar… if you mean the search/”go” field, that’s always been there, just different cosmetics.

      If there’s something else, I guess can you take a screen shot and email me?

      • Ah, check that.

        Just as I finished typing the above, I got an email from the WP folks. It seems all is working now. I even tried it… went to another computer, visited the site, and I see a big ad banner across the top of the blog and a box ad at the top of the sidebar.

        So it’s working.

        Now my next question in wondering is… what sorts of stats will/can I see? Like impressions, click throughs, and so on. *ponder*

      • Not to horribly long ago (a month, less actually I think, I’d have to double check) I suddenly stopped being able to post comments on WP.com hosted blogs. I kept getting these error messages that said “that email is attached to a WP.com account and you have to log in to comment” (I paraphrase but not by much), getting that error message also caused the browser to loose the comment I’d just typed. Well, this started to get annoying, especially when it did it when I used the @scaryyankeechick.com address I’d created when I set up my new site. THAT email had NEVER been attached to a WP.com account. So I did some digging.

        The WP people decided that the answer to an online idiot problem they’d been having was to require a login for all WP.com accounts to do ANYTHING related to WP.com blogs. Well, thats all fine and good, except…..one: you CANNOT delete your WP.com account, and unless you’re a paying customer you can’t even contact support right now cause they’re so far behind they’re not taking tickets, and Two: that email has never been attached to a WP.com account, so WTF?? Turns out Gravatar is owned by the same people who own WP, which I kinda knew, so when I set up the Gravatar account so I could have my own pretty picture next to my name on my comments I added my @syc email as a backup. They then proceeded (without informing me, giving me the chance to opt out, or even a chance to refuse to agree to a TOS with that email) to create a 2nd WP.com account in my name with that email address.

        To say I was not amused would be putting it mildly. Attempts to contact Gravatar’s support has gotten no response, I’ve been unable to contact WP.com’s support folks for the reasons stated above, and attempts to contact the owning company have also come up nil. I temporarily solved the commenting problem by changing all the @syc emails to my old hotmail account that I basically never use any more, but that still leaves me with two WP.com accounts I not only am not going to use but that I don’t wish to have any association with any longer and I cannot get the accounts deleted either. Same for Gravatar. Since Askimet is ALSO owned by them, and ALSO creates an ADDITIONAL Gravatar account for you under whatever email you used to set THAT up (also without telling you) I have also deleted that from the blog as well….

        • I wondered if it might have had something to do with the Gravitar stuff.

          Yeah…. that isn’t cool. I can understand why they did it, probably helps solve a lot of problems for most non-technical people. But then for technical-enough folk, it becomes a pain.

          Alas….

  2. Safari on my ipad doesn’t like the ads I think, it wanted me to verify the site’s certificate (or whatever the ipad equivelant is).

    It becomes a pain for non techie people too, cause they forget to log in andmthen it eats their posts, or if they only had a Gravatar account and now can’t understand why they have to login to and accont they never created….oh and I finally just got a response to my forum post on it, apparently they don’t delete accounts because ‘we don’t want the user names to be recycled’, except THATS utter BS because my TWO accounts, with two different emails, have the same user name….

    • Hrm. I tried it on my iPad and it worked almost fine. I didn’t get any certificate questions, and while I see it trying to serve up the ads, no ads actually show. I think the ads are Flash, hence.

      I will say the thing that bugs me about the ubiquitiousness of Gravitar is going to other sites I’ve never been to before, and then they suddenly know about me. That’s still kinda trips me out

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