Changes

Made some changes to the site today.

The most obvious change is the new look and feel. Or maybe the most obvious change is the removal of ads.

I made these changes for a few reasons.

First, the look and feel (theme) of the site.

I was using a variant of the “Twenty Fourteen” theme, which is a really powerful theme. I chose it when I did because of all themes available at the time it provided the best layout, handled mobile devices well, fair level of customization, and so on. But it seems everyone else thought this as well, because I see so many sites using that theme. Thing is, I never really liked the aesthetics of the theme — I thought it was too narrow for the content — and isn’t content supposed to be king? I always felt the proportions of the theme made sidebars more important than they should be. Plus while I appreciated much about the theme, I never found it totally pleasing to my eye. But at the time it was the best available to suit my needs, so I went with it.

And yes, the simple fact the theme became so prolific… I just hated seeing the theme everywhere.

Digging through WordPress themes this morning and thankfully more and more themes are modern, responsive, and just flat out available. I chose a new theme that’s simpler, cleaner, and hopefully more readable and content-focused.

What I was really hoping for tho?

Less WordAds annoyance.

One thing about the “Twenty Fourteen” theme is it gave a lot of places for ads to show up. I didn’t mind some ads, but over time WordAds has grown more pervasive. And what really broke it for me was the insertion of the ads in the middle of content.

I also have grown tied of some of the ad content. While some ads were certainly fitting for my readership, there’s a lot of click-bait “one weird trick”, “you’ll never believe”, “shocking!”, “hey look! boobs!”, and other just… well… shitty advertising. I hate those sorts of ads. I don’t mind advertising, but I think it should be relevant advertising. And when it gets more and more intrusive, I think it just brings down quality.

So when I switched to this new theme, I did so in part because it didn’t have as many ways to be ad-intrusive. But yet, it still had the ads showing up in the middle of the content.

“Enough is too much” (as the Papa Owl said)

I turned off WordAds. Yeah it was a nice little bit of revenue (and “little bit” is the operative word), but while it started out being reasonable, IMHO the WordAds have become unreasonable. I don’t like the amount of ads being injected into the site, nor do I like the ad content.

And without ads, the site just looks so much better.

We’ll see how this jives out. 🙂

Thank you for your readership.

Edited to Add: Wow. As soon as I posted this, I see at the bottom of the post that ads may still show up. Ha! I forgot that WordPress.com does that, because I’ve been on WordAds for so long. Well, these ads hopefully will be few and far between AND they won’t be annoying ones that show up in the middle of the content.

I do not fault WordPress.com for wanting to recoup costs. I do pay for some features, but their full paid plan (presently $99/year) doesn’t offer me enough advantage. And of course with no ads, how to offset that cost. 😉 So I don’t know. I’ll see how the “occasional ads” wind up being and determine from there what to do.

Fiddling around

Gave the blog some much-needed housekeeping.

Updated the theme. I like this one (Twenty Fourteen) because it’s pretty clean and looks good on mobile devices.

Cleaned out some cruft from the sidebars too.

New header image.

Hopefully this makes it a little easier to stare at in a day. 🙂

test

seems fb integration broke. testing.

Updated: Well, seems better now….

I’m 4 years old

Just realized today is my 4th blog-o-versary. Huzzah! If it gives you an excuse to have a party or a glass of wine, go for it. 🙂

I think what gets me the most is when I started I was determined to post something every day. So far so good, which kinda floors me that I’ve been able to keep up. Sometimes it works better than others, the content just flows, but other times it’s a struggle to write. Still, averaging about 2.5 posts a day. Crazy.

Anyways, thank you for visiting, thank you for reading. While I write for myself, it helps that you read.

Oh, the title? It’s a reference to this Bill Cosby sketch:

 

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).

I’m 3 years old

So I’ve been blogging for 3 years now.

All this drivel and I still haven’t reproduced all the works of Shakespeare. 😉

I am pleased that even after 3 years I’ve been able to keep to my rule of writing (or at least ensuring a post) every day.

Stats? Whatever. I’m happy they’re growing. I’m not sure why you all like to read what I have to write, but thank you for caring. 🙂

Domain transfers in progress

Hopefully I clicked all the right buttons and links… but it seems that my domain transfers are in progress. All should be approved, accepted, and now it’s just the wait period for the actual transfer to occur.

Hopefully all will go smoothly and without hiccups or service interruptions.

 

This is my 3000th post

Geez… 3000 posts.

I need to get out more. 🙂

Busy

Busy. No time to write.

WordPress DDOS

Looks like WordPress.com (who hosts this blog) is under a DDOS attack.

I am able to post this, so maybe it’s over, maybe it’s paused, maybe they’re mitigating it. Don’t know. But hey… if you can’t get here for some reason then I doubt you’ll be able to read this. 😉