Shhhhh…. Quiet… the Monkeys Are Sleeping
Update 5/20/08: Hey, how about that. Got a message from Google AdSense saying that, despite my honest input on what might have been happening with my AdSense account before they decided to conveniently screw me out of $100, they weren’t going to reinstate the account.
I believe the words their email used were “significant risk” to their advertisers, because – as has happened many times in the annals of business history, surely you’ve heard! – entire companies have gone belly up because they paid a nickel for an ad in some random publication with low readership.
Trust me, oh advertisers, if the potential click fraud that might be perpetrated by someone through my site is enough to hurt your business, you probably ought to just fold now and get on with your life doing something constructive.
Oh, and Google – hey, thanks for nothing (well, aside from the few hundred you paid me before screwing me over). Here’s hoping Microsoft and Yahoo find a way to kick your ass.
Hugs and kisses.
Back to blog retirement for the head monkey!
One more aside: while this site is a grave threat to Google’s advertising, they see nothing wrong with readily hosting Al Qaeda propaganda videos on YouTube, which they own.
I’m sorry, what was that bullshit, throw-away line about “don’t be evil?”
Update: No, I’m not back. Just sharing some insights.
Got another notice from Google that a number of pages were being de-indexed for having third-party spam links in them. So, I did some digging, and discovered some spammer had used an exploit to inject a bunch of spam URLs into my header.php and footer.php files, which – understandably – Google did not really like. So, I cleared those out and will be upgrading the WP install very soon.
The timing is all very odd… I get an email soliciting the purchase of text links (which has happened before), but the solicitor is not very forthcoming with many details. We have a couple of back and forth negotiations, and suddenly my AdSense is disabled, my site is getting de-indexed for spam, etc. Makes me wonder if they were the ones using the exploit and perhaps grabbed my email out of the admin info for the WP install… maybe seeing what else they could glean from me (in particular, since we agreed on a deal, I’ve not heard one word from them).
All very suspicious. Suppose it’s a good thing I’ve shut things down – who has time for this shit?
Yes, yes, I know. Believe me, I know.
So very, very many of you* are wondering why I chose now to stop the WWR, and – being a man of the people! – I think you deserve an answer.
In parable form.
Once upon a time there was a monkey, and his monkey friend, and they looked at all the other monkeys in the jungle and realized that – no lie – a lot of those other monkeys were silly, misguided, delusional, or just plain dumb. And those other monkeys positively reveled in it all. So, boldly and bravely defying that thing about monkeys and typewriters, the two smart monkeys got down to the business of mocking the other monkeys (while also periodically posting about bananas and the best trees for climbing and the delightfully engorged buttocks of this or that female monkey).
For a while, several years even, it was good. They got linked by some great apes and many monkeys stopped by, as well as some lemurs, some wild cats, a hippo, and even a duck. At one point, they even had a big, cat lovin’ monkey join the team, as well as a big, boy lovin’ monkey. Oh my, the hilarity that ensued! Their site even got some mainstream press, back at a time when newspaper sites had not yet realized that including links to mentioned sites was sort of how the internet worked and otherwise didn’t do much for their traffic, but thanks anyway, is it any wonder the print media is dying?
(whoops, sorry this is a parable, my bad)
Years passed and over time the merry band of monkeys was cut down to one. But the visitors feared not, for this lone monkey had plenty of snark and wit and periodic insight to keep them coming. Until he went and made monkey babies and stuff and his posting slowed down.
…ok, enough parable.
It was going to get really confusing when I started talking about the Draconian Alienplex Mothership that dropped bananas on the lone monkey to keep him writing, only to one day fly back to its home planet with no explanation.
In short, this blogging thing began to feel more like a chore than a fun choice some time ago. I stuck with it because the world is still full of stupid (ref: Ben Stein), I had a number of blogging friends (ref: my blogroll) and because the ad revenue more than paid for the site’s upkeep (not much more than, but enough to let me buy a new toy every six months to a year) (ref: the now missing ads).
The now missing ads? Yes! Somewhere deep in the bowels of Google’s supercomputing wonderland, someone or something decided my account had “invalid click activity” and – tada! – they disabled my account when they were one day shy of having to cut me another check. I don’t know what the “invalid click activity” was, and Google has a policy of not telling anyone anything, because acting like Dick Cheney leading a national energy policy task force is apparently an essential part of not being evil.
I appealed it, maybe they’ll reverse it, maybe not.
Anyway, that whole bit of silliness got me to thinking… was the small amount I was earning from the site making it any more fun for me?
No, not really.
Playing with my kids is fun (and I don’t get paid for it). Going to the gym so I no longer look like a giant slug is fun (and I don’t get paid for it). Reading good books is fun (and I don’t get paid for it). Picking up a guitar and playing a song or three is fun (and I don’t get paid for it). Drinking beer is fun (and I don’t get paid for it, but man oh man if I did!).
Blogging? Not so fun, and the pay sucked.
Last night it just seemed like a good time to pack it in, call it quits, take down my shingle, go into the vet clinic with the monkeys in tow and walk out alone.
Shhhhh… quiet… the monkeys are “sleeping.”
There should be a comments thing on this page, but there isn’t. I guess it’s the page template. If you feel so compelled, click through to this post and leave a comment there.
I should also add that I’ve met a lot of great people through blogging, and I will still be haunting comment boxes here and there as the mood strikes. Hell, I might even come back to blogging when I feel like there’s something new to say. However, how many times can one person say: “Creationists are dumb! The far right and far left are stupid! There is no God?”
Given I did this for six years, the answer is apparently “a whole lot.”
I think that’s plenty, don’t you?
* Six. Maybe seven.