Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chasing my (long) tail

Perusing the statistics on who's reading this blog (a fairly quick read), I notice a recent arrival. Tailsweep, an online advertising entity evidently with one foot in the UK and one in Sweden, has taken an interest. Their idea is to gather together all the rest of the material after you get past Gizmodo and the other most heavily-visited sites and try to wring some advertising revenue out of them collectively. Just how, I'm not exactly sure, but hey, why not?

I might as well lay out my position on advertising here: I'm not against it in principle. On the other hand, I find it distracting on other sites, so I'm in no hurry to put up ads here without a good reason, which is currently nowhere in sight.

Actually, I find advertising distracting on some other sites. If I'm googling around for information on, say, some esoteric aspect of Java sockets, I don't really care to see links for vacations to Java or custom light sockets. OK, that's an an exaggeration, but you get the idea. I understand it all has to get paid for somehow, but too often said ads are attached to a forum thread that reads something like this:
  • Looking for info on Java sockets. Um ... I can't get sockets to work in Java.
    • Re: Looking for info on Java sockets. Hey ... I can't get them to work either.
      • Re: Looking for info on Java sockets. Has either of you tried reading the Javadocs?
OK, that's a slight exaggeration too, but you get the idea. I'm also not fond of ads disguised as links, though I understand the thinking that led to them. Or maybe because I understand the thinking that led to them.

On the other hand, I don't mind at all seeing ads on a major news site, partly because my visual system has largely learned how to tune them out on the sites I frequent, but mostly because I understand that all those reporters have to get paid. Unlike me, they don't have a day job to fall back on. Writing the stuff is their day job. Likewise for major blogs that are updated several times a day and have wide audiences.

But this isn't one of those. It's a hobby, one which attracts a smattering of hits, these days mostly, it seems, from people curious about Omegle or when the Information Age began. Perez Hilton I'm not.

To be crystal clear here: It's very gratifying that someone might find those posts worth reading. Likewise, if you've read this far on this one, many thanks for that as well. My best information as of this writing is that you're in pretty select company. That being the case, it's hard for me to see how there could be enough advertising potential in these pages to be worth anyone's time.

Should that change, and I'm guessing that would require a couple of orders of magnitude more visitors than I currently have, I'll gladly reconsider. Yes, dear reader, I have only your interests at heart. I will magnanimously spare you the annoyance of ads on this site -- unless someone will pay me enough to offset my mental anguish in putting you through them.

[Tailsweep is still around, but the link above redirects to a Swedish site claiming to be Sweden's most active ... something or other ... in social media ... press the "translate" button ... Sweden's most active follower in social media.  Whatever that may mean.  It seems to have been bought out by Bonnier Group, a Swedish holding company, but you won't see that on the English version of the page.

Traffic on Field Notes appears to be higher than when this post was written, if only because crawlers visiting every page have more pages to visit, I suspect, but my back-of-the-envelope calculations continue to suggest that I'd need a couple of orders of magnitude more traffic to make ads worthwhile.  So if you've read this far and you really, really want to see ads on this site, please tell 100 of your friends. --D.H. Jan 2016]

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