A little business.

RSS readers, please click through! I have questions for you.

First order of business: gorgeous new (well, altered) template. Vicki at Swank Web Style is my girl. Everything that is good about my website is because of Vicki. (Well, the content is me. But it’s questionable whether that is any good.)

Second: these damn feeds. I am considering switching to full feeds. I still think they are a terrible idea if you care about copyright, but if I can find a way to do full feeds minus images I am willing to consider it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thoughts? Opinions? Are you more or less likely to read my posts if I have full feeds? Do you click through regardless? I want to know! Lay it on me.

Is anyone else having a problem on post pages with the subscribe info being way down at the bottom of the page? Has anyone used the subscribe thingy? Does it work? (I am automatically subscribed to every entry, so I wouldn’t know.)

Is it annoying or good to have the sidebars on the post pages? (They’re staying, but I want to know anyway.)

I am about $7 away from a check from google adsense. If I put the ads back up, will you click on them so I can get the check and do away with them for good? I have BlogHer ads now and I am just waiting for my account to be matched with an advertiser. And then the money should flow in. (I hope you will all join me in picturing a slow but steady leak of pennies dripping in.) BlogHer ads do not require clicks but go by page impressions.

If I put the Amazon widgets back up (assuming they don’t slow down the page load too much) will you guys buy through them?

Would it be TOTALLY TACKY of me to put up a Paypal tip jar? I am only vaguely considering it, and just until I can get some sewing done for my etsy store, so it is OK to tell me not to do this. It’s just that we are so broke I am worried about where groceries are going to come from this week.

Edited to add: the new template uses some awesome plugins. Here’s a quick list: CommentLuv, Subscribe to Comments, Do Follow, Feedburner Feedsmith.

OK, I think that’s enough to lay on you for one day. You deserve a reward for reading! Here is a beautiful picture of some dog poop Sam and I saw on the way to vote yesterday.

IMG_3023

Real post coming soon, I promise.

30 thoughts on “A little business.

  1. Anne

    February 6, 2008 at 11:07am

    I clicked on the Google ads before and would be happy to do so again. That is all you have to do, right? Just click on them?

    *quickly steps away from the computer so her ignorance doesn’t show so much*

  2. Crystal

    February 6, 2008 at 11:17am

    Re: Full Feeds. I click through on whatever the first post in my feed is and read you backwards from there. I will probably continue to do that with you, as a)you’re prolific so there are usually more than one new posts when I get here in the morning and b) out of habit. I do notice that with blogs that do full text in feeds, I don’t generally click through unless I want to comment.

    I like the sidebars on the post pages.

    I will click on the Google ads and I’ll join Anne’s ignorance. We just have to click and you get something, right?

    I second Nina’s Will and say that’s not tacky at all.

  3. Heath

    February 6, 2008 at 11:24am

    Admittedly I do all my reading through Google reader. I rarely click through unless something really grabs me. I know you probably hate top hear that but I am a lazy creature of convenience. Some blogs I read don’t have the full posts through the reader, so mostly I just end up not reading their posts. Only rarely do I see a subject/excerpt line that really grabs me enough to make me click over.

    I’m not trying to tell you how to run your website, just giving you insight into my personal lazy reading habits that I know apply to some other people too.

  4. Annika

    February 6, 2008 at 11:25am

    Yes, Google ads just require a click. They then do some complicated math in order to reward me with the lowest possible number of cents per click, and when it adds up to $100 they cut me a check.

  5. Annika

    February 6, 2008 at 11:26am

    No, Heath! I really want to know what people think and how they read. It will help me decide what to do with my feed.

  6. Allison

    February 6, 2008 at 11:31am

    From someone who has a donate button up on her blog, I think it’s OK if you have a specific cause noted. Even if it’s “The Coin-Op Laundry Fund.” It helps people know exactly where it goes. In our case, we pool it in a fund and give it away to others who are getting surgery.

    Allison’s last blog post..Welcome Baby Oliver!

  7. kara marie

    February 6, 2008 at 12:32pm

    Love the new layout actualy. Works good on my work computer, where before, the pictures sometimes made it crazy and pushed everything between the sidebars to the bottom.

    No opinion on the feeds. I do all my reading straight from the site, every time. I’m old fashioned that way.

    Sidebars on the post pages are awesome. Glad they are staying. I like the option to click right into whichever “aside” I want to read without having to go back to the front page.

    Absolutely put the Google Ads back up. I used to click fairly regularly, and will continue to do so, now even more so knowing that you’re close. No sense in letting that $93 just sit there, I’m sure you can get enough clicks to get the check cut soon.

    Amazon widgets, I don’t do a whole lot of shopping there these days, but if they were up would definitely try to remember to use them.

    I don’t think it’s tacky at all. Especially if you take Allison’s suggestion and maybe have a fun weekly “cause” or whatnot that’s attached, say the wine and cheese fund or the trip to the museum fund. Those that are “offended” by it don’t have to utilize it, and frankly wouldn’t be the ones I would expect to toss a few bucks towards you (or anyone) anyway, and those that don’t mind it might throw a little something your way now and then when they feel moved, and wouldn’t have any other way to do so if you didn’t have a link.

    So um, I think that’s it. Sorry for the long and rambleyness of it. I’ve got quite the cold (in my EYES even) and am rather highly medicated at this point in time.

  8. kara marie

    February 6, 2008 at 12:33pm

    oh and, um, thanks for the “reward” :]

  9. DaveX

    February 6, 2008 at 12:54pm

    I use AdBlock in Firefox, and have been surfing the net long enough that I barely even see the ads, let alone click on them. I know you’re all about doing things your way, but since you asked– my opinion is that the net is better without advertising on everything. My ideal mental picture of the net is something like a beautiful commons area… something we all take care of because it’s so useful and enjoyable. I’d hate to hike around a nice trail and be confronted by ads at scenic view; it’s much the same for me on the net. I say ditch ’em! http://www.adfreeblog.org/

    DaveX’s last blog post..Burning in pink noise!

  10. Annika

    February 6, 2008 at 1:06pm

    Thank you for saying as much. I really do appreciate everyone’s point of view. I thought for a long time before putting ads on my blog. You might even say I agonized over it. I finally came to the conclusion that as a professional writer, it is OK for me to be paid for my writing, even when it is personal. So I won’t be removing them, but I 100% respect your right to not look at them.

  11. Annika

    February 6, 2008 at 1:18pm

    There’s a little about my feelings on ads here. I thought I posted when I was considering them in the first place, but a cursory search didn’t turn anything up.

  12. Vicki

    February 6, 2008 at 2:04pm

    A good design feels pretty empty without good content. So, shush.

    I would click on ads, at least to get you to the point where you can cash out on Google. I know the BlogHer ads are impression-based, but I can’t help but click on the one with the sad little kitten…

    I tend to click through on feeds, whether or not they are full or partial: that way, I can read and participate in the discussion. And check out the site design, because I am a nerd like that.

    Vicki’s last blog post..Snow Day!

  13. Annika

    February 6, 2008 at 2:19pm

    OK, I think I just put google ads at the bottom of individual post pages.

  14. Delle

    February 6, 2008 at 3:10pm

    I click through on everything from my feeds. I find the artial feeds nicer to deal with in Google reader than the full feed though. I like the new layout, although the colours will take a bit of getting re-used to. I’d become accustomed to the orange.

    I don’t have a problem with the tip jar thing, but honestly, I’m not that likely to use it. I probably wouldn’t even spot it as I don’t really look at the side bars at all.

    I didn’t like the commentluv thing to begin with, as my current diary entry isn’t worthy of linkage, but I’m liking it now that I can see other people’s links.

  15. Ewokmama

    February 6, 2008 at 3:19pm

    I only have a little bit of input. If I can read your full entry in google, I won’t click through unless it is to comment. I comment a decent amount, though, I think.

    Ewokmama’s last blog post..Step in the right direction

  16. Jamie

    February 6, 2008 at 3:26pm

    I love blogs that publish a full feed with pictures. I adore not having to leave Google Reader unless I want to comment.

    Second choice is full feed without pictures.

    Far, far distant is a partial feed. Bah! to partial feeds. Ditto Heath.

    On a related note, you may already be aware of this, but it is also possible to include ads in your feeds. I wouldn’t recommend doing it on a partial feed, but with a full feed, sure. (Tiny excerpt + ad = annoying.) Some people suggest offering two feeds: Partial with no ads, and full with ads. I believe FeedBurner makes it very easy to integrate with Google Ads, although that probably isn’t ideal since you want to move away from Google Ads.

    Sidebars, ads, widgets, donation boxes – it’s all good! (Says the person who usually reads from Google Reader. Well, when I do click through, all those things are A-OK with me!)

    Regarding Google Ads, fellow readers, be careful not to click through too much. Part of the “complicated math in order to reward [the payee] with the lowest possible number of cents per click” includes watching for clicks that they don’t feel are genuine, and they are very good at it. If you click too often, their algorithm KNOWS that you are just trying to support the site, and they discount all of your clicks and may send the site owner a cranky email saying, in effect, “If your friends keep clicking your ads, we’ll kick your sorry ass off and keep all your money.” I’ve gotten that one, and clicking just one of my own ads once per day also got me the, “Stop clicking your own ads, motherfucker!” email.

    Jamie’s last blog post..I hate being sick.

  17. Jaime

    February 6, 2008 at 3:55pm

    If I like a blog well enough to put it in my bloglines, I will click over to read the entire post. I do, however, read blogs in order of full feeds first, and then partial feeds, because I know I’m going to have to expend extra energy.

    I don’t mind the BlogHer ads or the Google ads, but the Amazon widgets drive me batty & seem to make the pages take longer to load.

    Jaime’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Firewall

  18. Kris

    February 6, 2008 at 5:30pm

    Oh thank goodness, you fixed the blog! Now when I click on my link, it goes to the most recent post rather than the last one I read. And even better, I don’t have to scroll all the way past all the sidebar thingees to read your post — I thought it was something wrong with my computer, which it may have been, as no one else seems to be commenting on it (though to be fair, I didn’t read all the other comments). And I am too lazy to figure out a feed, which I know will save me time IN THE LONG RUN, but I am all about the short term time crunch.

  19. Nana

    February 6, 2008 at 6:10pm

    I like the wider page set up and the side bars on the individual post pages, but the pink links are making my eyes water…

  20. Nana

    February 6, 2008 at 6:12pm

    I take it back, i prefer no side bars on individual post pages, especially the picture of the day, it makes the pages too busy.

  21. Papaya Mom

    February 6, 2008 at 10:09pm

    Read on Google Reader here….would love to go back to full feeds :)

    Papaya Mom’s last blog post..Super Tuesday

  22. liz

    February 7, 2008 at 12:37am

    I like it. I like the sidebars on the post pages. I am old school and have no feeds. i don’t think the PayPal buttons are tacky. and i will attempt to click through Google ads without being obvious about it. :)

  23. Angela in Ontario

    February 7, 2008 at 5:33am

    I always click through anyway, as a big part of your blog for me is your commenters, and your responses to them. I like that it’s a bit like a conversation.

    I used to click on your ads, and would be happy to do so again, although I won’t be ordering anything from Amazon.

    I’m also a fan of the new layout, since it’s not all weirdly squishy for me anymore at work.

    Angela in Ontario’s last blog post..FOs

  24. MenleyNin

    February 16, 2008 at 9:41pm

    FYI: I use Google Reader.

    Still, I click through to your actual blog 95% of the time, unless the post was just one or two lines AND I don’t have the urge to comment. I always start with the oldest post and work my way to the most recent. I use Active Meter to see who read what and when, which gives me a better idea of my readership. I have no idea how GR works, so I don’t know if just reading your post in Reader will “show” that I’ve read it; as such, I typically click through.

    The subscribe info didn’t work for me for a long time, which is what led me to use GR in the first place. However, I think you fixed that issue shortly after I switched to GR.

    I like having the sidebars on the post pages. Your Asides are often the funniest things I encounter in a given day, and I might miss them if not for their being included.

    I’ll happily click on the Google ads. I used to make that the first thing I’d do when I clicked through because I knew it helped, but I got out of the habit. I’m a bad blog reader. :(

    I have no idea what Amazon widgets are. My Amazon purchases are few and far between, but I always buy through the WD link. Now my loyalties are divided…..

    I’m all for the Paypal tip jar. I just have to figure out how to use the Paypal account I set up last month. (I’m really starting to show just exactly how internet unsavvy I am, huh?)

    I’m so late to the party that I’m probably no help, right? Stupid nine-day lack of internet access.

    MenleyNin’s last blog post..Zero Cool

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