Why Google AdSense Sucks

Google AdSense SucksI had Google AdSense for four months, through most of December. In all that time, I made almost no money from it. That was fine, I understand that Frankly Curious only gets about 150 unique visitors per day and not all of these are actual people. I wasn’t expecting to make any real money, but I wanted to have the system set up. What a mistake.

Halfway through December, I (like many others) received an email from Google telling me that I had been kicked out of the program because of “invalid clicks.” I appealed. And even though it took upwards of two weeks to get into the program, they denied my appeal within one day. What’s more, Google will not explain what was wrong with my site—even in the vaguest of terms. Given that we are talking about only a couple of dollars after months, I do not get it to this day.

So I put up ads for Amazon. This is a temporary measure. With Amazon Associates, people who click on the links must actually buy something. And then, I get 4% of the price of the item (not counting Amazon’s horrible shipping charges). Like I said: a temporary measure.

In the first twenty days of January (After Christmas, right?), I have made twice from Amazon Associates what I made in four months from AdSense. So I assume that Google kicking me out of the program was a crock. I wouldn’t take Google AdSense back now if they begged (which they won’t).

But I still like Google. No other search engine has this site so well indexed, even though according to Alexa, only 8% of the traffic here comes from search engines. (I have readers? Shocking.)

Al Green Not Demented, Just Asshole

Ten years ago, I went to see Al Green in San Jose. It was a very annoying concert. Green finished less than half of his songs. He would start on something, go for a few bars, and then stop the band and say, “I don’t want to do that one.” It happened so often, that I decided that he had some form of early Alzheimer’s Disease. Nothing else explained it.

But then, I heard there was a video of Al Green doing Let’s Stay Together live with David Gilmour on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on BBC TV. I had to see that. It was just a year and a half ago. I figured maybe Green would just stand at the mic and bob his head, kind of like Syd Barrett towards the end. Who better to back him up but Gilmour? Here’s the clip; watch it; it’s great.

So I guess the Reverend doesn’t have Alzheimer’s Disease after all. It is just when playing before 5,000 people in San Jose, he doesn’t (as they say in the business) “put out.” In other words, he’s just an asshole.

And Lizzie Borden

Lizzie BordenThis is something I hear a lot, “But isn’t it wrong to start a sentence with a conjunction?” (When I read it, there is no conjunction at the beginning of that sentence.) And I always reply, “You learned that in grammar school, didn’t you?” And they always respond in the affirmative.

I don’t know what these teachers are thinking, but I have a guess. Before we get to that, however, remember that grammar school teachers say a lot of things that are wrong. I believe that the rule against starting sentences with a conjunction is to avoid writing like this:

Lizzie Borden was crazy. And one day she got real mad at her parents. And she went into the barn. And she picked up an ax. And she went into her mother’s room. And she gave her mother forty whacks. And then she went to her father’s room. And she gave him forty whacks. And then she gave him another.[1]

Don’t write like that. But don’t worry about starting a sentence with a conjunction, either.

[1] Much better is the creepily cheery poem:

Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.

In Defense of Brad DeLong

Vincent Price Strangling HimselfRecently, I published an article Bad Blog Quoting, where I complained about how some bloggers—Brad DeLong in particular—create articles that are simply quotes without any value added. They could, as Mark Thoma often does (and as often does not), just provide the link. I still think this is a bad idea. For example, yesterday, DeLong posted William Hazlitt’s Political Essays: The Character of Mr. Burke, a 2,000 word essay, in its entirety. It is well worth reading, by the way. However, a link and a synopsis would have been better. Yet there is another side of the story.

Yesterday, I found out that the ventriloquist Nina Conti was the daughter of actor Tom Conti. All I really wanted to do was put up some hilarious video with Nina and Monk—the missing link that proves depression is our natural state. But I couldn’t just do that. Posting videos alone is just the same as quoting. Of course, I could just have added something like, “I just found out that Nina Conti is the daughter of delightful Scottish actor Tom Conti. Here she is performing with Monk.” That thought even occurred to me. But unfortunately, we just don’t do things like that around here. It’s against the style guide! (But not, apparently for Curiously Clever which consistently does whatever the hell it wants.)

So I wrote an article about the Best Actor category of the 1983 Academy Awards: Nina Conti Not Nominated for Oscar. Why? Because her father was nominated that year. Also, I got my wires crossed, thinking that Tom Conti was nominated in 1980, which would allow me to rant about how much better John Hurt and Robert Duvall were than the winner: Robert De Niro. Even without this, however, there is the kernel of a good article here. All I had to do was spend an hour or two on it. You can see it in the article as it stands: not only was Nina Conti’s father nominated for an Oscar, but she starred in For Your Consideration, which is about the ridiculousness of Oscar hysteria. As it stands, it is all kernel and no article.

So Brad DeLong has a point. Not that I plan to changed a damn thing. And to prove it, here’s another video of Nina Conti, looking kind of pregnant.