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"Google AdSense code can not be used with Google Sites"??

I just started a new blog called Tropical Gardening as an experiment in different, more focused/hobby type blog – aka a ‘niche’ blog. Just to see what it’s like and to try out ways of attracting traffic to it. It should be quite fun – I’ll be concentrating on just using photos from my garden and brief commentaries, and it will also be a way of keeping track of changes in the garden. It’s always nice to see how things have grown over time :-) It means there'll be less gardening posts on this blog though - I want to concentrate more on my research here.

For this blog I use Serendipity - it’s an open source platform that I’d recommend to anyone out there, but actually most blogs I see are using Blogger – although Wordpress seems to be more popular with the dedicated ‘problogger’ types. For the new blog I’m using the typical Blogger platform, with a blogspot address; this has proven to be a good idea so far as I get to experience what most bloggers do. I hadn’t used it for a few years, and it’s got a lot more user friendly, with easy ways to change the layout, add blogrolls, etc.

Anyway, I put Adsense on it, but since it’s the same account as this blog I can’t tell if anyone is clicking on the other one. So, decided to separate them in ‘channels’, but when I indicated the url for the new blog I got an error message telling me “URL cannot contain a Google host”. I googled that and got confused with this
Google Sites Help
answer that said
“At the present time Google AdSense code can not be used with Google Sites. Any code that has been added through a gadget or iframe will be rejected by the AdSense team.”

WTF? Weird! Why does Blogger have an AdSense widget and all that if you’re not meant to use it?? Is it possible, as Debt Prison suggests, that they are going to pull all AdSense from all Blogger sites?? That would be a major move – there must be a massive amount of people who use the Blogger/blogspot platform for some AdSense revenue. If AdSense was not allowed on Blogger, they would surely all migrate elsewhere.

Then I found a forum where ‘farmboy’ says
“Just login to your adsense account as usual and create the code complete with channels, colors and whatever else you want. Copy the code.

Then go to your blogger account, click to add a HTML/Javascript feature and paste in the code.”

It worked for me! And now I have the two channels

So, in any case that's a good solution to that problem but I still wonder about this 'no AdSense on Google site thing'... Anybody got any idea?

**Update 14/10/08** See the comment below for an explanation. Also, I covered up more information on the screenshot because, according to ABC Blog Tips
"Do not disclose confidential information about your account like the CTR, CPM and income derived via individual ad units or any other confidential information they may reveal to you. However, you may reveal the total money you make as per recent updates to the TOS."

So in fact I was covering up the right thing, and showing the wrong thing! Argh! :-O There's a list of 18 of these 'Don'ts' on his blog if you're interested.

Chat boxes and comments

In the last year, I’ve noticed that more and more bloggers put chat boxes on their blogs. For me, it’s a bit inconvenient because I may miss some of the ‘conversation’ that occurs around the post – i.e. if there are only comments, all responses to the post are visible under the post. This is one of the great things about blogs (from a research point of view) because I get to see everything that readers thought important enough to say in response to the post; well, almost everything, because bloggers may also respond by doing their own post – but often you can ‘hear’ about that in the comments too.

But anyway, I can’t expect bloggers to act in the way I want just to make my research easier, so I have been asking around a bit as to why people have chatboxes. Some bloggers have told me that they are more likely to use the chat box for casual ‘hellos’, or to say something that is not relevant to the post. Others have said that basically it’s just easier to use the chatbox as opposed to the comments (less windows to open, etc.)

Today, I saw something new – Annaling responded to comments in her chatbox in a new post (original post here, and the chatbox comments recorded on the 9/9/08).

These were the chatbox comments

And this was the post in response

I’ve also seen a chatbox used as a means of advertisement, by Race Against Time

As far as advertisements go, using a chatbox has to be less advantageous – because the time it is visible is pretty uncontrollable… but one can imagine having a system whereby it comes up after every ten chats or something. It could benefit from the transitory environment by appearing more spontaneous, and therefore more ‘real’.

I haven’t put one on my site yet, mainly because I want to keep a track of any comments easily, but it may also be because I’m not really an IM type of person – I’ve never really got into using IM much, as I prefer being able to choose when to answer emails/comments rather than having to respond to messages that arrive at any time.

Anyway - what do you think? Chatbox or not? Why ah?

I become a Pole Dancer

Thanks to Nuffnang, I got to see the semi-finalists of the Clorets Amateur Pole Dancing Competition.

They were mostly girls, but two guys were in there all the same – respect! All the semi-finalists all did a short number on a pole, and one of the guys was OK, but the other was too obviously repeating memorised movements with any natural feel. The girls were also variable, with some obvious no-nos, but generally not bad. Some were very good at climbing up the pole too!

Who am I to judge you ask? Well I have a Pole Dancing Certificate (of Participation), delivered by Lola of Viva Vertical :-D

And see what she can do!
Continue reading "I become a Pole Dancer"

When free isn't enough

Well, my resusable bag giveaway was a miserable failure! :-O

Nobody at all tried to get it, so I was wondering what lessons are to be drawn from it all... and I think these are the relevant points:

• The prize wasn't valuable enough/attractive enough. People (bloggers) aren't that interested in a resusable bag.
• Asking bloggers to do a post is too much (this is relative to the prize of course). When I think of, I've also sometimes been interested in some Nuffnang thing, but not had the time or inspiration to come up with a relevant blog post.
• If I had only asked for some comment of some kind, I may have attracted some response: not all readers are necessarily bloggers, and obviously leaving a comment is easier than doing a post.
• I needed more publicity - I got 100 hits on the post over 10 days, average 10 a day. If there had been more people who knew about it, obviously more may have tried.

Bottom line though: not attractive prize combined with too much work!

Adsense at last!

Woohoo! I finally got round to installing Adsense ads :-)

OK, my noobness is glaringly obvious, but I’m interested to see how it does.

I’ve shifted the Nuffnang ad to a banner at the top, which is recommended as one of the best placements for ads, and the Adsense is on the top right.
There are various eye-tracking studies out there which confirm this - such as this one which shows the gaze going top left to right, down then up left and down again:

This one shows more concentration on the left side:

I may consider moving the sidebar to the left eventually, but we’ll see…

In any case, I have still to get one single ad from Nuffnang, which is a bit disappointing as I have achieved their minimum of 20 unique visitors for a while. I’ve averaged about 550 per week for the last month according to their stats, of which 26% are from Malaysia which makes… hmm… 20.4 Malaysians per day on average. Oh well, maybe it is too little after all…

Fishing My Way To Made Of Honour

Woohoo! On my last game I did my best score! :-D

Exactly the same score as Suanie and Shaolintiger, coincidentally. So then I got paranoid and decided to post the full screenshot as well, instead of just the snipped version

just to show that I did get it! Really! I've been playing the blinking thing everyday for the last two weeks! Perfecting the technique and wondering what it would be like with a proper gaming mouse!

So, please Nuffnang, send me an invite to a nice dinner and evening at the flicks :-)