When I first began to blog, I was literally clueless. I was sure that I wanted to write, and I desired a clean, streamlined website that was free of ads. Other than that, it was up in the air. I hunted and pecked my way through the set up. The learning curve was a long one. Though writing itself gives me great pleasure and stimulates my, often, weary brain, writing alone, I found, does not a blog make. My page views continue to increase, though I do not have many followers. ( That is a hint BTW). Minor glitches aside, the only problem that remains to be solved, lyes in Google's hands. Technical difficulties arose the moment I signed onto their AdSense campaign. I am sad to report that I drank Google kool aid. It now haunts me.
I moved onto gadget placement. My frustration mounted as I attempted to execute the simplest computer maneuver of all, cut and paste. Elementary if you know what you're doing, tortuous to a computer novice like me. I downloaded "Blogging for Dummies". Suddenly what befuddled me became clear. Not only did I learn the fine art of cut and paste, but also two basic rules behind the art of a successful blog. Rule # 1; Links on blog create more traffic. Rule #2; Advertising can generate income. Seemed logical to me, so I linked to the hilt and joined the Google charade. Regret was soon to follow.
I thought I could save time and effort by allowing Google to match ads to my blog, after all, they claim to be experts. At first glance, ads were quite general in nature. Banners for dog food and pet care appeared. Appropriate I thought, but other, more objectionable promotions began to rear their ugly heads. They were in no way related to recent posts. In fact, I would liken them to country cousins, thrice removed. I went to work, quickly, to take them off my site. Google ad filters to the rescue, or so I thought. What seemed a petty nuisance then, continues to plague me.
This morning I signed onto Diaryofadogbiscuit.blogspot.com. I glanced over my posts and below my last entry an image only ad appeared. It was a portrait of a handsome man in a black leather jacket. He stood aside a motorcycle. Type below this image was tiny. I could not read it. My glasses were no where in sight, so I clicked. The handsome man began to pontificate. His speech went something like this.
"Hi! I'm John Doe. I live in the suburbs with my beautiful wife. I am an electrician. My son plays little league. My daughter takes dance. I take the train to work, so my wife can drive our SUV. On weekends I mow our quarter acre. I ride a Harley and by the way I'm a Mormon."
I watched as ads for Mormons and Scientologists cycled on my blog. Pardon my drama. I was now officially disturbed. If I were an Evangelist writing about fire and brimstone, I might not mind, but alas, I am a lapsed Catholic. I take issue with the fact no one at Google, or any other online forum can help me resolve this annoying problem.
Makes me wonder what is really going on here. I've read over each of my blog posts. I make reference to God only once. ( i.e., "Thank God for little girls.") This not so subtle intrusion on my tiny website reeks of what might follow. If Google is able to invade my content, how might this cyber radar play out on a world stage? Given the role that social media has played in Iran, Tunisia and Egypt, and the relative ease and speed by which these 3 oppressive governments were able to appropriate this powerful technology, it is not so far fetched to question whether this subtle intrusion could mutate into an unprecedented global attack on our right to privacy?
Meanwhile, back at the blog, these ads continue to roll. Have you any suggestions, dear readers?
confabulate: to converse informally; chat.