Category: personal

Ads On This Blog… And JuiceTorrent

Here is what Fred Wilson says back in June 2006 in a post on his blog titled “Ads on this blog“…

“I don’t like leaving money on the table. This blog does around 2 million page views per year on the web and another million plus views in my feed.

Those page views are worth real money and while I don’t need it, someone does.

[…]

I hope to generate $40,000 this year to charity with this blog. I am certain I’ll generate at least $25,000.

That’s real money that will get a tribeswoman in Africa a cell phone or a underprivileged child a scholarship.

So that’s why I run ads on this blog. I hope you agree that its a good cause…”

Fred is a “star” blogger with a big audience. So he makes a meaningful chunk of money (let’s say $36,000) to donate at the end of the year to charities.

Now… let’s assume that a typical unknown blogger could make an average of $12/year (that’s $1/month) in ad revenue from AdSense.

You’d have to put 3,000 such bloggers together to achieve what Fred does with his blog in terms of ad revenue. And you’d have to wait over 8 years before Google releases the $100 min checks to each of these bloggers… and you’d have to remind these bloggers and their audiences that the money was intended for charity. Not very practical… nobody does it.

Enter JuiceTorrent (see the JT widget in left column of this page)

With JuiceTorrent, 3,000 regular (non-star) bloggers (like me and most of you) can create and maintain a monthly revenue “torrent” of $3,000 flowing directly into the account of a charity… or multiple charities. No waiting for months or years, no writing of checks, no “donation” accounting (who cares about a receipt for a $12 yearly donation anyway). Added benefit – being part of an online community of supporters and actively promoting the causes you care about.

Without JuiceTorrent – we leave money on the table. With JuiceTorrent – we can pay for a scholarship for an underprivileged child. All it takes is embedding a few snippets of code on our blogs.

Personal notes:

  • I really, really can’t care less about the aesthetic implications of having ads on my blog (JuiceTorrent is set for now to serve text ads only though). Looking “sleek,” “clean,” or “non-commercial” (read “anti-commercial”) somehow doesn’t make it even close to the top of my priorities. Finding new ways to make the web meaningfully social does.
  • I don’t want to wait for the “ad-free” web of the future that may come or may not come about any time soon. If NPR and WGBH can put car dealers’ ads on their websites – for a good cause – so can I.

Read more about JuiceTorrent:

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Dies

Never read “The Gulag Archipelago“… but loved “One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich“… always remember his advice from “One Day…” about how to survive in tough conditions – do everything slowly.

There was a joke back then… in the Soviet times… about a Russian boy… from the 21st century… asking his father: “Dad… who’s Brejnev?”… and the father: “Hmmm… I think he was a politician from Solzhenitsyn’s time.” Not a joke anymore.

JuiceTorrent… Make Your Own Ad Network

First, let me state the obvious: all I do – is co-doing… with my partners, team, my wife and the people I meet, read, and follow. This post was, in fact, suggested by one of my partners. So here it is…

December 1991 – I write (in this paper) that “There is no … author/audience … no text, but always, and only, a con-text.” Seventeen years later (July 2008) – Umair Haque is almost there (with this strategy note)… by telling us “There is No Consumer” and by suggesting UGC should, in fact, mean “User Generated Context.”

April 2005 – I co-found Aidpage Inc (aidpage.com) – with the tag line “People Helping People.” Three years later (July 2008) – a Deloitte study (by Beeline) concludes: “The tribalization of business is all about ‘People Helping People.'”

March 2007 – I co-found People Networks Inc. About a year later (February 2008) – Dave Morgan, founder of Real Media and TACODA (acquired by AOL in July 2007), says – in a post titled “The Future: People Networks” – “To me, it’s all about the growing role of “people networks“… promptly followed by AOL announcing (May 2008) the creation of a new business unit called “People Networks.”

Currently – we work on a web service called JuiceTorrent with a tag line “Create Your Own Ad Network.”

Hours, Days, Months, Years… Are God’s Tags (Google’s Labels)

I hate calendars – never used them effectively. Don’t want to manage time. If I had the power, I’d ignore time. If there was God – he probably would have ignored time (my guess).

I often think of Google with their refusal to manage 20% of their own time. Might this be a “Beta”… precursor of how Google may start non-managing 100% of their time. Now, that would be a God-like behavior.

I use Google Calendar(s)… don’t know of anything better. But still, in most cases – I just cannot realistically assign a duration value to whatever I enter there. So, I use it mostly for the easy way to drag my “To Do” items from day to day.

Now, I am trying to start using Google Notebook(s). You can enter items in notebooks (and sections within them) through an extremely easy interface. You can label each item. There is the easy “suggested” menu of existing labels. So, I have a label “1 Emil” – the “1” is there to put this label in a easy first alphabetical position in the “Labels” menu. The label pulls a good full screen of all notes across all notebooks labeled “1 Emil”… And, here comes the good part – this screen has an URL. So, I put this in my “home” set of tabs in my browser. Now, I have an instant view of the notes I need – sitting on a tab in my browser. I don’t even mention the “search” and “share” functions – after Google, we think nothing of these.

However, there is no sharing of labels. Why I wonder. I cannot figure out a reason. Shared labels would work as the “days” in the Calendar(s).

Now, for any faithful user of Google Calendar(s), this description of Google Notebook(s) might be simply boring. But for me, Google Notebook(s) is a way out of the tags which I cannot and would not control – the minutes, hours, days, months, and years. They’re sooooo totally pre-set, fixed, written in stone… and most importantly, soooo shared… with soooo many people… that I still wonder why someone would even try to manage them.

The goodness of asynchronicity (being loosely connected in time) – a good subject for another post.

"Progressive Realism"… Not Too Different From "Considerate Idealism"

An online test recently defined me as a “considerate idealist.” I liked that. It is very close to what I am thinking of myself.

I also identify with what Robert Wright describes as “progressive realism” in his recent New York Times article.

In my previous life under a communist regime, I almost inevitably would bring a conversation to the point where someone would call me a naive idealist for believing in democracy and market economy. To which, my reply was “no, I am not naive… don’t you see the US is stronger than the USSR.”

Similarly, when confronted with all the abundant evidence (see this and this just from today) about how morality must be left aside if you want to make real money, I would simply point to the fact that the two richest guys in the world (you know who) do not seem to be morally bankrupt crooks.

And I liked David Brooks’ “Democracy’s Long Haul” from a few days ago. It reminded me of my own theory about the sometimes necessary “Pinochet” period for countries transitioning from long dictatorial one party systems to democracy.

So, now you know where I stand… 🙂

Zayko just completed a large site for NEAVS…

My wife’s Zayko just completed a large web site for the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS). The site is probably the most comprehensive online source documenting the fate of the chimpanzees used in US scientific research laboratories. The main purpose of the site though is to be the online support center for NEAVS’ major campaign called “Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories.” Here is a thing you can do right now: sign Project R&R’s online petition! (takes 20 seconds with the reading of the petition).