Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ad Libs

If you just read the blogs on Blogger but don't blog yourself, you may not be aware that we who do blog on Blogger have a "Dashboard". Just like the dash in your car--well, it's not like the dash in your car at all. There's no P R N D 1 2, and no 10..20..30..40..50..60..70..80 , and no dials that swing from Empty to Full, or Hot to Cold, or Low to High. What we who blog on Blogger see instead is this:

NEW POST - Edit Posts - Settings - Layout - View Blog

At least, that's what used to be there. About two weeks ago, I clicked on to my Dashboard, and THIS was added to the above:

Monetize

Monetize? What's that?, I wondered. I mean, I knew it meant making money off my blog, but how?

So I clicked, and found out. With advertisements.

Now, I was reluctant to accept advertisements at first. I didn't want the two top agencies, McCann Worldgroup and BBDO Worldwide, fighting over my business. Plus, I didn't want to make the people who run the NFL jealous when they saw how much revenue my ads raked in compared to the commercials on their measly Super Bowl.

Then I woke up.

I decided to advertise. As it turns out, I don't come in contact with any ad execs, like the ones you see on cable's Mad Men. No smoking cigarettes, swilling martinis, or making moves on the secretaries for me. That's all right. Whenever I've tried smoking, swilling, or making moves in the past, it's just gotten me a cough, a headache, and "My boyfriend is an IRS agent." No, a computer would do all the work. Well, the computer wouldn't smoke, swill, or make moves, but it would choose what ads go on my blogs. How, exactly? By singling out key words or phrases in my posts, then matching them with the appropriate ads. Well, not always so appropriate. There's an odd result every now and then.

I did a post a while back called "Viral Spiral", detailing a cold I recently caught. This has led to ads from Halls and Vicks. Well, that makes sense, as I had a nasty sore throat at the time. But where's the Smith Brothers or Fisherman's Friend ads? What, my phlegm's not good enough for them?

Then there's "Futures Market", detailing my visit to a fortune teller. In the past week, I've gotten ads for astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, tea leaves, crystal balls, numerology, phrenology, and whatever clicking on "love signs" is called. I also got an ad for the top fortune teller in St. Paul, Minnesota. Maybe Al Franken and Norm Coleman should seek him out.

Speaking of politics, my post "Red State Blues" produced the oddest results, ad-wise. That post, like most of my political posts, tended to be somewhat favorable toward the Left, and somewhat hostile toward the Right. But the computer doesn't care about overall mood. It's only concern is how many times "left" and "right", "liberal" and "conservative", and "Democrat" and "Republican" appear. As all those words appeared quite a bit, the subsequent ads were wholly bipartisan. A few asked me (or anyone viewing my blog) to join this or that progressive cause, but there was also one from Rush Limbaugh, enlisting citizens in his crusade to "save America". I thought that had been accomplished this past November.

"Ad Libs" might become a regular feature, if future posts yield some more interesting ads. And who knows? I might just earn a profit along the way.

In fact, I just checked. This past week I raked in a whole nickel.

39 more of those, and I can buy myself a bag of Halls. Or maybe Vicks.

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