That’s pretty cool. I didn’t realise that the blog and I got featured in the December 2015 edition of the Spar Savour Magazine. Or rather, I know that someone sent me some questions to answer towards the end of last year, but I didn’t know that they actually got used.
So it was rather nice to spot my smiling mug looking back at me, even if I only discovered it three months after it was posted! :)
Well I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy my extended break from blogging – I’ve pretty much not written anything of substance since mid-October last year, and taking a break from the keyboard in the evenings to rather spend time with either Jess or Chantelle, or just to simply veg out in front of the TV or the XBOX, has been pretty great.
Of course, the blog has kept ticking over with a content-filler posts on a daily basis for the duration my break period, but I’m happy to see that they’ve pretty much run out now, and with that, the year and a bit long little SEO and income generating experiment is now over.
Frankly, I don’t like the fact that my archives are now over-run with these soulless bits of writing and quick posts, which means that from here on in, the blog will be reverting pretty much to its original mission of being a place where I can share all the current goings on in the Lotter Clan life with my friends and family (and in the process create a great memory box for myself!), as well as an easy access storage place for code snippets, tech tips and application how-to’s that are useful to me and my work.
Naturally, this does of course mean that this blog will no longer be updated on a daily basis, rather updating when the whim to post takes me – bad news then for any regular visitors to these pages in other words.
Anyway, naturally there is a literal ton of stuff that I haven’t shared with you over the 2+ months that I haven’t been posting to the site, some of which I’ll catch up on or at least provide synopses for, and some of it that I won’t. (Truthfully, this all hangs off on what I can remember, and what I can’t!)
And that’s that. I’m officially back.
Ag you know what, why not?
The SA blog awards is a showcase of the very best of South African blogs. We endeavour to bring South African bloggers to the forefront of peoples attention, both locally and internationally, increasing exposure for South Africa’s great bloggers; and in the end reach out and touch people who are outside the realm of blogging and have them discover the fantastic world of blogging.
I’ve never bothered entering the annual SA Blog Awards before, but for a change, why not also try and jump in on the ‘pat on the back’ act? The website has certainly been around for long enough and has enough followers now I would think.
I would really, really appreciate it! :)
(Note: I really picked a shitty year to decide to enter though. They’ve pretty much chopped away most of the categories, leaving no real category for either Rugged Rock or CodeUnit to fall under. Oh well, I’ve tried to place them in the closest fitting categories that I could find! May as well make a long range effort…)
Yes, my websites have advertising on them. Not because I like the way it makes them look, but rather because I came to realise that if it will bring in some extra money just to cover the monthly server cost, then hey, blogging doesn’t cost me anything apart from my time in the long run.
Way back in the beginning, I started off with Google’s AdSense advertising, but as you will quickly learn, keeping them from unexpectedly blacklisting and taking all your revenue is pretty difficult to do, and thanks to their non-existent customer service due to their sheer size, they are at the end of the day pretty crap to work with (unless of course you can avoid being blacklisted and make tons of money off them). After that I moved to AdBrite, which worked okay until it became apparent that the receiving of American cheques in US dollars and then converting them into Rands was more of a hassle than anything else, I switched to Project Wonderful, who pay out via PayPal and who serve mostly webcomic-related adverts, meaning I get to see adverts on my sites for something that interests me, even if they don’t exactly pay out the highest rates in term of advertising!
(And of course, now that FNB has that whole PayPal deal on the go, it is actually usable in South Africa).
But now I want something with more of a local flavour (in other words, easier to get payouts straight into your bank account)!, and after reading some good things regarding the Cape Town based Ad Dynamo team and giving them more than sufficient time to grow and attract more advertisers, I’m ready to give them a proper go.
And I must say that so far I’m impressed.
It is ridiculously simple and quick to sign up with them as a publisher and get an advert up and running on your site, and I must say that I am rather enjoying the simplicity of their publisher dashboard thus far. You earn money for both clicks and impressions, and there are a variety of payout methods available to you (once you hit the R100 payout minimum of course), including directly into your South African bank account or the standard via PayPal route.
So yes, my sites will now be featuring more adverts than before I guess, sorry about that, but I’ll try to keep them as much out of the way as possible. That said, by now I’m pretty sure that most of you guys browse the Internet with your ad-blocking plugins running at full, right!? ;)
Related Link: http://www.addynamo.com
Enjoy uploading your blog but want to do it a little faster without resorting to the clunky standard web interface? Enter Scribefire, a brilliant browser add-on that makes for quick and simple posting directly to your blog!
From their blurb:
ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.
You can post to blogs from WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Windows Live Spaces, Tumblr, Posterous, Xanga, LiveJournal, or any other blog that supports the MetaWeblog or MovableType APIs.
You can edit and update existing posts. You can schedule posts for the future (if your blog allows that). You can delete posts. You can save drafts. You can tag and categorize.
ScribeFire Next has an interface so simple that even a caveman could use it. Anything you’re working on is saved if you close the editor and restored when you come back. It really is the easiest way to update your blog.
Related Link: http://www.scribefire.com/
Whew, okay, I’m back to wreak more havoc with the written word, having taken a bit of a break from blogging thanks to a) the really enjoyable X-Men Origins: Wolverine xbox game, b) the really enjoyable Marvel Anime: Iron Man, c) the really enjoyable Wolverine and the X-Men animated show, d) the NOT so enjoyable experience of having my blogs hacked and having to clean up and restore everything, e) loads of fun family visits, f) the NOT so fun daily extended commutes, and finally the most IMPORTANT reason in explaining away my tardiness in these pages:
Managing your adverts on a WordPress blog becomes a pretty simple thing thanks to the great little WordPress plugin entitled Advertising Manager from developers Scott Switzer and Martin Fitzpatrick. Basically it allows you to manage and rotate your Google Adsense, AdBrite, Adify, AdGridWork, OpenX, Yahoo!PN and WidgetBucks (amongst others) adverts on your site – all from an easy to use settings panel that even allows you to place ads in a sidebar through the use of a widget!
It provides a simple way to import your adds, allows you to place adverts straight into your blog posts with a click of a button, has functions to facilitate placing adverts directly into your template files and even goes as far as allowing for advert limitations by author, category, tag and even page type.
Oh, and it also features auto-recognition for 15 ad networks which basically means you can manage these adverts directly from your WordPress blog instead of going all the way through to each website!
Related Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/advertising-manager/
First up was the five-star gourmet meal that Chantelle cooked up (she can give you all the details in case you are curious) for Retha and Miguel’s late night visit here at Nagua Bay where they regaled us with tales from their recently completed month long holiday over in Europe. That in particular was an awesome visit considering the fact we hadn’t seen them since December (Miguel we haven’t seen since our wedding!), so it was a great chance to catch up and receive some awesome goodies in the process! ;)
Another bit of fun and games on Thursday night actually came an hour or so earlier on my way home from work, when I pulled off at Checkers in Muizenberg to get something to eat because my blood sugar must have been quite low considering I was on the verge of passing out behind the wheel! But to cut a story short, I returned to my car, pie in hand, when I watched a truck slam into the overhead railway bridge, literally collapsing the poor driver’s entire container and I imagine, leaving him with quite a bit of explaining to do to his boss when he finally made it back to work! (Geez, these trucks hitting into that low bridge happens far more frequently than what I would ever have imagined!)
Anyhow, Friday I finished up feeling pretty good about myself after having completed three 20 minute sessions on the treadmill, one in the morning, one at lunch and one directly after work. No hassles with the legs, no particular fatigue, just a plain old good sensation of having achieved that! Not that I returned directly home mind you. No, seeing as Chantelle was on work duty and Ryan had just received a rip of the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths movie I so wanted to see, I headed off to Bellville to join up with Karl-Heinz, Terrance and Ryan for some FIFA madness, where we slotted in a couple of games and some great goals for the next two and half or so hours! (Karl managed to finally end his goal drought and banged in three goals on the night, one being an awesome back header that completely flummoxed the keeper).
Saturday morning I broke tradition by starting the day off by watching the above mentioned Justice League movie, and man was it as awesome as I had hoped it would be. The only problem after that, was of course that nothing else seemed quite as exciting for the rest of the day! Now initially I had planned to do a ton of web work over the course of the day, working on websites, typing up documents, etc. but thanks to the oppressing 35+ heatwave that engulfed the area, I was pretty much left lying on the couches, watching anime, rugby, reinstalling Ubuntu and playing Devil May Cry 4 (and doing the much hated housework), so at least I ended up feeling fairly relaxed by the end of the day.
Funnily enough though, the one game I had been waiting for the entire day, namely the Stormers Super 14 clash, I actually ended up missing on the night, but all for a good reason it must be said. One phone call from Chantelle and all of a sudden I found myself sitting down at the table with a couple of glasses of beer in my hand and enjoying a fabulous snoek and crayfish braai with Chantelle, Wammy and Louise, and some of her guests, all under a fabulous warm summer night sky. It was lekker (and so was the Devil May Cry 4 gaming session which closed off the night for me).
Sunday however I didn’t make the mistake of turning on the TV to early and so I did actually end up behind the keyboard for the most of the day, but considering the horrible wind and heat outside, I guess it wasn’t too bad a play. Lots of blog posts neatly scheduled, an important letter scripted and proofread (well mostly anyway) and some further work on the Funakoshi website project that seems to be continuously trudging along, pretty much made up the most part of the day. Oh, and plenty of Devil May Cry 4 slotted in between. Turning out to be a damn good game, just as good as the previous one after all.
Outside of that, I did make a quick stop at GBL in the afternoon to have a look at Chantelle’s buggy wi-fi access point (as well as keep Candice and her mom company), and then later take Chantelle out for supper at the Sunset Spur after her shift ended come 21:00.
So it was a good, Melrose cheese spread filled weekend of not doing much, meaning I’m all rested up for what could potentially be quite an important week for me – though more on that with tomorrow morning’s post in case you’re curious! ;)