Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ad It Up

My regular readers (My God, how I love the three of you) will notice the addition of google ads to the top of this page. I'll admit that I was torn when deciding whether to put them up or not. But, as with most things I do, I figured I'd at least get a decent blog entry out of it.

I went with google adsense because it was the easiest program to implement at the time. It was simple to do, just sign up with google, give them full power of attorney, access to your DNA and an I.O.U. for your first born child and they'll let you make a nickel for each click on the ads.

The first ads showed up last night, and I was anything but amused. One of the first ads was for "US Magnets and More" [no link - I don't want anyone visiting]. They specialize in selling those magnetic Support Our Troops "ribbons" that you'll see on every SUV if you visit Buffalo, NY - and the rest of the country.

I hate those ribbons, with a passion. I wondered how much money was going to the troops anyway. So, I asked. I sent off an e-mail to US Magnets and More:
I am interested in purchasing several thousand "Support Our Troop" ribbons for our school fundraiser. I think it will be a great way to bring in money for our programs - everyone wants one of those ribbons!

When we are selling them, we need to have information for customers - several of us wanted to know what percentage of the money paid to you go to the troops - I'm sure customers will be interested.

Also, is it possible to customize the ribbons with our logo? How much extra would this cost for 3-5 thousand ribbons? Do we save more if we buy in bulk?

Thanks very much!

Carlos Gracia
That isn't my real name, but I will admit that I've always secretly wanted to be Latino. Who doesn't?

I lied, naturally, in the letter to them, but I thought I would get a quicker response if I talked about boosting their bottom line. Indeed, within 12 hours I received the following reply.
Thank you for your interest in our magnets. I cannot give you exact percentages of how much is donated to the troops but I do know that we donate to several support groups for the troops and some other health related groups.

<< ... >>

Carlos, we would love to work with you and assist you in bringing your idea of a magnet to life. Our purpose as a company has always been centered around our Christian values therefore we reserve the right to decline orders that go against those values. Please either call me or email me to let me know if you have any other questions as I am happy to help.

Now, I sort of feel bad for having Gayle go through all that work - the e-mail was quite detailed, and it had a lot of price quotes. That last paragraph, while insulting, wasn't completely surprising. One of their popular magnets is the "Pray for Our President" magnet. I should have asked if they had a "Pray for a New President" option.

So, they make "a donation" to some organization for the troops. Take that as you will, but I feel that if it was substantial - they'd brag about it. They also sell fake Lance Armstrong bracelets that say "STRONG" instead of "LIVESTRONG". Is borderline copyright infringement a Christian Value?

If you really want to help the troops, save the money you would have spent buying that ribbon and donate it directly to an organization that is going to help.

So, sorry Gayle, but go to hell.

This morning, the google ad all-knowing-all-powerful machine must have scanned my webpage, because the links became tailored to the information on my page. That's why you may be seeing:

"What is Your Case Worth?" - serves me right for talking smack about Johnny Cochran.

"Rio Hotel Las Vegas" - because of my post listing tips when visiting Las Vegas.

"Johnny Cash Music" & "Songs - Free Downloads" - This is weird, and a bit unexpected. I'm sure it has to do with my post listing music I like, but I'm not sure where they pulled Cash out of.

The biggest problem I have with these ads is the fact that they all link to lame websites. The music downloading sites stink - why would anyone not use iTunes or one of the other large programs? The legal site seemed skanky, and the Vegas site is one of those damn "discount" places that doesn't give you a discount at all. So, don't feel the need to click on any of them.

But the ads are going to stay up for awhile. Trust me, it's not for the money - at the current rate I wouldn't see any money from google for over 6 months. I'm just interested to see what will come up as I write new things. The ad program will only scan this first page - so only the latest seven days of posts will count.

It might be fun to try to skew the results. If I write, say, anti-google, anti-google, anti-google, will a site like this come up soon? What about tapioca tapioca tapioca tapioca? Abe Vigoda Abe Vigoda Abe Vigoda?

If nothing else, I'll get at least one more post out of it. That's good enough for me.


At 11/16/2005 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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-Holden Tees


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