All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

The New Adsense Interface

I’ve been using Google Adsense for years, and of course I’ve talked about the problem I recently had when they killed it from this blog. Still, I’m earning an average of $150 a month from it for my other sites, so I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

First, let me own up to this; the image is for Sire, who loves the ladies. He hasn’t been as active lately, off doing other stuff, but this will bring him back for sure. 🙂

Anyway, lately when I’d been going to check my daily earnings I’d seen this thing talking about the new Adsense interface, which would give me more information on my Adsense accounts than before. I’ve hesitated for about six weeks, but I figured it was probably time to go for it, especially after checking out the videos that I’m going to post below. What they’ll show is that if you’re already using Analytics that it’s in a weird way an extension of that, only for Adsense instead. Actually, I have to admit that, as I was looking through some of the things it can show you that I was shocked when one of the reports I was looking at showed me that the 728×90 ads that I run mainly on my medical billing site bring in the most money overall. Here’s a 7-day look; click on the image to see it enlarged:

That’s quite illuminating for sure. It tells me that I need to rethink my ad strategy on some other things as well; bigger just might be better.

Anyway, there’s nothing I could tell you that would be better than these 3 videos that the Adsense folks put out themselves, so here you go:


 

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Holiday Links And Stuff

In my last post I said I was going to only have links to affiliates that are offering monthly online specials in some fashion today. Deals are what they are, and I’m not going to say which ones are great or not. However, I do participate with a lot of affiliates, which means there’s possibly something for everyone. And if not, skip this one and wait for the next post. Let’s see if this one time this blog makes any money off these things.

By the way, all of these links should be good through at least Christmas day, but if they’re not I’ll mention it. And I’m only putting ads that have holiday specials; all other specials need not apply. 😉 This means the list will be relatively short; trust me on that one.


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Li’l Specs – My Wife’s Site

Man, I must be the worst husband in the world. Here I am, talking about all this stuff I do and have, and I just realized that I haven’t mentioned my wife’s website in almost 18 months. Well, let me take care of that right now.

Her site is called Li’l Specs, and she makes customized clay pins. The reason you see them with eyeglasses is because they’re actually pins you can wear and, if you have reading glasses, you can hang your glasses on them so you won’t misplace them.

She’s got a great inventory of pins, and her most popular seems to be dogs. Actually, if you just wanted either dog pins or fish pins you could just request one and she could get you something fairly quickly. Or if you wanted something special, say a whale, she can do that as well. If you wanted your specific pet and wanted to send a picture she can do that, but it’s much easier if you just said “I want to doberman” or “I want a dog” or “I want a fish”.

Something else she makes are what’s known as pillow blankets. If you follow that link, you’ll see four pictures of the one she made for me. It’s hard to show them properly, but mine is about 6′ in length and 3′ wide. She makes them in 3 sizes, which includes the baby sets she makes. I haven’t talked about the blankets in the other posts, as she wasn’t sure way back when that she wanted to add that to what she does, but now she has.

Li’l Specs; think of it, check it out, and trust me, it’s something no one else you know will be wearing until they see yours. And yes, the pins are mainly for women, but she made American flags one year and there were some men who bought them, so she’s pretty flexible. The blankets; I’ll just say that I use mine every single night, and I’ve even taken it on the road with me. It might be too late to get it there by Christmas, but they’d make great New Years gifts as well.

There; I’ve done my duty for the month. 😉

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Akismet Is, Well, Too Good?

The latest update to Akismet has been an interesting one. There are some changes that are apparent because of it, and one that’s kind of driving me nuts.

The first changes concern the extra notification on both comments and on spam comments. On the first, you see something telling you that they’ve approved the comment being there. That’s pretty obvious since the comment is there, so that seems redundant. If you make a change, such as sending a comment to spam or trash, it tells you what you did. That’s redundant as well since WordPress tells you that same thing. Oh yeah; it actually flagged a comment I wrote as needing to be moderated; that’s never happened before. And when I finish writing my comment, it tells me it’s approved it; interesting as well.

As it regards spam it tells you that it’s decided a post is spam. That’s obvious because it’s in the spam filter, and thus it’s redundant. And if you move it out of spam it tells you that you’ve moved it out of spam, which is redundant because WordPress tells you that as well. So, both of those moves were unneeded.

Here’s the biggie, though. Immediately after I upgraded on all 3 of my blogs, suddenly I had tons more spam. I was used to getting a lot of spam a day, but I could check in a 4 hour period and I might have between 15 to 20 spam messages; that was okay. Suddenly I was getting between 30 and 80 every hour; what the hey? And trying to be conscientious, I was looking through all of those messages, and out of 3 blogs I only found 2 comments that I thought were legit. Suddenly spam was an issue, and not because Akismet wasn’t working.

Where did all those messages suddenly come from? Freaked me out, to be sure. The first thing I did was go to the discussion tab under settings and change one of the parameters to close comments on all blogs more than 90 days old on all 3 blogs. But that troubled me because I don’t really mind getting legitimate comments on old posts. Then I realized I did have an option, and decided to go for it on two of my blogs.

I decided to go ahead and try the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin to my other two blogs; I haven’t added it to this one. Most of you know it adds a little box for people to check to prove they’re not spammers. Frankly, I don’t get as many comments on those two blogs, and they both seemed to be getting way too many spam messages. I added it, then waited an hour and checked both. All that spam… gone. Whew!

So why haven’t I added it onto this one yet? Strangely enough, it’s because I’m actually on this blog most of the day, or at least have the administrative area open. I check it often, and thus it’s easier for me to keep up with all the spam. For now, I can still deal with it all. But I’m not going to be hesitant to add it if things get out of hand. It does work well, which I figured it might. I don’t want to add something extra that might impede comments, but one sometimes has to pick their battles.

Update – As of the 12/17 update, it looks like Akismet has removed those notifications from the comments area; thank goodness! I haven’t noticed a change in spam just yet, but I’m going to be monitoring my other sites to see what goes on.


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Anatomy Of A Scam

This post is actually shorter than it looks. What I’m about to share with you is an email that basically only had 3 brief conversations, but the last bit contains the scam of it all. I wasn’t initially sure until I saw the very last line of the email. Oh yeah, I’m going to post the guy’s email address as well, since I believe it’s fake. By the way, this was a response to a Craigslist posting I have out there locally indicating that I do minor computer repair:

desguy909@yahoo.com

I got 5 Acer Atom laptops that i want to repair, Its just a software problem, I need you to reformat everything for me. I got all the necessary softwares (original) with license keys. How much will this cost me and what time duration? I got external drives for them all. The programs that you need to install on them for me are OS, anti-virus and Micro-Soft Office.

Please write back.

Thanks

Greetings,

I’ll do all 5 computers for you for $225. I can’t tell you how long it’ll take because I don’t know the specs of the computers; size of hard drive, processor speed, even operating system I’ll be wiping and adding back. That’s why I’m going to give you a flat fee instead of charging by time. If this is acceptable, let me know where we can meet after the holiday, since I’m presently out of town.

Thanks for the reply. I am okay with the price i have all the necessary software needed for the service installations…. I will instruct my secretary to prepare a check for you on your name and have it mailed to your address. Send me your full name, address and your phone number so to prepare the check. I have a reliable shipper that will bring the laptops and pick them up when you are done with them. I am looking forward to hear from you, so we can have payment and shipping asap. There is something you need to do for me when you get the check, you will get it cashed and get the shipping fee in the check because it will be included to the shipper in malaysia since the laptops are coming from there. Okay?

NB: Laptops will brought to you when you cash the check and have the balance on the check sent to my shipper and also when you are done fixing them, they will picked up from you

That’s it; that’s the entire email. I never responded. I thought about contacting the local authorities or the post office, then figured what was the point. Instead, I share it with y’all to help highlight the fact that there are scammers everywhere, putting out stuff like this that seems legit, yet when evaluated you just know something’s wrong with it.

If it even has a hint of phony, don’t do it!
 

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