Google Wants You to Blog During the Weekdays

Google ads pay squat over the weekends. I’ve noticed spikes in my earnings when I post entries either regulary, or when I post an entry that has a higher than normal click-through during the weekdays.

I had 2 such entries over the weekend… but Google paid me squat. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but this is the first time a seriously clicked through set of entries did not contribute to earnings.

I take that to indirectly mean Google advertisers don’t pay Google much for weekend ads, and thus Google only wants to you blog during the week.

I don’t need Google ad revenue to run my site, but I can’t help but be influenced since it pays not only for my hosting costs, but my other 2 hosting costs beyond this site (dev site for hosting files, and Flashcom hosting).

I’m kind of irritated by this too; I feel like I’m being bullied by a big company, having them influence my blogging behavior. Because the service is opt-in, free, and all I have to do is what I’ve been doing, blogging, many may argue I shouldn’t complain.

However, wanting to maximize my earnings is a good thing, and I guess I don’t understand why blogging on the weekend doesn’t contribute to that.

Weird. What if I don’t want to blog during the weekdays? Does that lessen the value of my entries because they are on the weekend? No! In fact, I’d argue that is the slowest blogging time, and I want to give people something interesting to check out if they are bored on the weekend; I should be rewarded for that if a reward structure is already in place.

Not sure why this irritates me so, but it does.

Bloggers Freedom of Speech

Friend asked my opinion on a recent article, and although it was spur of the moment, with no research or source citing, maybe some will agree, others may not. Very least, I wanted to share.

In relation to the Macworld article about 3 blogs (or online-only magazines) that were “tentatively” told to reveal their sources to Apple.

I’m trying to give this writer a chance, but comments like this:

“The problem may be that blogs have gained a reputation for inaccuracy.”

And then:

“In traditional media, the same legal rights that allow a journalist to protect sources also hold such writers accountable to report the truth. If journalists stray from what’s true, they can be charged with libel, writes BusinessWeek.”

…can I charge this writer with libel? Think it’d hold up in court? Didn’t think so. …then again, I blatantly said I’m not citing my sources, leading many to question the accuracy of my blog. Imagine that.

Main problem is journalists are scared out of their frikin’ minds about blogs. Many are embracing it, others sticking to familiar guns. Blogging in general is a phenomenon that the general media isn’t sure how to deal with.

With record companies, it’s simple; Peer to Peer and File Trading is breaking the law, domestic and international; make them pay. I agree with this.

However, bloggers aren’t breaking any laws since there are no laws to govern such things as this. Freedom of speech lines blur under heavy litigation merely because litigation is easily interpreted for technology; case in point EOLAS and all of those other ridicolous patents. If EOLAS isn’t enough of an example, you know “pop-unders”, the pop-up windows that immediately go to the back of the window stack so they are seen since they are the last window closed; a company claimed a patent on that… that’s right, they claimed a patent on:

win =“ad.htm”, “popunder”);

2 lines of code can cost our legal system thousands of dollars because of law interpretation.

So, the this same sway in interpretation can be used by good lawyers (or mediocre ones pitted against idiots).

This also assumes the press’ ire over blogs has NOTHING to do with this case… which is bull, I bet. Anyone check the lawyer’s financial records? Who’s paying him to fight this? Apple? Sure, but do you think any of the press (non-blogs) will suddenly look favorably upon Apple? Am I being paranoid? I think I’m being reasonable at worst.

I think the key to this case is accountability, something the writer of this article pointedly remarked (but certainly not tactfully). Bloggers cannot be held accountable for their mis-information, thus they are not afforded the same rights as journalists because journalists can. While I agree with a ruling under that precept, there are not more than 2 people in this entire world holding our American media accountable… if there were, there’d be WAY more in the news beyond the CIA leak by the Washington times, and the ABC debacle. …or, would the news not report bad news on itself? Gee, wonder why; I mean, it’s the truth.

The same reason spam is prevalent on the internet is the same reason offline and online journalism veers so far off the accurate path; no enforcement of accountability; no enforcement of the laws.

Jouranlists know how far they can go. Like your dog analogy you gave me back at BellSouth, dogs know how far they can push you to get away with something, just like journalists know how fine of a line they can walk without “lying”.

Bloggers do not… unless those blogging are journalists.

The Google employee example was stupid… all you had to do was read 1 paragraph, and it was immediately apparent why the guy got fired. He had no personal restraint on what he said, nor how he said it. For a company that is quiet, researved, and conservative, this guy directly conflicted with Google’s company vision.

I agree about the blogging as an employer problem; that was the 2nd thing I discussed in my last interview. It was harder to discuss than salary negotiation!

I agree with the freedom of speech not protecting you against your blogging about your job; same thing as sending an email, posting on a forum, speeking to a friend… it’s all the same thing. The old adage my father told me holds true: “I’m never sorry for something I didn’t say.” I know you hate double negatives, but I’m sure you get the point.

Bottom line: I’m not sure what “tentatively rule” means in relation to a judges court ruling, but I agree with his ruling if, and only if, the blogs in question are not run by off-line magazines, and those writing are not professional journalists.

If Jon Stewart were to write in a blog something where his source’s identity caused litigation, that’s the only time I’d have problems answering this question… real journalists writing online should desearve the same proection they do offline; keyword here “real” and “legit”.

What defines a journalist? Only the lawyers can really answer than one, and it depends on who the judge is, but the laws “should” be shaping their behavior; they just aren’t because there aren’t many that I can see actively at the helm pushing them, with many listening.

How to create a Moblog with MoveableType and Flickr

What’s the point?

Having the ability to share a picture with context immediately for the world to not only see, but come back to later without me having to be at a computer, and instead in the real-world is a fantastic concept, and great ability to have. However, others have already begun exploiting some of the potential since Moblogging isn’t new in Information Age technology terms. I just didn’t find an all inclusive tutorial in the first 10 results on a google search, so here is my attempt to help those who want to know how.

Some people merely insert side bars and/or other small, visual incorporations of their moblog photos into their existing blog or site. Others do moblogging full time using moblogging service & community sites.

What is a Moblog?

Blogging from a mobile device, typically via sending an email. The word “moblog” comes from combining the word “mobile” and “blog”, to imply the definition of “mobile blog”, mobile being a mobile device, not the act of being mobile. Another way to say it is “a blog that is being blogged to primarely via a mobile device.”

What is MoveableType?

Software used to create and maintain a weblog. Unlike services such as LiveJournal or Blogger, you have control over the software and must set it up on your server. This allows for more control and more work compared to creating a blog using one of the aforementioned services.

What is Flickr?

Per their site, “The best way to store, search, sort, and share your photos”. You can upload your photos from your computer, organize them in your web browser, and you as well as the rest of the world (or only those you deem allowed) can see your photos. Since it’s web based, you can access your photos as well as the application anywhere you have an internet connection and a web browser.

Why would you use Flickr for a Moblog?

Flickr has the ability to automatically log into your MoveableType account, create a new entry using the image and text you emailed it from your mobile device, typically a camera phone. This allows you to blog a picture with text from anywhere you can use your phone, anytime, no computer or web browser required. Typing on a phone without a keyboard is tiresome to say the least, though, and considering Flickr is mostly about sharing photos with short descriptions, this is a winning combination.

How do you do it?

You’ll first need to have a MoveableType blog, and a Flickr account. Once you have those, come back.

For MoveableType:
*** I highly recommend NOT using Firefox’s tabbed browsing for the following steps. It can get confusing editing multiple blogs at once. I accidentally fubarred my blog because I got the configuaration options confused (had a 50/50 chance). ***
– on the main screen (screen right after you log in), create a new Journal. For search engine and indexing purposes, it helps to have “Moblog” in the title of the blog itself. This gives viewers context as to what the blog is.

– During Core Setup, you’ll typically want your blog’s URL and assets to exist in a different folder upon your server. I just made a moblog folder on my existing MoveableType website, and then put an archives folder in it. Then, just copied the existing configuration options from my normal blog into the new ones, appending “moblog” and “archives” where necessarey for the directory paths.

– For site Preferences itself, I personally turn off pinging sites such as, etc. However, if you have an active readership that would be interested in a moblog, that is fine. My eventual goals are to incorporate my moblog into a my existing site, so there is no point to be notified of an upated blog entry when it’s really just a moblog picture post from Flickr.

– Additionally, because the pictures link to their full resolution images on Flickr, I turn trackbacks and commenting off totally. Since Flickr supports comments, and has community networking built in, using the site for what it does best is more appropriate than having redundant comments and trackbacking enabled for a Moblog on MoveableType, unless again your Moblog has a different readership. You can inform your user if they wish to comment or link to head to the your image on Flickr.

– After you’ve configured everything else to your liking, go back to the main page. Create a new author for your new Moblog, and give them the name of “flickr”, that way you can immediately associate who the user is, in this case the Flickr web application. I highly suggest you give it a different password for security purposes. Flickr will remember this so you don’t have to. Ensure for permissions that they can “login”.

– Log out and then log back in as “flickr” to ensure your author creation worked. Rebuild your site.

For Flickr:
– Log in to Flickr.

– Scroll to the bottom, and the 2nd column that says “Your Account” should have a link in the list called “Upload-by-email”. Click this link.

– It should show the email to email your pictures too to post to Flickr. However, below that should be a link asking you to setup a blog if you have not to email too. Click that link to setup your blog. The instructions are good; basically you point to your mt.cgi file, the same file you hit to log into MoveableType, give it your login info, and choose a template to post with (mine doesn’t work though, hehe). Flickr can guide you through the rest.

– Once done, do a test post through Flickr. If you see the test post, your good excluding one configuration option that may be off. By default, my phone sets the subject to something that I can change via menus. However, the description that I type in becomes the actual blog entry. This for some reason is off in Flickr. Go back to the “Upload-by-email” link. Now that you’ve created your blog, you should see a sentence at the bottom that shows below the Moblog email (probably the email above with “2blog” appended to it), and click the link in the sentence for additional configurations.

– The 2nd option is “Shall we post the body of the email as your blog post for you as well?”; turn this on, it’s off by default at the time of this writing. Hit save. Stay logged into Flickr.

For your device (assuming camera phone):
– I just added a contact in my phone called “Flickr”. Since it is the only contact that has an email address, when I view a picture and click send > via multimedia message, it’s the only name that appears so it’s easy! I then edit the subject via 50 million sub-menu’s, and then type in my short description. After hitting send, and getting confirmation the email’s sent, go back to Flickr and see if your photo is there. If it is, and the description matches, then go to your new moblog and see if it updated the entry. If you don’t see your picture on Flickr after an hour, it could be latency, or your phone. If you see the picture, but no entry on your moblog after an hour, it is most likely your configuration in Flickr, assuming the test post you did earlier did in fact go through.

Conclusion & Resources

I hope that helps you get started, or at least get context to what a Moblog is.

JesterXL’s Moblog


Definitions of a Moblog
Joi Ito’s Radio Outline
Wikipedia’s Definition

Moblog Service and/or Community Sites

Tutorial for a Moblog sidebar in MoveableType

Six Apart Bought LiveJournal

Mirroring her majesty’s statement, “OMG!”

When I started blogging, I used LiveJournal. I never liked how their tools for integration, so simply used their win32 client to post. I’ve attempted 3 times to write a client for LJ; my 3rd is currently in Flex & in Central using it’s XMLRPC API. I surely hope they keep that. I’m excited about the technical possibilities, and increase of exposure for both professional & personal bloggers, but mainly developers. It’ll be interesting how some of LiveJournals tried and true server solutions mesh with SixApart’s MoveableType mainly.

I will say, though, that I disagree with the attitude they are portraying of the developer community of LiveJournal. I know her majesty’s experiences when helping redesign their site was wrought with great pressures of responsibility, and tons of political & PR bs. The LJ Team from that angle, appeared from my view, supportive… the community I guess just cared so much so that they lashed out at any weird change they didn’t feel comfortable with. My experiences with client development have been negative, cold, and extremely hard to “dive into”, unlike Flash where they run up to hug you. My guess is, they’ve had soo many questions on forums & email that the redundancy of saying RTFM has mentally scared them. Maybe it was my approach, who knows.

At any rate, very interesting news indeed.

Six Apart’s Entry