I wanted to keep everyone posted on the two major recent developments, the appearance of advertising and a new comment format.
So far, the ads seem to be what they should be. I’ve had to block a couple, but even they weren’t tremendously inappropriate. A friend of mine gets sex ads on the site he runs for his college journalism classes, and he spends as much time blocking ads as he does writing, I think.
My blog is part of an ad network put together by Six Apart, the company that owns TypePad, the blog platform I use. I’ve been quite impressed, though the money I get won’t do much to feather the Wine Curmudgeon’s retirement. A good day brings in about a quarter, though I set a record yesterday with 37 cents. And don’t worry – I’m not going to write something here about how you need to click on the links to save me from penury (or drinking poorly made cheap wine). The ads are more about seeing how the system works than making any money. For instance, I don't get paid until I accrue $200 in earnings -- which should take about six years.
As to comments: TypePad has actually reformatted how commenting works, and it looks similar to what Google’s Blogger does. I think that’s an improvement, though I won’t know for sure until I see it in action for a while. I have an option to require commenters to register before they’re allowed to make a comment, but I probably won’t turn that on. TypePad offers the service because it’s supposed to help build community, which is a big buzzword in the blog world. I think registration is just a pain in the neck. People come here because I make it worth their while, not so they can sign up for something.
Comments are always the tricky part on blogs like this one, where the reason for being isn’t fomenting snarky discussions about the wine world. It’s not like we’re going to get someone here commenting that I’m a moron because I think some wine costs too much. I’d like to get more comments, of course. Everyone who does this does, even me. So anyone who has a question or a thought about a post is encouraged to leave a comment. Yes, you can send me an email (and many of you do), and I’ll answer it. But try commenting. It’s actually kind of fun.
One other thing, about the little Technorati favorite button on the bottom of the left-hand sidebar. I would appreciate you clicking on that. It will take you to the Technorati home page (where you will be asked to register, unfortunately). Technorati is the blogging equivalent to the Nielsen ratings for television shows, and one way they measure a blog’s popularity is by the number of people who make it a favorite. The more favorites I get, the higher my Technorati ranking.