Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shout out to Zach and Seth, and monetizing my blog

This post contains no recipes, so those who are looking for them can skip it.  It is written mostly for the entertainment of my son's friends, and to inform my readers that I decided to let Google post ads (more on this later).

I am always intrigued that people seem to like being mentioned in my blog.  Harry is currently living on Kibbutz Keturah in Israel.  He is there with Year Course, which I heartily recommend for anyone looking for a gap year after high school.  Two  of his friends, Zach Zimmerman (takes great pictures, thank God, since we don't get any from Harry) and Seth Engelbourg (Alsatian extraction?) wanted a shout out, so here it is.  More will follow if they make some of my dishes, become official followers, or post comments on any of my entries, provided they are less annoying than my comments on Zach's photos of the Negev shvil.

Zach and Seth are apparently big fans of my blog, which makes me very happy.  My mental health is in part a function of the number of blogs hits that I get each day, and I am glad to see the younger generation taking an interest in fine cooking and doesn't just fry schnitzel or go out for felafel.  It also solves a mystery.  When I track my readers every morning, the only city that I see in Israel is Givatayim, which is just northeast of Tel Aviv.  I don't know anyone there.  But now that I know that people have been clicking from Bat Yam (13 km southeast of Givatayim) and Kibbutz Keturah (in the Arava, 322 miles southwest of Givatayim, and closer to Saudi Arabia than to Tel Aviv) I have concluded that there must be some kind of proxy server or Internet router there, and all traffic from Israel appears to come through this one spot.  I wonder if other bloggers have noticed the same phenomenon? Maybe it is for security reasons.  Can anything be beyond the capabilities of those who brought us the Stuxnet worm? 

On the other matter, I have decided to allow Google to post ads on my blog.  Part of this is to satisfy my own curiosity.  Will my readers get annoyed?  Which ads will appear?  I was pleased but surprised to see an ad from the Grameen Foundation was among the first.  I have long been promising myself that I will start another blog on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, but this one is too much fun so I haven't gotten around to it yet.  But I really thought that Muir Glen tomatoes or Telma pareve bullion cubes were more likely advertisers for this site.  According to Google's AdSense, these ads will change over time, so all the more reason for you all to check the blog frequently.

The other reason, frankly, is monetary.  I can't imagine that it will make much money, but I am curious how much it will make. Also, after Harry returns from Israel, he is starting college in the fall (where is not yet certain, but his time in Israel seems to have fostered both his Jewish identity and his desire for a Jesuit education) and every little bit helps.  So we will see what happens.

So folks, if you don't find the ads annoying, please click on them and patronize our sponsors.  Heaven knows the Grameen Foundation can use your support. But  if you find them annoying, let me know and I will stop them.  I value your readership more than the money.  And besides, it's only Harry's education.

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