Friday, November 04, 2005

Robert Burns on Google Ads vs HOSTS file

Specifically, "oh would some power a giftie gie us/to see ourselves as others see us..."

I hung out with old college buddies on Wednesday night, and I had them look at my blog. "Hey, where the [bad word] are my [very bad word] ads?"

It develops that Ashlea and Wolf's good buddy Dave came over, possibly while intoxicated, and provided her with a HOSTS file that blocks Google ads. Because I'm not relying on ads to buy food for my babies, that's perfectly acceptable. The Manolo is probably weeping hysterically, though.

We also checked a few other blogs. The HOSTS file screws up Blogger calendar-view browsing! Over at my bud Larry's blog at, the little shaded areas over the dates on the calendar with posts are invisible, so there's no good way to navigate. If you blog, is your site navigable if/when images aren't working? Even if you're just blogging for family members, try to watch them read your site. What do they want? What are they doing? Are your readers suffering in ways invisible to you?

Obscure reference: How's Squidoo going to monetize lenses if their ads are invisible, thanks to Dave(s)? Answer: Amazon commisions still work, among other things. Ash, even if she's not seeing my ads, is an avid blog reader, and passes awesome links to her network. She also surfs on lots of computers, not all of which have been Dave-ized.

I also booted Ash's sweet laptop to Linux using a Knoppix CD. She uses a cooling fan underneath, and it was impressive how much the fan platform helped. Definitely something to consider if the promise of new laptops at work pans out. She says Dave is Redhat-certified, which has me curious. I'm vaguely looking for a non-obnoxious Linux mentor.

We also went to an awesome taqueria down on the main drag. I'm rarely in that area, and this is worth a separate trip. They have lowered the usability barrier to one of the sweet spots. Google Ads are iffy. Burritos down on Shepard are a sure thing.


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