10 05 2013

After years of smoking and reviewing cigars I have finally decided to bite the bullet and start a blog dedicated to these tubes of dried, fermented leaves and the pleasure they provide.

If you would be interested in reading about my experiences as cigar smoker than you can find my new blog “Tales from the humidor” here.

Happy Smoking!


Hello chums!

3 04 2013

So yeah you might have noticed I haven’t been around here much….1 post in 6 months, hardly going to set the World alight with that pace!

Guess it is cliche in the extreme but life kind of got in the way visitors from the UK and Germany have all demanded time as has a more permanent visitor. If you have still been bothering to come around here you might have seen my most recent post.

Yeah, she is kinda the “BIG” reason that I haven’t bothered myself with too much blogging. 

That will change though I promise….sort of.

Tweet Tweet mother funkers

2 08 2010

As you can probably guess this post is about twitter.

I was asked recently if I have twitter and indeed I do:

Not that I really use it that much but if you ever find that you are bored and can’t sleep than it might do the job 🙂

ASSociated content

3 05 2010

Those of you that have been paying attention will remember that a little while ago I decided to see if there was any real benefit in joining up to a paid to write site such as suite 101 or Associated Content.

Well I joined up with AC and published a selection of reviews, guides, informative pieces etc on there. I also made sure that the same articles were published to my blog  so that I could compare the number of views that I received for one vs the other.

When I looked at things a couple of weeks ago it wasn’t great but I decided to soldier on; I can now confirm that it is completely pointless, at least for me.

In total I have had 230 views on AC approximately, the figures for the latest day are estimates, the same articles on this very blog have had over 700 hits during the same space of time!

I just wonder how this can possibly be beneficial to me? I need 5x the number of views before I would get anything out of AC and then it would be a measly $1.50, that isn’t even enough for a can of coke.

Some people might think that this would work for them and it might, but you would have to be churning out articles at a rapid pace, plus there is nothing about using AC that would help you improve as a writer.

Sure your articles are looked at by a “reviewer” to ensure that they are suitable but this is only the 1st three articles that you submit, after that you can post what you like when you like. Also these reviews of your work that are carried out are nothing more than checking to make sure that you have bunged in as many keywords as it possible in order to assist with SEO.

I never once received a single useful comment as you would from an actual human editor, I even threw in a few deliberate spelling and grammar errors in order to see if I would be pulled up on this by anyone, not a chance.

To top it all off I received an email from AC yesterday stating that it was very important.

So of course I read it, turns out that due to some tax mumbo jumbo in the states they can now only make a pay out to foreign contributors if they are one of their “featured contributors”; however from what I can see this is like sitting on top of the dung heap, sure you are on top but you are still sitting in a pile of shit.

Personally I would have to say that this experiment of mine has been a failure and I would say that if you are looking to get your foot in the door as a writer this certainly isn’t the best way to go about it.

Get yourself a good blog going instead 😉

Alpha Inventions???

30 03 2010

I am a little bit perplexed this morning; for the past couple of days I have been getting an awful lot of hits on the two blogs that I run.

Not such a problem on the face of things, however I am not seeing any upturn at all in the number of comments, subscribers or in the amount of time that people are actually spending reading my blog. So I start to do a little bit of digging around in order to see what is going on.

It seems that whilst the number of people reading my blog is continuing to grow organically the lion’s share of the hits are all coming from one site that is referring traffic to my blog: Alpha Inventions.

I hadn’t heard of this site previously so I decided to have a look and see what the story is. This proved to be a little bit more difficult than I had hoped it would; mostly due to the ragtag, obviously homemade nature of the site.

I managed to ascertain that Alpha Inventions isn’t a robot as I had first thought it was but is actually a reading cycle of sorts.

The basic premise seems to be as follows; Alpha Inventions picks up on content that has just been updated or published and puts it into the reading cycle that is currently running.

The person whose blog has been “featured” sees that they are getting hits from Alpha so clicks through to have a look and they then get shown the cycle which is currently running and from here they can choose to promote their blog by submitting it manually.

Now none of this is necessarily a problem, however there are a couple of downsides to this that I can see.

Firstly, the hits themselves are more or less worthless, unless someone happens to actually be paying attention to the various blogs that are being displayed and decides that they would like to read more than there is no real benefit to having an extra 500 hits. Personally I would rather get an extra 10 hits a day from people who had actually been searching for what I was writing about or had an interest in it.

Secondly, the large number of “views” that Alpha Inventions is generating could seriously throw off the stats for a site, if you were trying to show accurate traffic figures then Alpha could prove to be a pain in the proverbial, particularly as there is no readily accessible option to remove yourself from the reading cycle.

In my opinion whilst Alpha Inventions certainly isn’t a scam and isn’t really doing anything wrong, it isn’t really doing much good either; if it was generating an upturn in people actually reading, following and commenting on blogs that would be one thing, but as it stands it just provides empty numbers.

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