Monday, October 16, 2006

PPP (Pay Per Post) Comment

I can make this short and not so sweet.

I don't know how long the PPP scheme has been around or how much money is to be made, but it doesn't matter. The idea is a bad one and I am not tempted. A search will yield a spate of hits, but this one will be lost among them as one of the few to announce flatly that it doesn't pass the smell test, much less merit a link.

The idea is to pay bloggers to advertise something (brand, product, idea, whatever) by writing pursuasively about it. There is already in place a Pay Pal arrangementto grease the scheme.

I am reminded of the old joke about the guy talking with a woman in a bar who revealed she was in deep financial trouble.

So he asked her, "Would you spend the night with me if I pay you $80,000.00?"

"Well," she replied, "that's a lot of money. That's very generous of you. Yes, I believe I will take you up on that."

"What about fifty dollars?" he asked.

"What!" she said, shocked. "What do you think I am...a whore?"

"We've already established that, ma'am," the man replied. "What we are doing now is negotiating the price."

I don't think I need to say anything more.

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I began blogging just over two years ago. I had no idea why it was a free service until I saw the content of other blogs. Amazing. So many words, so few brains. And how many of them would bother to PAY to put what amounted to graffiti in a public place? Very few, I imagine.

So why would blogger-dot-com furnish the service?

Blogs are free pretty much for the same reason that spammers are in business...more bloggers means more "impressions" as the advertising business call them, individual people being exposed to something for sale. "For Sale" in this case may not mean literally to be bought and paid for at that moment, but a more subltle shaping of a public image, spreading a brand's name recognition, that is believed to result ultimately in more dominance in the marketplace of products or ideas, leading eventually to something like a sale.

Image. It's all about image. What else could make poor families that can't afford health insurance or reliable transportation spend foolish amounts on multiple cell phones and over-priced clothing for their kids? Or young couples with less than a year or two in their jobs drowning themselves in consumer debt, a jumbo mortgage with a balloon payment... make plans to start a family? It's a sign of the times. (Self-administered water-boarding. Hmm.)

So Google bought Blogger. And the biggest free service of the internet got even bigger. Why? Same dynamic. Ask any advertiser. All they have to do is iron out a vew click-fraud wrinkles and internet advertising becomes the best thing since sliced bread for advertisers.

Where does Hootsbuddy's Place fit in?

At this point about eighty or ninety percent of my hits come from searches...mostly Google searches, but also from Yahoo and a handful of others. My traffic ranges from fifty to seventy-five daily, not counting what might be coming up on someone's aggregator that Sitemeter doesn't catch. I'm not sure how that works, and I'm not too interested. It would be nice to have more readers. Certainly to have more comments. Everyone loves stroking.

But as I have said before, I do this mainly to help clarify my thinking and to leave a mark for my grandchildren, in case they have the urge to know more about who their grandfather was as an adult. By then I will be long gone and this blog (if it, too, is not long gone) will be their window into my soul.

In the meantime, I pay Google and Google pays me. Our currency is a perfect exchange. I write posts, most of which have links. And they furnish me "hits." I can think of no better win-win arrangement. As my posts get better, my hits will also improve.

Since I am peddling ice cream cones and cotton candy instead of real estate and commodities futures, none of my little posts will ever get many hits. I have to get more hits the old-fashioned way: writing more. When I last looked, I was over 1700 posts and counting. At the rate I'm going, I will hit two thousand sometime in January or February. Not bad for a worn-out old food service manager.

I dropped the TTLB logo when I switched to Google Beta. I got tired of being categorized as a "slimy" whatever. When I want to know about that I'll go look it up. Meantime I take great satisfaction in finding that someone searching for Intermittent Explosive Disorder on a Yahoo search finds my post about that topic in the first screen of some thirty-five thousand hits. That happens a lot. Sometimes in other languages. It's really cool to see my blog in Chinese or Dutch. (Of course that will change as more information becomes available about any given topic and my posts grow stale, but that's all part of the program. Unsold over-ripe bananas are no good either. Even frozen foods get freezer burn.)

As long as I get paid like that, I can earn actual money on my own. I don't need the services of a pimp.

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