June 27, 2005

Duck-Burning Redux
entry, Monday June 27th, 2005

So much to say, so little space...

There are a few new banners running here at Schlock Mercenary, and while my goal was for them to be self-explanatory, they have raised as many questions as they have answered. Allow me to address them in turn.

  1. I am now accepting select outside advertising. Click here to learn more. The program is in its infancy, and thus will likely change over time. For now, all most of you need to know is that it is possible for you to advertise on this site, and banners will be in rotation to remind you of that. Some of them may be more clever than the current batch of recycled artwork with incomprehensible catch-phrases.

  2. In order to better market the strip to a larger audience (I'm trying to take over the world, after all), and in order to more accurately represent your desires, appetites, and passions to potential advertisers, I'm running a survey, for which you may have seen a banner ad. I neglected to put a privacy statement at the top of the Survey, and I can't edit it without discarding the results, so here's the statement:
    PRIVACY STATEMENT

    I will not collect your names, IP addresses, or any other personally identifiable bits of data, unless you explicitly enter said data voluntarily. Even if you DO choose to tell me your name and email address, I will not pass that along to third parties, and Perseus (the Survey host I am using) will not do so either.

    I will, however, do the following:

    -Compile and publish a "sanitized" executive summary of the survey results, once I have at least a week's worth of data.
    -Personally contact a few of you whose comments suggest further contact may be appropriate, using your voluntarily provided contact information.
    -Make the sanitized executive summary available to potential advertisers, as appropriate.

    So you can see, it's safe to go get surveyed, unless you don't trust me and/or Perseus, in which case, please do NOT go get surveyed.

  3. All this advertising and surveying on my part came about rather unexpectedly. Google Adsense was working swimmingly until last Thursday morning, when Google emailed me and suspended my account for "invalid clicks." It's embarrassing, especially in light of my enthusiastic recommendations of the Adsense service to others in this and similar industries. It is additionally frustrating to learn nothing useful from the experience that I could pass on. Had I been clicking on ads, or encouraging others to do so, perhaps I could offer sage advice and say "don't do that." Google defends their proprietary algorithms with aplomb approaching temerity. It is possible that well-meaning fans simply outdid themselves and clicked too much. It is also possible that Darth Hackamous and his army of clickdroids deliberately targetted my account. Google's Terms of Service allow them to say nothing further on the matter, and they've said lots of that. At this point the only people I have enough information to get angry at are nameless Google employees whose employer can sue me for defamation thanks to these same Terms of Service. Hey, I signed the agreement, and I accepted money for it. There's no point in me being bitter, unless I want to taste really bad if I get eaten.

    (Note: there are also some very nice, non-nameless people who work for Google, and with whom I've corresponded pleasurably both prior to and subsequent to the events of last Thursday. I'm not in the least bit angry with them.)

So, now you know why the ads have changed, and what to expect from the ones currently running. The new system requires more of my time, but should prove to be both more profitable for me, while affording me even more control over the things I point you fine people at.

If you've read all the way to this point, wow. You're clearly qualified to read an erudite review of Schlock Mercenary. The recent week of "events surrounding an antimatter explosion" here at Schlock Mercenary was reviewed, dissected, and hyperanalyzed by Occultatio over at The Living Comic in his article entitled (overanalyzing) The Living (hell out of a) Comic. As I read it, I realized that it embarrassed me. It was apparent that I had spent less time thinking about writing what went into that week of strips than Occultatio spent writing about said writing. I'm embarrassed, I'm flattered, and I'm just a little bit creeped out.

Anyway, go read it. Serious criticism like this deserves attention. (I just hope he doesn't post some equally erudite NEGATIVE analysis of my work... I've eaten enough words recently, and I'm full, thank you very much.)

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