Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Selling Out (With Poetry!)

You might have noticed some visual changes here on the eyesore known as the Beta Dad blog. Allow me to explain. If this does not interest you, I totally understand, and won't blame you for not allowing me to explain.

There are some advertisements flickering and flashing and distracting your eye from the page. I'm ambivalent about this.

I'm not averse to making a few nickels from the writing I do, and I hardly even notice ads on other people's blogs. But I'm really worried that you'll think I'm a sellout and a shill when you see salad dressing flowing down the margins of the page. And seriously, at my current traffic levels, I stand to make about five bucks a month in ad revenue, if my math is correct. Which it usually is not.

So why would I want to run these ads?

Well, a few weeks ago I was approached by an ad network called Federated Media, and they asked me if I wanted to be a part of this new thing they're doing called "Dailybuzz Moms," wherein I would be featured, along with a bunch of other parenting-ish blogs, on their website. Their site would direct their readers to our blogs and--BAM!--massive traffic would ensue! So what's not to like about that?

Naturally I bridled at the sexist name of their site, and gnashed my teeth over the continuing failure of society to recognize men as legitimate parents. But my outrage dissipated when I was distracted by a hummingbird, and I haven't been able to recapture it since.

The network also offered to sell ads on my blog.

I did some quick calculations.

Massive traffic+ads=filthy lucre, right?

I jumped on the deal like a hobo on a ham sandwich.

Well, not really. I asked some smart people if they thought it was a good idea, and they said, "Federated Media? Cool. Yeah. Do it." So I did. I may not be great at making decisions, but I'm really good at figuring out who the smart people are.

So that explains one thing.

The other thing you may or may not have noticed, and may or may not care about, is that the "MamaPop" badge I used to proudly display over yonder in the sidebar is now conspicuously absent. That's because I got laid off. Yup. A casualty of the crappy economy. Apparently ad revenues ain't what they used to be, so the management had to let some of the newer writers go. I'm a little bummed about this, because I was finally getting more comfortable writing about stuff that I don't usually write about (i.e., entertainment and pop culture); but on the other hand it's one less obligation keeping me from writing whatever I feel like on my own blog. (Also, more posts on Beta Dad=more bottles of salad dressing sold=more walkin' around money for Daddy. I know you can dig that.)

So that's it for all the behind-the-scenes stuff. Now on to the actual, pagehit-generating, advertiser-friendly, wealth-building content! (And if there's one thing that I've learned about drumming up blog traffic, it's that nothing draws a crowd like poetry!*)



My physical therapist didn't tell me
Not to work in the yard
Not in so many words

He said "don't run"
And "don't lift"

But he never said "don't haul lumber" 
Or "don't build"
Or "don't dig"

He said that for every time I lean forward
I should lean backward five times
To squish the fluid back to the front of the discs

It sounded like a metaphor to me
I lock my knees and bend backwards at the hip

The sky opens up, empty
No planes today

Then two balloons
One white, one red
Tangled together by their ribbons
Climb the hot wind

And then there's one more thing.  I have a post coming out today on Aiming Low.  It doesn't get published until 4:00 p.m. EST, so don't go rushing over there just yet.  Unless it's already past 4:00.  Then you should rush right over.


*short essays with little regard for punctuation or coherence


  1. Sorry to hear you got canned, man. I like your pop culture review stuff. If you enjoy writing it, why not do it here every so often? Transformers 3 will be out soon. You can have a field day with that one. I'm sure you don't even have to watch it to write a mostly correct review on it.

    I don't know about your poem, but I know about back pain. I did quite enjoy that final aside, though. That's life sometimes.

  2. For you to contemplate the next time you throw your back out while doing yardwork, a bit of classic, grade-school poetry...

    Birdie, birdie, in the sky
    Why'd you do that in my eye?
    Gee I'm glad cows don't fly!

    And having ads on your site? Not a sellout. It's called "Economic Necessity." And we all grok that, totally.

  3. What adverts on the side of the page?

  4. To keep in vein with Jo, an old book maker/letterpress guy in Kentucky once gave me a book of his Haikus. My favorite:

    Your fly is unzipped.
    A dead bird doesn't fall far
    from the nest, you know.

    And how does one get on the Federated Media tip?

  5. Bad luck on losing the gig man. Such is life, but it still sucks.

  6. Sorry about the layoff - but glad to see (money) people still taking an interest in your blog, via the ads.

  7. I got dropped from MoxieBird; I miss the community! Unlike you, however, I have yet to remove my badge. Maybe I'll get around to it later.

    I should share your back pain poem with some of my clients. They ALL have it.

  8. My back twinged at the mere mention of discs. And selling out? I say kiss that gift horse in the mouth if she's puckering.

  9. @Frank--Thanks dude. I probably will write more pop culture stuff here. Maybe less poetry.

    @Jo--Wow. That is a classic. Haven't thought of it since 6th grade. Now it'll be in my head for the rest of the day.

    @Jack--Oh. Did I say ads on the side? Never mind. just keep looking at the middle of the page.

    @Michael--That's beautiful! I'm not sure how you get on the FM tip. They emailed me and I filled out some forms. You could probably email them.

    @Dan--Thanks, mate.

    @Kevin--Thanks. It's always encouraging when somebody who knows about this stuff shows some interest!

    @Muskrat--At least I'm in good company! We can sit on the dock and drink Four Loko while the rest of the cool kids are at the writer's party at BlogHer. Also, can you please figure out who I can sue for causing my back pain? I think maybe I slipped on the floor at Wal Mart.

    Cpt. D--Sorry my poem hurt you so deeply. I'm totally making out with that horse.

  10. I suppose I'll hang around, ads or no ads. :) Honestly, I know a lot of people do it, and I've thought about doing it myself a time or two, but I'm just lazy. Plus I hate clutter. Yours doesn't look cluttered though, so good job.

    Sorry about your lay-off. Girl scout cookies help. Swear.

  11. @OTO--thanks for sticking around. With your legions of readers, you should totally run ads. You would make meelions!

  12. "Massive traffic+ads=filthy lucre" No, sir, I cannot argue with the math.

  13. With all that newfound cash, you should buy DailyBuzz Moms a penis.

  14. Argh, laid off. Sorry. And I still haven't read the Beastie Boys bit. It won't be the same now.

    I love the blogger's ass inspired poetry. Way to look at the bright side of sciatica.

    I think I owe Goole AdSense money. Mind you, I have 3 steady readers and no one ever clicks the ads. You, sir, will have much better results. Good luck!

  15. I love reading your blog, and still will with ads! :)


Don't hold back.


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