One way to add more revenue to your website

Doubleclick for publisher

If you sell ads on your website or are looking to do that, and wish you could squeek out a little bit more revenue, you owe it to yourself to check out Doubleclick For Small Business (DFP).  There are two incredible features that will make your life easier and make you more money!

The first one saves me a ton of time (time is money right?). It is the ability to forecast your inventory.  For instance I occasionally get an RFP (request for proposal) asking how many impressions we’ll have in July of 2013 until October of 2013 in a 728×90 position.  If you don’t have DFP Small Business you’re left to come up with these figures yourself (my method usually involved a complicated Excel Spreadsheet and looking at the last months figures, figuring out what had been sold already).  Take my word for it.  It can be quite the challenge and you’ll never know how close you are to what you might have.  With DFP you just fill out your requirements and it figures out if you have the available impressions.  It takes all of 5 minutes to get the numbers you need for your RFP.  My old method took me a great deal more time.

The thing that will make you some extra money is the fact that it integrates with Google AdSense.  So if the ads you’ve sold have met their daily impression count, Google AdSense will kick in.  It’s the best of both worlds.  You get to sell your ads for a pretty penny, hopefully, and, you’ll automatically have Google AdSense kick in.  So far I haven’t found a better ad remnant program that doesn’t pay any better (most of the time you’ll be making over $1.50 CPM…some days are closer to $2).  So you’ll always have ads displaying on the site and bringing you in money.  Obviously you want to sell as many local ads as possible, but getting a little extra can add up over the year.  There is a bit of configuration you need to do, but it’s pretty easy.

Best of luck!

Sometimes life just tries to get in the way!

I would have to sit down and think pretty hard about what I want this blog to become (well I know what I dream about it becoming, but that’s not based in reality!). Really I just wanted a place to write and see where that took me and what I discovered along the way. And I’ve been doing fairly well with that. I’m posting 3 days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if your following along) and up until now its been pretty easy to hit that mark. However yesterday work didn’t go so well! But we go on.  If it’s your passion or your desire you find a way to make it happen, which is what I’m doing..or at least I’m trying to!

This post is going to be a bit rambly and cover some different areas so bear with me if you will!

Along the lines of making it happen I’ve been noticing some writers block creeping in. There’s a lot of different thoughts about writers block but for me it’s when I sit down at a computer and I try to write and I get a few words down and I just don’t have it.  That’s happening to me now.  I think part of it is because I lack a focus on this blog (going off of stats I’d best be writing about PyroCMS and ExpressionEngine if I want more visitors!), but I’ve also found that if I try and be to strict about what I write about I also end up with writers block (probably more of a case of to many interests and chasing the shiny thing in my world!)

I’m hoping that the writers block, or whatever the hell you want to call it, fades to black and I can get to writing some more and better stuff on here.  Hopefully picking up a few readers here and there!

Thanks for your time!

Walter White or The Quaker Oats Man?

One of the joys of bring up your child is getting to hear them begin to speak.  Most of the time (perhaps all of the time?) their first words are mommy and daddy.  It’s one of the best feelings ever.  When I come home from work my boy is usually at the top of the stairs yelling “daddy” over and over again.  It brings a big smile to my face and my frustrations from work are washed away.

There are however some challenges with this.  In our case our boy thinks all males are ‘daddy’.  My wife will be out shopping and the boy see’s a male and yells out ‘daddy’.  She finds it quite embarrassing and explains to the man, who probably has a stunned look on his face, that he thinks all males are daddy.

This even goes so far that daddy has been on the Oatmeal container disguised as the Quaker Oats man.  And last night while looking for something to watch on Netflix daddy was all of a sudden Walter White from Breaking Bad!  I found the Walter White reference rather amusing and I stopped for a second.

Like it or hate it, Breaking Bad has a lot of moral issues that you can discuss.  One of them that I’ve looked at a bit is doing anything to make sure your family is taken care of.  I’m not saying everyone should go out and start to learn how to cook blue meth, I’m just saying Walter did what he thought was right to provide for his family should he not be there anymore.  I think in today’s day and age some men find it’s easier, when the tough gets going, they get going rather than doing what it takes to have a family.  When you step to the alter you take on the leadership role, for better or worse, and you are the man.  Do whatever it takes to provide for your family.

 

There are paved roads in Montana and Wyoming!

This is a photo my dad, Dennis Dorr took.  If you'd like a copy you can get in touch with him at: Digitalmontana Photography

This is a photo my dad, Dennis Dorr took. If you’d like a copy you can get in touch with him at: digitalmontanaphoto@gmail.com at 16×20 is $85

One would think that the perception of Montana and Wyoming having no paved roads in this day and age would be a dying one but it still continues.  Earlier this year I was talking to a customer about a web site redesign and they said some of the people who viewed their website think we have dirt roads and ride horses to work.  While we have lonely roads that go for miles and you may not see another car for hours, we do have paved roads. We drive gas guzzling vehicles (more than I care to admit) instead of riding horses to and from our work out on the range (another wrong perception)

I remember when I first encountered this notion of no paved roads.  I had just moved from Montana to Iowa and was working with some people who only knew Iowa and Illinois.  One particular person I worked with, honestly thought we rode our horses to work and had dirt roads.  I kind of laughed it off but it came up a second time and I realized he wasn’t kidding. I don’t think this guy has stepped outside of Iowa and Illinois, so he probably still thinks we ride horses and have our wagon carriages for shuffling the kids to and from school. His loss I guess.

While at times it’s annoying it’s also rather funny and something we have to laugh off because this is the perception.  I don’t want the big city with the smog and the traffic and the crime.  So if people think we have dirt roads and ride our horse to and from work I’m fine with it.  It means more space for me to enjoy!

Managing multiple WordPress Installations

If you have multiple blogs or work for a company that is using WordPress as their base for developing sites, you’ve probably groaned when you hear there’s a new WordPress that’s been released or one of your favorite plugins has been updated.  Never fear this will soon be a thing of the past.  There are two that I’ve ran across and have used.  If there are others I’d love to know about them.

WPRemote

WPRemote

WPRemote.com was the first service I was introduced to, but due to some problems at that time (late 2012) I moved onto the solution I talk about below.  However I’ve just moved my companies WordPress sites back there and I’ve added an account for my personal sites as well.  It’s not going to blow your socks off with features and whiz bangs, but in my opinion simple is better and this service hits the nail on the head with that.  I should also mention that it’s FREE!!

Setup is pretty easy and straight forward.

  1. Add your site to WPRemote.com
  2. Download the WPRemote plugin and install it on your blog and activate it. 
  3. Once the plugin is activated it will ask you for an API key.  You get the API Key from the WPRemote.com site
  4. Put your API key in and save it.  
  5. Go back to the WPRemote site and do a refresh of the site and it should tell you what needs to be updated (or not!). 

A couple of things that I’ve found that are more annoying than anything else, but may help you out.

  • Once you create a site in the WPRemote.com admin it does not take you to that site to get the API key.  So you have to click on the site on the left hand navigation to ‘activate’ that site and get your key.  Very minor. 
  • WPRemote does backups which is awesome.  What I’ve experienced is that it backs up to your site.  It creates a directory inside of your wp-content folder that you can get your backups.  I’ve been talking to Tom Willmot about this a bit and he’s telling me it should prompt me, in a pop-up I believe, to download that backup. For me that is not the case as of this writing (both in Chrome and Firefox)

Other information on WP Remote can be found at wpdaily.com/wpremote

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP

InfiniteWP is what I found after my first try of WPRemote.  InfiniteWP is a free download that you get and install on a server or host of your choice. There are a few requirements for having it installed (cURL being the one I had to install), but other than that it’s pretty easy to get up and running.  Once it’s up and running it’s much like installing WPRemote.

  1. Add your site to your InfiniteWP installation
  2. Download the InfiniteWP plugin and install it on your blog and activate it.
  3. Once the plugin is activated it will give you an API key that you copy and paste into your InfiniteWP install site setup.  (this is reverse of what WPRemote does..FWIW).  The site setup in Infinite asks for the Site URL, Site Admin account and the API Key.  There are some more advanced features in this site setup that I never did anything with.  Basic install worked great for me.
  4. Save your site and your good to go.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

  • This is a separate site that you’ll have to maintain.  This can be good and it can be bad.  Good from the aspect that you can install it behind a firewall or on a local desktop if you choose (however it can cause issues with updating).  Bad that you have another site to maintain, but it appears that there’s an update procedure built in that might save you some time.
  • Backups are saved to wherever you installed the software, so make sure you have enough disk space.
  • A really nice feature I liked that WPRemote doesn’t have is that it will e-mail you when there are new updates for your sites (requires setting up a crontab however).

Using PHP exec() and exceptions

I’ve been lucky enough the last couple of days, to be able to rewrite some code that’s needed it.  One of the things that I took the time to explore during this rewrite was exceptions.  Now I’m just using them very basically and to some programmers much more educated than me they’d cringe with my use, but they are working.  However I ran into a problem that I had a hell of a time solving.  In the end it was my ignorance, but I’m sure others out there are having the same issue.

I was doing something like this (exact syntax isn’t important here)

if (!exec(“convert resize 50% photo.jpg photo_thumbnail.jpg”))
throw Exception (“Photo resizing gone bad!”);

When I’d look in my directory where I was converting them I’d see that one thumbnail would be created and the rest wouldn’t. The easy solution was to go back and not use Exceptions, but that wouldn’t be right so I trudged on.  And just as I was about to leave work yesterday it occurred to me!  There’s a second argument that you can pass to exec() that stores the results of what exec() executes and that is what needs to be tested for. So I ended up with the following code:

exec(“convert resize 50% photo.jpg photo_thumbnail.jpg”,$aResult);

if (!empty($aResult))
throw Exception (“Photo resizing gone bad!”);

I hope this helps someone else out as it stopped me for a bit!

The Trillion Dollar Blunder: Part 3

This is a continuation of a story I started awhile back.  You should start with part 1, and then read part 2 before reading this one.  As I said on part 1 and two, I’m not sure what this will lead to.  It’s raw, it’s unedited and it’s just for fun!

“Are you sure that you want to do that?  I’m more than willing, but doing it will have far reaching problems that I’m not sure you’ve thought about,” Juan said.

“Yeah I need you to do it.  Just take a look at my account and you’ll see why.”

I heard Juan typing in the background.

“Holy Shit,” He gasped on the phone.

“Yeah. Can you delete it?”

“What did you do?  That’s like a bill…a trillion fucking dollars?”

“Honestly I’m not sure right now, but it’s an opportunity that I’m going to exploit. Can you delete it?”

“Yeah.  Give me a few minutes and I’ll have it deleted.”

“I appreciate it Juan.  Once I figure out what’s going on, I’ll be in touch.”

Washington DC

Tara sat at her desk and leaned back in here chair.  A already horrible week had only gotten worse with her team losing a trillion dollars meant to help bail Spain out of their economic crisis.  But with the money just disappearing she wasn’t sure what she could do.  It was a major screw up that had far reaching consequences that she wasn’t sure she fully understood.

“Hey,” a voice whispered at her.

It was Shaun one of her computer people.

“Hey Shaun,” She said.

“What are we going to do?  I mean we’ve got to find this, but to have the money just disappear like that is odd. Someone knows what they are doing?”

“I know,” Sighed Tara.

“Well lets see what we have and start there,” Shaun said.

Tara stood up and looked over the cubicle, to see Shauns computer and him typing away at the keyboard.

“Hummm,” Shaun says after a few minutes.

“What?” Tara asks.

“Well the money reached Spain.  A bank in Madrid.”

Places to get online fiction

This is going to be pretty brief as my brain is fried and I need to let it relax a bit before hitting the sack.  

I ran across this post on TechCruch.com about a couple of fiction sites that I was not aware of.  I have not had a lot of time to look into them, but what I have seen has given me something to think about and to take a look at.

DailyLit.com – Read Books Online Daily By E-mail and RSS Feed

Plympton.com – Aquired DailyLit,and puts out some fiction that you can read. Some of it is on the Kindle and you have to pay some dollars for, but not sure if there’s any free stuff. Still investigating!

Hope this helps you out on your search for online fiction.

The Trillion Dollar Blunder: Part 2

This is a follow up to a piece of fiction that I started, here.  I’m not sure where this will go.  It’s very rough and has not been edited.  As always I encourage all comments and thoughts.

“Huh umm,” A man behind James cleared his throat.

“Oh sorry about that,” James said and finished his transaction.

His bank account, that only a few hours before had been nearly empty had slightly more than a trillion dollars. He’d been hoping for a lottery win or something that would get him out of this mess, but a trillion dollars had never crossed his mind.  But there it was.

Supposed Trillion Dollar Coin

Nearly a year ago and a job that had been nearly forgotten James would have reported this to the banking commission, but that was a thing of the past.  He’d been one of two people in the bank that had been let go because of some money issues.  James knew that it wasn’t him, but it was a convenient excuse for the bank. After all having an American working in one of the largest banks in Spain wasn’t the image that they wanted out there. It had been a major hit to his ego, but never being one to roll over and let the system win he’d been busting his ass to keep him and his family secure. He’d been going from part time job to part time job just trying to make ends meet.  Now it was staring him right in the face.

With an amount this large he knew time wasn’t on his side so he had to react quickly if he was going to use it to his advantage.  Despite his inclinations, when he’d been fired, he’d been polite and had not burned any bridges at the bank and this was going to help him.

“Hola,” A mans voice answered on the second ring.

“Juan it’s James.”

“Long time no hear from,” Juan said.

“Yeah.  Say I need a favor if you could,” James asked.

“Would it get me fired?”

“Yeah it would and if I make everything work it will be worth your time.”

Juan wanted to get fired for as long as James had known him.  The bank job, for Juan, was to keep in his parents good graces and keep the trust fund money coming. Being fired, Juan had told him, was not something that had been discussed so he done damn near anything he could to get fired. But Juan’s dad was always in the background keeping him employed.  He needed something that his dad couldn’t cover up and this would probably do it.

“Lets do it,” Juan said.

“I need you to erase my bank account history.”

 

Raising a boy today

Before my boy was even born I was thinking about what it was going to take to raise a boy in today’s age.  I want to raise a boy who is kind and considerate.  Who know he shouldn’t be picking on anyone else (bullying) but also knows how to defend himself if he’s on the receiving end of the bullying.  I want him to know the outdoors and not be afraid of it.  To not sit in front of the television for hours on end.  These, and many more are my wishes for him.  But that’s a lot of wishing.  It’s very overwhelming if you sit down and think about it all the time.

I don’t have the answers and I’m not sure that I ever will.  I think one just has to do their best and strive to be the best father and hope that it all turns out for the better.  Educating oneself, as a parent isn’t a bad idea either.  Along those lines I’d take a look at a book called Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men.  It’s a quick read and probably something I’ll re-read as time goes by.  It’s a doctors view point on what is keeping boys from achieving what they did in the past (dare I say took).  It fired me up and it still fires me up.

This post isn’t really going anywhere right now so I’ll conclude with this.  Mother or father you want what’s best for your child.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but you will be doing your best no matter what.  If you don’t think your doing your best then pick yourself up and tell yourself to do better and do it better.