Day notes (14 April 2008)

by Maskil on April 14, 2008

The J-Blogosphere is closed: Go get your own

At first I thought it was my imagination, but I’m definitely finding the J-Blogosphere (Jewish blogging community) to be something of a closed shop. Despite filling in all the right online forms and sending e-mail messages to the right addresses weeks ago, I haven’t been added to at least two aggregators/directories:

JewishBlogging.com – the home of Jewish blogs, Israeli blogs and all blogs of Jewish interest

J-Blogosphere (Jewish blogging) community on The Truth Laid Bear (TTLB)

The Truth Laid Bear

Also no acknowledgement yet from Bluish Joggers, but I know they’re dealing with a backlog.

Bluish Joggers

I don’t want to come across as a conspiracy theorist, but I can’t help thinking that the exclusion is deliberate and has to do with my not being on the political/religious right, whose adherents appear to dominate the J-Blogosphere currently.

We’ll see; I haven’t totally given up yet.

Damn, I’m good!

While capturing one of my old notebooks into OneNote, I came across this note written in December 2006/January 2007, i.e. a good 15 months before the latest crisis in JAFI’s Aliya Dept.:

I think I’m correct in asserting that almost all remaining Diaspora communities are now in Western-style democracies. Unless these societies collapse under the weight of Islamism, illegal immigration (indigestible) and the reaction (including anti-Semitism), no more significant Aliya is likely to take place.

Code of conduct for the territories?

Because I live in the Diaspora, I’m not always going to understand what works and what doesn’t work in Israel, so this is just a suggestion. What about a voluntary code of conduct/petition undertaking not to live in territories occupied but not annexed by Israel, as well as calling on the government to either annex or withdraw all civilians and their infrastructure from those areas?

SA Jewish Report subscription

I am probably one of the few people in the country who actually subscribes to the SA Jewish Report, which is otherwise distributed free. This is a hangover from our time in the South of JHB (where no distribution takes place), and also to ensure reliable delivery of the paper. Yeah, right. There have been a few problems in the past, but normally quickly resolved. This time around, delivery hasn’t happened for the last month at least. I’ve made a couple of calls to Johnnic (now Avusa Publishing?), and each time receive assurance that the problem will be resolved and I will be credited for the missing issues. Still no delivery. I fully expect, however, to receive a call from their call centre when the time comes, asking if I’d like to renew my subscription!

(Avusa Publishing? I guess everyone has to have a politically correct ethnic name to trade under in SA these days.)

Alexa Site Information

In the interests of quicker page loading, I’m getting rid of the Alexa code/widget on Altneuland, for now anyway. It’s not reflecting any meaningful stats, and my ranking is nothing to brag about (yet).

altneuland.info – Site Information from Alexa

Anything that doesn’t add value to the blog needs to go, so more are likely to follow.

Google AdSense advert placement

I just spent a couple of hours (mainly because of my slow connection) tuning my Google AdSense ad placement and more or less standardising across my blogs. These were my guidelines:

  • No Google ads in Sidebar. From what I can gather, this is the least successful spot for ad placement. I can rather use this valuable real estate for other affiliate and other widgets.
  • Header. Try a text link ad for now, maybe change to a banner ad.
  • Posts. Main advertisements will be in the form of adverts between posts. Set to every 3rd post, so that ads are evenly spread over Home Page (9 posts).
  • Footer. Text link ad after last/only post on page.
  • Referral ad for Google and related products only in e-commerce section of sidebar.

Given the Google AdSense three item per page limit, all ads will show on individual post pages, but only three (header and two post adverts?) for Home Page and other combined views.

Common widget for all Google Referral ads

As usual when it comes to Blogger, I’m struggling to find the right (or any) place to log a bug report, request or suggestion. What I’d like to suggest is that they make available an ad format common to all the Google Referral products. As things stand at the moment, there’s one set of advert formats for these products:

  • Firefox plus Google Toolbar; Google AdSense; Google AdWords; Google Pack

And another set for these:

  • Google Apps; Google Checkout

They’re mutually exclusive; there’s no one size fits all. I can only guess it’s because they have different markets…

Blogger Separator Widget

Something else I’d like to get onto Blogger’s wishlist; a widget to use as a separator between groups of items in the sidebar. Basically a text widget, but with a Title field only.

(These were originally intended to be separate postings (or the outlines of separate postings).  Right now we’re dealing with another Eskom blackout, so they’ll have to go in as one set of day notes.)

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