Masks … Masks … Masks
This is a short post because the Internet has slowed to the speed of a rheumatic snail with bunions. This morning, I had to take my car in for repairs related to A/C and ventilation—especially as it’s about to get hot soon. Then I had to drive Martine for an EKG in preparation for a colonoscopy scheduled for next month. I finished one book (Terry Pratchett’s Jingo) and read most of a second (Tony Hillerman’s The Shape Shifter). Within a few minutes, I will watch on old Deep Space 9 re-run hoping for a glimpse of Jadzia Dax or Major Kira Nerys. Then, bed.
Don’t Worry: I Have No Intention of Succumbing
At least once a day, I get a spampost asking why I don’t attempt to “monetize” my website and make tons of money. Give me a break! If I give in and allow advertising here, then I am no longer in charge of its contents. The advertisers would be.
These days, whenever I go to a news website like CNN or NBC (Fox was never on my list), I am not only surrounded by ads: I also have to close the ones that pop up in the middle of the screen or encroach from the sides. I hate having to close or minimize all the ads that prevent me from getting at the news. What is worse is that interspersed with the news is so-called “sponsored content,” which is nothing but advertising that attempts to fool you into thinking it’s news instead of mere clickbait.
I hate that! Advertising is becoming so all-pervasive that I have given up on many websites where it is particularly intrusive. When you come here to watch me rant and rave, that’s all you get. No links to what Phoebe Cates looks like now or why you should stop taking Metformin. Then there’s “12 Smart Travel Hacks” or free shipping with some CPAP mask, whatever that is.
So if you’re more interested in some huckster’s false promises than what I provide here, I have a great bridge for sale that might be right up your alley!
Who Says There Are No Second Acts in American Life?
Mr. Hikaru Sulu of the original Star Trek series has had more lives than a truckload of cats. Since he came out of the closet in 2005, he has become identified with gay causes. I like what he said around that time: “It’s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It’s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen.”
Since then, he has started a Facebook site that is perhaps one of the most popular, most amusing, and—at the same time—one that is at the same time of general interest without yielding one millimeter on his personal beliefs. And now he is coming out with a musical on Broadway called Allegiance about the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. Takei not only directs, but he co-stars.
What is more, as a result of his experiences on he Internet, he has come out with two books: Oh Myyy! (There Goes the Internet) and Lions and Tigers and Bears (The Internet Strikes Back). I have read both books on my Kindle and enjoyed Takei’s wit, which is considerable.
If he keeps going at this pace, and if (God willing) he lives a long and fruitful life, I think we can expect to hear a lot more from “St. George,” slayer of dragons.
Corporations Obliterate Your Favorite Websites to Get Their Message Across
Within the last year or so, there has been a proliferation of what I call ObliterAds, advertisements that shove your website contact down or just cover it with some otiose message which you have to close in order to see your website. I first saw this phenomenon at Salon.Com, and now it’s part of CNN’s news website as well (see above screen capture).
Don’t people in the advertising industry realize that tactics like this irritate Internet users and result in some antagonism. I for one would not buy anything advertised in this way. In fact, I close the ObliterAd as fast as I can so I don’t even get to see the message being promulgated.
Websites, unfortunately, are hungry for ad revenue and don’t seem to mind irritating their loyal visitors. (Please note that this website, tarnmoor.com, has no intention of selling ad space to corporations: They can tattoo their messages on their butts for all I care.)
I may decide to give up on CNN.Com, especially since it seems at any given time that most of the news stories are several days old or send me to videos. (I’d rather just read the story thank you!)
A New Kind of Spam That Caught Me Off Guard
In the last three months since I started posting at WordPress, I’ve discovered a new kind of Spam. At least WordPress labels it as Spam, and I go along with it. For every two legitimate comments I get, there are three generally favorable but wildly nonspecific comments that seem to be associated with commercial ventures on the Internet. My guess is that it’s a plot to get a more favorable ranking for their own websites with Google.
Some few are “helpful,” such as those offering to help me get more visitors to my own little website here at Tarnmoor.Com. Curiously, my anti-malware program usually blocks their websites, so I can only assume they are helpful only in the sense that a pickpocket will attempt to lull you into a false sense of security.
So if you have some general comment of praise without mentioning any specifics to show that you’ve actually read what I’ve written, your comment may well be deleted by me as possible Spam.
It’s such a complicated world in which I have to be so ruthless with so many (over 160 to date) favorable comments completely out of the blue.
You see, I don’t really want thousands of visitors a day to my website. I have nothing to sell. I do, however, have some sort of compulsion to express myself. That’s why I posted for over a year on Blog.Com, a Portuguese blog host whose total membership could probably fit into a telephone booth. (You remember those, don’t you?)