Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog Ads yes, no, maybe

I wonder sometimes if anyone actually reads this stuff, or if all the hits to the site I get are just spiders on the web checking for prey.

Well anyways, here is what I would like people to do, just comment on your social site of choice, be it Google+, Twitter, or Facebook, and let me know if you think I should get rid of the advertisements on my blog.

I really do not like them, they slow down the page load by a lot, and often I really do not like the ads I see, as they are often not really related to the post I am making.  They may often be related to me, the person I am, based on my web history, but they are not related to the blog, or the person I am, the author of this blog.  I think if I am going to have advertising on my blog, rather than it being an automated script, maybe I should just host static ads from things that matter to me, the author.  In this way I am endorsing that which matter to me.

I figure if it matters to me, as the author, the readers will find it more important to them, as it is something I can believe in.  The question then changes.

Should I host ads from products or services that I feel matter to me, or should I just remove the ads entirely.  There are some things I feel very strongly about, and feel that they deserve promotion.  I also do not want to slow the page down with lots of advertising, so I think it should be just a small ad or two of the things I feel most strongly about at the moment.

I won't make any money off of the ads I post, but I am not making any money off the ones that are scripted either, so I see no profit in that, literally.

So I leave it up to you, dear readers, if there are any, do I remove the ads entirely, or post ads that I find connection to personally, or just keep it the way it is?

You do realize don't you, that if you answer me, you admit that you read my post, and by that you actually answer the first inquiry in this post, which may have been my intention to begin with.

Michael Shermer: What Is Skepticism, Anyway?

Michael Shermer: What Is Skepticism, Anyway?:

'via Blog this'

While I would like to agree with this article, and its author, his level of arrogance and ignorance (which by the way appear to be often closely related) make it nearly impossible to lend it any credence.  Add to that the hundreds of comments, all which tend to display but additional ignorance, it only allows me to come to the tentative conclusion that this is one subject that few know much if any about.

A belief does not require evidence, and evidence does not require belief.  More so evidence is momentary, it is all that is known of a particular state at the time that it is given.  Like security, it is only as secure as its last update.  Sometimes people confuse truth and fact.  The fact is there is no truth.  All that he espouses in his post is subjective, for as humans we are psychologically incapable of objectivity, even with all our "tools" and tricks and peer reviews.  We are humans and subject to emotion, regardless of our guard against it.

I often work in a vacuum, with but the web and my own mind to guide me in seeking some modicum of truth.  I have yet to find it.  It is true that truth is fleeting, and all that we believe to be truth is based on our faith in some organized institution, be it religion, politics or science.

The absolute truth is nothing is absolute, there is no truth, fact is an subjective belief held generally by a staunch minority of proponents, and that all that we understand is but a minute amount of the wonder that exist beyond our limits and imposed obstructions.

Having said that, it leaves me with no other recourse but to admit that I have a conflict of interest, and that I am conflicted in my own beliefs and convictions.  Therefore it is with certain trepidation that I present that nothing is as it seems, and all truths are lies, and that you should believe nothing, but on the other hand, all beliefs are as valid as any, so maybe faith in anything is better than faith in nothing, which is again psychologically impossible.

Thank you and Sleep Well, if you can...


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Play De Guitar

I never did learn to play guitar.  It is not the discipline, or the time it would take, but that it just did not seem to serve my purposes.  I like to experiment with the shape and color of the sounds that I can create with the instrument.  It is for I that I play with the guitar, not that I am opposed to the audience, or even aware of them, but that I just have no other interest in that aspect of the music.

Over the years I have learned a few cords, and if I take my time, I can play a tune or two, maybe you might even recognize one, but it does not happen often, as it really does not mean that much to me.  I do not care if it means anything at all to you.

I have written a few songs for others to play, based on the rhythms and melodies that they gave me to work with.  It is an enjoyable enough experience to provide them with something they can use in their pursuit of music.  I am almost always happy to try to help out an artist in the creation of their craft.  Some time ago I even wrote a couple for myself, with established musical accompaniment that were simple but fun to do.  They have escaped me these late years, but they were not really worth hanging on to.

It does mean that most times I am alone in my playing or listening for that matter, but that is fine by me, that is what I do it for, my own peace.

Still I thought, should I perform my art for others, via the video post, perhaps others would find use in the exercise and therein find reason to seek their own pursuit, no matter if only for their own entertainment.  It is a thought I entertained but a moment and then decided that yes, sometime I would do such a thing, but for now, I play only to the sheep and who ever is passing by, fortunate or unfortunate for them, by their own opinions.

Giving Coffee

Please donate to Doud Dairy Farm, help us to achieve our goal of a safe and secure farm for our animals and ourselves, and the coffee is on the house.

A regular medium cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts cost $2.00 at least.  I really can’t say, because I rarely buy coffee from coffee vendors.  However if you ever want a cup of good coffee do not hesitate to come over and we will put on a fresh pot of coffee, and we won’t even charge you for the conversation.

That is all it really takes, one cup of coffee.  If you donate one cup of coffee we will easily reach our goal.  Have all your friends donate one cup of coffee and not only will we reach our goal quickly we will extend our offer to your friends as well.

Donate one cup of coffee and any time you come over to visit, we will offer you not one, but several cups of coffee, some interesting conversation, and maybe even some doughnuts.  If you call first maybe we’ll even make lunch or diner or coffee cake, or something, and we can have a conversation about almost anything.

We know times are tough for everyone, and that even a cup of coffee is hard to justify.  Many of our friends can not even afford that, and we certainly understand.  If you can help, please do, we truly appreciate your kindness.

Do not forget to share to your friends our need, as they might want to help too, and I wouldn’t want to deprive them of the opportunity to help us, and maybe become our friends as well.

Thank you everyone, we truly appreciate your assistance in our time of need.  Check out our website for details and to donate to our fund.  With everyone’s help we will achieve our goal as easily as making a cup of coffee.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Self Made vs Service Provider: Crowdfunding Sites

We, my wife Arleta and myself James, are running a campaign to raise the money for the down payment on our new home.

While we appreciate the efforts of the many that are doing all that they can, I James, felt it necessary I explain why we chose to attempt to run the campaign ourselves with our own website instead of using any of the established service providers such as GoFundMe or the like.

The primary reason was that after a “lot” and I mean a lot of research into the website service providers that exist out there, I could not rationalize the wealth the owners of such sites have, all through the process of “helping other people”.  Yes there is expense in the process, but looking into it, and also having run businesses of my own, especially mostly online businesses, I knew that their cost were far lower than the cost they were charging for their services.

I am not trying to say that I do not believe they should not make a profit, but as with all such things I look at the profit that they make, and try to justify that profit to the service they are providing.  What risk and interest do they have in the process, that is what should determine their profit.  In my research they did not perform the work that warranted the profits they received on what is presented as philanthropic operation.  They present their service as helping people raise money for what is mostly charitable projects.

Of course there are services out there that thanks to new laws now allow unqualified investors to invest in risky businesses.  This makes good sense to me, and the percentage that the service takes on this is a profit made on a for profit campaign.  There still is very low risk to the service providers, but at least it is for profit campaign, so their profit is almost justified.  This is of course my opinion, and I am sure others disagree.

Why I chose to try to do this on my own is that although not as slick as the service providers, the cost to us, and therefore to the donors is much less.  While many of the service providers do not charge the donors, by how much they charge to the people who are asking for donations, they are by proxy charging the donors as their donations have less value towards their campaign.  With cost on the donation of up to 9% (and sometimes more) plus the cost of processing (PayPal charges their transaction fee of 2.9%), on average the donee receives only 87.1% of the donors actual donation.  When calculating cost that the service provider has in the process, that means that of the 9% they charge, on average they take almost 5-6% in profit for every donation they process.  So while the websites they provide are much slicker and have some really neat API programming involved, they are almost all based on templates and the same scripting, so really only the first few cost that much.  The rest is all passing the donation through to the payment processor, and then taking their cut.

While as I said in the case of a for profit project like a movie, or for a small business concept (such as a mobile game), it is more acceptable, it would seem since when I did some background research on the owners of these sites, and they all were usually multi-millionaires at the very least, you would think they would be really philanthropic and drop the percentage on the charitable campaigns to what is essentially the real cost of the service they really provide.

Please understand that I do not begrudge them their profit, it is that I feel that they are earning that profit at the expense of those that need their service for charitable reasons.  It would seem that since they really do not need more money, did I just say that out loud, they could maybe consider that they might only charge those little kids that need money for cancer treatment, or families that need money because their house burned down, only what it really cost to provide that service, not earn ridiculous profit off their campaigns.

Okay, so I think I have made my point here; so why did I decide that when we needed help raising the money for our down payment on our home, the home we are living in is not only falling in on itself, but also has been foreclosed on and we must move, I did not feel the people who contributed to our campaign (the donors) should be making someone who already has ridiculous amounts of money even more money, and not giving them the value for their efforts.

While our site is not nearly as slick as the sites that specialize in this, and I will give them that, they certainly have a slick interface, it is a far better value to the people who contribute to our cause.  I work on this site, as I have not got the staff to do this for me, but I have tried to provide what is needed and provide as much value to our contributors as possible.  We use PayPal as our payment processor, mostly because that is about the only way that we can provide the security and service that will ensure that our donors are protected, and we will have access to the money in a method that allows us to use it when we need it for the down payment in an affordable manner.

So I guess what I am trying to say here is that we considered the service providers, and they most likely are more successful, but we are hoping that like our lifestyle, by doing it ourselves we provide our friends with the best value for their contribution.

Like everything else we do, if we can we will always do it ourselves, not just to save money, but because we have done it ourselves, with the generous assistance of our friends, and not a third party service provider who really only provided a more slick interface.