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Attack of the Blipverts

Ah, the imprecise voodoo of advertising on the web. Too much, and you lose people. Too little, and your site is running at a loss financially and then people lose you because you can’t afford to keep the domain name locked down or exceed your site’s monthly bandwidth or… you get the idea.

And then there’s the current trend, which is to have something which detects ad blockers and throws up a smoke screen to keep you from making use of a site, either partially or fully. I’m not installing anything like that here, ever. I hate that shit.

Still, I have been forming partnerships here and there to bring some new advertisers and affiliate programs to the site. This keeps all the eggs out of one basket (which proved disastrous when Amazon kicked all of its Arkansas affiliates to the curb about 10 years ago), diversifies what’s on offer (while still keeping it very much in theLogBook’s wheelhouse), and hopefully, will eventually add up to the site being financially self-sustaining again in the near future. Read More

Cyan Saturday

read!I’m declaring it Cyan Saturday. Not sure why, but it flows off the tongue way better than Black Friday, doesn’t it?

First off, I want to introduce a new tradition, wherein I point you toward books written by several of my closest friends. Somewhere between common interests and all of us being writers at heart, an awful lot of us have written and published books in the past few years. A fair few of the books fall into the same wheelhouse, subject-matter-wise…but not all of them! Anyway, peruse this fascinating list of Books My Friends Wrote and add their works to your bookshelf or the bookshelf of someone who needs a gift this holiday season. You really can’t go wrong – I vouch for all of them as writers and as people.

And my own books? They’re now available through a nice new digital delivery gateway right here at theLogBook.com, a long-needed improvement that finally happened thanks to a little bit of digital drudgery undertaken by my oldest. The new system is really neat, and unlike the old one…it just works. And to celebrate the “grand re-opening” of that component of theLogBook.com Store, I’ve added a couple of crazy bundle deals (they’re the ones with green buttons) that’ll save you…well…a bundle.

Books. They’re what’s for dinner. Go getcha some.

The new LogBook, same as the old LogBook

So, about that redesign…you might have noticed just a couple of minor cosmetic changes here and there. Just a couple.

theLogBook.com has had very, very minor variations on the same logo ever since I first rendered the word “LOGBOOK” in Microgramma Bold Extended on a Video Toaster in 1994 or ’95, just for giggles. Ever since then, that’s been the logo, and that’s been the “look”.

Video toast Read More

Contact re-established

Let's go Iron Man!In 2011, Amazon.com cut off all of its affiliation agreements with affiliates in several states, as a response to those states pushing for laws that would force Amazon to collect state sales tax in those states. This action was a calculated effort to get the affiliates to put pressure on their state legislatures to rescind the bills in question, but as many Amazon affiliates are either small businesses or sites run by individuals, Amazon didn’t get the result expected. If collecting the taxes in question made business impossible to do in those states, Amazon would’ve stopped shipping things to Arkansas and the other states in question, but of course they didn’t. That would affect the bottom line. Can’t have that.

theLogBook.com had been an Amazon affiliate since the late 1990s, which was really the point at which it went from “disorganized fan site” to “somewhat more focused site that can make a bit of money”. Then there came a tipping point at which the site was legitimately paying its own bills – the costs of hosting, the domain name, bandwidth, even my internet connectivity at home, were all being paid for by the site. This justified expansion of the site and the time spent on it, and led to a few “boom years” where content seemed to increase nearly exponentially. That had to slow down substantially when my first child arrived, but it was still worth spending time on. When Amazon cut all of its Arkansas affiliates off in 2011, myself included, it was like losing a limb. What point was there in generating more material for the site when it was no longer going to pay its own bills? Indeed, the money to buy the things frequently covered here – DVDs, music, and so on – ran out. The emphasis rapidly changed: it was time for that Doctor Who book I’d been working on at a slow burn for several years to come to the front burner in a hurry. The kind of content I could charge for was the only kind that there was any justification to work on.

Now, thanks to a change in federal law, Amazon is required to collect state sales tax nationwide…and without announcing it to anyone, they’ve re-opened the doors of their affiliate program to sites in those states they once spurned. Here’s what that means at theLogBook. Read More

Good idea, bad execution

Open micSo last week I tried an experiment, and it wasn’t entirely successful. It’s probably a damn good idea… for someone who isn’t me, and has more free time, to try.

The idea was as follows: borrowing a page from the playbook of the ol’ teevee production days, record a week’s worth of daily podcasts in one session. Tightly time everything – each podcast should be roughly the same length. Work from a detailed outline. Get five of these done in a day… and… go! Read More

Put your face in the book

Ark the herald...If you’re on Facebook, you may have noticed that I’ve been gradually deleting the photo albums and videos I’ve had posted on there forever. I probably had close to a thousand pictures on there, from various gaming and other events, birthdays, visits to the zoo, all sorts of fun stuff like that. I’ve been taking all of it down.

With the frequency and vague wording with which Facebook changes its privacy policies, I’ve decided that it can’t be trusted. Read More