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Archive for the ‘Bitter and Pessimistic When I Wrote this’ Category

I Would Rather Not Think About This Website

February 4th, 2010
Agony

These words are written in hesitation, almost agony.  For more then a month I have not had to think about this website.  It was a month of total bliss.  My mind was clean.  I ignored my traffic stats, I did not read other blogs, I did not add new content.  It was back to the good old days – before I had this website.  My mind was free to roam about anything and everything.

Time was my own.  Reading,  I was able to concentrate on what the donkey was saying to the turtle.  When I had a shower I was able to sing.  I ate slow and chewed all my food.  No rush and nothing pressing me.  No pressure to be at the computer doing something to the website.

I did not care about this website or about the online world.  It was great; but like the courting phase of a relationship, it must come to a end.  The fun stops and work begins – kisses and hugs become obligations and commitments.

So here I am, back at it.  Writing about the website.  Oh God, the agony.  With these words come all the attachments:  HTML, visitors, traffic, Adsense, comments, backups and that is just the technical aspect.  There is also the physiological damage – mental strain, sense of failure,  syphilis pushing a rock up a hill only to have it roll back again,  a slave to the website.  Back at it, back to having the website as a constant companion while I walk the streets, take a shower and sip my coffee.

Why do this?  Why put one self through it?  What is it all for?  The same reason destitute and repressed people left their homes, traveled the stormy seas, and landed on the beaches of the unknown called America.   A dream.  I do it in pursuit of a dream.  Pilgrims came to America to avoid suppression and start a new life on their own terms.  This website is in pursuit of a dream of living on my own terms.  To be free from the terms of my employee contract.  To be free from my 1 hour lunch break.  To be free from my boss’s mood swings.  Free to call time my own.  I have a dream.

Lots of people died on the journey to America.  And a lot more when they got there.  In their case failure turned the dream chaser to fertilizer.  Fortunately for me the worst that can happen is I spend a lot of time and money and end up with 20 megabytes of useless HTML.

I have spent a year on this website.  In terms of making money it was a complete waste.  I could of made a lot more with a lemonade stand setup beside a water fountain.  During the year I spent a lot of time thinking about the website – mental time that I will never get back.  Was it worth it?  Maybe if I spent that time thinking about something else, like building a perpetual motion machine, I would be a lot better off now.

But that was last year.  Who knows if it was for the best.  But I am not a crazed nut that pursues an impossible dream of turning dung into gold.  One more year is all that I will allow this website to suck out of me.  If nothing drastic happens within a year I will release myself from its grasp and be free to sing in the shower again.

About Revenue, Earnings, Money, Bitter and Pessimistic When I Wrote this

Does Being a Webmaster Make You Bitter? Rake The Zen Garden

November 23rd, 2009
Raking Sand Zen Garden

Like a green oasis in the desert, a life giving miracle has appeared.  This website is making a profit.  Finally after 320 days this website has incurred $538.23 in costs and made $544.71 in revenue – revenue is a bigger number then the costs number.  That is a cool $6.48 that goes straight into my pocket.  A crisp five dollar bill and some jingling change.

Of course $6.48 is a lot less then the $10,000 I was hoping to have.  But I take is a learning experience.  I have no other choice, the only other thing I can take it as is a total failure; so in this case I am choosing optimism over the truth.  I learned that my expectation was way to high.  I year ago I thought that in 320 days I would be drinking hundred dollar wine and deciding between a red or black corvette.  Instead, I have made just enough money to buy a coffee and ride the bus.

Bitter?  Yep.  Basically I got ripped off.  I have put in 494 hours of work and received a meager $6.48.  This is criminal – a scam.  A rational human being would never accept these terms.  The only way a person could end up in this situation is by force or trickery.   In my case it was not force – nobody made me make a website.  I chose to make a website.  I chose to build a website because I believed that I would get paid fairly for my efforts.   

Who knows how I fell for it.  Or who did it to me.  Or how they benefit.  It is like the Kennedy assassination – the deeper you look the more mysterious it gets.  I have tried to analyze what happened, how I get duped, where did it all start.  My investigations have led nowhere.  Somehow I believed that the internet would be a great source of income.  I have no idea who did this to me.  But to keep my sanity I have stopped asking who and why.  Kennedy is dead and the circumstances around it strange – period.  I spent 494 hours to get $6.48 – period. 

What To Do With The Bitterness?

Being bitter raises an interesting problem for a webmaster.  There is no way to vent or redirect negative feelings.  At the work place it is easy to redirect bitterness. 

Let’s say you do not get the bonus you expected.  No problem.  Do not buy toilet paper, pens, calculators, or coffee – the office will supply you with these.  Take one or two items a day.  It’s not stealing, it is your bonus.  You can come to work a little later, have a longer lunch, leave a little earlier.  Its is not abuse, it is your bonus.  One way or another you will get your bonus.

Boss does not appreciate your work?  You work over the weekend to get the report on the boss’s desk first thing Monday morning and all you get is a ‘great – thanks’.  No problem.   Monday and Tuesday you play solitaire and browse your favorite websites with a clear conscience because you are simply recouping your weekend.

Having a bad day at work:  Co-worker talking in your ear about her stupid domestic issues?  Crappy computer crashes?  Client upsetting you with unrealistic demands?  Phone keeps ringing?  No problem.  Hit the keyboard a few times, open and close the laptop monitor many times and really fast, hang up the phone extra hard, start a dirty rumor about your co-worker and give her real domestic issues.

That’s what so great about the work environment.  You get bitter and upset, but at least there is something you can do to vent.  The workplace offers many ways to redirect that bitterness onto other people and office equipment.

Sadly a webmaster has no such luxury.  A webmaster works alone and with their own equipment.  Nothing to steal, nothing to hit, nobody to bad mouth.  Something goes wrong and all you can do is sit there and stew.  You could hit the keyboard but then you need to buy a new one.  You could have a longer lunch but then you will have to make it up later.  You could yell at the dog but he will just wag his tail and want to play catch.

Like a egg, a webmaster can only boil in their pot and harden.

Raking The Sand

The other day I was browsing Amazon for something to spend my $6.48 on.  I quickly discovered that I have enough money to pay for shipping but not enough for the product.  So I went to the only place where I can spend my website profits – the dollar store.

The pin wheel hat was too tight and the plastic gun did not look real.  But then I saw it.  As soon I as I tried it I knew it was exactly what I needed.  It is a simple thing.  Sand, rock and a rake – a mini zen garden.

Now it sits beside my computer.  Before I check my stats I pick up the rake with my left hand and begin to slide it across the sand.  It has a calming effect.  Little rocks are placed randomly in the sand so I rake around them.  The four little lines in the sand twist and turn around the rocks and relax me as I check my revenue stats.  Monks have zen gardens to bring them closer to nirvana.  I have my little zen garden to avoid destroying my own keyboard.

My zen garden has taught me something else.  Just because I spend lots of time on my website and receive almost nothing in monetary return, does not mean my time is wasted.  Now I know that there are even bigger wastes of time possible – like raking sand around little rocks.  This calms me and the bitterness floats away.

I strongly recommend that you purchase a zen garden.  It will really help you as webmaster and make you gentler and kinder blogger.

If 26 of you buy the zen garden via the Amazon link above then I will earn $6.50 from Amazon – almost doubling my annual profits.  I am raking with my left hand and pecking the keyboard with my right.

Bitter and Pessimistic When I Wrote this, What YOU Expect vs Reality, What YOU Should Do