Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blog home - not book related

I have a serious problem with the internet. There are just too many choices for everything. Too many browsers, too many web hosts, too many search engines, too many results for your searches... For someone like me who feels an obsessive need to check out all of them in order to find the one they like best, it can be quite overwhelming. So when I decided to start this blog, I had to wade through the different blog hosts and try to settle on the one that I liked best. I signed up for two of the most popular - blogger and WordPress. Both are free and I have to say that both have good points and drawbacks. I was kind of leaning towards blogger because it seems easier to use and gives you more control over the appearance of your posts and such. The blogger app also works better on my new tablet than the wordpress one does. But in the end, WordPress made the final decision for me be deactivating my blog with them. Apparently, I violated their terms of use with my Amazon Affiliates links.

Here's how it works - if you sign up to be an Amazon Affiliate,  a little button appears at the top of the Amazon site that says "Link to this page." For instance, if I am blogging about a book that I am reading and want my readers to be able to easily access a description of it on Amazon, I click the link, type in the name of the book, and Amazon generates a link for me. All I have to do is copy and paste it into the HTML of my blog, and voila! I have an instant link embedded in my blog. An added bonus is that if a reader uses the link and ends up buying the book, I get a miniscule percentage of the sale. Now, I don't actually expect to make money this way (although it would be nice). I just like how it simplifies the whole linking process, which is important to a technophobe like me. But to make a long story slightly shorter, WordPress does not want you to use their free blog service to make money. I don't know how they feel about it in relation to their paid service, WordPress.org, but their free .com service does not allow it. I can appreciate that - their service is free so why should I be able to use it to make money? And I am not upset or angry about it either, after all, it was my own fault for not actually reading the terms of use. I could explain that I had simply made a mistake (I'm sure I am the only person who just started blogging without actually reading the terms) and ask them to reinstate my blog. Then I could take out the offensive links and go through the extra steps of creating my own links, but I just don't want to. Blogger (and their parent, Google) doesn't seem to give a hoot if I use my blog to make 10 cents. And so, here I am, on my only blog. What a relief to finally have made a decision, even if it was made for me.

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