Well, that's it - I'm now officially not working for Mandriva any more. My contract expired last night (I was, of course, busy working right up to the last second, and not in any way at all on my eighth beer at a banquet hall on Kingsway. Definitely working.)
I haven't yet got another job (though there's a few things ongoing). I also can now have a lot of time to devote to trying to make money some other way.
So - I'm selling out! This blog has never carried ads up till now (I always felt it was kind of tacky to run ads on what was really just a "what I'm doing today" site, and I didn't need the money). Assuming I get approved by AdSense, it'll start carrying ads soon. I intend to take the approach taken by Dan of Dan's Data, whom I respect hugely, to this nefarious system: it's utterly impossible to have any kind of real control over what ads AdSense runs on your site, so I'm not going to pretend I do. I don't and never will endorse the stuff that gets advertised by AdSense, and it may well turn out to be stuff that I would explictly not endorse if asked in person. So unless you see me saying how great something is in a real actual post typed by me, I don't endorse it. It's just advertising. Don't blame me if it sucks, I never said it wouldn't. And please don't tell me if they turn out to be ads for things that obviously I would never choose to promote, like Windows or SUSE or something. I can't control it. Just don't click on 'em.
I personally use AdBlock with a big strong filter list, so I'd be raging hypocrite if I started whining about how it was stopping me making money. So I won't. But if you want to be nice to me, consider turning it off on my site and clicking on the ads if they interest you. I won't hate you if you don't, though. Because then I'd be hating myself.
My vague general plan is to start writing a lot more, and a lot more 'real' articles that are fully fleshed out. I'll probably try and sell them to major sites and magazines at first, and if they don't sell, I'll post them here. Generally produce a lot more content, pimp it out outrageously, and hope to generate enough interest to at least make back my hosting costs. It's either that or spend even more time lying on the couch watching sports, so I ain't losing anything. I haven't tracked stats on this site for the longest time, because I don't really care about popularity for its own sake, but I stuck awffull on the server today (I know stat tracking apps are generally hilariously insecure but it's not accessible outside my private network, so don't bother trying to hack it...) and it turns out the site averages about 800 unique visits a day - maybe 700 real-people-looking-at-the-blog - which is a heck of a lot more than I imagined. From what I can tell from the experience of others that would translate to about sixpence a month in ad revenue, so this ain't going to make me rich overnight, but as I said, I'm not losing anything, so what the heck.
I'm not going to start doing all sorts of evil tricks solely to try and get advertising income, that would be evil. But I'll just generally write a lot more general interest stuff. If what you're mostly interested in is a) me (why, for the love of puppies?) and / or b) Mandriva, you might want to look at filtering based on category (though of course I'd love you if you read all the other posts and recommended them to all your friends). I'll try to set up a few more different categories to split out the stuff I post about more clearly, if this goes anywhere.
You'll notice that each post now includes a set of links to Digg-type sites at the bottom, which is all part of the promotion bit of the idea. The ads will probably start showing up in a couple of days - as soon as Google approves me. I may experiment a bit with ad types and placement at first. There'll definitely be no dynamic ads, that's just plain mean, and no pop-ups or anything like that. There'll be text ads, and possibly relatively small graphical ads if I can get them into the page in a way which doesn't make me want to die of shame. We'll see.
The new types of post will probably start showing up in a few days too. I have a few ideas. I may mess around with the layout / appearance of the site, but probably not at first, apart from some pretty minor changes you probably won't notice.
If anyone has comments, suggestions, ideas or questions, just post 'em. I'm new at all this and I don't really know where it's going, I'm just going to make it up as I go along. Like I always do. :)
Thanks for all your support over the years, everyone, it's been a great ride so far.
Finally, if anyone's interested in any kind of direct advertising on the site, let me know. If you sell something that I actually think is a neat valuable product / service, I'd be happy to advertise it with an actual recommendation (unlike the AdSense ads), and / or pimp it appropriately in posts, always with a clear notice that I get paid for doing it. Something like Dan (again) does with Aus PC Market. My readers are, I guess (not that I have extensive survey data...), generally Linux enthusiasts with a moderate level of technical expertise, so if you want to hawk a product or service that'd be of interest to that kind of user base, drop me a line (see the Contact page linked in the right hand side bar) and we can talk about it.