Monday, August 29, 2011

Stormy Weather

Rembrandt Van Rijn: The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Summer Fundraiser, Day 7


Have you noticed that every fundraiser has its own rhythm and rhyme, its own character? These variations are due at least partially to the weather, i.e., the weather outside the window, and my own personal and quite variable meteorology. [The term used for used for exacerbations of fibromyalgia symptoms is apt. They’re called “flares”, as indeed they are.]

Tip jarThus, during this here particular bleg, we’ve had earthquakes, a hurricane, and a severe fibromyalgia flare of several days’ duration. The hurricane — Irene, I believe her name was — passed on to hassle Rhode Island, Vermont, and points north. We hope it’s another few years again until the next earth tremor, while this flare seems to be easing. I think.

But then there are the… um…. “discussions”… exacerbations of the marital sort at Schloss Bodissey. Chesterton noted that fairy tales end with the formula “and they lived happily ever after.” But he was quick to point out those fairy tales never ended “…peacefully ever after.” Chesterton claimed that a real marriage had real contention, and this contention was to be welcomed.

Thank heavens he said that. We don’t throw chairs or dishes around, per Chesterton’s idea, but on occasion we’ve both been known to heft a weighty thought and aim it in the direction of our beloved’s head. It’s true: the Baron is sometimes a tad unreasonable. In this case, it’s all rather tenuous, but we reached a compromise by deciding to seek reader input here.

As you know, we don’t accept paid advertising. Not only is it distracting, but the main page takes longer to load with ads stuck in there. On the other hand, we do put up notices for books written by our colleagues. Thus, Norman Berdichevsky’s The Left is Seldom Right and Rebecca Bynum’s Allah is Dead. Several readers have purchased these books, and asked if we received any payment as a result. The short answer is “no”. The longer answer is those books are up there as a favor, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t sign on as Amazon affiliates, or whatever you call it when you put up book ads.

I’d like to find out from Amazon if we can do just that, limiting it to one or two books of our choice, which would change from time to time. The books would only be there if we’d read them (some people send us their books), or if they were books we’d like to read if we still bought books.

However, the Baron says putting up these changing book notices would violate our contract with readers, the one we made three years ago that said no advertising. But we’re advertising already with those two book covers up there, aren’t we? What we’re doing is a covert advert.

So, dear readers, what do you say? Should we have “real” Amazon links to the books — i.e., with whatever pittance might be due — or should we stick to the original contract: no paid ads, period?

Let us know what you think. It’s not often one gets to take sides in a marital “discussion” without ending up surrounded by fragments of crockery. Honest, we just want your opinion.

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Wading through in their wellies, today’s donors splashed in from:

Stateside: California, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia

Near Abroad: Canada

Far Abroad: Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK

Thanks for everyone’s patience in waiting for the acknowledgement for their gifts. If this flare is like the others, it’s receding, and I’ll be picking up speed.


The tip jar in the text above is just for decoration. To donate, click the tin cup on our sidebar, or the donate button. If you prefer a monthly subscription, click the “subscribe” button.

7 comments:

levnedogmeninger said...

Hi there,
I don't think the ads are worth it, they'll probably only pay a pittance as you say, but on the other hand I wouldn't mind in the least. Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
About the fibromyalgia: apparently people feel a lot better with a paleo diet. Check it at marksdailyapple.com
I know I feel like a million bucks eating paleo/primal.

Janet said...

You're advertising the books anyway, no-one is paying you to put them there. You would only benefit *if* someone clicked on the link and bought one. So I don't believe it would truly violate the compact. In any case, I wouldn't object :)

Nick said...

I looked into this a good while ago, & so far as I can remember, by allowing Amazon to recognise that someone has linked to a books's page from another website (such as this blog) all that happens is ... nothing.

No ads, no pop-ups, or anything like that. It all happens at Amazon's end. They just send you a small (very small) fee to recognise that the link came from your site, instead of via a search engine or whatever - and that's it.

Nick said...

There's a scheme running in the UK where you can use a 'Nectar' card to get points whenever you buy stuff at certain shops, or put fuel into your car at certain petrol stations. One of the many stores that let you do this is ... Amazon.

You can then "spend" your points at a later date at any of these stores: Argos, Homebase, easyJet, Sainsbury's, or ... Amazon.

So this sort of thing is done a lot, by a lot of people, in many different ways. As you say, you already have links to the books' Amazon pages on your site. So there should be no changes whatsoever to anything here at GoV. Why not get Amazon to send you a few bucks now and again for doing something that you're already doing? It seems perfectly sensible to me.

Nick said...

In fact, I've just checked and if you have a Nectar card & log into your Nectar account first - then go on to Amazon and buy a book - you get points on your Nectar card. So it's possible to benefit yourself, as an individual, if you buy books on Amazon.

As I said, there's a lot of this about, & I don't see why you shouldn't get on board & make whatever small amount you'd get from having Amazon recognise what you already do. Go for it, I'd say.

Dymphna said...

levnedogmeninger--

About the paleo diet: you're right. The Baron and I both use it (has a different name) and learned it from a Swedish fellow.

The Baron, being a kind soul, offered to go on the diet with me since he knew I wouldn't be likely to stick to it if there were "forbidden" foods around. For his good deed, he received a wonderful surprise: he feels much better himself. More energy and he lost weight. He was never 'fat', but he'd put on weight as he got older. It comes off effortlessly for him.

It definitely reduces pain, though nothing prevents those flares. I just have to wait them out.

To everyone: we've had an Amazon credit card for years. In fact, I call Amazon "the WalMart for ppl who can't shop at Walmart". W. is too far away, too big to walk thru easily, etc. With Amazon, I can read the reviews on each product -- for example there is a wonderful little device,

Uncle Bill's Sliver Gripper Tweezers

The only problem I have with Amazon is that sometimes there are TOO many choices.

Egghead said...

Book ads seem fine to me. :)