Ad

I have a dirty confession to make. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there but seeing so much of it these days, I just felt the need to fess up.

I’m not an ad-clicker. There I said it. I never click on in-app advertisements. I find them a waste of time, rarely if ever, related to my tastes. We hear constantly how ad placement is driven by user meta data and seems to be the ‘golden chalice’ of all the big players out there. I’ve never once clicked on an online ad to buy a product. 

Don’t get me wrong, I see the point but until it gets to a level where the ads are truly relevant to me then I’ll most likely never be an ad-clicker. Using my search results is rarely helpful. Google+ often gets the closest out of them all. I wouldn’t click on a Facebook ad if you paid me. The problem, for me anyway, is the few items I actually search out on the Web are lost in random queries I do all the time. While this might help target ads to me a tiny bit better, it’s like pouring a barrel of food on my plate and then me finding one item out of all of it that I will eat.

IMO companies are too greedy in trying to put ads in front of my eyes. The email lists, the hard sells, the device cookies, are all an attempt to get ads in front of your face. It is pointless to me because it’s just a brute force attack. The moment you click on an ad or go to a referral link, then the real bombardment begins. If you aren’t using a disposable email, you’re in for a real treat. hehehe

Some developers make their living off the ads they push into apps to keep them free. I get it. And for some apps, it’s the only way to go. But for more popular or heavily integrated apps, not having a paid, ad-free version is a deterrent, at least for me.

I don’t mind having sites or companies track my habits, likes, dislikes, etc. Tracking my habits w/o trying to tie it specifically to me as a person is the way to go if you want me to click. IMO this is why Google+ will continue to dominate the ad market. They are pushing heavy into this and less on specifically targeting you vs your online presence. If companies really want to find the ‘sweet spot’, they need to continue tweaking their ability to be very specific without constantly trying to bombard me with any and every ad possible. Then, and only then, will I ever consider clicking on ads.

Replace

Stepping away from the very serious previous post, I’m ranting on something much less intense today.

I was chatting with a coworker the other day and we got to talking about being irreplaceable in a work environment. I learned the fallacy of being truly irreplaceable many many years ago. In a previous job, I literally was the only person who could do my job. If I wasn’t there and the shit hit the fan, I got the call to come fix it. It made vacations, time off, sick days, etc very rough. At the time, I didn’t have a realistic view of my skill sets. I didn’t have much education and considered myself unskilled. I didn’t realize the potential and talent of my raw skills. I worried I’d be replaced by someone smarter. It wasn’t until I started realizing how good I was at certain things that I began to question my need to be irreplaceable.

When I started said job, I ended up throwing out the tracking system of the person I was replacing. Said person was also training me. It just seemed overly tedious and not very effective. Without realizing it, my way turned a full time job into a 2-3 day a week part time gig. And while I didn’t go part time, it gave me time to continue learning and growing with the company. As I grew with the company many of my inherent skills lying dormant got used and developed, organizing being one of them. I never really considered myself a very organized person. Growing up the way I did, why would I? lol  But, I apparently had the knack for it. And when presented with a need to manage a lot of different data, resources, and systems I got jolted into using it. Things that came a bit naturally to me (or thru a modicum of self-educating) seem to be beyond others. I was honestly surprised that my simple organization skills seemed so advance to many of my coworkers then. Even looking back on it know I giggle. It began to teach me I wasn’t as unskilled or replaceable as I thought.

When I left the company I managed a whole dept and everyone of my employees knew what I knew. I never once felt threatened by their knowledge or skills. If one of them had been promoted beyond me I would have been ok with it as well. Learning about myself empowered me to hope for that in my fellow workers. While it happened much less than I would have liked, I enjoyed seeing someone develop better work skills. Ironically, when I left they actually split my job into two. Even with the knowledge, my underlings couldn’t seem to pull it off. I think because it took more than just raw skill. I had a good work ethic and I cared about my job and its affect. I did my job and I did it well. I also was fortunate enough to be blessed with being a quick study, especially when I enjoy a subject or skill. I’ve become a bit complacent in that area these days as my life is much more settled. Being on this new project has shown me it’s still there though. I’m already 10 steps ahead of the rest of the group. And that is not a brag at all. They are all intelligent folks.1 On the flip side, it does sometimes cause a little friction. There have already been a few awkward episodes when one or both of the project managers would suddenly come to understand something I’d been saying for days or weeks. The fact I don’t gloat or have attitude about it makes it very easy to get past though.

Back to the point, IMO being irreplaceable is not job security, it is job dependence. Hording knowledge often alienates coworkers, especially if they can tell what you’re doing. And let’s face it, they often can. There is more to securing your place than trying to make yourself the only person who can accomplish a skill or job.

  1. On a side rant, Apple guy excelled at being a quick study as well. He was that much further ahead of me at it. It was one of the qualities I always liked in him. []

Lost

Like a ‘tard, I lost my wallet the other day. Actually, I lost and then found it the next day. By then it was too late as I’d already canceled all my cards.

My buddy Nikitas and I were having a late lunch at Sliberbar, the new restaurant that opened up where Bagdad used to be. I ended up leaving my wallet on the table. We walk out and run into some friends and we spend about 15 minutes chatting before I realize it’s gone. I run back over and look under the table, no luck. I asked our waitress, no luck. I asked for the manager in case someone else had turned it in, no luck. I was so irritated at myself for doing something so colossally stupid. 

Facing the reality it was really gone, I promptly called and canceled all my credit cards. This was the Sunday of the Castro St Fair so I am thinking the worst. Even worse, I immediately blamed this sketchy couple that had been sitting next to us. They came in not long before left and were gone when I came back in. Of course, I assumed they did it.

Fast forward, to the next day. I go by the restaurant again just on a hunch. Sure enough they had my wallet, minus the $20 or so in cash that had been in it. I didn’t’ care about the cash as much as getting my id and miscellaneous cards back. The credit cards were worthless plastic at this point but I still had my zip card, clipper card, work id, laundry card, etc. I would have spent a lot more replacing said cards. I then felt like an ass for incorrectly assuming the couple took it.1  I judged them based on appearance which I should not have done.  And to make matters even more annoying, it was Columbus day,2 which meant all the banks were closed. Oh yes, when I fuck up, I do it right! lol

My credit union doesn’t do temporary cards so I’m in a holding pattern until the new debit card arrives. Not to mention, all of the accounts I had tied to the card that will have to be updated. Lord what a mess. I almost never carry cash on me so everything is tied to my debit card. Don’t even get me started on the several trips back and forth to the bank for cash to cover daily expenses. Naturally, this all occurred while I was on my stay-cation. Needles to say, this put a damper on all the little things I planned to get done.

I know this is a #firstworldproblem and am trying to keep things in perspective. But cheese & crust, what a fucking mess. *kicking myself*

  1. Of course, I don’t really know if they did  or didn’t. []
  2. aka Indigenous people’s day in California []

Sa-kur-atee!

I’ve noticed a huge upswing in attempts to crack the admin account for my blog lately. Way more than usual. Its no secret I monitor my log-in records. Its an easy way to spot people up to no good. I use a legacy hack from an old version of WP. It records your key strokes at log-in, your IP, how many times you fail to log in, etc. If I notice someone with too may attempts they get a friendly email (if I recognize them) or their IP blocked (If I don’t).

I can’t help but wonder if my last post might have spurred them on. hehehe  I keep a pretty good password on my admin account already. Plus, you only get 5 tries before the system blocks you anyway.1  If you can crack it in 5 or less tries, I probably deserve to be hacked.

As an extra precaution, I switched over to a different user account. You probably won’t notice anything different on your end. I figured one extra layer of protection wouldn’t hurt. The administrator account with WordPress comes with a default administrator account and you can’t delete it. That said, there is no reason you have to use it either. You can simply set the password to something incredibly complex and create your own account with admin privileges. Tip: If you use the same plugin mentioned above (or a similar one), incorrectly log into your default admin account until it locks up. Now its permanently locked until you reset your password by email or change it from your newer admin account. Most savvy bloggers do this already.2  I confess after I switched over to my new database last year I never got around to it. I know, BAD MOBY! lol

  1. courtesy of a little plugin called User Locker []
  2. Or they should! []