Friday, February 6, 2015

Fiddling With Social Media

A blog is obviously a form of social media. When I started the blog I did it mostly as a means to explain this crazy idea of sailing away to my relatives and to augment my own memory.  But, since that time it has taken on a bit of a life of it's own. I've met a lot of nice people, made virtual friends with more, and it has become a good place to share ideas and experiences about the act of becoming a cruiser.  So part of today was spent looking with ways to enhance the blog and related social media.

I've had a personal Facebook account for some time, originally created when I needed one for a job. I've ocassionally put up links to my blogs there, but it has been a limited thing. Today I decided to create a Facebook page for This Rat Sailed.

I also signed up for an account with If This Then That. This is a service that allows you to create rules to cross post things between various social media outlets.  If it works, this post should automatically show up on the Facebook page. While I am going to try to keep up the near daily blog posts, I'm also going to make an effort to periodically add to the Facebook page as well.  Guess we will see how it goes.

Something else I've been mentally wrestling with for some time regarding the blog is if I should include advertisements.  One side of me feels like this would be "selling out", but the truth is that I spend a fair amount of time writing on the blog (I think the average amount of time I spend on a post is at least a couple hours).  So (just as TV uses advertisements to keep the lights on) if I can manage to get paid enough for a rare cup of coffee to offset the late nights writing, it seemed worth investigating.

I signed up for Google AdSense since it is integrated with blogger. Right now my account is "pending" so I don't know exactly how any of this will work.  Over the next few days or weeks, you may see me playing with the configuration. I'm going to try and make it as unobtrusive as possible and hopefully I'll get some ability to control what is being advertised.  Only time will tell.

I also looked into the idea of becoming an Amazon affiliate.  This would give me the option of showing products and services that I like, trust, and use.  A preferred option to somewhat random ads on my blog. Unfortunately, it seems Colorado (I am still technically a resident there) has a screwy law that keeps Amazon from offering their associate program in Colorado and a few other states.  So much for the better of the options.

So, bear with me as I play around with this stuff.  Hope you like the Facebook page.  Let me know if you find any of the ads annoying or problematic.  And, if you want to help keep me caffeinated and find an interesting ad, give it a click.


  1. I was a little POd about the whole Amazon affiliate because Missouri was also one of those states that doesn't allow the affiliate program and I was making a bit of change here and there on it. Social media is a mixed blessing for cruisers. In order for it to be effective you have to keep it updated and when cruising that is usually hard to do.

    S/V Kintala

    1. Yeah, I know it won't be easy, but I'll see how it goes. If it works out OK, cool. If not, well, no real loss.