So I Started Playing Ingress

I make some strange decisions.

Lately I’ve been trying to re-evaluate some things in my life. What I want out of it. How to get my finances straightened out while handling my (currently) 68 hour workweek. Dealing with the ever present depression and hopelessness of it all.

An anime adaptation of a mobile game got me to try said mobile game again, and I’m not doing too horribly considering.

5/5/2019

Probably could do better. Probably will. This is something I intend to do rather casually, possibly meeting people as I go on. In a perfect world, this would be a solid excuse to get out of the house.

I’ve admittedly only seen a couple of episodes of the show. It is surprisingly dry, suffering less from being an adaptation of a mobile game that takes a few liberties with its source material and more from its attempt to sell viewers of the show on the drama of the in-game events themselves. The game involves two separate factions working against each other to tag “portals” (real life places of interests that can be claimed within the game map) and take over territory yet together on certain world events; the anime by comparison uses those same mechanics to have an overarching storyline about a kid detective who can see the pasts of people by touching them and an amnesiac scientist looking to discredit the scientific institute she used to work for. As my mother would say, “it is definitely a thing.”

I genuinely did not think this game was still so popular. In fact, I did not think it was very popular at all in the United States. The trailer to the show claims over 25 million players, but Wikipedia claims the game has only been downloaded around 20 Million times… and that’s downloads, not active players. One unofficial source places the number of active players at approximately 800,000. Still, that’s more popular than I anticipated. A cursory look suggests that the regional scene I am near has a few dozen players, some of which being more active than others.

I’m far too busy to keep a lot of this up, but it’s an interesting diversion at least. Just need to make sure I’m not playing while driving. That won’t end well, for obvious reasons.

The Monetization of This Blog (Or, I’m Writing; Might as Well Get Paid)

For the longest time, this blog has been associated with a Google Adsense account. It displays advertisements quite innocuously in the upper right. Many of you don’t even notice because you have adblocker turned on. Many still don’t notice because they don’t visit this blog. Interestingly, the Adsense option may not be the best. I chose it back when I was earning a couple of dollars every month with my Youtube channel. Now, with Youtube expecting an individual to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time, this “bundled option” seems like it makes less sense. For perspective, if I took the time to make a ten minute video every week, each video would need about 4500 views and have to be watched from beginning to end in order to then qualify for the Youtube Partner program. Then I’d have to hope my content didn’t raise any red flags. It’s a lot of work for what would earn, roughly speaking, $4 to $6 a week (given the above assumption of 4500 views a video, and this blog entry by Bill Roberts. ) I’d argue Bill’s math checks out: my most popular video of all time, “Brave Frontier – Easter Event 2017 – Autonomous Cotton Fight has just over 3,600 views and according to Youtube’s metrics earned me about $2.53. Not bad for something I was doing because I enjoyed it, but not anything I could reliably do to make a living.

Thanks to the encouragement of Flav Medeiros (whose Facebook group you should already be a member of!) I have taken the steps to become an Amazon affiliate. This is an interesting turn, because I’ll need to make sure this blog is up to date on the proper disclaimers and such. In most nations, you can’t simply say “here is a link to buy a thing” without disclosing “I might get a kickback if you buy the thing” unless you want to break a few laws. I would rather not explain to my prison mate that I’m doing hard time because I upset the FTC, please and thank you.

This is ultimately a step in the direction of treating this blog more seriously, keeping myself in the routine of writing, and hopefully also bringing in residual income (who doesn’t like that?)

Refocusing on This Blog, It’s Purpose, And It’s Future Direction

In Fall of 2015 I created this blog with the purpose of learning how WordPress worked, from the back end and as a user. WordPress to me seemed like it would be the future of content, a future once envisioned in the days of RSS feeds and personal webspaces, brought anew by the rigid policies and content curating of companies like Facebook and Tumblr. The ease of creators and small businesses of using WordPress as a business front didn’t hurt this belief.

As you can tell from my very sporadic updates, this is a project that has for the most part fallen to the wayside. My life switched directions, with me taking a job that requires me to work 12 hour shifts 6 days a week, my refocusing on the health of my family, and trying to get any sort of sleep in between everything that needs to be done.

Lately I’ve decided to put more focus on this blog. Part of this is because it has the best domain name ever, bar none. (I choose it back when I had grand visions of using it for a link shortener. No one uses this anymore; not even me!) Another part of this is a Facebook group I follow, Flav Medeiros’s Side Business Ideas Facebook group, is hosting a 6 week blogging challenge and I am leaning on this man’s business knowledge and blogging history to learn everything I can from it. I personally don’t see this blog as the sort of place people go for anything particular, because this blog’s dedicated niche is me, the user. I share what I feel is interesting, and those things can be very schizophrenic. The upside of this is that it’s my blog and content. The downside is there’s not really a dedicated user for this content, outside of perhaps friends and perhaps those that view this website’s URL from other services I share.

This challenge comes at an interesting time in my life. At 36 years of age, I am starting to put a lot more thought into who I am as an individual and a member of my local and worldwide community. It also comes at a time when I am severely questioning and challenging my use of a lot of social media. As an example, I recently locked 9 years of Facebook posts so that only I could reference them (although I still use the Messenger, and participate in a couple of closed groups.) If ever there was a time to consider a blogging challenge, and to force myself to write in general, now is this time. Plus, always great to have another excuse to neglect my Youtube channel.

I’m not sure where this will go in 6 week’s time, or after. I am taking this course seriously, and in just one week feel that the course is already on its way to encouraging me to at least update this thing on a weekly basis. I will be looking at some things that have been concerns for me for a while as well, such as how this WordPress theme presents itself on most mobile devices (easy to read but hard to interact with) and how it integrates keywords, links, and media. I may also be moving away from the Adsense advertisements (which I chose because they linked well with the Youtube revenue I used to get two years ago) towards other more viable options. Time will tell!

Is It Too Late For New Game Plus?

I have started a new job as a factory worker for an aluminum die plant. It is long hours for average pay but the overtime works out to me working two jobs and this job gives me a chance to prove I can do something different. A lack of sleep is now an even greater problem. I worry for my children’s safety. Especially in the mornings when I drive them with me. These kids aren’t old enough to trust to be on their own either. The truth is I am exhausted all the time and it is a miracle I can even function. I am a god damned wizard on caffeine summoning the ability to care and function out of an increasingly dry well. Go me.