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Find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life. 

Harvey MacKay said that.  I don’t know if it was those exact words, but I know I have the correct context. 

I don’t know where I ever heard or read that line for the first time, but since then I’ve been in hot pursuit of the magnum opus of my life which would make me marvel day after day about how some short sighted individual would decide to pay me for what I do.

Certainly I can look back over the years and recall times where I may have came close to nailing it.

Close.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand-grenades, and shit fights. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you about the goings on here at TharpSter.Org.  With exception of TreadMill & The Pit, and the CFO, all members of the Board of Directors reside nearly rent free in my head.  They also have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.  The maintenance crew is there too. 

The editor goes nuts when he sees little red or green squiggly lines under the text that makes its way to the screen via the typist.  The idea man keeps less than traditional hours, and wanders in and out of the office whenever he feels like it.  Even then he shows up at the most inopportune times; like during Game 4 of the World Series or Monday Night Football. 

Bastard. 

The publisher doesn’t seem to mind the psychotic hours, because when the idea man does show up he has a suitcase full of verbal gold which demands to be published to the website as quickly as possible. It’s very rare that an idea lives beyond a few hours without getting published around here.  Otherwise it gets thrown out with the leftover tuna loaf.

Did you notice anything missing from the consortium of phlegmatic malcontents who make the decisions around here?

That’s right.  It’s all me and no one else.

I don’t have anyone looking over my shoulder telling me what I can and cannot write.  I’m solely responsible for the verbal brilliance which draws you here.  If I want to sit here and weave a verbal assault on the way things are, I can.  If I want to write a series of articles about my beloved dogs, I can.  If I want to write a thousand words pondering how many calories the act of flatulence burns, I can. 

I can, and will write about anything I want to.  

Last year when I launched TharpSter.Org, I made the decision to put advertising on the site.  It was nothing major though.  I signed up with Google AdSense to put code in my site that would tailor ads and banners to various words which appeared in the content of my writing.  Any visitors to the site who clicked on those ads would generate a payday for me.  

Over the last 16 months, it’s been interesting to see some of the ads which appeared whenever I post new content.  In the page I wrote about our dog Faith, I referred to her as The TharpSter TreadMill.  Naturally, the ads which appeared were for exercise equipment.  I don’t remember which article generated it, but one showed up recently for a Sharia dating site.  The only rule I really need to watch out for was to not take steps to manipulate the ad clicks.  That means I couldn’t encourage the reader to click the ads.

One of the other rules was that I had to keep the content relatively clean, and avoid posting material of an adult nature.

No problem.  I don’t consider myself as an author in such a venue anyway.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I received the following note from Google about my AdSense account:

While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as http://tharpster.org/. Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website.

 

The note went on to advise me the ads on my site had been disabled due to unacceptable content which could very well fall under any of the following categories:

    * Lewd or provocative images

    * Crude or indecent language, including adult stories

    * Sexual tips or advice

    * Sexual fetish sites (e.g. foot fetish content)

    * Adult toys or products

    * Ads or links to external sites containing adult content

    * Adult links and/or adult keywords within the meta data in the source code of your site

 

Okay.

My blog is salted with plenty of colorful imagery, however I never considered any of it on the level of unacceptable in the eyes of Google.

I followed up with a note back to Google asking for specific examples of the unacceptable content, and they have yet to nut up and respond to my request.  If you take a look at the bottom right hand and top left hand corners of this page, you’ll see boxes where advertising used to appear.  

It’s not like the advertising was doing anything for the website anyway.  At last check, it’s generated a whole $4.99 in lifetime revenue for yours truly.  In today’s uncertain economic times, I could take that money and add a whole bunch more to it to go buy something nice for myself.

At the same time, the management of the theme isn’t going so well.  Its author recently upgraded it and as a result, I’m unable to generate some of the same features I could last year.  Naturally, I could do so if I wanted to cough up the dough to buy the professional version of it.  Let me assure you my Google AdSense revenue won’t cover it.

So here’s the deal.

The advertising is gone and the theme is on its way to being changed.  If there’s anything I’ve learned in this ordeal, it’s the fact that the one thing that brings readers here has nothing to do with the advertising or the theme.  

Look for some aesthetic changes in the coming months here people.  The content will remain the same.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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