Two things have happened since I first announced that I was taking a vacation from this blog in mid-June:
I have discovered that I am bone tired, which is not too surprising, since I have kept up such a blistering pace, writing nearly 2,000 blogposts since I started this blog three years ago. I need a longer than expected break to recharge.
I have several heavier-than-usual demands being placed upon me by my full-time librarian job with the University of Manitoba Libraries, which necessitates me working overtime (evenings and weekends) to meet deadlines.
Between these two developments, I have decided to extend my self-imposed vacation from the RyanSchultz.com blog by another month, until the end of August, 2020. I will be back September 1st, 2020.
What that means is, I will only be posting sponsored blogposts for Sinespace and my other clients, plus the occasional exception (particularly if it is a breaking news story). If you are a company interesting in discussing sponsored blogposts for your product or platform, please contact me. My standard rate for sponsored blogposts is US$50 per post. You may also wish to consider purchasing advertising space on my blog, starting as low as US$10 per month for a one-year plan.
You might be interested to learn that my Google AdSense follies have continued (for previous updates, see here, here, here, and here). I have long ago given up on trying to fix blogposts which are flagged by their automated algorithms, and mistakenly determined to be “adult” content.
Well, I recently received an email from Google AdSense, informing me that because of what they politely call “invalid traffic concerns”, they are pulling advertising from my blog.
In the email I received, they say:
We found potentially invalid traffic being used to generate ad revenue on your account. As a reminder, invalid traffic is strictly prohibited by the AdSense Program policies. Clicks on Google ads must result from genuine user interest. Publishers may not ask others to click their ads. This includes asking users to support your site, offering rewards to users for viewing ads, and promising to raise money for third parties for such behavior. Additionally, clicking your own ads, automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software are also prohibited.
We understand that you may want to know more about the activity we’ve detected. Because this information could be used to circumvent our proprietary detection systems, we’re unable to provide our publishers with information about specific account activity, including users that may have been involved.
Their algorithms have decided that there is invalid clicking on their ads;
And no, they can’t give me any more information (trade secrets, yaknow…)
I hereby give up, and I will be removing Google Adsense from my blog this evening. I have had enough of this bullshit. I will stick with WordPress’s own WordAds program.
I have decided that, effective immediately, I will no longer be using this blog as my pandemic diary. While the experiment over the past three weeks has proved interesting, and some people have commented that they liked to see some aspects of the real life of the blogger behind the blog, I also realize that they detract from the main purpose of this blog which is, as the tagline states, “news and views on social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse”.
I will also refrain from writing about the coronavirus pandemic in general, unless it also has something to do with my main focus: social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse.
I will also be taking a few days off from this blog, because I need to take a break.
While I am quite certain that I do not have anywhere near the same amount of traffic as popular, long-established fellow bloggers such as Wagner James Au of New World Notes or Strawberry Singh, my WordPress stats are telling me that I am now consistently getting between 1,100 and 1,300 views per day, which is a significant increase in just the past week. Thank you for your support!
Apparently, a lot of people who are trying to find ways to cope with social isolation policies, lockdowns, and quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic are busy setting up new accounts on Second Life, or dusting off old ones to pay a return visit! Almost all of that new traffic to my blog is Second Life-related, especially my continuing coverage of Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies. And there have certainly been a lot of high-quality freebies that have been given out by various stores during the pandemic, to encourage people to stay home and play Second Life instead of going out! (If you’re looking for one handy summary of my best advice for finding freebies in Second Life, here it is.)
I am endlessly amused that my all-time most popular blogpost of all time is one that is the top Google search result when you search on “vrchat adult” (which, apparently, quite a lot of people do):
I even joined the Second Life Blogger Network, and every so often, Strawberry Linden (formerly SL superblogger Strawberry Singh) kindly spotlights one of my blogposts on the official Second Life Community News feed, thus bringing me even more traffic. (Thank you, Strawberry!)
And (once again), two of my Top Ten posts are about adult content in social VR platforms and virtual worlds: VRChat (#1) and Oasis (#6, which was a sharply critical review of the struggling platform, which I do expect to fold at some point). It would appear that sex sells…or at least, it attracts readers who are searching Google for adult virtual worlds, which is a niche that, as I wrote in another popular blogpost (this link is also safe for work):
I want to make it clear that I am notgoing to get into the habit of covering adult/sex-based virtual worlds. There are literally dozens of them out there, and frankly, I find them boring as hell.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a game-changer, an unprecedented global health crisis that has had completely unanticipated impacts on all kinds of businesses (for good or ill), disrupted all kinds of practices and behaviours, and upended all kinds of conventional wisdom. So, perhaps, adult social VR platforms and virtual worlds will see an increase in usage if people can’t swipe right on Tinder? Who knows what will happen. It will be fascinating to watch.
But no, I still don’t plan to cover adult/sex-based platforms in the same way I write about other niche and more general-purpose social VR platforms and virtual worlds. Despite my very rare past forays into that market on this blog, I will be leaving that field to somebody else to cover. Not my circus, not my monkeys.