I bought a small job lot of old inkwells a few years ago. I stuck feathers in them and photographed them. I may get some more feathers and try again.
Do You Jetpack?
Did you get an email from Jetpack? You probably will have done if you have any self-hosted WordPress sites with Jetpack installed.
Jetpack is a plugin made by Automattic (the commercial arm of WordPress). It’s for self-hosted WordPress sites and it gives you:
- Site stats & analytics
- Automatic social network sharing
- Related posts to keep visitors on your site longer
- Enhanced distribution on WordPress.com
- Protection from brute force attacks
- 24/7 Uptime monitoring
- Single sign-on
- Automatic plugin updates
- Centralized, cross-platform dashboard
- Bulk installation & management of plugins
- Automatic plugin updates
- Streamlined content editor
- High-speed content delivery network for images
- Easy CSS editing
- Contact forms
- Custom image galleries
I have self-hosted sites with Jetpack installed and the main reason is for the nice Contact form and the social media sharing buttons built into the plugin.
The section in the email that interested me, was this:
Jetpack Ads is instantly available to all users who have purchased the Jetpack Premium plan — no approval process required. Once you’ve purchased the plan, activate the feature in the Engagement tab within Jetpack. You’ll start seeing ads on your site right away, and can tweak ad placement settings and view your earnings on WordPress.com.
It is interesting that as a website owner, Jetpack and WordAds doesn’t require that you have a certain minimum number of monthly visitors.
Nor does it require that your Alexa, or Klout, or Kred ranking are high, or that your content is high quality and not just ‘thin and spammy’.
Just pay for premium Jetpack and you are good to go.
And I am somewhat surprised at that because hitherto I have had the impression that WordPress is to some extent a gatekeeper of quality.
So what does Jetpack Premium ($9/month or just $99/year) give you? It gives you:
- Automated, daily backups with one-click restores
- Bulletproof spam filtering by Akismet
- Daily, automated malware scanning
- Dedicated priority security support
If you are running a self-hosted WordPress site, many web hosts offer backups and one-click restore. There are also a number of plugins that will backup your site off-site, such as to Dropbox.
Spam filtering by Akismet is free provided you are not monetising your site. So blogs get Akismet for free anyway. I guess that running WordAds implies the site is being monetised even if there is no other commercial aspect to the site – and so the spam filtering is justifiably described as a benefit.
Malware scanning is great, but preventing malware is better. Wordfence has a free version that gets good plaudits.
I can’t comment on dedicated security support as I don’t know what it entails or offers.
What is the competition – Google’s Adsense, of course. So this is a direct competitor to Google. Is it better?
What does ‘better’ mean?
For me it means this: Does it pay better and are the advertisements of higher quality? If the advertisements that appear on this WordPress.com site are anything to go by, I wouldn’t say so. I wrote about that a while ago under the title ‘Why, Dear WordPress, Oh Why?‘
I opened another browser to look at this site without me being logged in and currently I see advertisements for Expedia (a travel site), Very (a fashion outlet) and for something that I don’t want on my site because I strongly oppose the internet gambling laws in the UK. Here is a screen grab of the advertisement.
Unlike some countries that keep a tight rein on online gambling the UK is full of advertisements for it on TV and it is a huge industry.
Meanwhile, household debt (credit card and loans) in the UK has gone through the roof. The average household debt excluding mortgage obligations is over £7,000.
I used to pay to not have Ads on this site. I stopped paying because I thought ‘Why am I doing this?’ – but now I figure that on next renewal I will pay just to keep gambling ads off the site.
In This Most Uncertain Of Times
This is a bit of a mishmash of a post, so forgive me if I wander into a different territory here.
Tamara and I have just been talking about the current state of the world – and this that follows touches on some of the things that we have been talking about.
The quote is from Isaiah Berlin’s 1957 Herbert Samuel lecture on Chaim Weizman, in which Berlin said:
Weizman had all his life believed that when great public issues are joined one must above all take sides; whatever one did, one must not remain neutral or uncommitted, one must always – as an absolute duty – identify oneself with some living force in the world, and take part in the world’s affairs with all the risk of blame and misrepresentation and misunderstanding of one’s motives and character which this almost invariably entails.
Consequently .. he (Weizman) called for no compromise, and denounced those who did. He regarded with contempt the withdrawal from life on the part of those to whom their personal integrity, or peace of mind, or purity of ideal, mattered more than the work upon which they are engaged and to which they were engaged and to which they were committed, the artistic, or scientific, or social, or political, or purely personal enterprises in which all men are willy-nilly involved.
He did not condone the abandonment of ultimate principles before the claims of expediency or of anything else; but political monasticism – a search for some private cave of Adullam to avoid being disappointed or tarnished, the taking up of consciously utopian or politically impossible positions, in order to remain true to some inner voice, or some unbreakable principle too pure for the wicked public world – that seemed to him a mixture of weakness and self-conceit, foolish and despicable.
The inkwell and the feather is brilliant. Love it! I’ve tried to take photos of ink bottles in a way to show the colours [with daylight coming in from behind somehow]. So far, I haven’t had any success 🙂
I don’t care for self-hosted/JetPack anymore. I think I’ve lost it — no longer feel that urge to mess with CSS, plugins and all that. Could be a temporary thing … knowing myself, it probably is. I will somehow move the fountain pen blog to regular WordPress dot com. Something has been wrong with it all the time (this must be something on the server side, not JetPack), and I don’t have the energy to deal with that now.
Needless to say, we’ve been talking a lot along the same lines here, regarding the last part of your post.
I just looked for HerNibs and it isn’t coming up – just a ‘403 forbidden’. Did you take it offline?
I wonder how one would move a site from self-hosted to WP.com? I guess copy and paste is one way.
Yes, I’m going to move it to a free account … somehow 🙂
Is it possible to use the export/import feature in Tools to do it? That said, I have used the tool to move an install from one self-hosted site to another and it is has always been a mess.
The pictures … that’s what always gets screwed up. Not going to do it tonight…
… so right now it’s http://nibsmeow.wordpress.com
I will have the domain mapped there later on. I think I want to keep it … for now.
Domain mapping – good thought!
Thank you for this interesting information-packed post! I didn’t realise Jetpack has this option for self-hosted sites, so good to know, though I don’t think I’ll be using it for any of my sites.
I wish I had a blog that had the readership numbers that would justify paying the monthly fee 🙂
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