Well here we are with a new year and a new resolution to try and vary these postings so that not all of them seem to be endlessly droning on about some long-dead fifteenth cousin twice removed. Fascinating as I find the adventures of Kate Kellam and WH Usher, I concede that not everyone shares my strange interest. So this year I will try to cast my inter-net a little wider and provide readers with a broad church of memories, comments, chance discoveries and shameless opinions.
And talking of opinions ..... You may recall that at some point last year I set up an experiment to see how feasible it would be to make money out of the Internet. I launched three projects, each designed to make me into a dot-com millionaire. First, I set up my own Amazon bookshop so that I could earn money from all the books I bought and persuaded others to buy. Secondly I introduced advertising onto my various blogs so that I would receive a payment every time a visitor clicked on one of the many hyperlinks. And third, I enrolled with YouGov to fill-in fascinating on-line opinion surveys. I said I would let the projects run until the end of the year and then see which had been the most successful. Here then, are the results.
Amazon.co.uk Shop : The shop started brightly but soon became too much of a burden. Thus the stock was hardly ever changed and remains an eclectic mixture of curious books, plastic sandals, and satnav equipment. I must confess I abandoned hope for the Amazon project when I discovered that I did not receive commission on my own purchases. It is therefore no great surprise that I have to announce that the total earnings for this project for 2008 were £1.97p
YouGov : With YouGov you fill in opinion surveys and get paid for doing so. The payment is never very great (about 50p or 75p) and you don't get paid for all the surveys you fill in. The up-side of the project is that this is a genuine opinion survey from a respected organisation and not a means by which some firm can pester you to sell you double-glazing. The down-side is that it can be monumentally boring. Over the last twelve months I seem to have endlessly reported that I wouldn't buy a second-hand Sim card from Carphone Warehouse but with an endearing optimism they keep on asking me my opinion of the firm. However, YouGov has been a big earner, bringing in during 2008 the magnificent sum of £7.75p
Adsense : Google's Adsense service is delightfully easy to set-up and operate. Once you have incorporated the widget on your blog or webpage you just sit back and watch the money roll in. You have little choice over which adverts appear on your page but Google is a sensible company and you are spared the more embarrassing end of the spectrum. Indeed, it has become a favourite hobby of mine to see what adverts are connected up with whatever subject I am rattling on about. Interesting as it is, it has not been a massive money-earner. In 2008, clickers have earned me $2.34c and even if the exchange rate was to continue to collapse, this is never going to come within clicking distance of YouGov.
Therefore, quite clearly, YouGov has been the winner. I am actively looking for candidates for a second-round of this competition and any suggestions will be gratefully received. In the meantime, all I can say is that opinions do count after all ..... but only £7.75p's worth.