A word about sponsors

If you’ve visited my site in the past couple of weeks rather than reading through RSS, you’ve noticed both a change in the layout and the inclusion of ads. And you’ve probably guessed that they’re not unrelated.

I’ve wanted to increase the width of the sidebar for some time but didn’t do it because people with a narrow screen (like me when I was still using an iBook G4), a Dock on the side (again, like me), and a large default font to compensate for poor eyesight (yes, 18 point) couldn’t fit the whole blog width into a window. Now that 1024-pixel wide screens are so out of date that even I don’t have one, it seemed reasonable to give the sidebar a bit more room.1

Coincident with this, the uptime problems I’ve been having have forced me to think about moving to a new web host with, possibly, a more expensive service. This blog costs very little to run, but if that changes it’d be nice to have a little income to offset the increase. Hence the experiments with ads.

And “experiments” is the right word. I’ve been trying different sizes and positions to see what looks decent and what I just can’t bear. If you visit the site regularly, you’ve probably seen a half-dozen changes since the beginning of the month. I’m still not sure what I like or even if the ads will stay.

Unsurprisingly, Apple’s ads are among the best looking and gather the most clicks from my readers. What’s annoying about Apple’s ads, though, is that there’s no built-in provision for rotating the subject matter. If you include Apple’s code for a banner ad, it’ll show only one ad until you go in and change the code. I managed to get around this by making a JavaScript function that picks randomly from an array of 10-20 banners, but even that’s a pain in the ass because I’m sure I’ll want to change those 10-20 periodically. I can’t understand why Apple doesn’t provide backend code that does that automatically.

Anyway, thanks for not complaining about the ever-changing layout. It’ll probably keep changing for a while.

  1. I haven’t increased the width of the content area, because long lines of text are bad for readability. I like to keep lines in the content area 10-15 words long.