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Thripp 2010 Postmortem

When I launched my 20-week Thripp 2010 project on 2010-08-15, I set goals that were way too lofty and I didn’t reach many of them. I did post 80 new photos on this site, 40 on Thripp.com, a few new piano compositions, and 55 comics, but my original goals were much higher. Also, my Alexa rank plummeted from 60K to 90K when I wanted to increase it to 40K. I don’t know why my traffic is declining so much, but I must assume it is because I haven’t been writing any hard-hitting articles. Also, I haven’t released a new version of Tweet This in over 2 months, though I am keeping up with all support requests. Next time, I will set my sights lower.

My three goals were:

1. Get 50,000 absolute unique visitors in total for the three sites (track with Google Analytics).
2. Earn $2000 in Google AdSense revenues (including other sites such as Th8.us).
3. Increase the Alexa ranking of Thripp.com to 40,000.

I met only the first two, and #2 won’t even be confirmed until Google pays me my final payment after having my original account banned for undisclosed policy violations. Fortunately, it wasn’t click fraud, so they let me make a new account, but the $570 Google owes me won’t be paid out until Feb. 10, if at all. Google is very good at holding grudges and cutting off communications. No one will answer my phone calls or emails.

Amazon.com owes me about $720 in affiliate commissions for Nov. and Dec. 2010, but they use a net-60 payment schedule so I won’t be paid for those months until Jan. 30 and Feb. 28, 2011, approximately. Provided the $1290 comes in, I beat $2000 easily, thanks to other advertising and some generous donations.

For #1, Google Analytics reports 77,613 “Absolute Unique Visitors” for the period from Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, 2010 on the richardxthripp.thripp.com domain ONLY. Counting my other domains and web properties, I got 100K visitors easily. This goal was a breeze.

For #3, my Alexa rank and traffic is way down now. Normally, I get 20K visitors a month, but in the past month I have only gotten 15K. I am going to work on Tweet This and get a new version out this month, which should prevent Thripp.com’s Alexa rank from falling above 100K. As I wrote in Consolidation, ComposersJourney.com and Iseeafish.com are going to be consolidated under the Thripp.com domain, though I have now decided they will be separate sites. My current plan is to move them to music.thripp.com and comic.thripp.com sometime in February. My URL shortener Th8.us actually has a higher Alexa rank at 82K now, but I will not be moving it under the Thripp.com umbrella because the whole point of a URL shortener is to have a very short domain. Thripp.com is 10 characters — Th8.us is only 6. I do feel quite lucky to have a one-syllable pronounceable root domain that is as short as google.com and shorter than facebook.com by 2 characters, and it has the added benefit of being my legal last name and the last name of at least 200 people in the U.K. and Australia.

On a personal note, my life has been very busy lately. I’ve had my driver’s license for 6 weeks now and have been going out at least 4 days a week, either to college, grocery shopping, the bank, running errands, and even a night club. I have been hired by Daytona State College to be a math, science, and English tutor at the Academic Support Center at building 500 for 11 hours a week starting Thursday, Jan. 20, so I am getting ready for that. I won a generous scholarship from the Dana Rodman Tiffany Scholarship Fund, and I am graduating with my A.A. in Elementary Education this semester and am laying the groundwork to go into Daytona State’s B.S. program in the same major, having fully committed to not pursuing a degree in Computer Science. I still love PHP, MySQL, HTML, and CSS, but I don’t have the patience for C++, Java, algorithms, theories, and all that jazz.

I have founded my own micronation called the Thripp Republic, and though it has no officers or citizens yet, I have my own currency of which I have given away 1385 one dollar bills so far, and I am fully capable of running this entire operation myself. The Thripp Dollar is worth only 1/5000 troy oz. silver, so $1385 THR is only $7.95 USD, seeing that the spot price of silver closed at $28.69 an ounce on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011. I think it will go up next week. I’m proud of my work on the Thripp Constitution and Thripp Bank.

While I spent the first half of 2010 depressed and not accomplishing anything, 2011 is going to be completely different. I’m not going to be working at a blazing pace, but I will be persistent and will likely achieve world fame by the end of the year. I am going to be leaving for China and California all summer (May – Aug.) and may go to Puerto Rico for spring break, so I’m not going to launch more projects until the fall. However, I will be working on photography and writing, and I will probably produce more output in the first four months of 2011 than I did in all of 2010.

I want to work on myself a lot this year, including my mind, body, and spirit. I have lost several key friends recently by violating their trust, and I must be careful and show more respect in the future. While I still consider myself a very public person, other people cherish a high degree of privacy and I must respect that. Similarly, large corporations such as Google, Facebook, and the U.S. government should do the same with their denizens, though they usually don’t care at all, unfortunately.

This week, my Dad turns 50. It’s quite a milestone, and I hope he doesn’t feel old. I have a nice card for him that my Grandma gave me to give him for his 49th birthday, but I forgot last year. The march of time never stops… sometimes I even feel old at 19.

I’m learning the viola. It’s not much different from the violin, but the finger spacing and strings are different, and the instrument is larger and deeper. I got a saxophone, but need to get someone to look at it because it sounds awful. I’ve had a cold for the past 10 days which is lingering in my chest, so wind instruments have been off-limits for over a week.

I am looking forward to what the universe brings me in 2011, though I know it won’t all be positive.

Welcome to the Thripp Republic

The Thripp Republic is a new micronation founded by Richard X. Thripp on Jan. 3, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida with its own constitution and currency (the Thripp Dollar). In the future, there will be a Senate, Supreme Court, citizenship applications and benefits, free markets, and other fun yet serious things.

The Thripp Dollar is backprinted on 4×6 prints of artistic photographs by Richard X. Thripp. Currently, over 8000 one dollar notes have been printed and are generally distributed by Richard X. Thripp himself to students and faculty at Daytona State College.

The Thripp Dollar is worth 1/5000 troy oz. silver. This means that as of Jan. 3, 2011, one U.S. Dollar is equal to about 160 Thripp Dollars.

For more information, please visit the website I have set up at gov.thripp.com. :smile:

Consolidation

I’ve decided I’m going to consolidate my other websites, thripp.com/blog, composersjourney.com, and iseeafish.com under the richardxthripp.thripp.com domain. Nobody goes to them anyway… they don’t have the PageRank to rank high in Google’s search results… this site does, so why should I try to fight Google?

It’s really better to have all your sites under one domain anyway. I’m not going to merge daytonastate.org, since its value lies largely in the domain itself (similar to daytonastate.edu), but my other websites will be consolidated here including previous content over the next few months… I might even sell off the domains! But probably not.

On a sad note, today my half-sister Anna would be 11 years old. I only met her once, and she passed away in an accident at six months. She died on Father’s Day… 1999-12-16 / 2000-06-17 never forget.

I’ve been having a lot of fun tutoring and meeting people at Daytona State College even though my classes ended Oct. 22, 2010 since I took Fall A classes. Next semester I want to be a tutor at the Academic Support Center or Student Disability Services for math and English… should be fun and help me to relate to people.

I met Trina Chakravarty at Rotary Int’l. last week. She was Miss India USA 2005 and Miss India Worldwide 2006, she’s going to be an M.D. (medical doctor) next year at 24, and she even writes a blog! So amazing…

Richard X. Thripp, Trina Chakravarty

I have been slacking posting newly re-edited photos here, but I’ll have some this weekend.

Finally, I have decided to disable Infolinks on my sites. Infolinks is an ad network that double-underlines words on your site with ads. They are just too annoying, and they make next to nothing anyway… $0.10 a day tops. Google AdSense, AdBrite, and Amazon Associates create more revenue … even Chitika does.

Enjoy the cold weather while it lasts. :)

Updated 2010-12-20: I’ve re-enabled Infolinks after being contacted by the Infolinks team… Tanya W. is working to improve my revenue which so far has been only $1.99 for 51 clicks and over 16,000 impressions in 21 days… we will see how this goes.

Virtual Thripp.com Subdomains

I’ve set up some virtual Thripp.com subdomains for pages on richardxthripp.thripp.com that used to subdirectories. All the old URLs 301 to these new URLs. Check out the first batch of subdomains:

about.thripp.com
contact.thripp.com
domains.thripp.com
index.thripp.com
gallery.thripp.com
portfolio.thripp.com
portraits.thripp.com

All of these are for me only and are completely part of richardxthripp.thripp.com. In 2008, I intended Thripp.com to be a social network built on WordPress MU with subdomains for each user, but that never worked out so I feel comfortable owning the *.thripp.com namespace for my own projects now. I will never be changing the URL of this blog from richardxthripp.thripp.com since it’s been that way for so long, though.

This was actually very hard to implement. I’m using WordPress MU 2.7 and the WP Subdomains plugin, but I had to do hacking on both and I can’t get any subdirectories on these virtual subdomains to work so I have to use query strings. For example, gallery.thripp.com is paginated so page 2 is gallery.thripp.com/?page=2/ because I couldn’t get gallery.thripp.com/2/ to work. However, I’m glad I set this up since I will be using Thripp.com subdomains for many pages and ad campaigns in the months to come.

Switched to AdBrite

I’ve switched all ads on most of my websites to AdBrite, which is similar to Google AdSense but does not ban people so easily. I received a $5.73 check for my AdBrite earnings from July 2010, but switched back to AdSense to make more money. Now that I’m banned from AdSense, there’s really no reason not to use AdBrite. I hope this program becomes as good as Google AdSense, but I am expecting a huge decline in income.

This is definitely a wake-up call for me. It’s never good to invest yourself too heavily in one company. It’s like I’ve lost my job. I was making over $400 a month from Google’s program as an independent contractor. Now, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have basically said “YOU’RE FIRED,” and they don’t even want to pay my back wages!

UPDATED 2010-11-22 05:45 GMT: I have been restored to the Google AdSense program, but I can no longer display ads on other peoples websites. This will reduce my income by 75%, but AdSense still generates more revenue than any other program, so I’ve stopped using AdBrite, which only generated about $1.00 per day.

Banned from Google AdSense

30 minutes ago, I received this email from Google AdSense:

Hello,

We continually review all publishers according to our Terms and Conditions and program policies, and we reserve the right to disable publishers or sites that are not in compliance with our policies.

Our specialists have found that your account is not in compliance with these program policies. As a result, we have disabled your account.

Google has certain policies in place that we believe will help ensure the effectiveness of Google ads for our publishers as well as our advertisers. We believe strongly in freedom of expression and therefore
offer broad access to content across the web without censoring results. At the same time, we reserve the right to exercise editorial discretion when it comes to the ads we display in our AdWords program and the sites on which we choose to display them in our AdSense program, as noted in our respective Terms and Conditions.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

I immediately filled out an appeal, but I don’t even know why I was banned. The email doesn’t say. Is Google trying to cheat me out of the $570 they owe me? I earned $430 last month and $140 this month I have not yet received, and my AdSense account says they are not going to pay me until “issues” with my account are resolved. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN???

If you use my Tweet This plugin, DO NOT enable “Insert Google AdSense ads to support Tweet This” anymore. Unless my account is restored, Google will just keep the money. It won’t help me at all.

UPDATED 2010-11-11 20:45 GMT: Here are some details of my AdSense usage I posted on this forum:

I’ve been doing the same thing for the past 8 months and receiving Google checks every month, so it’s really surprising that they would ban me now considering I haven’t changed anything!

I display ads on my personal website. I also run a URL shortener called Th8.us and I display Google AdSense in an iFrame above the redirect page with a link to hide the ads. The service has over 21 million short URLs and makes about $150 per month from AdSense. I got the idea from About.com which does the same thing using Google AdSense ads.

I develop a WordPress plugin called Tweet This which includes the option “Insert Google AdSense ads to support Tweet This.” If checked, this inserts ads with my publisher ID on the plugin user’s blog. Last month, this made $143.

However, I have been doing both of these things for a long time. Tweet This has had the AdSense option since Feb. 2009, and it hasn’t changed a bit. Why would they ban me now?

UPDATED 2010-11-22 05:45 GMT: I have been restored to the Google AdSense program, but I can no longer display ads on other peoples websites. This will reduce my income by 75%, but AdSense still generates more revenue than any other program.

The New Thripp.com

I’ve been absent from blogging lately, but the past two days I’ve been working on programming the new Thripp.com, a photography community. You can sign up there and upload your best photos to a gallery so other members can comment on them. The new Thripp.com replaces the old WordPress MU blogging service, and I deleted all the blogs and accounts I deemed as spam. The old Thripp.com (this) is closed to new registrations, and the 80 blogs it has will remain in place.

I posted 34 photos to Thripp.com. You can comment on them and other users’ profiles, there’s a page that shows all the comments you’ve received, and you can choose your own display name. Please sign up and post your best photos.

New Thripp.com

New Thripp.com

New Thripp.com

Money and Love

What I made online, 2008-08

Just wanted to give you a little hint for how my websites did last month. My goal is $1 per day, and while I didn’t hit that every day last month, the overall total was $56.41, or $1.80 per day.

I can see I’m making a bigger impact on the world. In July, I made $20, so my income basically tripled last month. You can’t get that kind of raise with a regular job.

$53.73 was from Google AdSense; $2.68 was from this blog’s Amazon Associates commissions.

Of the $53.73, $1.54 came from Brilliant Photography and Personal Development by Richard X. Thripp. Th8.us made $2.30, DaytonaState.org made $42.63, and the Thripp.com users made me $7.26. Our hosting / domains bill is $15 per month, so I’m more than covered.

DaytonaState.org is targeted. A lot of people come from Google looking for information on enrolling in colleges, so the information appeals to them. On the other hand, Thripp.com is black-listed by Google, so this blog and others appear low in the search results. I haven’t done much marketing either, instead focusing on writing and producing new works of art, so that explains the low turnout. But in the long run, the richardxthripp.thripp.com is where the action is going to be.

If I was still working at the library, I would have made ten times more. But last month, I did no work. Even though I exhausted far more time and energy here, the energy comes back twofold. This simply isn’t a job at all to me.

When you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t matter how much time you “spend” or how much money you make. (You’re not really spending time; you’re saving it.) You’ll do it anyway, because it’s what you do. If you’re looking for something to love, photography is a good place to start, even as a freelancer. I wouldn’t do it myself; I’d prefer writing articles for free and making money indirectly. But every person enjoys different methods.

Also: when you love playing with LEGOs or battling in World of Warcraft, it still doesn’t matter, but the problem is you’re not helping anyone else. You think you’re doing what you love, but you just haven’t found what you truly love. When you combine ambition with a purpose that really makes an impact on people around you, you’ll find something you love far more than child’s play. It’s still play, but it’s play taken to the next level. You character has just reached level 100. He’s replaced hit points with love points.

The Big Switch

I’ve been away for two days working on technical issues instead of photography. The big one is that I’ve changed from richardxthripp.com to Thripp.com for myself and my users. A lot of work, but worth it because it’s so short. Read more about it here. I’d been posting to Twitter about it, right after I discovered that Thripp.com had become available, yesterday.

Expect some more photography tomorrow. The new address is richardxthripp.thripp.com, but richardxthripp.com/richardxthripp, richardxthripp.richardxthripp.com, and rxthripp.com, and subdirectories of them will continue to work forever. My email is now richardxthripp@thripp.com, but richardxthripp@gmail.com and richardxthripp@richardxthripp.com will also continue forwarding. Since the RSS feed address changed, Feedburner sent old posts to all my email subscribers. Sorry about that! It only happens once.

I updated the banner at the top so it says Thripp.com now. I’m here to stay! :cool:

My photos on the HTTP 500 Internal Server error page

I made a custom Internal Server Error page for the Thripp.com network, with all the photos from my portfolio. Error pages are fun again. :smile:

I put a lot of ads there too, so I can monetize the outages. Plus, the links are to the photos on my jpgmag.com gallery, and all the thumbnails are on Photobucket, so the page is light-weight, won’t chew up bandwidth, and makes my photos accessible when the database is down. It’s only 10KB!

I posted this to digg too:

Check out this HTTP 500 page; instead of being rudely interrupted with a cryptic error message and an accusation that you broke the server, on Thripp.com, you’re greeted by beautiful photography (and plenty of ads to boot).

Enjoy. :cool:

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