Emptying out the mailbag & clearing the history #15

Posted on August 29, 2016

(Last Updated On: August 29, 2016)

Other mailbags can be found hereKeep in mind a lot of this is email conversations, comment replies, or some random interesting things I’ve found. By their nature they are not as thorough or complete as a post on one topic.

Here’s what’s covered in this installment:

What one million views online gets you in advertising revenue (not much)

Mother Jones wrote a piece on private prisons that was,

“35,000 words long, or 5 to 10 times the length of a typical feature, plus charts, graphs, and companion pieces, not to mention six videos and a radio documentary.

It was also big in impact. More than a million people read it, defying everything we’re told about the attention span of online audiences; tens of thousands shared it on social media. The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR’s Weekend Edition picked it up. Montel Williams went on a Twitter tear that ended with him nominating Shane for a Pulitzer Prize (though that’s not quite how it works). People got in touch to tell us about their loved ones’ time in prison or their own experience working as guards. Lawmakers and regulators reached out. (UPDATE: And on August 18, the Justice Department announced that it will no longer contract with private prisons, which currently hold thousands of federal inmates—a massive policy shift.)

The banner ads that appeared in it brought in $5,000, give or take.”

This is why so many sites berate us with ads. The return per ad per viewer is so low, they try to make it up on volume. This particular piece cost Mother Jones $350,000. As they state, if they were more in your face with the ads, they could have maybe tripled their ad revenue. So $15,000. As they also hit on, five or fifteen thousand out of $350,000, who cares? They’re still nowhere near breaking even.

To which then I’d argue you know the financial return isn’t much, and it’s only getting worse with ad blockers, so why piss off your readers by annoying them with more ads? Because you can’t automatically assume triple the amount of ads equals triple the revenue. What if with triple the ads people don’t spend as much time on the site, scroll down as far, get tired of reading, click an ad and end up distracted on that site, etc. Subsequently, Mother Jones doesn’t get as many donations (apparently their primary business model) because their piece ends up with not as much of an impact.

If you run a website, financially you,

  1. If you’re a company going solely the advertising route, basically hope you’re Google or Facebook in the amount of views you get each month
  2. If you’re an individual going solely the advertising route, are looking at needing around a million visitors (not views) per month to make a quality living off the site.
  3. Pray advertising becomes more valuable
    1. Why is it so devalued?
      1. The online space is so crowded right now, dollars are being spread so thin?
      2. Fraud is a big issue. A million views from television may need to be upwards of 1.5 million views online.
      3. Effectiveness is lower for one reason or another. A million views from television may need to be three million views online. (See fraud link above and Heineken’s numbers.)
        1.  Generalized targeting may be more effective than precision targeting.
  4. Find another business model.


Just when you thought Pokemon Go was making kids more active…

A client from Sweden sent me this:

Pokemon Go hoverboard

One way to illustrate how the change to a more active life is a choice, where technology is unlikely to, whether it be a primary or secondary effect, cause the change. We’re not a row of buttons, and we’re extremely clever in our ability to make things less metabolically costly. 

Why I’m not on Twitter

astrophysics climate change twitter

Yet why I still look at Twitter

Funny tweet internet of things

Good stuff from Pyrros Dimas on training

One of the best weightlifters of all time.

“Facebook Will Force Advertising on Ad-blocked Users”

From the Wall Street Journal.

I can’t help but think this is a bad spot for Facebook to be in: when you’re purposely doing the opposite of what your customers want. Predictably, people are already telling Facebook “challenge accepted.”

Best quote of the WSJ article,

Mr. Bosworth said Facebook hasn’t paid any ad-blocking software company to have its ads pass through their filters and that it doesn’t intend to.

“It’s not something that Facebook wants to be a part of. It’s not a business model that’s set out to serve the best interests of people,” he said.

But forcing users who don’t want to see ads to see them is? Oh, the irony! Let us all find solace in knowing Zuck is only trying to connect us all.

Brains of overweight people ‘ten years older’ than lean counterparts at middle-age


Conor Mcgregor’s change in training

I can’t find it on Youtube, but on the UFC app there was a 30 minute press conference with McGregor, from around mid-August. He went into some very good details about his changes in training since the first Diaz fight.

Two things which jumped out-

  • He had planned rest days. He would go three on, one off. As well as three weeks hard, one week easy. “Knowing I had a rest day coming I knew I could go hard.” This may seem basic to those who know their training knowledge, but even a guy at the top of his sport wasn’t properly resting!
    • You could argue three days on, one day off, is still too much.
  • “There were times I’d be in the gym 8, 9, 10 hours, but a fight is five minutes on, one minute off. Hours and hours in the gym then doesn’t make sense.”

Good documentary on Netflix / Christian von Koenisegg

I came across Apex, which is about the advent of “hypercars.” Provides some good insight as to what obsession looks like.

Christian van Koenisegg was one of the main people profiled. Other than him and Elon Musk, I don’t know if any one else has started and successfully ran a car company in the last 25 years. It took Christian eight years until selling the first car. That’s eight years of making zero money, and the following seven he worked for a small salary. Fifteen years until making a decent living! (Took Tesla / Musk 10 years to make their first profit.) That’s amazing persistence.

From here,

“What advice would you give to young college entrepreneurs and innovators that have a dream to get to where you are at?

Koenisegg: I get this question a lot and this is probably not the ideal answer. It’s more like the opposite of an answer.

People ask me “How did you do it? What’s the trick?”. Well, there is no trick. It’s dedication, blood sweat and tears, no sleep, innovation, thinking positively about things and not giving up. There’s no trick. In a way, sometimes it is just pain. When that happens, most people give up. Some persevere and look for a match on the floor in a pitch dark tunnel.

You can experience some amount of luck along the way but you only get to do that if you are still around; if you endure the pain, learn from it and grow. You get the luck because you took a lot of hits on the way and survived.”

The second bolded comment resonated with me a good deal. Have a post for personal trainers coming about this. On another note, pain isn’t always a bad thing! 

Here’s Christian giving a tour of his factory, where you can appreciate some of the attention to detail:

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Posted in: Business, Sports