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Oct 07 2012

ScentedNectar’s Bizarre and Pointless Diatribe

I just came across this Youtube video by someone calling herself ScentedNectar (the nick seems vaguely familiar, but I have no idea who she is) accusing PZ of manipulating his RSS feed to get more ad hits. I can’t imagine why she would think that’s important, but it’s also flat wrong. Here’s the video, which shows a level of obsession that is really quite out of bounds.

There are so many things wrong with this. First, PZ has zero control over the ads on his blog or in his RSS feed. The ads on the blog are controlled by the company we have that handles all our advertising; the ads on the RSS feed are controlled solely by our site tech, who works for me. PZ doesn’t even have access to the RSS feed account with Feedburner. I have no idea why ads seem to appear on his RSS feed for comments and not in others, but it isn’t because he’s done anything to make it that way.

Second, even if it were true that PZ had found some way to get more ads into his RSS feed, it would do nothing whatsoever to earn him any more money. The ad revenue for this site is divided up solely on the basis of total pageviews, not by how many clickthroughs a given blog gets. The revenue from the RSS feed ads just comes to me in one lump sum; I don’t even know which blog gets more clickthroughs, nor do I care. So even if PZ had discovered some mystical power, it would do him no good here. Another dark conspiracy shot to hell.

She also makes many false statements in the comments, like this:

Since posting this, both PZ and Ed have been sporadically turning their comment ads on and off.

Wrong. No one has turned any ads on or off. The ads for the RSS feed were set up a year ago, shortly after the network began. I’ve done nothing to alter them since, and wouldn’t have the ability to do so even if I wanted to (I leave that sort of thing to our site tech, who knows what he’s doing; I certainly don’t). Nor have I had him make any changes to them. Hell, I don’t even see them since I don’t use an RSS reader. We set them up last year, Google sends me money for them every month and I never think about them other than that.

A former ftblogger said PZ got $3000 a month from them, but who knows where he got that, PZ himself, or an actual ftb spreadsheet or financial statement.

I have no idea who might have told her this, or whether she’s just making it up, but it’s false. No one knows how much money each of the bloggers get except me. I do not share that information with anyone. All the bloggers can see the number of hits and pageviews the others get, but not the revenue they earn. And someone named StealthBadger says:

FTB is a multi-user site installation of WordPress. Each blog has its own RSS feeds, page set (note the extra tabs on PZ’s blog – this is because he added extra “static” pages to his blog (“About,” “Dungeon,” “Mollies,” and “Shop”). The reason is because PZ redirects his comment feed through Feedburner, which places ads on it.

Wrong. All of the RSS feeds run through Feedburner, but it is all on one central account and only two people have the login and password for that account, me and our site tech. PZ doesn’t redirect anything, the entire network does. He does have extra tabs for static pages, but that has nothing at all to do with RSS feeds or ads; any blogger can set up all the static pages and tabs they want.

Most importantly: Why the fuck do these people care? What makes them obsess like this? I mean, it’s clear from the comments that she was checking everyone’s RSS feeds multiple times a day in the course of her crack investigative work, all to prove … what, exactly? Even if PZ did have control of his RSS feed and did put ads on it, who fucking cares? If we had things set up this way, it would be his RSS feed to do with as he pleases. This is obsessive to the point of absurdity.

30 comments

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  1. 1
    Gretchen

    Scented Necter is one of those people who hates the presence of feminist bloggers at FTB, and wrote about how Jen McCreight has no reason to fear sexual harassment at conferences because she’s ugly. Yeah. I don’t get it either.

  2. 2
    Cuttlefish

    I have some static pages. Clearly I am the one manipulating the puppet strings.

  3. 3
    Aliasalpha

    Perhaps it’s some live action role play game, the players take on the role of hackers or spies trying to uncover a conspiracy that’s only revealed from mining seemingly irrelevant data from random websites. The more correlations they can get, the more story they uncover and the DM advances to the next stage of the game as the protagonists get closer and closer to the ultimate villain…

    That or they’re just bonkers.

  4. 4
    Argle Bargle

    ScentedNectar is one of the anti-FTB, anti-Atheism+ whiners. She’s vocal about her dislike but not overly concerned with logic or truth.

  5. 5
    ChasCPeterson

    aw, she’s just hogglin’.

    (btw, she also has swell merch!!!)

  6. 6
    Nemo

    You don’t use an RSS reader?! How do you keep up?

  7. 7
    Valindrius

    I saw the original post by Dr Myers but only just realised what else irks me about this, apart from the sheer absurdity of it. It’s the face-cam. Why do people use them in Youtube videos? It’s irritating and entirely superfluous. I don’t care what you look like or about your facial expressions unless it’s an actual vlog. It’s almost always intrusive and overlaps with actual content (if it can be called that here). It’s like having a distracting insect land on your screen, except you can’t get rid of it.

  8. 8
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    These people make J. J. Ramsey look indifferent and standoffish.

  9. 9
    Dr X

    There are more important things to obsess about such as change the video embed code from width=640 to width=550/height=335

  10. 10
    Neil Rickert

    I don’t know about the ad part.

    There does seem to be some manipulation of RSS feeds. There is often a 6 or more hour delay before Pharyngula posts show up in my RSS feed. All FTB posts seem delayed, and pharyngula posts seem to be the worst.

  11. 11
    TGAP Dad

    Al Franken used to say on his radio show that “there is nothing more boring on the radio than the business of radio.” Ditto for blogs.

  12. 12
    dreikin

    No one knows how much money each of the bloggers get except me. I do not share that information with anyone. All the bloggers can see the number of hits and pageviews the others get, but not the revenue they earn.

    If it’s simple proportionality, then it’s pretty easy to figure out how much another blogger makes (assuming there’s not a mistake above):

    (my revenue) / (my pageviews) * (other blogger’s pageviews) = (other blogger’s revenue)

  13. 13
    Modusoperandi

    TGAP Dad “Al Franken used to say on his radio show that ‘there is nothing more boring on the radio than the business of radio.’ Ditto for blogs.”
    Did he never see WKRP?

  14. 14
    leni

    Ha, I remember JJ Ramsey from Jason Rosenhouse’s blog, he used to post there quite a bit. Not the most pleasant fellow.

    Oh, Ed you better be careful. The eye of Scented Nectar is upon you. Sooner or later she will find out how much money you and PZ make and expose you both… for getting paid for what you do.

    I’m sure we’ll all be shocked and horrified about that and it will be the end of your blogging career.

    Jesus, if this idiot knew where you lived she’d probably be sifting through your trash looking for evidence that you paid your bills and like barbecue.

  15. 15
    leni

    (btw, she also has swell merch!!!)

    I’m going to start monitoring the page views and deduce from that, coupled with rumor and careful calculations (based on entirely unreasonable suppositions that I will at some point produce from the cache in my ass), how much she makes from selling that crap. Then I’ll expose her for the scoundrel she is!

    Oh wait, no I won’t because I’m not a stalker. Almost forgot.

  16. 16
    JakeLsewhere

    #10 Neil Rickert

    There is often a 6 or more hour delay before Pharyngula posts show up in my RSS feed. All FTB posts seem delayed, and pharyngula posts seem to be the worst.

    That’s a problem with feeedburner, not anything specific to do with FTB, or any of its individual blogs. Any site that uses feedburner will have its posts delayed and clumpy.

  17. 17
    davem

    I use liferea under Ubuntu Linux, for my RSS feed. I’ve never seen an ad on the RSS feed, so I’ve no idea what’s she talking about. If PZ is manipulating the ads, he’s magically made them disappear from all the FTB RSS feeds. The feed is delayed, as stated above, and all the posts have the same comments, ie comments belonging to multiple posts. It needs fixing, so pretty please, get it fixed!

  18. 18
    Ichthyic

    of even more interest is that it seems scentednectar put this vid up 2 months ago… and nobody noticed till now?

    so
    much
    internet
    drama!!!

    *rolleyes*

    I just wonder, were people always this obsessive, or has the internet empowered a whole new level of obsessiveness?

  19. 19
    jose

    Ah yes, Scented HAHAHA JEN HAS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! Nectar.

  20. 20
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    “Why the fuck do these people care?” If we could answer that question, the world would be a better place. Or, maybe they “care” only in that no one cares about them and their noise unless they attack someone who people DO care about. We’ve certainly got an element of the atheist/skeptical community that have gotten a lot of positive attention by obsessively picking apart creationists and woo practitioners, and once they ran out of those targets… well, you see what happens.

  21. 21
    Neil Rickert

    davem:

    I use liferea under Ubuntu Linux, for my RSS feed. I’ve never seen an ad on the RSS feed, so I’ve no idea what’s she talking about.

    I’m using akregator, and I do see ads though they are not particularly bothersome.

    If I visit pharyngula with firefox, I rarely see ads. I think that’s because I am using “noscript”. Perhaps “liferea” integrates with firefox and you are using an extension that is stopping the ads.

  22. 22
    jamessweet

    Not to stir the pot, but I was going to make the same point dreikin did:

    The ad revenue for this site is divided up solely on the basis of total pageviews,

    All the bloggers can see the number of hits and pageviews the others get, but not the revenue they earn.

    Unless I’m missing something, that means every FtB blogger who has a) gotten paid at least once, and b) can do unit cancellation, knows (at least approximately) how much every other FtB blogger makes each month. What am I missing?

    (Not that this is particularly important, I’m just confused)

  23. 23
    Raging Bee

    Scented Nectar has shown up on various FTBs, and (IIRC) on some Scienceblogs, mostly in posts dealing with feminism or mistreatment of women. She seems to enjoy bullying women who talk about bad things that have happened to them in the past, and telling them to get tougher, stop trying to help or speak up for other women, blah blah blah. I strongly suspect she herself was treated like shit sometime in the past (i.e., harassed or possibily even raped, then ridiculed when she tried to get some help), and is now making up for it by attacking other women who complain of similar treatment. Maybe it’s just me, but I detect an undercurrent of “no one stood up for me, so no one should stand up for anyone else either” in her nonsensical attacks (of which this latest is the most unhinged and inexplicable). I guess one might call it a sort of Stockolm syndrome.

    She seems to be going even further off the deep end than she was before. My response is contempt and pity.

  24. 24
    zmidponk

    If you’re at all interested, Ed, she’s put a response here:

    http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=73&start=16400#p17996

    Apparantly, this is so ‘I can be sure he’ll both read it AND it won’t get deleted if he gets mad at me’, to quote her exactly. From my reading of it, she’s basically trying to utterly distance herself from the clear implication in the video that PZ was up to no good, and basically using Glenn Beck’s spiel of ‘I’m just asking questions’.

  25. 25
    Michael Heath

    zmidponk writes:

    If you’re at all interested, Ed, she’s put a response here [followed by above link}

    Where scentednectar convincingly validates Ed’s ‘pointless’ observation.

  26. 26
    Ichthyic

    I think that’s because I am using “noscript”

    yup. I typically use both adblock plus and noscript.

    browser has far fewer crashes, and runs faster too.

  27. 27
    Ichthyic

    basically trying to utterly distance herself from the clear implication in the video that PZ was up to no good

    Then she better also delete ALL the many comments she made in the thread on her OP, because every single one of those comments she made say that PZ is an evil scumbag who is basically ripping people off.

  28. 28
    Ichthyic

    …also, if trying to distance herself was how you read it, I read it quite differently given she says in that comment you linked to:

    I do stand by what I showed in the video. And I asked a lot of questions that are valid ones.

    so, no, she’s still maintaining her inane criticisms are entirely valid.

    right, so now that this is clear…

    she can be entirely forgotten. again.

  29. 29
    zmidponk

    Ichthyic, I was taking this:

    You know, I don’t care who sets up ads, nor do I care how it’s distributed. It’s good that any extra page hits (I’m not talking about ‘click throughs’, Ed) from PZ’s comments benefited all of them. In fact, as long as the ads are not by google (who recently decided to remove them from all newsfeeder viewings), my video shows them a way they can ALL increase their page hits /ad views (not clicks).

    And this:

    Now that they’ve explained that they use a communal method of sharing the toilet paper, well fine, so what? And if they don’t control the ads and feeds, then don’t get mad at me for pointing it out.

    To mean she’s now claiming that she was merely pointing out a potential problem, and that’s what’s still valid, according to her, not the implication that PZ was being a money-grabbing douchebag.

  30. 30
    zmidponk

    Though I should say, I agree totally wit this:

    she can be entirely forgotten. again.

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