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.