Notice the ads on this site? Probably not. Advertising has been one of those things that has been hard to nail down properly on the web. What works for some won’t work for others. Not to mention the devious nature that 90% of the ads seem to have; punch the monkey, useless smilies, Windows errors. Most of it is crap.
Google style text-ads are everywhere. You see them arrayed haphazardly across many a templated weblog without too much thought and proceed to read about the webmasters that are disappointed by poor results. I’ve generally avoided slapping a bunch of ads all over this site because people aren’t going to click on them. At least not the regular readers — you’re just punishing them by displaying useless ads on your site. The people coming in via search engine are a different matter though. They’re transient, have little attachment to the site and are looking for something specific anyway. I don’t really mind showing them pseudo-random search-engine generated ads. And that’s what I’m doing.
Search Engines and WordPress
How do you go about doing something like this? For WordPress, I hacked together a plugin using Ryan Boren’s Search Hilite as a base. It’s kind of ugly, could be done better and I’m not going to support it. But I’ll make it available if you want a basic building block for your site — download.
I haven’t posted much material related to Intelligent Design, mostly because the argument seems so stupid. It shouldn’t even be called an argument. This Esquire article (full text) was too good to pass up though. It focuses on Intelligent Design, but also touches on the broader dumbing down of America.
The Creation Museum ranks up there as one of my favourites from this whole debacle. This is a photo of one of their displays, featuring a giraffe and Adam naming a Sabertooth tiger. Nice kitty.