Archives for October 2007

YouTube Adsense for 45n5’s YEA Mashup Script

After some pondering that resulted from a conversation about landing/holding pages for undeveloped domains and Mark’s sharing of a $99 commission from a site running his YouTube, Ebay, Amazon mashup site script, I decided it was time to give it a try. It really is as easy to use as Mark makes it out to be. And what a great way to get your keywords into a holding page while developing the site!  The hardest part was getting the developer ids if you don’t already have them. I had the eBay one, and had to get the YouTube and Amazon ones.

After setting up the ids, you simply change a few things to set options and upload. That easy. Only one thing stuck out to me. The eBay auctions use your affiliate codes for the auctions, so you get affiliate earnings from them. Same goes for the Amazon listings. The YouTube video, on the other hand earns you nothing except embedded video on the cheap.

Being the tinkerer that I am, I decided to try and integrate the Adsense YouTube units instead of the normal YouTube units. The idea being that the video will then be monetized. And we like monetization! So, after a bit of tinkering last night and some coding this morning, I got it to work. And I’m going to share it with you!

If you’ve used Mark’s script before, you’ll notice a few slight changes. The code that calls the YouTube video has changed slightly, but you shouldn’t have to make any further changes. What you will have to do, is go and get the script code for the Adsense YouTube and put it into the stufftochange.php file. You’ll see where. I’ve taken the liberty of throwing in a true/false flag so that you can turn off the Adsense YouTube units if you choose and go back to the regular units. Simply change the flag from a 1 to a 0. Simple, no?

If you haven’t used the script before, you obviously won’t notice any changes. But there aren’t any instructions included in the download, so you’ll want to go over to and watch the tutorial video for the script that Mark put together.

So, without further adieu, Download the YouTube Ebay Amazon (YEA) script! The licensing still belongs to Mark, so it’s still his link in the footer that you have to leave there.  Small price to pay for a great script.  Thanks Mark!

Oh, if you want to see some examples of this modified script in action, check out the following sites:

100,000 Spam and Counting

I’ve had my ups and downs with Akismet, but I gotta admit that after catching over 100,000 spams for me, I can’t seem to part with it.  Sure, it catches a few that it shouldn’t from time to time.  And sometimes I don’t check my spam queue as thoroughly as I perhaps should.  But in the little over two years that I’ve been running this site, it’s caught over 100k in spam messages.

I’m fairly certain that there are other spam catchers out there that perform just as well, but Akismet is integrated into WordPress, so it gets the easy nod.  I’ve tried programs like spam karma and really didn’t like it at all.  Akismet is easy to use and aside from the occasional <1% false positives, it does a really good job.

Scratchback Beta Goes Live

ScratchBack, the new advertising/tipping system from Jim Kukral got thrown into drive a little earlier than he had planned today. It was originally planned for the 31st or 1st, but it seems that it went a little bit viral late this last week and he decided to release it to the beta list.

If you’re still wondering what I’m talking about, it’s the orange widget thing talking about top spots on the right under the text link ads.

It has some potential. There are several options for setting it up. You can make the links last until someone bumps them off the bottom (like I have set up), 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days. Lot’s of flexibility there. There are several different color schemes that you can select as well. Most of the most used colors, so should be something to fit into just about any theme. You can also select between text links and image links. I couldn’t find anything saying whether the image links would default to a text link if the “tipper” didn’t upload an image, but I would assume so. And if you’re worried about Google getting mad at you, the links are hardcoded with the nofollow attribute.

Now, it’s not all roses with this. Several things jumped out at me right away. The first is that they plainly state that they are taking a commission on your tips, but nowhere does it say how much. Not the biggest deal in the world, but I’d still like to know. Especially when it’s a widget that could be programmed independently pretty quickly by anyone with some coding experience. It’s just easier to use ScratchBack. (*Update: I’ve sold one link so far at $1 and received a total of $0.333 for it.  Seems a little steep for me.  Not even TLA takes more than 50%)

And if you’ve looked at the widget here, you’ve noticed that it’s a little big for the sidebar. That’s because there is no flexibility for size. 180 pixels or nothing. I’d love to see some of the more standard sizes. Or at least an option for a standard sized 160 pixels. And maybe a horizontal option as well. Lots of people have a 468X60 banner spot that would work great for something like this.

And finally, there isn’t an affiliate program. Not really all that surprising considering that they don’t disclose how much they are taking. Hopefully they’ll work on that. I think it would help with acceptance and use if people were aware of how much they were losing per transaction as well as maybe able to get a kickback for referrals.

Another thing that I noticed, but that really isn’t a bad thing per se, is that during the sign up and in the FAQ’s, they try to make it very clear that this is not an advertising program. It’s a tipping platform that just happens to have a link kickback function. Sounds fine to me. Also sounds like double talk. Especially when you go and read the TOS and the only words they use for both buyers and sellers are the words advertiser and ad publisher. And they are called text link advertisements. Which is it? Are they tips or ads?

btw. I’ve priced the links in my scratchback widget at $1. And it’s set to bump down, so after 10 are purchased, the next purchase will bump #10 off the list. Should make for some interesting times if it’s used at all. Of course, if it’s never used, your link could sit up there for quite a while for only $1!

PageRank update on it’s way

Just a quick note.  It looks like the pagerank update is finally happening.  After dropping down to a 3 last week, I’ve bounced back up to a 4 now.  Was at 5, so it’s a bit of a drop, but better than a 3 any day.

It looks like a few of the other sites that got hit this week have gotten most if not all of their pagerank back as well.

Two things that could have happened here.  Either last weeks drops were some sort of rollback to a previous pagerank data, or it really was a “penalty” drop that Google thought better of.

Maybe all the negative buzz had something to do with it.  I’m sure we’ll never know.  The site I’ve been using to check my PR is  There are several more out there, that’s just the one I’ve been using.