Posts Tagged ‘Google’

As one of your average armchair observers, I depend on what media has to tell me about current events. I read my local newspaper, “The Daily Journal”, though sometimes out of date. I receive email alerts on world news, from the SacBee, NYT, WAPO, KCRA, Tribune (Chicago), and ABC. I used to read a few others now defunct. I have not subscribed to SfGate, CNN or FOX, because I got tired of their bullshit. I used to read the others when they were free; I have not paid for monthly subscriptions to the above publications. I used to get AP and Reuters, IATimes, Japan Herald and Hong Kong News, VOA, and KUAM, but the emails stopped. I do spend a fair amount of time surfing various sources from different perspectives.

So, I did a review of my emails, and my local paper. Not one of the alerts mentioned Lebanon or Beirut until the events in Paris.

Yesterday I did an Google and Yahoo search for “Beirut”. Only CNN popped up with an article on the Beirut attack with the appropriate date. Today I did an similar search for “Beirut, 2015/11/12. Low and behold! There were pages of date appropriate articles from all kinds of media sources, including the ones for which I receive alerts.

This leads me to a few conclusions:

Clearly I am not engaging with news media in such a way as to receive a broad view of world events.

The journalistic sources that deign to send me email alerts are deciding what I should read, and it isn’t enough.

Google and Yahoo are not neutral news sources because they are search engines and they rank news on number of hits, not news.

When a person spends the time, as I did yesterday, reading 10 pages of search hits in the vain hope of finding date appropriate information on the Beirut explosion, the resulting frustration over my personal  obliviousness, seemed in the long run, to actually be a symptom for something else.

For all our current internet technology, we average armchair observers are still pretty much in the dark. Why?

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Update – Hubby was kind enough to print up a few examples of what is going on. See one below. When he put them to pdf, the second column normally on the right of my screen slid down to a separate page, so it looks a little different. However these were taken today July 12th, and so are still on my website. When the viewing with the right hand column in place, the text of my blog is a little smaller and ads are even larger. Google  appears to be placing ads on the basis of  some kind of text tagging.  Thus baby formula was inserted on a blog about kittens, that was intended to be a counterpoint to death in the Gulf.  A shoe ad was attached to the recent Oakland disturbance after the conviction where shoes were stolen. Imagine if I blog about a few politicians what might happen!!

Update – Perhaps many of you already know about these ads, but I have been on WP since 2008 and never saw one of these ads before. Find a comment HERE from Matt, clear back in 2006, discussing the ads and how we won’t see them. It’s anyone’s guess what our sites have supported. At the very least, should we decide to forgo the ad blocks, we ought to be able to see what they are. Matt says in his blog that they got very little feedback when they began the ads. How can we provide feedback to WP if we can’t see the ads?

Update – Bobbie informs me that the cost to keep the ads off my blog is $29.95 a year, not a month.

Update -I just logged out and still did not see the ads on MY computer, so I am pretty peeved right now.

Today I happened to be look at my blog site in my husband’s computer. I was stunned to see Google ads at the bottom my page. I had no idea my puny blog was worthy of that kind of consideration.

I immediately went in search of answers and found this one (Let me know if this link drops. I have a pdf.) from Bobbie Newman.

Bobbie thought that being signed out of  WP makes the Google ad visible. Since Hubby doesn’t have a WordPress account, he isn’t signed in, so this might be true. However, I have been signed out before and failed to notice the ads, so I don’t know for sure if this is the case. I wonder though, how many of us WP bloggers have them and don’t even see each others, because we have a WP account.

I OBJECT to these ads, because:

1) To turn them off requires that we pay WP $29.95 a month.

2) I have no control over the ads that display on my page.

3) I am unable to see them from my computer.

4) The formating is terrible and is bigger than almost anything else on my page.

Honestly, I would have considered the $30 bucks a month, but I don’t like the way this has been handled, so now instead, I will have to consider whether I will continue a blog here. The political ads are coming. I have already seen a Google ad denigrating Barbara Boxer on a web site I would not expect. I hated the way Sodahead and Newsmax banner ads were utilized during the election. It appears Google (And WordPress.) will do the same.

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