Fellow blogger Pascal has an interesting story running today about how WordPress is using Google Adsense to display advertisements, without annoying its users. From the article:

If you’re a regular reader (let alone poster) on WordPress.com, cookies will prevent you from seeing ads. Regular readers don’t click ads anyway, they’re there for the content. Ads would be off-putting and keep readers from becoming contributors.

But it turns out it is far more clever than just keeping ads out of view of regular users. WordPress also pays attention to how you found out about a specific blog:

Chances are you never visited Kris Hoet’s blog* – Kris is EMEA Marcom man for Msn/Windows Live. Although he has it mapped on his own domain crossthebreeze.com, the blog is hosted by wordpress.com. Yet if I refer you to his holiday report, you won’t see any ads either, even as a first time visitor, even if you delete your crossthebreeze.wordpress.com or crossthebreeze.com cookies (this cookie-killing Firefox extension will save you time).

However, if you land there by accident after a Google search, things are different. You’re quite likely not to be interested by his blog, but more by bars in Kota Kinabalu… The served ads (fitting your search terms even more than the content of the post) offer a convenient click away.

It’s quite an interesting model, and an incredibly smart way to show advertisements, make a little money, and yet still be a good net citizen. Read more at Pascal’s Blog, and from the WordPress Staff on this interesting and innovative idea.

-Angry Midwesterner


Today the Angry Men made a tragic discovery. Apparently, according to the infallible Intarweb, we rate only a modest “High School” reading level overall. Sad, really, since we pride ourselves on being educated beyond all need or reason. (Or perhaps that’s just some of us projecting onto the others. Well, and by some, I mean me…)

However, it did get us to thinking: What, in its infinite wisdom, would this Dark Oracle powered by the unholy forces of Redmond think of various sites around the all-knowing Blogosphere. So, we gave it a try—plugging everything into http://www.criticsrant.com/bb/reading_level.aspx and viola, the results were, ah, somewhat surprising.

Let’s start with the mainstream of American political thought:

But you know, this thing is really focused on Blogs, so maybe it’s just that these staid, stodgy, government sites and wishy-washy party sites aren’t an ideal test. Let’s try some honest-to-goodness blogs. Hmm, let me pick out an excellent example of clear reasoning from each political side:

Uh huh.

Well, maybe they’re just outliers. Let’s take three sites so extreme, so bizarre, so brain damaged that they just have to show their true colors:

Uh oh! Well, surely that was just bad luck. Let’s try two more crazy sites, one from either side of the political spectrum:

Yipes! This is really troubling.

Okay, now for the acid test, let’s use one of the most hillarious but least readable sites on the whole Intraweb:

  • TimeCube!!! [http://www.timecube.com]: High School (!?! – apparently it’s only at the college level that you get educated stupid!)

So, now in fear and trembling we wonder whether the whole world has turned upside down.

Fear not, noble reader, and take heart. All is not wrong with the world, for at least two sites on the Great Web of Life return the right results:

  • /. rates a High School level, which is being generous, but…
  • Chick Publications rates the Elementary result it so richly deserves…

Left as an exercise for the reader: find even more amusing examples and post in the Comments section.

(And, as always, Discuss amongst yourselves.)