Well, you’ve probably taken notice of some of the changes here at JerseySmarts.com. From new header images (they rotate) to a slightly streamlined front page to less advertisements on the site, your favorite New Jersey blog is getting freshened up! Aside from the few items that I’ve listed in the previous post, here are some additional changes to this blog. [Read more…]
How long has it been since I uploaded an entry with no specific rhyme or reason other than to get thoughts out of my head?! Sit back, relax, and enjoy some random comments on various things that are floating around my noggin.
The Joe’s Journal & JerseySmarts.com Merger
Without getting into too many details, the merger of Joe’s Journal and JerseySmarts.com has been nothing short of a major success. On any given day, either of the two blogs averaged some 40 or so hits (JerseySmarts.com would get 5 or 10 hits each day and Joe’s Journal would range between 60 and 80 hits each day). With the new, merged site, there are some days where we’re over 300 hits, some days over 200 hits, and we’re now averaging between 100 and 150 hits each day. What’s exciting is that these hits aren’t really people reading the blog in the morning, afternoon, and night (though you should be checking in as often as possible). Rather, the hits are largely being generated by unique visitors. That’s awesome!
Also, the financial end of this blogging business has been great. Between the sponsors that you can find all over this blog and the program-specific advertisements that I’ve been setting up here and there, Joe’s Journal on JerseySmarts.com is making a healthy living for a small, personal blog!
The Stock Market
What a mess!? Many of you know that I started investing in earnest a few months ago and since that time I’ve taken a hit in the market just like everyone else. The difference, though, is that the hit that I’ve taken is small compared to those folks who have big time money in the markets. First, I don’t have big time money to invest at this point in my life! Second, I started investing after the market was already down.
When I began investing I knew a few of my stock picks for sure. I knew that I was going to invest in Sirius XM because – no matter what the biased internet media may say – this is a good long-term stock for the small time investor’s portfolio. I also knew that I was going to invest in the automobile industry and that I would probably go in to Ford heavier than GM…which turned out to be a good move!
I’m invested in a few other stocks, but what I didn’t know when I started investing (and I still don’t know now) was how I would diversify the industries represented in my portfolio. Right now I have all of my exposure in the retail sector. I’m thinking of investing in some smaller, solid banks to get into the financial sector. Just a thought at this point, though…
Usable Web Solutions, LLC Doing Well
My small business is doing very well in this rough economy. All of my clients have signed on to extend their business relationships with my company and I’ve actually begun to bring in a few new clients; only two clients at this point, but two very strong organizations. For the longest time I stopped taking on new clients because I was getting some of the weirdest requests from some shady characters. But it’s good to be back creating new websites again.
The other part of the website business that is doing well is the advertising revenue. Perhaps my suite of sites has been lucky, but we’re all doing very well with selling ads and getting some income from those ads.
Teaching at the Local College
Two quick points on my adjunct professor position at the local college. Number one – I suggested a new course for my department and it was accepted! Starting next spring I’ll be teaching Community Public Policy (i.e. Community Development)! This is pretty exciting because I designed the course from the bottom up. Very cool!
Number two – well, here we go. Remember a few months ago when I had a problem with a colleague of mine at the local college? Turns out that for the class I’ll be teaching next fall, not only will this person be teaching in the same classroom that I’m scheduled to be in on Monday, but on Wednesday, too. What joy (sarcasm)! I’ve already filed a request to have my room changed because no one should have to put up with racism, sexism, or ageism – especially not on a college campus of all places!
Update – April 13, 2009: My class reassignment request was granted. Thankfully, I won’t have to deal with this person again!
There you have it, folks. A quick, random update on some of the things going around in my head. I’ll be sure to put some more random ideas up soon!
Hello all! As you can tell from looking around – there are some more format changes taking place at JerseySmarts.com. For starters, there is now an additional sidebar located on the left side of the pages. As I was adding more content to the right sidebar in the previous design, I noticed that it was getting a little crowded. There are only two ways to reduce the crowded effect – remove content or create more space.
I opted for the creation of more space by adding a new sidebar! My hope is that I can fully utilize each area of the blog to give you guys the best presentation possible.
Which brings me to my next point – over the next few weeks you’ll be noticing more opportunities for you to investigate some of the products and services that I use. Some might call this an increase in the number of advertisements, but as a guy who has been playing at the internet commerce game for 10 years I can tell you that there is no significant revenue coming from this site! Most of the opportunities that I’ll be integrating into the site are commission-based advertisements which, traditionally, are not big generators of revenue. But I’m not looking for revenue – I’m looking to show you guys what it is that I’m doing on the internet!
So you might see an integrated link talking about how I’ve been listening to my Sirius XM more and more lately.
See what I mean? 🙂
Anyway, I hope that you enjoy some of these changes and I always welcome your comments on additional content that you’d like to see on the site. Thanks!
As the economy continues to tank it seems that no one is safe from being scrutinized by an ever-more pissed off public. FOXNews.com ran a story the other day talking about how parents are now condemning advertisers for their heavy advertisements that are directed at children. This is an interesting one to me, but here is the crux of the issue from the article:
In a season that inspires earnest letters about toys, one notable batch is being sent not by kids to Santa’s workshop but by parents to the executive suites of real-world toy makers.
The message: Please, in these days of economic angst, cut back on marketing your products directly to our children.
The letter-writing initiative was launched by the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which says roughly 1,400 of its members and supporters have contacted 24 leading toy companies and retailers to express concern about ads aimed at kids.
You have to admire the parents who would take out some time in their day to write these letters, but it makes me wonder what happened to old school parenting? What happened to a parent keeping an eye on what their children watch on television – including the commercials? And what happened to a parent telling their child, “No. You can only have one toy – not all five of them.”
I’m sure that the people who wrote these letters are fine parents and that they take good care of their children, but this just seems to me like a financially-strapped citizenry lashing out at anything around them. Why not go after those companies which put the impulse buy items at the front of the grocery store? I mean do you really need the candy bar or the deck of playing cards that are wedged up above the conveyor belt? Of course not, but they’re there for you to look at as you pay.
Better yet, why not sue all of the major retailers who have now rearranged their stores so that you cannot get to the items that you really came for unless you walk through the entire building? Look at Wal-Mart – they have all of their electronics and the toy department in the back of their stores now. What if you just want to come in and buy a DVD? You’d be subjected to advertisements on your entire way through the store and on your way out.
It goes on and on. Writing these letters was a valiant effort by these parents, but probably an activity that would have been more useful if they just sat down and educated their children on how to read and react to various advertisements.
In the mean time, check out New Jersey Carpet Cleaning for the best carpet cleaning in the Garden State!