End of the year musings

This is a blog. This is not news for the most part and just contains some thoughts about the previous year and what I see going into the future.

Pocketables and money

OK, so for the past 2.84 years or so (March 18th, 2018-now) I’ve owned Pocketables. TL;DR version was to run it like I’d been running it, pay myself back for what I had to spend on it (which accounted to $1000 out of pocket and ~3800 in what I was owed from the owners of the site at the time.) That doesn’t appear that it’s happening at any pace, but I cleared the out-of-pocket in Google ad revenue sometime last month, Woo yeah.

I paid my first author his share of some YouTube revenue, and realized my fever dream of 2017 of building Pocketables up enough to pay the authors was going significantly slower than hoped. It got even slower when the pandemic hit because I couldn’t even put out content on a regular basis as kids at home, working at home, scheduling times to go in, playing catch-up. When you don’t have daily content on a daily blog your daily readers go elsewhere.

I’ve spent the past 5 or 6 years since I became the de-facto head of Pocketables trying to not go the commercialize everything route and just pay with unobtrusive banner ads and monetized reviews, but that ain’t working. Neither has the Patreon which has a running $6 a month contribution (our current operating costs are in the tens of dollars… actually somewhere around $70 a month, which is covered by ads and such – don’t think I’m begging).

What’s also been a problem is there’s not a whole lot of news any of us are interested in covering. When you don’t have 3-5 articles a day a blog like this dies because we lose daily engagement. “What… I came to pocketables and there’s nothing there? Must be dead.” Especially when it is.

Today, Google’s having problems for the 4th day in a row, I’ve got an inbox of “world’s first…” premiering at CES that for the most part are things like “world’s first combo bluetooth/wifi speaker with a cover that looks like a radioactive booger” – yeah… Might just be the news places I visit, but seems like a waste of everyone’s time to write 700 words on how a slight mod to a chip firmware can yield a %0.008 effect on battery life, or that some program just got a billion downloads in one of the 15 app stores.

Pocketables is not going to be “APP X updated from 3.1.0.2 to 3.1.0.2b brings about fix for slight purple on one menu!”

We’ve got some talented writers and content producers here, would like more, it’s a platform, can’t pay anyone to produce but can pay YT ad revenue, so yeah. I’ve also got a large offer sitting on the table to sell Pocketables to a vibrator company and to produce firearm-related content.

We’ve got a contact us option, you see any interesting news shoot it this direction. We’ve also got a contact us option for helping out. Literally the only suggestion I’ve gotten this entire year has been to not tell people they needed to make plans take care of themselves (back in March,) because the government was not going to help them with the pandemic. I have gotten a few news tips though.

Oh yeah, since I bought it Pocketables has made ~2000 in advertising, spent ~500 on plugins, themes, and Disqus (I have to pay $100 or so yearly to not have 90 ads in the comment sections which have about 90 comments this year,) we have a deal on hosting that ends at the end of this year that’s a sweat equity deal, and have made $109.43 on Patreon. This does not include the mad cash Paul and the editors make by monetizing links, but it’s beer nuts money.

Saving to do something good

I’d planned on posting another transparency report a while back, but this is close to it… too tired to track down receipts.

We’ve dropped most of the plugin recurring costs so 2021 should even out when I have to start paying for hosting.

Considering taking sponsored ads, but our current daily organic traffic is low – this means the number of people who type in Pocketables and see the main page makes you want to cry / is not good for advertisers. The site traffic of people Google searching for “how to get that 2.4ghz device to work on your 2.4/5ghz network” is absurd. I will mention that. We’re a search destination, not a daily.

Meh, money… give me toys to play with and I will write about them.


The future of tech

I’m honestly befuddled at this point what Apple and Google think they’re doing. Seems the world could be changed and they’re not there any more for the world changing. Just for the faster status quo updating. Sell the same product but slightly faster with one new feature. Maybe I’m just jaded at this point because I watched as we went from 15 devices to one but it seems like they have stopped with the progress. Maybe I’m just not on enough coffee today.

I’m confused a bit about Smart Assistants lack of smarts. So many things a decently programmed AI could do for you like setting up safety measures “are you sure you want to turn off everything in the house?” and notifications “your basement lights have been on for 3 hours, do you want to turn them off?” and integration with energy monitors “your stove has been on for three hours and you just ordered pizza, should I call the fire department?”

We’ve seen by the past weeks that Amazon, Google, and Microsoft (to a much lesser degree,) go down and die hard repeatedly. Perhaps it’s time to demand that each one of these come up with a backup strategy, perhaps in conjunction with each other, to maintain these services. When all of Google can get downed because a storage space issue this is problem. Yes, there’s no A there because this is problem.

That pesky virus

You know we had the cure since March 2020. The safety and effectiveness trials are the reasons December is when the vaccines are rolling out. Be interesting to see if when Covid-2021 pops around if they decide a million dead are worth the Phase 2 trials or if they’ll challenge trial Phase 1 to get rates and go straight to 3 concurrently.

Not tech related, but interesting to me.

Consume

Pocketables makes money on commerce. I don’t want people to buy junk though. I *rarely* promote things I haven’t played with and there’s a pile of stuff that never got reviewed because if you can’t say something nice, and you don’t actually hate the product, why spend an hour writing a meh review? If you’re in Nashville and want access to a pile of product that needs to go somewhere, hit me up.

I do not sell this stuff. Another writer once told me he would never trust someone who gave a good review to something and then turned around and tried to sell it on Craigslist, and as such I’m probably $3K down on selling chargers, batteries, and bedjets to people. Maybe I should rethink that. Pile o’ tech.

Ideas?

Got any?

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts