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Iain Baker
DJ, Musician, Manager, Father.
DJ, Musician, Manager, Father.

Iain's posts

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UVB76 - best label around, by a mile.

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Great little piece on Japan's obsession with all things cute +TOKYO EXTRA #japan #anime #kawaii #cute

Plenty of gigs on the way - and new material too. Will get something up, here, ASAP x 

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Blogging again!

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Absolutely love this - epic ambience from DJ Shadow. It's the title track of the forthcoming album.... #music #newmusic #djshadow

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Wow! Roland TB-303 ring! #acidhouse #roland #tb303 #music #jewellery 

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More tiny food amazingness! #kawaii #japan 

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More blogging, for anyone who's interested.

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Mindblowing stuff - about teens making money via Tumblr.
Tumblr, teens, AdSense fraud & affiliate schemes

Tumblr holds a unique place in teen culture, where "smart weird kids" (especially girls) from around the world could meet each other.  That is an interesting story in and of itself, but Elspeth Reeve's recent article in The New Republic shows what can go wrong when money comes into the mix. 

It's a story that includes AdSense click fraud,  a spammy ad network called Exposely, snake-oil affiliate advertising - and ultimately a bunch of teens loosing both their AdSense accounts and their blogs.

AdSense came first. And as the teens discovered, banner ads don't usually make you much money unless you cheat.

With AdSense banners, users get paid when a reader clicks or views an ad. However, Google forbids “click fraud”—you can’t just click on an ad on your own blog all day and watch the money come in. Google has bots looking for that. So teens have schemes to evade the bots. There are a handful of secret Facebook groups and multi-member chats for Tumblr users with high follower counts—between 10,000 and 100,000 or even more—with names like Wallflowers 2.0 and GOATS. There they organize to trade favors, like agreeing to   promote each other’s posts. An “r4r” in the Facebook group is offering an exchange of reblogs, so each blog is exposed to a wider set of followers. An “r4c” means a user will reblog a post for someone who promises to visit their blog, refresh it several times, click on the ad, and then refresh it several times—but only if you’re from a “premium country,” because Google pays more for clicks from Ireland, for example, than from the Philippines. An ad might specify “please no car/dating/clothing web sites!” because those ads pay less per click. The blog must be refreshed until a better-paying ad shows up, like one from a bank.

The two teens that ran the popular (but now gone) "So-Relatable"  blog - Zach Lilley and Jeremy Greenfield - earned thousands of dollars a month from AdSense. In 2013 their earnings totaled $249,000.   But then, disaster - near the end of that year AdSense disabled their account. 

Not to be deterred, they teamed up with a man named Dennis Hegstad to create an ad network of their own, Exposely. Hegstad is a former Myspace star and popular Twitterer with ties to the music industry, who had been working with the boys on promotion and monetization of their Tumblr blog.

Explosely recruited a number of popular teen Tumblr bloggers as publishers. And their ad practices sound pretty dodgy - they let bloggers who had had their own AdSense accounts terminated display the network's AdSense ads, they created "garbage content sites" plastered with ads and had the bloggers promote links, and ultimately had their publishers post "testimonials" promoting snake-oil diet pills.

Exposely’s diet pill scheme got going in April 2014, and it worked—it worked like crazy. got almost 7 million views that month, and with the diet pill ads, they sometimes achieved a conversion rate near 10 percent. Once, across all their blogs, Exposely made $24,000 in a single day.

And then, not too surprisingly, it all came crashing down. Tumblr terminated all those popular teens' blogs for violating their terms of service.

Lilley and Greenfield had unwittingly spread the poison that would kill a huge section of the teen Tumblr world. Lilley had told his friends they were safe (“I fucked up telling you guys that”), but he lost his accounts, too, and wouldn’t have used the ads if he knew it’d get them banned

Where are they now? Lilley and Greenfield are still making money, although they keep losing their various affiliate accounts and their Tumblr blogs keep getting removed. A recent move to Wordpress apparently hasn't been so successful.
And Hegstad is still out there, having glowing articles written in publications like Fast Company about his "empire" and success on Twitter.

The big losers? The teens who trusted them and ended up losing their blogs. 

Read Elspeth Reeve's fascinating article at +The New Republic :

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More blogging -this time about wanting more books in my life.
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