• Because somebody asked: I don't earn anything from this blog. There are no ads, no paid PR placements, no Paypal Donate button, nada. I don't charge for the theater releases I post here--they're my form of help in getting the word out about new productions, and also reminders to me about the shows I need to catch. Other than that--if you're with a theater company, or involved in a theater project, and somebody approaches you with an offer to have something posted in my blog for a fee, run away as fast as you can, but not before giving that fleecebag the finger on my behalf.
• You will see Google ads in some old entries. Those are a throwback to a time when I had Google ads on the front page and on every archived post. But since they only seemed to slow down the blog, I've ditched all advertising, though I haven't gotten around to removing the old ones. They'll be gone soon, too. Disclosure: Did I earn money from Google AdSense? Yes, for a brief time, in 2006-2007: 200 dollars, the first $100 check arriving by mail after eight months of blogging, the second and last one five months after that. The thing with Google AdSense is, it'll only earn if you have enough traffic clicking on those ads. I don't--so the chore of affixing the code to every archived entry in hopes of the ads inducing user clicks eventually became a drag.
• To clarify--getting the AdSense code is absolutely free, you don't need to peddle any particular product or be associated with one; the ads are tailored by Google to your blog's content. I had no hand in who clicked the ads that appeared here--who are these people who click on Internet ads, anyway?--so I feel comfortable about having received those couple of hundred dollars for my personal blogging. But, after having done this for over four years, I don't really care now about earning from the blog, or even getting the kind of massive traffic that would enable that. I haven't checked my SiteMeter stats in ages, and I'm only grateful that people continue to read, visit, comment, or plain lurk. The site's cleaner, simpler without the ads. It will stay that way.
• It's easy to spot which are my personal entries and which ones are press releases on this site. My writing comes in the type/font you're reading now. The PRs appear differently--in Verdana font, italics, smaller type (e.g, here). See the difference? That should distinguish between writing that's mine, that carries my byline, and pieces requested by (mostly) theater folk to be posted here. Do I accept non-theater releases? Sure, as long as they fall within the ambit of my personal passions and interests as enumerated in the masthead. Nothing against, say, a Nestea volleyball competition, or the launch of the latest Mac makeup, but they're not what this blog is about.
• However, every single PR that appears here is reviewed and edited personally by me. I don't blindly cut-and-paste. More often than not, I end up rewriting the piece to make it clearer, more concise and straightforward. I can't say this enough: When writing a press release, go straight to the point. Make it news-y. Leave the attempt at creative writing somewhere else. PRs are for getting information out there as plainly and efficiently as possible. While I welcome PRs related to my interests, sloppy, poorly written ones will not appear here as they are. Check out other blogs: If all they do is copy-paste press kits verbatim down to the last glaring dangling modifier, you know there isn't much original thought or effort going on there.
• Ah, Mr. Anonymous commenter. I think I've developed latent osteoporosis from all the bending over backwards I've done to accommodate all manner of commentary here. I don't mind unsigned comments--as long as they say something sensible or valuable. I don't even mind that the point might be contrary to my own opinion. At various times, various competing viewpoints have been aired in this blog, and that's something I welcome. What I draw the line at is vicious anonymous commentary. Bad enough that these trolls are too cowardly to attach a name to their words; worse, what they post is just nasty, useless bile.
• My journalistic instinct to always explain, make things clear, has more than once led me to tangle with an anonymous commenter. But I should really take my cue from Fickle Cattle, whose blog I admire, and who's got a better idea: I have a lot of respect for people who disagree with me and who do so openly and proudly... [But] how do you fight cowards who hide in the shadows?
Well, you don’t. From my experience, the best way is to not fight at all. Most of these commenters are really just people trying to get a rise out of you, or who wants to grab some bit of attention for themselves. Why give them what they want? Better to ignore them.
In my case, I usually just delete the comment they wrote. I’ve since learned that trolls hate indifference more than anger. Indifference merely reflects the fact that these people aren’t important at all. To show your anger is to give them some significance. When you do not even try to acknowledge that they made a comment, then you emphasize the worthlessness of their words, which is perfectly okay since their words precisely are worthless.
That sounds just about right. Ignore, baby, ignore. [Update: Or mark as spam!] Now, on to more blogging.