13 Years of No-Ad Telly, How LinkedIn Treats Posts, and More…

Going 13 years without TV ads… and counting

Twelve years ago my husband and I discovered something really cool. Totally bored with TV ads, we realised we could turn the sound down during ad breaks and do something more interesting instead. I usually continue with the book I’m reading or play my recorder, he usually reads or picks up a guitar.
Assuming every hour-long programme on a commercial channel contains three 3 minute ad breaks, that’s just under ten minutes of fun time every hour. Say we watch 3 hours of telly a night. That’s almost 30 minutes of free time per evening, three and a half hours per week, 14 hours a month and and an entire week of extra free time per year.
How come I got so sick of being advertised at? Several reasons:

  • TV ads are frequently cartoons, often star fictional characters, play out lowest-common-denominator stories and seem to be targeted at children, not grown ups. I resent being infantilised
  • The jangling music and ridiculous lyrics drive me nuts – they’re the last thing I want rolling around my head as an ear-worm!
  • The repetition, where you potentially see the same ad in every break for days on end, drives me even more crazy
  • I’d rather make my own choices about what to buy than be coerced into buying brands that invest a fortune in advertising

Now and again a new ad looks intriguing for some reason, so we watch it once then turn the sound off again. In thirteen years we’ve never looked back. Ad-free viewing is a lovely way to spend an evening. We’ve told our friends about it, and they’ve started doing it too. Maybe we’ll kick off a trend. What do you think?

How LinkedIn treats your posts

You might assume that posting something on LinkedIn means your entire network sees it, because it gets surfaced to your timeline automatically. Not so. As a LinkedIn post I recently discovered made clear, it’s a whole lot more complicated than that. 
First of all, the network’s algorithm examines your post and categorises it as either spam, low quality, or clear. Second, it gets sent to a small, randomised sample of the people in your network to see if they deliver clues about how popular it’ll be. Third, the algorithm looks at the number of likes, comments, and shares you get from the randomised sample. A like is worth one point, a comment two and a share three. Lastly, assuming your post gets enough people liking, commenting and sharing, it goes to LinkedIn HQ, where human editors decide whether it’s worth surfacing to third party feeds. If so, you’re trending.
PS. I’d love to credit the person who posted this on LinkedIn, but I can’t find the dratted thing now! If it was you, let me know and I’ll award you a backlink)  

Waste not, want not… FOR SALE! Six travel news articles

I wrote these blog posts/articles for a client who disappeared off the radar after falling seriously ill. Rather than just waste them, I thought I’d offer them to my readers at a knock-down price of £20 each.

  1. Holidaying Abroad? Why Your Child’s Surname Matters
  2. 40% of Young Brits Reject Travel Insurance
  3. Thailand Travel Scam Leaves More Than 1000 Thai Travellers Stranded
  4. Watch out for Tourist Scams in Vietnam
  5. Hot Environmental Issues – How ‘Green’ is Air Travel?
  6. Travel India – Goa Where the Locals Go!

Anyone interested? If so I’ll email them to you so you can check them out. If you’d like to use them I’ll send an invoice for £120, payable in 7 days by cheque or direct bank transfer.

What, no SEO?

Like millions of others, I use the excellent Yoast WordPress SEO plugin to support on-site SEO. But now and again a post doesn’t have a single focus, nor are any particular keywords relevant. This is one of those times. I’ve covered three very different subjects in one post, which hopefully makes for an entertaining read. I could go crowbar some keywords in, but it really would be a crowbar job, not natural. In cases like this, I don’t bother.
I’d rather not consider on-page SEO than try to make unnatural keywords fit. You?

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