osticket Forum updated

This past Wednesday the devs over at the osTicket forums updated their forum software. 

https://forum.osticket.com

The new forum software is pretty similar to the old but there are no more categories.  The site uses tags to determine how posts are organized.  You can add tags to your post when you create it. 

Unfortunately they could not transfer your passwords.  Please use the lost password link to get the site to send you a password reset link to get in. 

source: https://forum.osticket.com/d/92995-forums-upgraded

Hosted osTicket is available – Supportsystem.com

I post a lot of information here about the Open Source project called osTicket. Much of which is my own hacking, information, FAQs that I have compiled from the forums, directions and howTo's to try to help the osTicket software community.  It is my hope that my posts help spread the word about osTicket, broaden the community, as well as help the members of the community.

Did you know that the company that supports the development of osTicket has a hosted version?  It's called supportsystem.com and for as little as $9 per agent per month you can have your very own mostly preconfigured personizable osTicket installation run on their servers with email integration.  To clarify a little an agent is your staff member who answers customer/client questions.  This hosted version enjoys the same features that you can currently enjoy in the free self hosted version of osTicket but with none of the headaches of self hosting or setup.  If you are looking for a customer client portal or just want to support an organization internally I urge you to check them out over at: http://supportsystem.com. It's also worth mentioning that they are currently offering a 30 day free trial with no Credit Card required, and no commitment!  Once your trial is over they will ask you for a credit card to to continue your paid plan, and you are always free to change and or downgrade your plan at any time.

~ ntozier


Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation for the writing of this brief summary. I also receive no compensation of any kinda for referrals to their service or for new customers signing up. In the spirit of full disclosure they did fly me down to their corporate headquarters and put me up in September of last year to join in the first osticket dev conference.  I wrote a little about that experience here: http://tmib.net/reflections-of-the-weekend/

 

Adsense woes Continues [and some Adsense Alternatives]

The other day I posted about how Google Adsense suspended my account for “invalid click activity”. Today brings you some updates to that drama. Google has rejected my appeal.

Hello,

Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate the additional information you’ve provided, as well as your continued interest in the AdSense program. However, after thoroughly re-reviewing your account data and taking your feedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we’re unable to reinstate your AdSense account.

Please know that, once we’ve reached a decision on your appeal, further appeals may not be considered, and you might not receive any further communication from us. Note that AdSense publishers whose accounts are disabled for violations of our Terms and Conditions are not eligible for further participation in AdSense. For this reason, you may not open new accounts.

Also, accounts disabled for invalid click activity will receive no further payment nor any reissue of previous payment. Your outstanding balance and Google’s share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

We understand that you may want more information about your account activity. However, because we have a need to protect our proprietary detection systems, we’re unable to provide our publishers with any details about their account activity.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

This is of course what I expected to hear after reading around the net about this same thing happening to other people. I poured over my Google Analytics account, installed a Apache log parser [something that I have been meaning to do for years] and started pouring over my logs. I of course cannot see exactly where the clicks occurred… but after looking at Analytics I have figured out about where but only because Google Anayltics has a nice little Content -> Adsense -> Overview section.

So armed with this additional information I emailed them again. Here is a snippet of my very long email to them:


The following days have a higher click activity then I would have expected:
Apr 23, 24, 25
Apr 29, 30
May 1, 2, 3

Narrowing the report down to Apr 21st through May 5th some 92.76% of Adsense revenue generated by my account was for the page “/” (which I take to mean the base URL). There were 39 clicks during this time, and that is VERY high for what I would have expected. In comparison I only received 10 clicks from Jan 1st through Apr 21st. Which appears to me to mean that I have been averaging about 2.5 clicks per month this year. Which isn’t a good comparison since my traffic has been steadily increasing.

Jan 2013 – 1994 pageviews
Feb 2013 – 3460 pageviews
Mar 2013 – 4772 pageviews
Apr 2013 – 7477 pageviews
May 2013 – HALF MONTH 4051 pageviews

So while I have figured out which page generates the most clicks, I cannot seem to narrow it down to determine where the click traffic came from. Clicking on Adsense Referrers shows me a nice break down but only tells me that there were 6 ads clicked between Apr 21, 2013 – May 5, 2013 and their referral source was plus.url.google.com. [This makes sense to me since I routinely cross post snippets of my sites posts to my Google+ account to attempt to drum up more traffic.] This only appears to make up for about a third of the adsense ads viewed.

So where at the other 2000ish adsense ad views?
Or for that matter how do I account for the other 33 clicks?

I went on to say that I would like my account to be re-instated, and asked if they would work with me to attempt to determine where the traffic came from. I also offered them a copy of Apache2 logs. Much to my surprise I received a reply the very next day reading:

While waiting I decided to look into Adsense alternatives. There are a number [LOTS] of blog posts across the interwebs about alternatives. After about two hours of skimming and reading I selected the following two alternatives:

Infolinks

Infolinks is really simple system. You add a very small javascript into the bottom of your page and their system selects a configurable number of words to underline. These underlined keywords now serve mouseovers, and click links. If visitors click on these links you get paid a small amount. As you can see I was accepted into their program and this is now live on the site.

and

Media.net

Media.net serves contextual ads like adsense. You can easily create and customize ad units that display text ads consisting of sponsored linkes and ad topics from the Yahoo! Bing Network. My sites were not accepted into this program, I haven’t had a chance to try to figure out why. I’m guessing its because they do not generate enough traffic however.

I will of course be looking for more alternatives in the near future as time permits. But with Tournaments of Creathorne 20 (A LARP event) this up coming weekend it will not be until at least next week some time. I’ll keep you all posted on the Adsense Alternatives that I find and decide to try.

Google Adsense Suspended

It’s not very often that I will say anything negative against Google. In fact I use a slew of their “free” offerings ranging from GMail to Adsense to Webmaster Tools to Blogger to Reader to Drive to Talk to… well you get the point. Not long ago osTicket released a new version, and as most of you know I’m a fairly avid supporter or and member of the osTicket community and have been for several years… This of course means that my site got a slew of traffic and much of it from osticket.com. (I would especially like to thank those of you who visited this free site and chose to click on a Google Adsense ad as a thank you!)

It was a huge treat to see my sites traffic slowly just keep going up last month. I imagine that its how people who launch successful sites must feel when they realize that their site just might have a following and that all their hard work has finally paid off. Since February the sites average unique visitors per month has steadily climbed until it peaked at just about 2004 in April. [I know 2004 unique visitors isn’t a lot, but it was 700 more then the month before!] It is kinda thrilling to see dollars instead of cents in your Adsense reports. How do I know these traffic metrics? Because I use Google Analytics of course!

However it is NOT thrilling to getting an email from Adsense over the weekend when your out getting your free comic books on Free Comic Book day saying that your account has been suspended due to suspicious click activity just days before your supposed to find out what your biggest month ever of traffic has gained you.

Really Google? Really? I mean come on. I’ve been using Adsense for a few years now. I’ve gotten exactly one check for exceeding the $100 threshold in all that time. I’ve had it for months and haven’t even cashed it. In fact its probably not even good anymore since I think that it says that it has to be cashed within 90 days. Why? Because I feel that my first $100 from Google would make a great wall decoration. I want to frame it and hang it on the wall. Obviously my account was dangerous and posed a risk to your AdWords advertisers…

updated May 17th, 2013: corrected unique visitor count for the month of April. I misreported the amount of unique site visitors since I read the report wrong. The number reported was 550, the actual number is 2004 550 was the high day watermark. Oops!

Neat income percentile calculator

Remeber the Occupy Wall Street protest [which started in NY on September 17, 2011]? Of course you do! It hasn’t even been a year. Since you remember you’re very familiar with all the “We are the 99%” pictures all over the net. Well today I found a “What Income Percentile Are You” calculator over at Intuit’s web site. Ever wonder what percentile you are actually in? The calculator will tell you. I displays both your US percentile and world percentile. Check it out with the link below:

what-percent-are-you

I admit that it makes me wonder if any of the protestors were in the top 1% globally speaking and if they even considered that. In case your curious to be in the top 1% globally you need to make about $104,000/year.

Blogger.com: How to center header image and header text

So a while back blogger.com moved to their new format. I of course migrated the Elder Tribunal to the new version. I spent some time trying to figure out how to center the header image and header text. The text was easy to do. The image was easy to do in IE, but didn’t want to work in Firefox and Chrome. So I set it back to left justified and decided to wait until I had more time to play with it.

Today I sat down and in about 5 minutes figured out how to do both. So here it is for everyone else:

1. Log into Blogger.com.
1.a. If you have more then one blog click on the one that you want to edit by clicking on the title.
2. Click on the “Template” menu item on the left.
3. Under the image of tyour blob click on the “Customize” button.
4. in the header menu on the left click on “Advanced”.
5. Directly to the right of where you just clicked use the scroll bar to go to the bottom, and click on “Add CSS”.
6. In the new text area to the right enter the following code:

#header
{
text-align:center;
}
#header-inner img {
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
}

7. Click “Apply to Blog” in the upper right.

ebay: best product question ever

Started selling some stuff on ebay again. I let stuff pile up and its time for some of it to find new homes or hit the circular file. One of the things that has always been a source of frustration on ebay auctions is some times answering the inane questions asked by people. Well today I got the best question of all time… (partially because its not a question, but rather a statement).

Dear themaninblack,

Johnny Cash is alive and selling RAM!! Cool....
;-)

- v.silly

Thank you that was awesome!

ps you can view my auctions HERE

gmail fail

Now this is too funny:

Secure Connection Failed

mail.google.com uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate will not be valid until 3/25/2009 12:49 PM.

(Error code: sec_error_expired_certificate)

The best part about this is that when your system clock gets reset to factory default it screws SSL certs to hell.<