Not actually Nashville, but similar to today

It’s a dark and foggy December morning as I write this. I’m recovering from whatever horrible baby disease of the day I managed to get yesterday.

Kim notes it’s the 13th time she got sick this year, it’s been a running sick battle with two little ones under three and a host of illnesses neither of us has been exposed to.

PS, this is long, it’s broken down into Site news, personal news, and a way you can get stuff free(ish). You can skip to the free stuff and I won’t be offended.

Thought I’d give a few updates about the site, my ability to devote time, something that might work well for you, various projects I’m working on for the future of Pocketables, etc.

Site news

A couple of day’s worth of work updating plugins, clearing out errors, optimizing images, and otherwise doing the things I’d been fighting nearly three years to get to do have indeed turned the site around.

Without any other authors writing for the past two or three months the site’s been in traffic decline. Actually getting the site to index properly on google turned it around. It’s not particularly a miracle turnaround, but it’s the type of thing if it had been done years ago when I wanted it we’d be actually in a really good position… well, theoretically. I can’t claim for sure that success wouldn’t have gone to our heads.

Basically if our site was in this position a year ago, bam, we win. As it stands it’s in more of an “I told you so” position. Traffic increasing even with my limited updates.

Unfortunately, people have to eat. Pocketables was a massive commitment for some projects (you have no idea the amount of time I’ve wasted on Tasker projects just to attempt to get something useful out there, John lived on the site for a while,) and the site went from something that almost paid for my daughter’s daycare into several months of promises from CG to try and pay me what they owe me (which has reached used car levels, or a couple of months of daycare).

Eh… headdesk

The EVO Project

Working on it, have an FTP of a lot of stuff but have not got it seeded and indexed yet… if you need any old EVO stuff, just drop a line.

CG news, or what’s going on with that

So, during all this time Crowdgather, the company that bought out Jenn Lee’s sites (Pocketables, GoodAndEVO, Streaksmart?) is restructuring.

They used to be entirely about forums. Having a huge array of them, monetizing links as they could and making money off of advertising targeted to that.

The forums were a place where other than a topic and a moderator, the content was user produced. Pocketables doesn’t fit with that, they didn’t quite know what to do with us.

We sort of were the red headed stepchild they wanted to see what would happen if left to our own devices. But without the ability to fix all the underlying problems of the site we had lots of problems. We’ve covered them before. They’re mostly fixed now.

We took nearly two million visitors a month and plowed that down to the floor before starting the upswing (which hopefully keeps going.) Yeah, G&E and Pocketables was absurdly popular at one point. Then I got here (sad trombone).

Anyway, Crowdgather’s making a leap into the legal marijuana business forums, apps, and cannabis crowdfunding. You can see it on their home page, or read about it here, and here. There’s also a stock buy back that took place while I wasn’t looking a couple of months ago. Those are generally good news indicators, or at least done to make it look like there’s good news.

The back end of the company is changing, they reported a 74% increase in revenue so it looks like they’re on the way back to profitability.

Since I live in a state where MJ in any form is illegal (and income from said industries,) had a quick talk with my lawyer. Evidently I’m fine unless they decide to sell it (which it doesn’t appear they’re doing,) and use said profits marked “drug money” to pay me. Let’s hope. Still unclear on the crowdfunding cannabis concept.

Pocketables will most likely not be covering weed unless the HTC A10 includes an ambient secondhand marijuana smoke meter that tells you when you’re in danger of intoxication.

The Pocketables revenue stream supposedly suffers from an advertising network change and a net 60 pay time… we’ll see.

Personal news

Eh, I did it for fun originally, I can do it for fun again for a while, and have. Or I thought I could up to yesterday.

Wife got the news yesterday her job is being relocated to Michigan because her boss of a multi-state spanning company wants everything done in one place. Get all the eggs, put them in one basket. Nothing ever’s gone wrong with that plan. She’s not planning on relocating, it’s not that good of a job.

Eh, their loss mostly except that now she’s in panic mode with a toddler, newborn, five grand in medical bills, and very little savings due to purchasing a mom-mobile outright. This on top of fighting with Vanderbilt and the insurance company as Vandy seems to not know how to bill things properly.

I blew all my money this year on whimsical things such as a foundation repair (who would have thought a six inch settlement could be $17,000,) bathroom floor replacement (who would have thought a leak behind the tub could eat a floor away,) and replacing a central AC unit. Yeah, living the high life this year hashbrown moneypits.

So our Christmas and foreseeable future is looking like a mad scramble for employment and extra employment and insurance as we’ll be losing that too. Should you know of anything in the Nashville area needing beaten by an IT tech who can work on projects at night and weekends, feel free to drop me a line.

That said, this probably means from now until January 11th updates are going to be at random times. My Twitter feed will probably consist of me asking if I can sell out now.

Ah well. Oh yeah, unless something changes I’m going to not be updating during CES. Tickets purchased, can’t get that money back now, have a free place to stay thanks to John Freml who will also be there.

Might as well go as it actually works for every industry I work in (baby tech, IT, phone tech, bars that serve free drinks and are made entirely of ice).

Upcoming reviews (want to help?)

I’ve got a few things on the plate left, but I’m probably going to back off the reviews for a while as I mainly concentrated on them to attempt to get the site some money via clickthroughs to Amazon. I mean, they’re neat things, but we’re getting more and more into the “how many words can he possibly write about yet another charger?”

And honestly, I think it’s about 800 more are left in me. That’s about three reviews. I’ll stretch those out over the next year on chargers.

I had an idea. It was like a little LED popped on over my head. The old style two wires hanging out square bulb LEDs. Not a lightbulb looking LED. No. Those don’t inspire ideas.

Pocketables can’t pay (or won’t for a while). I can’t pay. What I do have though is a lot of vendors who like exposure on Pocketables and like that we have a pretty unbiased non-purchased review site. Really, companies can’t pay to get reviews. We admit we like Android. I don’t do much iBashing as I don’t have a lot of iHate most of the time.

So, you know how you read all those shill Amazon reviews saying they got a product for a fair and unbiased honest review and then all of them post a 5-star review? What if we did that? What if some people said “hey, I’m willing to write a review covering this that and this of a product” – you’d be under absolutely no obligation to the company you’re getting it from, just to Pocketables to provide a real review.

You’d get $30-$80 worth of product, take some pictures, write up your experience with it, we’d post it with your review. Now, I’ll admit if you said the company sucks donkey balls I might ask you to contact them first to verify that the product has a problem and you’re not just a hater, but…

Imagine being under absolutely no perceived obligation to write a positive review and you still get the product. Imagine if you thought it was an average product and therefore gave it a three star as opposed to the five Amazon reviewers seem to give?

I really don’t know if this is something people would be interested in on any side though – I’d appreciate feedback. Would you as a reader be interested in other readers getting product, reviewing to our guidelines? Would it work better if we had multiple people get and review product? Is product for review an acceptable sounding proposition?

Eh, let me know. I’m a bit out of ideas due to being a bit stressed lately.

Completely random

If you happen to be in Nashville and run across an XBOX One of dubious origin, my Little Brother’s house was broken into and someone stole his that he’d saved nearly a year for, along with anything else of value in the house. Just looking for any leads as it’s a robbery.