Likes and dislikes, adverts etc

I added ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons to this site a few months ago.  They appear on every page, every blog post and every comment.

I added them to the site because a few people asked for them, and they are often found on websites like mine.

It’s entirely up to you if you use them or not.  I do glance at how many ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ are received by particular posts that I write – I pay less attention to whether readers of this blog like others’ comments or not.

There is some guy (it couldn’t possibly be a gal) who puts two ‘dislikes’ on most of my posts early in the morning – I’d like to thank him for his efforts!

The way I look at the ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ is that both of them show that someone has been moved by my writing.  ‘Dislikes’ are almost as good as ‘likes’ in my mind – that’s why I thank the ‘2 dislikes’ regular.  I suppose I rate a ‘dislike’ as being half as valuable as a ‘like’ – roughly.

This post received the most ‘likes’ in recent weeks.

I also added adverts to this site a couple of months ago. I don’t really like them much but this blog costs me something to run and maintain.  You seem to like the adverts a bit – even though I guess, like me, you would say you hate them. They are generating an income of about £1.50/day although I haven’t seen any of it yet.

Your comments tell me what a very small proportion of readers of this blog think about what I have written. I love the comments from regular commenters (of course) but sometimes wish that there were a few more voices. If you’d like to make a comment then please do – it’s easy.  Of course, the ‘like/dislike’ buttons give you a quicker and wholly anonymous way of doing the same thing in broad terms.

The metrics I look at most, though, are from Google Analytics which tell me how many people have visited the site (Visits, Unique Visitors and Pageviews).  The data for each month are a bit like the data for climate change and years. Recent months have been the ‘hottest’ ever on this blog.  The last six months of 2013 were the six ‘hottest’ months ever for this blog.  August 2013 was the ‘hottest’ with November 2013 the second ‘hottest’ and December 2013 the third ‘hottest’.  This month, which we are only two thirds of the way through, would be the 9th ‘hottest’ already and so it looks like it will be up there in the top six at least.

I am interested in who you are and what you think of the site so I’ll soon be repeating a readers’ survey (with some extra questions too) which I carried out in December 2012.  It will be interesting to see what has changed.

Feel free to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ this post!


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20 Replies to “Likes and dislikes, adverts etc”

  1. Never even realised there were adverts till I went looking for them after reading the blog. So far to the right on my mobile device they don't intrude at all. Not much chance of me adding to your wealth, I'm afraid.

  2. Hi Mark, I have both liked your post anonymously and liked it by leaving this comment but then I can also like it and leave comments on Facebook, so I could end up leaving many duplicate comments and likes on multiple sites! Could get very confusing for all concerned - perhaps it's best to spread my likes around!

  3. PS. In addition you have two Facebook pages. You are going to be inundated with likes! (I have yet to dislike anything you have written although I'm not such a big fan of the gee gees!)

  4. This is a wonderful blog Mark and I admire your dedication to the cause. You are an inspiration to us all.
    Before you ask, I have bought 'Fighting for birds' and its great!

  5. I was in the Forest of Dean yesterday discussing what the Government are (or not as the case seems to be) doing about forestry with Rich Daniels, chair of HOOF - Hands Off Our Forest. It is really encouraging that time and inertia doesn't seem to have dimmed the support for our woodlands - thanks all those likers and commenters - its a real encouragement to everyone still fighting for our forests.

    But was it a tactic on Owen Paterson's part ? Is Defra's endless delay in doing anything to really secure the future of the FC's forests a tactic ? If it was me (or you, Mark) I'd be quite certain it was. With Owen and Defra I'm not so sure. Every time Defra builds up any sort of expertise they blow it - they probably spent £1m on the Independent Panel & built up a small core of civil servants who'd effectively had a short master class in the best of English forestry today - so use the resource ? No, the whole lot were sent to new jobs - and I've heard it was because they'd become too favourable to forestry. They were swung, 500,000 people signed the 38 degrees petition, panel members who may have started sceptical came round as they learnt more - is it, just, faintly, conceivably possible, Ministers and senior civil servants in Defra, that it could by some remote, unlikely, chance be you and not the rest of us who are getting it wrong ??

    1. Roderick, It is nice to hear HOOF are still around, good for them. I still play the HOOF CD in the car, it reminds me of home and growing up.

  6. Mark, I will have to admit to never filling in a like or dislike. A personal thing but I just find the whole concept a bit strange and do dislike dislike buttons, but I cant give dislike buttons dislike votes.

  7. Hi Mark
    I had sort of figured out that you have one or two people who "dislike" your posts as a matter of course. I suspect whoever it is doesn't actually read them as sometimes they have appeared on a neutral posting (so they didn't make sense); and also I once noticed a pointless, and potentially hurtful, "dislike" on one of the lovely pieces by one or other of the two young men (the artist and the blogger) who contribute to your blog from time to time. Personally I like them (the likes and dislikes I mean).

  8. Mark - thanks as ever for the brilliant blog. I like the likes and dislikes and like to like blog posts and comments if as often as I can, especially when I don't have time to comment (or comment on a comment). I've very seldom used dislike, not that I dislike the dislikes, just that it would take quite a lot to make me dislike something as opposed to just not to respond to it. I also appreciate likes and dislikes on my own comments - being still new to this whole online thing it's a useful way of getting feedback; when one comment recently got more dislikes than likes made me think I might have overstepped the mark (no pun intended!). Then it got a few more likes so now I'm not so sure...
    I agree with Wendy Birks (and liked her comment) that is was extremely unkind to dislike Findlay Wilde's recent guest blog and the week in birding paintings, I hope the authors take no notice and carry on contributing.

  9. I have only clicked the like/dislike buttons on rare occasions, as they are such a crude device. When I read a blog or a response there may be a number of different criteria on which I could base a decision, so I end up not bothering. Although it is interesting to hear that at least one person must despise everything on this blog so much that he can be bothered to "dislike" the lot.

    One question though. Why do you have two Facebook pages?

    1. Phil - one Facebook page is a Page and the other is a private account. The former is a place for anyone who wants to find out about Mark Avery, the author, the other is for Mark Vvery the person (and his friends - I have a few). In practice it isn't quite that clearcut.

  10. Mark, should there be a don,t know choice, just to comply with other questionnaires? Is that a yes, no or don,t know?

    1. Thank you for your comments, Nick. The flood risk maps from the EA take a very broad brush acapoprh, but they do show Holbeach as being at high risk of flooding, and do not show the area as benefiting from flood defences. How sure can we be in a time of recession that expensive flood defences, both from sea and rivers, will be maintained for an area of relatively low density population? It could ultimately boil down to a choice between saving urban areas, like Northampton, and areas like this one someone somewhere will press the buttons to open/close the appropriate sluices, and this will probably be an economic decision. South Holland will not have a lot of clout I think! I believe that priority has already been given to schemes protecting the town of Boston and to allow housing insurance to be obtainable there. When the flood insurance agreements between the government and insurers expire at the end of 2012 we will have seen flood maps again updated several times but with the prospect of more extreme climatic events, the faster run-off from urban development and the certainty of rising sea-levels the prospects don't look good for long term investment in or around Holbeach. The '1 in 200 year flood risk assessment doesn't mean it will happen every 200 years. The last major flooding due to tidal surge was 1953, and the climate and sea-level changes since then have been remarkable. My detailed reading of the research suggests an increasing frequency risk for this area. It would be interesting to know how much lobbying on the flood defences issue is being done by John Hayes. If South Holland is considered as such an important strategic food producer for the UK, why have we not seen significantly higher levels of investment in infrastructure?Sorry to seem negative, but against this scenario, shops in the increasingly derelict high street and parking arrangements seem like spitting in the wind!

  11. A valuable range of comments on what I find a really worthwhile blog. Your blog allows me to quickly tune in to the topics, taking a short cut route to arriving at the topics in the first place ( in case I've missed them elsewhere - common ) and reading an assessment and conclusion by your experienced mind, which is usually on the same wave length as mine ( just a couple of light years ahead!). I therefore hit the like button when I find the topic really important and I want to support what has been said or I particularly value the way you have presented a topic.

    I cannot remember disliking an item. I don't mind the 'Gee gee' bits and the only ad that irritates is the one for frozen meals - which I order for my ageing mother and seems to haunt me everywhere online! ( no I'm never going to buy more!). I also value the comments from other readers which opens the debate. Many of us probably find our views represented already, by the time we latch on, but would also gain confidence over a period of time to chip in.

    Anyway much appreciated, stimulating and stirring me into action - keep up the good work! Mind, you seem to have gone quiet on the raptor persecution front just lately when much has been happening?

  12. Dear Mr Avery,

    I was quietly reading back issues of your blog today when an image of Ms Esther Rantzen popped onto the VDU screen, causing me to fall from my chair and severely injure my funny bone. Thankfully, the image accompanied a personal injury claims advertisement, so you shall shortly be hearing from your advertisers.

    I was about to say that it'll be interesting to see what markets/audiences potential advertisers think they might reach via your injurious e-column but perhaps the multifarious, and no doubt nefarious, trackers that follow our travels around the Web, like some dumbstruck post-event GPS, are working to furnish each visitor to your pages with suitably tailored e-lure. Ah - in which case I suspect your lawyers would say that I have brought Ms Esther Rantzen, and my inevitable fall from grace, on my self. Oh B.......!

    1. Hippo..etc - yes, having taken legal advice from the team here, that is what we say!

      When I look at my own site, as i do now and then, I see lots of adverts for the RSPB (or rspb) which is fine except I am a member, a Life Fellow, and always will be so there is not point advertising to me.

      I occasionally see dating sites - which is slightly unnerving as I am spoken for.

      I have seen adverts for cars - I've got one and don't want another one.

      I've seen adverts for Amazon featuring an excellent book called Fighting for Birds and been tempted to buy another copy...

      But I think they are guessing really! Mostly I don't notice them much.

  13. 'Fighting for Birds', eh? Yes, I seem vaguely to have heard of that. I put it down to subliminal advertising

    Isn't it the title of an excellent book described by Chris Packham (GM) as "unputdownable" (Cunning use of the superglue there, Mark), which "every home should have" (Mrs. Avery) but sadly not featured on any dating sites [I am told], whilst the BBC's Top Gear and What Car Mag are clearly missing out on major cross-marketing opportunities. Their loss.

    Ah, an advert for Radox. Just the job.


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