Thursday, October 31, 2013

HOW I GOT MY FIRST GOOGLE ADSENSE CHEQUE – BLOGGING IN SOUTH AFRICA

 
Sometime in 2009, my brother practically begged me to see the ‘website’ he had created for his stepson. Eventually I clicked on the link and to my surprise I saw something that I liked and this piqued my curiosity. I then asked him question after question on how he did that, was it easy, could i do it?

For years my passion has been movies and TV shows. Movies, I guess because it always felt like family bonding moments whenever we rented movies. Movies, as I’m sure the feeling is for everyone, is really escapism into other worlds or realities, away from the dreary day to day life.
 So naturally my first blog was going to be about movies. I found a template and immediately started learning to navigate Blogger until I became accustomed to it. Any help I needed, I consulted my brother or Googled it. I posted reviews about movies I had seen, expressing my opinions for the world to see. Everyday after work I’d come home and check my stats. Were there any pageviews? What else could I write about?
I wasn’t obsessed, but rather excited at the fact that anything I wrote about could be expelled onto the net for the entire world to see. I wrote on and off and in 2010 my life changed a bit with a new job and baby girl. It was then that I created a blog for my daughter also, documenting her birth in photos.
I blogged until around October 2010 and never touched it again until July 2012! In this absence, alot changed in the world of blogging. I needed to change my template again. There were now literally hundreds of sites with them and codes for all kinds of widgets. I also found Google Adsense and Google Plus which I now used. It didn’t hurt of course to add some social networking in the form of Twitter and Facebook pages which automatically updated whenever I posted something new.

Due to an unfortunate turn of events, I stopped blogging again as life took it’s toll once more. I then started blogging again in April 2013. Here’s where something changed. To my surprise when I logged in, I found that my pageviews were in the tens of thousands, that I had followers on Facebook and Twitter and that I was actually earning money even though I hadn’t touched the blog in months.

I once again changed my template to update with the times. There were even more templates to choose from across the web. I fixed my blog to look more professional and kept watching as my blogs pageviews multiplied. Then around the beginning of October 2013, I was ecstatic to have received my first cheque from Google for my work on my blogs.
You can imagine my amazement because what started out as a hobby and a passion had actually turned into money. From life experiences, I’ve found that money and passion seldom agree with each other. As I write this, I see my next cheque is already on the way. I really enjoy blogging and look forward to doing it for a very long time.
So if you’ve found something you’re passionate about, write about it.Who knows, your passion could also turn into some welcomed cash.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Who's Your Daddy?

Okay so imagine you meet a nice girl and you two hit it off. You love that she’s intelligent and can keep a good conversation. You two start a relationship and bond on emotional, physical and even spiritual levels. Like so many guys who meet girls, this is typical hoe a relationship begins and continues. It’s communication that essentially is the metaphorical ‘glue’ between any couple.

Part of the bonding is sharing stories with each other, the intimate details of your life, morals and perhaps even experience. You totally open up to the other and trust is built. I think anyone that has had any kind of relationship must surely understand what I’m saying.

One such story during the bonding phase goes like this...

I heard one of the most private secrets spoken off the soft lips of a loved one. She told me that when she was in matric and doing her final exams, her grandmother, on her father’s side asked her and her father to undergo a paternity test to prove that she was indeed her father’s daughter. She said she was under immense stress and could hardly cope with writing exams and going through the emotional trauma of a paternity test.

My heart broke and I really didn’t know what to say. A thousand different things went through my head, least of all, I pondered then if her grandmother was questioning her paternity that really implied that her own mother must’ve done something to have an entire family wondering such a thing. I looked into her eyes and asked if she knows why her grandmother would endure both her and her father to such a test and she responded saying she didn’t know.

What does one really say when you hear such a story. It’s a complex mixture of personal history intertwined with emotion and inner turmoil. One that’s possibly unimaginable unless you yourself have gone through such an experience.

Right, now flash forward two years into the future. The woman is now the ripe old age of 31. Her father sits in front of us. We now have a child of our own, a little boy. The only problem is, she admitted having an affair with her ex-boyfriend during the marriage and one of the things in question is the paternity of our own child. This unsurety comes from a message I intercepted on her phone where when chatting online to her ex-boyfriend’s cousin, she was asked if who the father of her child was, to which she replied her husband. Then she was told that the child looked like someone else and questioned how sure she was. She then replied with an oh and said she’d have to look.

So here she sits, with her dad and I. Trying to reach out to her dad, I said he should appreciate the questioning of paternity of our son because he too experienced it when he and his daughter went through it and thus understanding my predicament.
Imagine to my amazement when her father turns around to me and says he has NO IDEA WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!! No such event ever happened! The two of us sat dumbfounded and confused. The entire story was a lie! He’s daughter had nothing to further say, instead she tried to make up more excuses.

The question I’m leaving you with is, why would someone make up such an elaborate story? To serve what purpose exactly and to achieve what? There are just some questions to which we have to resign ourselves to the fact that we’ll never know the answer to for as long as we live.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A CRIMINAL ... To Be In Jail


We work very hard every day to live what we all consider our dreams. For some of us it’s just the basics that matter, a roof over our head and food on the table, anything else you can afford after that is I suppose considered wealth.

Now back to the “roof over our head” bit. It seems in South Africa, one of the best, let’s call it living situations is in what we call Townhouse Complexes. These complexes provide a safety net or safety in numbers. Lots of families, living in bricked up houses and feeling safe behind six foot walls with electric fences. These complexes are common place and litter the landscape all along our cities. Even these have levels relating to wealth, with the extremely rich having all kinds of protection against the outside world including fingerprint / handprint identification, guest verification and so on.

Why would we hide behind these electrified walls? To be safe against whatever the world may throw at us? While living like this may be considered freedom and really, few of us even know our neighbours or even their names other than a smile and a wave now and again, this is really sub-conscious prison walls we’ve thrown up around us.

Let’s look at the differences or similarities. Electrified fence – CHECK. Guards at a gate – CHECK. Walls higher than we can climb – CHECK. Perhaps the only difference is that unlike jail, we report to landlords instead of jailors and we’ve chosen to live like this, whereas in jail there’s no choice. I’m sure I could go on and on about the similarities but I’m sure you get the idea.



We have now as a civilised nation really jailed ourselves all with a notion of safety. Whilst I realise that South Africa is one of the most crime infested countries in the world, I find myself asking how is this living if we’re all cooped up in these self – inflicted jail cells? Guess at the end of the day it’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it?






Check out the into song for the TV show Weeds, I think it describes it aptly...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

SOCIAL NETWORKING - HOW DETRIMENTAL ARE THEY TO RELATIONSHIPS


Now in all honesty I truly believe in the good in people. When given any choice they will make the right choice. Now I hear some of you laughing. Perhaps it’s naive but I try not to be too cynical. So when your partner is on Social Networking platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Mxit even Linkedin, you shouldn’t have any serious concerns because you know your partner won’t do anything wrong or get mixed up with strange things.

When I married my second wife, the Imam said, “don’t let Facebook become a problem.” I smiled and my wife and I left.  It bothered me then and after all I’ve been through, it still bothers me. Had Facebook become such a problem that holy men were talking about it to newlyweds?

Now I’ve read stories where people have changed their relationship status to ‘single’ while they were still in a relationship and this caused real issues in there lives. I myself am no stranger to things that happen online  but the question I’m posing here is do you really wan to blame all these Social Networking platforms? With technology today, we have everything at our fingertips, so should you monitor and perhaps even block your partner?

My answer simply is that of so many gun owners, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Shouldn’t this philosophy extend itself to something like Facebook and the like? Can you really blame social networking or is it the responsibility of the person using it?

Now at the same time I hear people saying but rather perhaps abstain from using it, problem solved right? Wrong, sure abstinence could work but where do you draw the line? Where does it stop? Before you know it you’re living in a technology free household and holding onto a false sense of security.

Let me say this to you, if you don’t trust your partner on any internet forum then perhaps the problem is actually between you and your partner, not the platform. The platform mainly provides a service and how it’s used depends totally on the person using it. You will literally drive yourself crazy trying to stop what will probably be the inevitable anyway...
According to PsychCentral in a post entitled "FACEBOOK CAN DAMAGE A RELATIONSHIP" the following was found:
"For many, social networking sites are integral to relationships, but a new study finds that Facebook use could actually damage users’ romantic relationships.
"Researchers from the University of Missouri found that individuals who use Facebook excessively are far more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their romantic partners.
This acrimony can cause negative relationship outcomes including emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce.

Psych CentralIn the study, researcher Russell Clayton and collegues surveyed Facebook users ages 18 to 82 years old. Participants were asked to describe how often they used Facebook and how much, if any, conflict arose between their current or former partners as a result of Facebook use.
The researchers found that high levels of Facebook use among couples significantly predicted Facebook-related conflict, which then significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup, and divorce."

To read more from PsychCentral click here

THE QUEEN OF DENIAL - Episode 1


THE QUEEN OF DENIAL
A MULTI EPISODE STORY
EPISODE 1

Ok so when you write true or actual stories you can’t use real names and so on, thus I will use alternate names. Next, you know when someone tells you a story about a ‘friend’ and the story’s actually about themselves? Well in that same vane.... this is a story about a ‘friend’. Lastly, due to the length of the story, I am forced to split the story up into a few parts.
Bear with me and enjoy. Here goes nothing....
Right so I have this friend who met a woman. They were second cousins and had met on one occasion before almost 15 years ago. She was 15 then and he was 21. He always had thought of her like a baby sister. Call him Jack and call her, well let’s just call her Trouble.
Here we are 15 years later, the year is 2010. One of them receives a friend request from the other and after years of absence, the two are brought back together through social networking. He was a successful retail employee and was a Store Manager at the time, She had studied marketing and had completed her degree.

The 2 were happy to be joined again and she even went so far as to call him that very same night. He was busy working in his store and she was at home. She told him she was married before and had 3 children from her previous husband at the ripe old age of 26. He couldn’t believe it because he had imagined so much for her when they had met before. The two started talking and chatting and it wasn’t long till she visited him at work. The first time she visited him, she was dropped off by her ex-husband and he actually thought nothing of it.

They felt connected. He really liked the attention she gave him and it didn’t hurt that she was as beautiful as only God’s creation can be. He was happy. He then started visiting her at her parent’s house where she lived. Her children lived there with her also. He lived in Centurion, Pretoria and she lived in Triomf, Johannesburg.
He was so happy with her, the kind of happiness that extends past the physical to a whole other level. He was kind to her, spoke sweet words to her. His love for her only grew stronger and stronger each time they were together. One day she suggested to him they get a hotel room for an evening. He was actually shocked by this but willingly agreed.

When they finally had sex and they were done, she got up and asked “so what does it feel like to be inside me?” She then nonchalantly got up and showered. He looked past these sign and three months later they were married. December 26th 2010 was their magical.... only that’s when things took a turn for the worse! It wasn’t long till he realised that the sweet, beautiful woman he thought he had married was something totally different...

To be continued in Episode 2 >>>

 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

THE SWEET TASTE OF GOSSIP


THE SWEET TASTE OF GOSSIP

No matter where you go or where you may find yourself, there’s gossip. It doesn’t matter whether or not you stay at home and bother no one or go out and be amongst lots of people, gossip will always be there.

The saying goes ‘loose lips, sink ships’ and it’s no truer now than when it was first uttered. Whether you listen to gossip or spread gossip, it’s all damaging. Gossip in itself is usually speculatory at best and though there may be tiny traces of the truth, 9 times out of 10 gossip never has a single leg to stand on.

The plain and simple fact is that people in any circumstance will talk about other people. Perhaps it’s just human nature or a general curiosity but whatever the reason, it seems to be more prevalent amongst small minded people.

The consequences of this irresponsible behaviour can be totally tiny, causing no ripples at all in anyone’s lives or it can be totally devastating. Lives can be ruined, marriages can be ruined and friendships can be ruined and all this by a few words of the tongue. They literally can sow the seeds of anyone’s destruction.

A word of advice may be to ignore those who choose to spend their time talking about others. Chances are that if people are talking to you about someone they’re also talking to someone about you. Don’t be surprised if you hear stories about you or even that you were the originator of the gossip and all you did was lend an ear or comment.

A few basic rules about gossip may be:

·         Refraining from talking about other people
·         Avoid or deter conversations that include other people’s private lives
·          Don’t entertain any gossip which may come your way

The worst case scenario is when gossip and ‘tiny’ untruths become the truth and by this I mean the gossip actually replaces the truth. People’s lives are irrevocably changed because of it and in the tale-spin reputation and respect thrown to the wayside and lost forever..

No matter how interesting a story may sound, if it’s about someone else, know the facts, pass no judgement and most of all don’t talk about anyone else and stay as far as you can out of someone else’s business. It’ll be better for everyone in the long run including you. Everyone deserves dignity.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

REAL LIFE - THE MOVIE! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE...


REAL LIFE – THE MOVIE! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
The nice thing about watching TV shows or movies is that nine times out of ten there’s a happy ending, bar some strange horror and science – fiction movies. The scripts are well written and the story comes to an end with everyone understanding the plot and character motives. Scenes are played out where each character knows exactly how to answer a question and perfect timing and thought in any conversation.

If Shakespeare truly said ‘all the world’s a stage...’ then truly we’re in an extremely badly written play. Who truly knows exactly what anyone else’s motives really are. You have a conversation with someone and find yourself reliving the chat in your head long after it’s done. Perhaps you find a better way to reply to the other person or re-evaluate the entire chat altogether... who knows but one thing is definitely for sure, there’s no end to the movie, no credits rolling just the next random scene of life.

As for plots, villains and heroes, we all are perhaps so jaded that we are all the heroes in our own little universes. Nothing we do is really wrong, it’s the other person. Don’t let someone tell you a different way of doing something or lecture you. They had no right to! Who are they to talk to you like that? Truth be told, in these world’s there seem to be many villains. The woman who took your parking at the mall then the person who got the promotion you were supposed to get and so it goes.

Life may truly be a clich├ęd series of moments, savour the happy and great moments and bounce back after the bad. Take stock of the people who love you and have allowed you into their lives. Look to the happy moments and appreciate every single one of them. Truly there’s so much to be had in life, no matter how bad things get, that we need to focus on those happy moments and drown out whatever negativity may stand in our way. The good truly drowns the bad, every single time.

Go out there and live! Who cares who said what and what you could’ve said or done differently. Whatever’s happened has happened and nothing can be done to change it. Move on, move forward and continue to learn from good and bad encounters.