This is actually something I found out a couple days ago.
Just after I made my update post about it actually. I didn't say something sooner in part because I needed a few days to think about what had happened, to wrap my head around it. And now that I have, at least to an extent, I may as well do the thing I started this blog for and share my thoughts about it.
I guess I kind of know how and why it happened, and there are a couple contributing factors. One is a result of something I was sort of hoping would happen. I knew if I kept at this long enough, I'd start to pick up regular readers, and I have. The upshot is that getting more and more readers meant that the odds of my getting money for doing this went up. The down side is that it's actually a slotted thing, where the number of hits that attracts fraudsters is lower than the number that actually covers for them doing what they do. The worst part is that it's a regular, repeating thing that happens at a few different levels, and I happened to fall into the lowest level between attracting people who click ads for a living and having enough legitimate views to cover for that.
Another contributing factor is something I like to call TMH, because it's one of those things where I suspect I may have gotten a little Too Much Help from at least one well-intentioned friend or family member. I know my mother reads this blog, and I know she's rarely if ever out to actually cause me any intentional harm. I'm not blaming her specifically because I honestly don't think her well-meant clicking on the ads here had much to do with it. After all, I do watch my own stats, and I know I've been having other, more suspicious traffic sources lately, too, and they probably had more to do with it than she did. I'm just saying that this may be one of those cases where someone's good intentions may have done more harm than good.
Just to clarify that last bit, what I'm saying there is that I DO NOT think my mom had much, if anything, to do with my losing my AdSense account. I have what I think is good reason to believe that this might have happened right about now anyway, because just before I lost it, I was getting hits from sites and blogs talking about how they had ways of "playing Google's system", and I think they had more to do with it than any good intentions people I know might have had.
And really, if we're talking about people who could use a little extra attention right now, let me mention my Internet buddy Jim "The Walrus" Choma again, if I haven't recently. On his most recent uStream show, he talked about having a really rough week. There are some details in the recorded version, and he gave a little more in the unrecorded version afterwards. He's been live more often lately, and from what I gather, having an audience right now might actually do him some good.
One other benefit of him having more of an audience than me for awhile is that it might take a little pressure off of me. I could use that right now, as I've felt like there have been too many Eyes On Me lately. It's not that I've got much problem with being the center of attention. If I didn't actually like it, I wouldn't be doing things like this. It's just that I'm going through a patch of feeling like I've got too much of a good thing right now, to the point where I don't have an awful lot of room to move and do the things that people like seeing me do. Right now, I sort of feel like if I had just a little more space to get a good run at a few things, I could start getting ahead of the game again, I could also start making a little more progress at the things we all want me to.
Trust me, getting ahead of the game is something I can be really good at, given a chance. Hell, ask my boss, and she might tell you, honestly and accurately, that there are times when my being ahead of the game actually causes more problems than being behind on things. It's one of those things that I find really frustrating, because I hate being behind on everything as much as I hate being too far ahead.
See, one of my bigger problems is that when I know I'm behind on something, I'll try to not only catch up, but also get ahead of the game again, and when I do that, I tend to either overestimate or underestimate how much work I need to do to make that happen, which makes things harder on me and a lot of other people, too. That sort of thing has always been sort of a problem for me, not just at work, but in a lot of things I do. I have not been nearly as successful at managing that aspect of my personality as I'd like, and it shows in more places than I'd like.
So I suppose the point of this last little bit is that I'm looking for ways to tweak the audience and pressure I'm under, just a little bit, so that I don't feel like I'm just spinning my wheels quite so much and needlessly making more difficult for myself and those around me.
Truth is, the way things have been going lately has been affecting my sleep the last few days, and I'm sure no good has come of it. Maybe getting this off my chest will help clear my mind and get things straightened out and squared away. I feel better just for having written this. Maybe having done so will help get things going in the right direction again