Exciting news here at Tokyo Jinja! Anthony Joh of Tokyo Podcast was lovely enough to feature me on his newest Podcast! While there is nothing worse than listening to a recording of your own voice, it really was exciting to do a live interview. I am the appetizer to a longer feature about Bobby Judo and his cooking show on Japanese television, but I come first in the Podcast, so please take a moment to listen to it by clicking here. There are MP3 and iTunes links as well.

I don’t often write about the technical side of blogging, but it is one that I am increasingly thinking about.  I’d really love to escape this standard WordPress template I have been using for many reasons, the first being that I hate clicking into another blog using the exact same one. It denigrates the quality of what I am working so hard to achieve. But I do love the easy format provided by the WordPress platform and my html skills are definitely not ready to do it on my own! So if anyone out there knows a graphic designer well versed in creating blogs and websites, I’d love to hear about them.

Another reason I am interested in spreading my wings is so that I can consider advertising. Most of the other design blogs are on Blogger, the Google platform, which has built-in advertising available. WordPress just started their own automated ads, called AdSense about a month ago and I signed on as an early user. How many of you have noticed that my new posts have an ad box at the end? What do you think? Does it bother you? If you think about how much time and effort I exert on this blog I think you would agree that earning some money from it would be reasonable. I know some bloggers believe it can compromise their journalistic integrity, but if the ads are selected by some computer algorithm, how would that be the case? In all honesty, I think ads for apartments in Japan and language lessons (which is what has been springing up on my site) are not geared to my target audience and I cannot imagine that any of my readers have been clicking them.  I think this is borne out by the fact that I earned $6.71 from them last month.

I would like to think about taking individual ads from sponsors on related themes and have actually been contacted by antique dealers and others about advertising. For example, take a look at the ads in Joni‘s left side bar and you will see what I mean. That kind of advertising seems to make more sense, but as it stands now, it is not possible in the WordPress platform I am using. On the other hand, the push from sponsors to feature their products in posts might be just the kind of compromise I am not willing to make.

I have also been recently contacted by MyCityAntiquing.org a Wiki project aimed at creating a comprehensive worldwide directory of antique shops and market places. I really love the idea of all that information gathered under one roof so I have gone ahead and linked some of the articles they requested. Take a look at the bottom of this post to see the “Featured Review” button and let me know what you think! There is even an iPhone app with built-in GPS, which seems like an amazing tool for travel.

I know everyone is busy with summer, but I’d love comments and suggestions, including negative ones about the advertising or anything else, as I consider what direction Tokyo Jinja should head in. I’ve received some wonderful personal emails from readers in the last months and I think of this blog as being your and theirs as well as mine.

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