h1

Google’s Prying Eyes

05/20/2019

Google is tracking everything you buy online. Everything! Look at your purchases page. It even tracks when an order will be delivered. You will need to be logged into your Google account to access the info but it certainly does explain a lot.

Go to the Google support page if you want to know more about how that intrusive tracking works.

Sometimes I swear I’ve only thought about purchasing an item and ads about it show up. But that’s not possible, or is it?

Privacy is indeed a relic of the past.

h1

Sunday Reads: Pens, Inks And A Monster-Fighting Kitten

05/19/2019

Life Imitates Doodles has had problems with WordPress. Disappointing to see but no surprise given my experiences. For your amusement, an intrepid kitten battles a mechanical monster but does it win?

Best cat toy ever!

h1

Esterbrook Nibs Find A New Home

05/17/2019

As I became unenamoured with lever fillers, Esterbrooks took a backseat to piston fillers and converters in my rotation. However, I missed their vintage nibs that were produced in great variety including italic and flexible models. Quite a few can still be found on eBay though from reading descriptions, many of those pens will need professional maintenance to regain the capacity to write well. Look for a pen with a new sac if you decide to grab one and it should provide years of good use.

The Esterbrook brand was resurrected a few years ago to the delight of many FP aficionados. I haven’t used one of the new pens so I cannot speak from experience. However, they do offer a Modern to Vintage nib adapter for combining a vintage Estie nib and feed with the modern pen body.

Think about that. A vintage Estie nib can be fitted to a newly manufactured pen body. My old nibs are begging to try out a posh, new home. One of these days…

Esterbrook fountain pen

writing sample

 

h1

Trouble At Inkophile, Part 3

05/16/2019

Yesterday, my daughter mentioned that she does not object to the ads on Instagram. Me, too, and for the same reasons she does.

  • Ads are infrequent and easy to scroll past.
  • They are well-targeted and of real interest.
  • They are not spammy but usually attractive and nicely photographed.
  • Ads are less repetitive than on other sites rarely showing up more than a few times.
  • Comments about the product are easily accessed even before clicking the ad.
  • Legitimacy is attested to by the content and quantity of the comments.

Twice I have purchased fountain pens through ads on Instagram. There is no other site at which I have made even one purchase of any sort through an ad.

Instagram has certainly figured out what works. So I suppose I am not opposed to ads entirely – just ugly, gross, stupid, irrelevant ones that demand my attention and distract from otherwise interesting web pages.

Do you know of any sites with ads that are acceptable, even interesting?

For context, read Trouble at Inkophile and Trouble at Inkophile, Part 2.

h1

Trouble At Inkophile, Part 2

05/15/2019

A comment to yesterday’s post gave me the opportunity to expand on the situation about continuing to reside at WordPress. I am reposting that comment here.

Shubhranshu Das wrote:

Sign of the times…I hope you can get out of this paid version and rescue the prior records and exit to a more conducive platform …

My reply:

Yes, it is a sign of the times. Being profitable is essential to survival and expansion. I get that. The rub is that hobby blogs are rarely profitable. There is no income flow to defray expenses. My reviews have dwindled along with my budget while product prices have risen. The WP fee will cut into it further.

Thankfully, Luxury Brands (distributor of Platinum Pens, Noodler’s Ink), Exaclair (distributor of Herbin, Rhodia, Clairefontaine), Pen Chalet, Goldspot Pens, Nemosine, Jackson’s Art Supplies, and others have sent products in recent years that have kept Inkophile alive. Such supporters are priceless as are those readers who have sent products or donated cash. Inkophile has become a group effort in which every individual is greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, I lack the expertise to relocate. Moving 1,244 posts with associated links and images along with 6,245 comments would be a daunting task. Inkophile is trapped in the clutches of the WP monster.

Update: A lovely reader sent a donation that will help pay the WP ransom. Yay!

The saga continues at Trouble at Inkophile, Part 3.

h1

Trouble At Inkophile

05/14/2019

Much to my dismay, I just discovered that WordPress has been running obnoxious, intrusive ads on Inkophile. My apologies for you having to put up with the unwelcome intrusion.

When WP made the original announcement about forcing ads on free accounts, the example was a small text ad at the end of a post that would only appear on some posts. Now they are graphic, on all posts and at the top as well as the bottom.

It was a mistake to think the ads would be as inoffensive and unobtrusive as the example. Those I saw weren’t even close. In other words, they were click-bait garbage including creepy, crawly monsters. Shortsightedly, their actions have adversely impacted user experience and that is unacceptable.

So WordPress has lost my trust. I hereby withdraw any recommendation of it.

As for Inkophile, WP told me to pay for a “plan” if I don’t like what they are doing to my blog. My carefully managed pen/ink/paper/blog budget will take a hit to pay the ransom demand. This is a hobby site – not a profit-making machine. But what’s a blogger to do? Suck it up apparently. The ads should disappear by the end of the month.

Again, apologies for the garbage ads.

The saga continues at Trouble at Inkophile, Part 2 and Trouble at Inkophile, Part 3.

h1

Sunday Reads: Fountain Pens, Ink And A Diplomat

04/28/2019

Sonal Kalra has some excellent tips for dealing with pen borrowers…


%d bloggers like this: