Category Archives: Software Systems

WordPress and Adsense (Google’s ad campaign)

Good Afternoon Readers,

Google has an ad-network called Adsense. Adsense uses predictive intelligence to cater ads to people that visit websites. It seems to do this via cookies and google search results. Adsense now runs on:

The process of getting advertisements is pretty easy. You sign up for google using your account at: They then provide you with a small snippet of code, which you put in the header tags of your website:

Somewhere in here!!!

They then give you this ominous message about taking 3 days to verify your website (in case you display things like explicit content). After a bit of impatience, you can check your account and if you are lucky, you become certified and can start placing advertisements on your website:

After certification, you get can log-in to Adsense website. If you want to ad advertisements, you need to first define your ads and then get a code snippet that you can put in the body tags of your website. You can find this in ( My Ads > Add units ) section:

If you click the [ New ad unit ]. You’ll get a series of options to define you advertisement. These mostly involve things like the pixel size: 300 x 400, color of the advertisement and where the advertisement would be placed. A few examples of placements include between blog posts, on top/bottom of the blog or on the side bar. A cool thing I noticed is some advertisements are responsive, which means they resize for your phone (neat trick)! After setting all the options, google generates some code for you. Place these anywhere between the body tags to start advertising in your websites (where start can take up to 2 hours). You can’t control what advertisements you get (maybe…still exploring this).

How much does a click/impression get you in terms of dollars? The first click I got generated about $1.75. Now, it’s all gone down hill and I’m seeing $.30 a click. With just 3 clicks and a whooping $3.00 total, I’m completely lost as to what the average going rate is. Sadly, I won’t be able to cash this out until my account reaches $100.00 (at this rate 100 clicks). That’s googles policy.



My Personal WordPress Website

Dear Readers,

I set up my WordPress website today.  Amazon Web Services provides two guides, one on setting up a LAMP server (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) and one on installing WordPress on LAMP.

I also bought two domains, one from namecheap:


The other from AWS Route 53:

Both are being redirected to this site.

After setting everything up, I tried a bunch of plugins. A bunch below:

Gmail SMTP -> This allows you to forward e-mails to your gmail account.

MonsterInsight Google Analytics  -> Installs Google Analytics to your web page, which tells you what pages people are visiting.

Redirection -> Allows you to redirect pages to other websites. I created a link to my youtube account this way.

Simple Share Button Adders  -> Adds a bunch of social media buttons to your blog posts. This one was really simple to install. They offer about 2 dozen different social media platforms.

TablePress -> This plugin provides the ability to produce data tables via CSV files. They provide the ability to upload CSV files.

Visualizer: Charts and Graphs Lite -> Provides simple graphs using googles chart API. This allows you to build graphs and charts for data visualization.

WPForms Lite -> This is a GUI that creates web forms. The data generated by the forms are directly sent to your e-mail address.

bbPress – This is a cool plug-in that let’s you run forums. Places people can post topics and reply to each other.

Knowledge Base for Documents and FAQs – This plugin let’s you produce a wiki with articles and categories.

Next thing I’m trying out is multi-site, which allows you to have many WordPress sites hosted on a single computer. I’m also going to add google advertising onto the website. I’m curious how you would monetize blogs.

This specific post is a test of the social sharing feature.


Data as a Fitness Tool

Recently, I’ve been focusing on improving my life by becoming more fit and eating healthy.  I’ve read somewhere that those who record what they eat and dedicate at least 4-5 hours of time in the gym tend to lose more weight and maintain weight for longer periods of time.  I think it’s more about changing your attitude to it and realizing that being healthy is a life style.

Since I am a data nerd of sorts, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be fun to approach this as a data management problem.  The first thing I did was get an app called myFitnessPal, which you can download on both Android and IPhone (I have IPhone).  It then provides a relatively simple interface to log food as well as a database/search utility to look up food.  The app also has the ability to monitor exercise and water intake.  I decided to keep track of everything I consumed since mid-November and have kept it up for around 50 some odd days now.

To make this more interesting, I also produced a google spreadsheet containing projections (a technique I learned as a fraud analyst) and used this to project weight in the future.  The good news the amount of calories I’ve lost around 40,000 kcal translates to a loss that is significantly lower then the 17 lb that I’ve lost so far (11 lb projection).  The bad news is the projections I built are definitely off, typically by about 1-2 weeks.

The way I built the projections is to use BMR calculation to get a base burn rate (before exercise of any sort).  I then added food and exercise calculations to this.  I take an average (of a few days) that updates every day to get a general sense of net loss rates and then apply that to the future based on the last weight measurement.  It’s been off by one week and one pound, which isn’t too bad.

Of course, like any good business or goal, good quality data matters and so I have extra motivation to as my nutritionist states treat the matter like an accountant.  That motivation ends up translating into more accountability.

I act liberal with food measurements and conservative with exercise calories.  It’s better to be safe then sorry when considering margins of error.  One thing I try not to compromise on is getting to the gym or some physically intense event (like Salsa dancing) 3 times a week for about 1-1.5 hours.  I force myself to do the activity even if I end up just walking for the duration.

Right now, I’m hoping to keep up this habit and see the results in a few months.  I’ve already changed how I view exercise and am looking at potential programs or new ways to exercise (in a more social manner) to reduce things like fatigue (too much cardio in between two days).  It seems that by making exercise a habit I’m forced to deal with new problems, which require new solutions and experiences.  Definitely seeing benefits from doing this.