atladsenser - 5:13 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
Dataguy, I just wanted to thank you for a really refreshing, honest account of what it's like to run a website or collection of websites on your own while relying on programs like Google AdSense for your revenue, and for pointing out both the good and the bad, the ups and the downs of all of this.
I run a site of my own and while I haven't experienced the kinds of issues you describe (yet!), it's been slowly dawning on me over the past few months that there are new realities about this online space that have come about over the past year that weren't in place just a few years ago when I started building my site. The changes in Google's algorithms, the importance of social networks and the (still to be determined) impact of Google+ has made what was once a fairly straightforward thing to do suddenly much more complex.
It's very easy to read the AdSense success stories, and news stories about publishers who've achieved success with online advertising, and forget that there are risks and downsides to this -- Panda updates sometimes come along, server outages can occur. There are a host of things that are beyond your control that can impact your earnings, and perhaps it's a good thing after all that we're getting the chance now to wake up to that and take stock. I know I am.