What is Joe Blog?
Joe Blog lists things to do in and around Johannesburg, South Africa. It has a sister site seatavern.co.za which does the same for the Western Cape.
It’s been a hobby/learning project of mine (me being sometimes journalist Robert Laing) since I first registered the joeblog.co.za domain in 10 May 2005, and it has gone through I forget how many content management frameworks and hosting companies over the years.
The content management system I currently use is Hugo and my hosting provider is Linode for anyone interested.
In its current incarnation, Joe Blog and Seatavern aggregate events from various online ticket sellers, and South Africa seems to have a vibrant market here, so there’s a huge number of events to list. I haven’t written scripts to scrape all of them for data yet. I’ve redone the site to follow the schema.org system of describing events to search engines, as requested by Google.
Please note, this is an events listing site, not a venue itself or artist booking agency. A reason I removed the “contact” page from my site was nearly all the messages I received were from people who thought they were contacting the organizer of whatever event.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you are interested in advertising since I’m very keen to kick Google Ads off my site as explained below. Appologies in advance that I have no idea what the disability access is at your local stadium, or what your ticket seller’s exchange policy is.
I don’t collect cookies, and no logins, passwords or any other info is required to use this site.
I do run Google Ads, an awful mistake I’m trying to fix. In exchange for not receiving a cent at time of writing, Google does all kinds of evil things to you, the user of this site. The reason I allow this parasite on my site is for the learning experience.
If you click on myactivity.google.com, you’ll probably see Google already knows every little detail about you, so me running their ads for hypothetically ZAR0.03 on a good days makes little difference.
As mentioned above, I’m no fan of ad-tech companies and basically just run them as placeholders for proper advertising once I’ve developed my sites into attractive offerings for respectable South African brands who probably also feel cheated by Google.
Instead of a robotically generated list of things to do with the accompanying marketing bumf from ticket sellers, I’m sure you would like an expertly curated list with nicely written reviews. I would too, but can’t afford to pay writers unless I get corporate sponsorship.
In its current incarnation, joeblog.co.za has managed to receive 1 payment from Google so far for a whopping R1,127.59, electronically deposited into my bank account, so a nice change from a couple of years ago when I would get a cheque posted from Dublin every year or so when ad revenue cracked R1,000. Even though Google issued the cheque in ZAR, Absa would still charge a “foreign cheque settlement” fee which took most of the money.
After starting at about 3c a day, Google ad revenue has peaked at over R55 on one day, and averages at about R10. The site readership — measured in “unique visitors as can be viewed from my server logs — has grown from a few dozen to sometimes over 2,000 a day.
Seatavern’s readership is about half of Joe Blog’s, so I can’t really say if Google or Ads Supplier are the bigger rip-off yet.
Ideally, I’d like to sell the top ad on both Joe Blog and Seatavern to a respected South African corporation for a monthly fee enabling me to pay some freelance arts journalists for reviews and interviews of current shows.
I can be contacted at email@example.com or via one of my social media accounts listed below.
Who is Joe Blog?
Me, sometimes journalist Robert Laing.
My various antisocial media accounts include: