Category: Featured Articles

 

Google Affiliate Network: Going, Going… Gone.

Google Affiliate Network


After checking my email today, I saw this message from Google:

An update on Google Affiliate Network

Google Affiliate Network

Google Affiliate Network

Important updates for Google Affiliate Network publishers and advertisers
Our goal with Google Affiliate Network has been to help advertisers and publishers improve their performance across the affiliate ecosystem. Cost-per-action (CPA) marketing has rapidly evolved in the last few years, and we constantly evaluate our products to ensure that we’re focused on the services that will have the biggest impact for our advertisers and publishers. To that end, we’ve made the difficult decision to retire the Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.Publishers can continue to earn revenue through the AdSense network. And marketers can take advantage of other CPA-oriented Google tools like Product Listing Ads, remarketing and Conversion Optimizer to drive valuable online sales and conversions. These areas are growing rapidly and we continue to invest significantly in them.

We’ll continue to support our customers as we wind down the product over the next few months. While we will no longer be adding new product functionality, we will maintain the platform during the transition period. We plan to disable publisher relationships from advertiser programs on July 31, 2013. Publisher payments will be disbursed for network activity generated through this date. We will continue to make certain functionality available through October 31, 2013 for retrieving reports, reconciling orders, and processing payments.

A huge thanks to all our advertisers, publishers and the team that has worked tirelessly on Google Affiliate Network over the past few years. We look forward to helping you grow your business in the future.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,
The Google Affiliate Network Team

Well, I must say that it wasn’t a complete surprise. My personal experience with this part of Google wasn’t really that successful compared to the revenue I get with Adsense. I have tried Google Affiliate Network (GAN) for a few months, giving them literally hundreds of thousands of impressions on my busy blogs and not a single cent in revenue has gone my way. So after a few months, I decided to remove their ad codes and concentrated on Adsense exclusively (well, until last month when I signed up with another ad network that pays similarly).

It was a good run GAN, and hope that this means something better for everyone in the long run.

Google Analytics April Fools Joke

Google Analytics’ April Fools joke: I went to see my Google Anaytics stats and then I was surprised to see web traffic coming to my sites from… the International Space Station! Then I realized it was an April Fools joke by Google. LOL. See pic.

Then and Now: Rizal Avenue

Avenida Rizal or more popularly referred to now as Rizal Avenue is one of Manila’s busiest districts.  In the 1920’s through 1930’s, Rizal Avenue was the place to be for the city’s elite and socialites.  Streets were lined with high-end shops, restaurants and movie theaters.  These theaters were designed by famous architects during that era, some of whom are now immortalized in our architectural history books.

On our first photo, you can see Rizal Avenue when we were still part of the United States.  A street busling with kalesas mixed in with early model Fords, it is evident here that it was already a busy area of Manila around the 1930s.  A notable landmark is the newly built Ideal Theater, erected in 1933 by Architect Pablo Antonio.

Rizal Avenue, circa 1930s. Note the traffic police stationed under the umbrella, and the vintage telephone pole in the middle of the street.

The next photo shows a war-torn Rizal Avenue.  Probably taken around 1945. Note the burned shell buildings to the right of the photo and a column of American tanks and jeeps on the street.  The Ideal Theater however survived the Japanese occupation and is seen here, still intact.

Rizal Avenue, circa 1945. Probably right after Japan’s surrender.

After the war, Rizal Avenue regained its reputation as the preferred recreational destination by many of Manila’s residents. Architects Pablo Antonio and Juan Nakpil, created several more of the movie theaters along the avenue. Adding to the Ideal Theater, Antonio designed the Galaxy, the Scala and the Lyric theaters, while Nakpil designed the Capitol, the Ever and the Avenue theaters.  The photo below, which was taken around the 1950s, shows the emergence of the AC jeepney  (which was originally designed using surplus American military jeeps) and the Otis, State theaters on the right and Galaxy theater in the far distance.

Rizal Avenue, circa 1950s. AC jeepneys now abound.

Around 1968, American Photographer Harrison Forman aimed his large format camera at the Rizal Avenue.  The resulting shot is shown below with Goodearth Emporium already there, and Ideal, Otis and State Theaters still standing.  As a child, I remember seeing ‘Now Showing’ advertisements for these theaters in the early 1970s in Manila’s leading newpapers. So I know they were still operating as theaters during that time.

Circa 1968. Photo Credit: For a higher resolution photo, visit the UWM Libraries at http://www.uwm.edu/Library/digilib/. Photograph by Harrison Forman.

As the years went by, the area was victimized by urban renewal. Shown on the photo below (circa 1980s) is Rizal Avenue without any cars or jeepneys.  The Ideal Theater, which survived World War II is now gone.  The “OTIS” sign is so delapidated it’s barely readable, but State is still there.  Goodearth Emporium however is probably enjoying its glory days during this time.

Circa 1980s. No more cars or jeepneys.

The photo below shows Rizal Avenue as seen today.  Giving way to the LRT, it is now one of those places where you can’t ever imagine the transformation that has taken place.

Rizal Avenue Today

Rizal Avenue today. (Rizal Avenue, corner Carriedo Street., the approximate spot where all the photos above were taken.)

The main culprit of the deterioration of the area was the LRT; the train was to ease traffic in Rizal Avenue and Taft Avenue south of the Pasig River but it also killed business along the route. The cinemas themselves resorted to showing double feature B-movies and soft porn, as people transferred to the newer and more modern Ortigas Centernand the Ayala Center.

In 2000, during the mayorship of Lito Atienza, the stretch from C.M. Recto Avenue to Palanca Street was turned into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare by laying bricks on the road, with the buildings and the LRT painted as part of an urban renewal project. This caused vehicles to use the secondary roads such as Tomas Mapua and Doroteo Jose Streets in order to go to and from Plaza Lacson.The Ideal Theater was previously demolished, the Galaxy, Scala and Lyric theaters are now misused. The first level of the Ever Theater is occupied by stalls, while the upper levels are abandoned. Only the refurbished Capitol Theater, now a dimsum palace, survived the modern times and is still active.The pedetrianization of Rizal Avenue was completed on 2003 and was meant to only last for a short time but it has persisted until 2008.

The Avenue Theater, which survived the Battle of Manila of 1945, was demolished in 2006 to give way to a parking area. The costs of maintaining the facility were too high, as compared for it to be converted as a parking area. The National Historical Institute (NHI) and several private entities tried to prevent the building from being torn down.

On July 17, 2007, Lim attended the ceremony reopening the closed portion of Rizal Avenue, and it has remained open to this day.

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Some excerpts in this article were taken from Wikipedia under the terms of the Creative Commons license.  Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standalone_movie_theaters_of_the_Philippines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rizal_Avenue

Then and Now: Ayala Avenue

When one thinks of Makati, you automatically think of Ayala avenue.  The center of the Philippine economy. This is the area where the largest Philippine corporations set up shop and where many Filipino professionals head towards every weekday morning.

However, Ayala  as it is today has come a long way from its roots.  This strip of road used to be part of an airport runway in Luzon’s first airport.  It was only converted to become a road in 1949 and this is when ownership of the airport facilities was handed over to the owner of the land, Ayala Corporation.  It was extended from Paseo de Roxas to Buendia Ave sometime in the 1950s.

In the 1960s, as seen in our first photo, it was extended from Buendia Ave to Kamagong St.

 

Ayala Avenue (circa 1968) above was still clean and seemed like a scene from a different country.  There weren’t that many cars on the road yet, and the high-rises were just starting to develop.  Note: I am too young to know the names of the buildings above, so please leave your comments if you can indentify some of them.

The 1980s (above) brought about taller high-rise buildings, jeepneys, much more cars, and smog.  You can now readily see the BPI and Insular Life buildings in this photo, but Robinson’s and Rufino tower has not been built yet.

Ayala Avenue as it is today looks like a business district in a developed nation, wider roads, taller buildings.  However in this photo, taken around 2007-2008, it seems to be missing the heavy traffic most Makati workers are accustomed to now-a-days — probably taken on a Sunday :)

Then and Now: Uychaco Building – give this an award!

The Philippines has plenty of historical buildings still standing today.  To me, this particular building really stands out as it is one of the few that has survived the test of time and war.  I am going to make the photos speak for themselves.

Uychaco Building -- Circa 1910-1920

The Uychaco building (red arrow) was built in 1881, at Plaza Moraga in the financial district of Binondo, Manila.  The photo above was probably taken between 1910-1920 as you can see a few Ford Model T’s mixed in with kalesas on the street.

The Uychaco Building -- Circa 1941 (2 weeks before Pearl Harbor)

Seen here just two weeks before the outbreak of WWII.  Notice that Manila was right-hand drive back then.

The Uychaco Building -- Circa 1945 (WWII aftermath)

Shown here, war-torn but still standing, next to the Insular Life Building around 1945.

The Uychaco Building -- Circa 1968

Rebuilt and photographed here in the now busy streets in 1968.

The Uychaco Building -- Today

The Uychaco building still proudly stands today, gracing the entrance to Manila’s Chinatown.  I hope that people in power realize that preserving national treasures such as this should be on the list of top priorities.  It has survived through the years and we should make sure our children’s children will enjoy this irreplacable historical landmark.

Sabitan na ng medalya ito!

P.S. It is not clear whether it has always been called the Uychaco Building.  If you have any information, please leave a comment below.