Shortly after we started monetizing www.satechhelp.co.za through Google ads (Adsense), it became apparent that there existed a lot of filtering work to be done above blocking plain vile categories. As a pagan-owned incorporation, the program structure Adsense offered was found to be all inclusive. While they could serve ads about banks, phones, foods, computers and other innocent seeming products and services, they also had ads about gambling, astronomy, evil dating and other abominations (when considered in light of the Bible). We for example soon found out that even ads we considered to be about seemingly innocent products and services tended to feature images of females (mostly) in sensual clothing and as a result we had to block all ‘image ads’ from serving on the same website – leaving ‘text ads’ only. Yes all these vastly affected the gross monthly earnings but there were to be no exceptions if we sought to remain acceptable before God through Christ.
Judging it necessary, I continued to watch-dog over by reviewing samples of text ads already served on our site as often as I could. While doing this, I at times noticed that despite having configured our accounts so to permit ‘text ads’ only, some ads (though text-like) would still feature images. Upon going through the dashboard settings one day (after having finally come across one smartphone ad that had an image of a female in a relatively sensual attire) I found that this one setting responsible was turned on (it was on by default). Unfortunately, that turned out to be the same setting that governs certain arrow-buttons that shows the page visitor where to click to follow or find out more information on each text ad. Turning the same setting off left our served ads looking somewhat vague. This arrow can be seen on this SMS ad sample. And the result of that of cause was loss of yet about half of the site’s gross monthly earnings. This made me sickly (not literally). I despised the business of selling ads. I felt it was failing me and I could not work out how I could maximize earnings and still remained clear before heavens. Our contributions were then no longer proportionally compensated (so I reckoned to myself).
All the while, www.satechhelp.co.za had received more smartphone-based questions above all categories. Through offering which support afforded us occasions to witness and take notice of a rise in demand for Android device backup firmware on occasions of a system crash. While firmware packs for devices by established manufacturers like Samsung, LG, etc were widely made available, low-end devices under fairly new South African mobile brands were found not catered for. Having a fair knowledge on how these could be sourced and made available online, we resolve to experiment thereon for small donations in exchange for the backup firmware links in hope to subsidize revenue that had thereto thus been wounded. Here I judged the was to be no copy rights bearing or violations as our sole role was to ever serve as a mere link between a device user/owner and firmware pack they already have rights to – making no ceasing necessary. A great many publishes these firmware/ROMs freely from sites they sell ads on and normally have no need to ask for small donations in exchange. That setup was no longer an option for me. But to say the least, the experiment was attended with great success and our firmware database/collection ever since grew and eventually earned a dedicated subdomain (now on stand alone domain). So much so that following the change that resulted in a 50% drop in revenue, it appeared that the firmware site would then out-earn our main site.
With our all our combined revenue being deposited into a bank account that was on my name, we also began to be concerned that it should soon be falsely deemed to be above the income tax threshold. On which note my brother-colleague suggested one day that if it were possible, I could hang onto the firmware earnings (having a fair background on the same subject matter) while he awaits to see the ads selling revenue rebuilds with the said setting remaining off . He also promised to continue reviewing the ads as often to isolate any such sad ads. I was only happy to accept the offer. Selling ads had aggravated me.
It has now been two months since we had thus concluded. While he explicitly bid welcome any suggestion I might ever have, the directions or looks the site will ever assume should remain his full responsibility – while I answer for the Firmware/ROMs website.
But what do I think about relationship between the ROMs trade and Christian ethics? Well, since smartphones, like with computers, can be used for good and evil exercises. I therefore judge that I am by no means found directly or indirectly promoting the evil usage thereof as I can not tell with certainty if any of my beneficiaries shall use their smartphones for evil. Anyone therefore that uses their smartphone abominably whether in part or entirely should bear their judgement (More on this here).
With that said, while I am very thankful for having being thus weaned from the business of selling ads, I cannot help esteeming the Firmware/ROMs trade no more than a stepping stone – despite its further growth potential. I thirst even the more for the animatiton work. It is taking a little longer than I anticipated but there has been notable progress since its start (dedicated website anticipated soon). God willing, I wish to ever invest my all and eat my bread in that one ministry to the little ones. O for more grace – In the Lord Jesus’ name Amen.
 My brother-colleague recently turned the setting back on but that is another subject on its own. He contends that he does not see the wrong doing on the publisher part. We had an extensive talk over this but came to no conclusion that affected the setting and it remains on as of the date of this diary entry. But yes he has control over that site now and in like manner assumes all responsibility. My prayer is that God bring us both to see the same matter the way we should.