Archive for March 14th, 2007

Blog ads

A few days ago my excellent blog host, Jacques Chester, asked if I was prepared to be a guinea pig for blog text advertising. Functions like Google’s AdSense must be one of the few blogging things he hasn’ t tried.

I wasn’t keen on the idea, but said I would see what other people thought. My case against:

* Though it might seem strange given how boring the appearance of my old blog was, now that I have one that looks nice I have an aesthetic objection to the added clutter of ads. At least in Catallaxy’s case the ads are also pushing down the screen more relevant things such as the subject areas and the blogroll.

* I don’t really believe that the ads would be of any interest to my readers – partly due to flaws in Google’s technology. As I write, Catallaxy is promoting a Bob Dylan concert in Paris, Jeep Cherokees, and home sales in the Victorian town of Cherokee. The Dylan ad was the result of this post on Dylan meeting the Pope; the Cherokee ads were triggered by this post of Jason’s on the Native American Cherokees. Clearly this system is not going to put the human judgment found in advertising agencies out of business just yet. Parkos’s comments are baffling enough without readers having to wonder over the ads as well.

* Advertising is necessary to keep most forms of media free or cheap to consumers, but that doesn’t apply to blogs nearly as much, and not at all to this blog. The upkeep costs are minimal. Jacques won’t even take up my offer to cover the money that is being spent.

* Blogging is a hobby, and I would really rather not mix hobbies and commerce.

As Jacques would still like to know more about blog advertising, perhaps a commenter with experience of it can fill him in?