Warning: This post was published more than 9 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 9 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
Long-time readers will know that I’ve wrestled with the question of whether to carry advertising on the site several times over the past few years. Adverts have come and gone in many different forms, from the Amazon Product Links to successful periods with Google Adsense, and from flirtations with hand-picked advertisers to the Amazon-affiliated shop.
My last epiphany on the subject came after I wrote a negative review about one of the site’s advertisers. I’ve always maintained that advertising does not affect editorial, but I felt that it was difficult to carry adverts for a poor service. This whole incident is now referred to rather euphemistically on the site, as it lead to a legal dispute with the advertiser concerned, but essentially I took the decision to withdraw all general adverts from the site, keeping only hand-picked ads relevant to particular posts.
Now I’m wavering on that decision. A number of high profile companies have actively sought advertising spots on the site, and at a time when it’s likely my web hosting costs are to increase, it’s difficult to refuse.
Therefore, I’ve instituted a beta programme of advertising on the site. A dynamically chosen random third of pages will carry advertising, and I will monitor the response, so that I can do a more accurate cost-benefit analysis of the advertising model. Those who block ads will see a suitably designed alternative, rather than a big white space. Fear not: This place has never been, and will never be, covered with ads, and editorial will continue to be entirely independent of advertising – though, naturally, advertising will not necessarily be independent of the editorial.
I’m genuinely unsure as to which way I’ll go on this, so I’d be interested to hear your opinions through any of the usual routes.