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The great advertising argument returns

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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  • Factual information might be outdated.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.

This 1,299th post was filed under: Blogging, Site Updates.






More posts worth reading

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What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd April 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

Not all unpublished trials are sinister (published 3rd January 2014)

Photo-a-day 14: Blue Carpet (published 14th January 2012)

Summer Books: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (published 13th July 2008)

Windows Live: What’s the point? (published 14th August 2006)


Comments and responses

Comment from Mort Karman


by Mort Karman

Comment posted at 01:22 on 4th April 2008.

Welcome to the free enterprise system.
So long as you monitor the content and type I don’t see any problem. The worlds greatest media have advertisers and so long as you don’t sell out editorial content to the dollar (or in your case pound) nothing is wrong.
Just keep it on the high level of the usual site contents and al will be fine.
It is not wrong to make a lot of money,
So far as I know, writers do not take a vow of poverty and chastity. (well, poverty, perhaps, chastity, NO)


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