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The great advertising argument returns

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 10 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how 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 very well have changed in the 10 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd May 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 1st April 2018)

World TB Day (published 24th March 2018)

WordPress turns three (published 25th January 2006)

Guy Browning: Never Push When It Says Pull (published 30th October 2005)

British donations top £32m mark (published 31st December 2004)

Diary for 19th March 2008 (published 19th March 2008)


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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