Sunday, May 07, 2006

Angry at Blog Advertising?

Yes dear readers, there's a question mark in that heading and it's deliberate. There is certainly some blog advertising that makes me angry but it doesn't make me angry by definition. I'm not planning to put advertising on this blog anytime soon but, hey, if I ended up with a million readers I'd want to try and screw some cash out of the situation. I can't imagine using anything much more intrusive that Google Adsense unless of course I come up with some Mr Angry merchandise like "I sodomise wallabies and I vote" bumper stickers.

I've seen some personal blogs where people go a bit hard at the "monetising" idea - to the point where you can't work out if there's any actual content on the site. Often there isn't, it's a whole page of ads but it takes you five minutes to work that out. Virtually every big blog has advertising and they handle it different ways from relatively understated to horrifically intrusive. What got me thinking about this was reading a blog called 37 Signals where some people were getting really vitriolic about advertising in their comments. It surprised me that people could still get so worked up at the concept of advertising so I thought I'd ask my eminently intelligent readers for their opinion.

For an example of a big blog that has lots of advertising done in a way that I think is acceptable look at BoingBoing. Not to everyone's taste but I think it's OK. For an example of badly done ads look at the Dilbert blog published by Dilbert creator Scott Adams. I'm not going to link because his site spawns pop-ups and pop-unders and annoying fucking flashing ads and I don't feel like inflicting that on you. Go check it out if you want. It's easy to find. Scott Adams is rich and popular and often very funny and as far as I'm concerned he's sending a big "fuck you" to his fans.

He doesn't need to have advertising this abusive, he could make a fortune out of text-only ads because, simply put, advertisers would pay whatever he asks in order to reach his readers. On top of that, he's been guilty in the past of advertising products like "free" cursors and screensavers that install spyware on your computer. Call me crazy but I think all advertising decisions have a moral dimension and it really sucks when you have the opportunity to make better decisions and you make really crap decisions.

So what do you think dear readers? Is advertising on a blog acceptable? Are there any limits? Enlighten me.


Michelle said...

The occasional good ad on a decent blog is acceptable. However, I know that some people set up blogs and sites purely to make money from ads. As someone who builds and runs health information sites, that makes me annoyed too.

Pop-ups for screensavers, smilies etc also make me angry, as they usually have spyware attached - it's so nice of these people to pass on spyware to their readers!

Mr Angry said...

I agree Michelle, I've seen blogs that run ads from the start but then have no content - maybe half a dozen half-arsed posts. I have no idea how they expect to earn money from ads when they're not actually offering anything of value.

pigeon weather said...

it's best if you're advertising your own merchandise. i'm sure many of us would be clamoring for Mr Angry t-shirts and coffee mugs; but don't ask me for advice, because my 'Shroud of Turin' T-Shirt business never got off the ground :}