SHOULD WE, SHOULDN'T WE?


The IPKat has been pondering whether it's worth opting for Google's AdSense scheme, which causes small advertisements to appear on his hallowed pages on the basis that each click-through will earn him a small sum of money. The advertisements are chosen by a computer program which looks at the text of each blog and then "guesses" that a particular ad is in some way relevant to it.


Ads on the IPKat: at last some well-earned income,
or a sell-out for the sake of filthy lucre?

One half of the IPKat is quite keen to do this, at least for a trial period. Blogging is tough, life is short and the IPkat provides a free service that others can capitalise on (if they so wish). The other half is not so keen: the blog likes to see itself as independent, expressing opinions that can't be bought. Would all this change if ads suddenly appeared? It's a hard one to call -- and Merpel can't make her mind up either. So please tell us: should we, shouldn't we -- or does it really not matter?

Money is evil: Francisco's "money speech" from Atlas Shrugged.
"There is nothing quite so wonderful as money" -- the Monty Python view
SHOULD WE, SHOULDN'T WE? SHOULD WE, SHOULDN'T WE? Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 Rating: 5

45 comments:

  1. My humble opinion: I also have a little legal blog (which has way less audience than yours), and chose not to insert AdWords.
    A blog is a publication platform where I have the freedom I do not necessarily have elsewhere (even the most impartial legal reviews impose format or rules for publication).
    Of course, a blogger can remain free even if the posts are surrounded by ads. The integrity of a blogger is a personal matter.
    But could a blog which topic is mainly trademarks use an advertising system which is legally challenged in several countries? (in France for example, see Frédéric's blog, the Trademark Museum). I doubt it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a big fan of the site, and also a keen blogger myself who also has considered Adwords, it is a hard one, so far the - quite possibly misguided - purist has won out and is keeping me Ad free, but ... Anyway, also had to post a comment simply because it's always nice to see 'Atlas Shrugged' mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. AN EMPHATIC "NO".

    IP Kat is a fine specimen of a young feline. We expect him to grow from strength to strength. Don't pollute the purity of his legal mind with advertisements. He should be above such things. It is a pleasure to read his feline musings encumbered by commercial interference.

    If on the other hand the adverts are for free fish and milk, perhaps he should have his way . . .

    The IPDog

    ReplyDelete
  4. You pose a tough question. I am an avid reader of your fine online trade mark journal, and I personally would not like to see our one-on-one relationship affected by third party ads.
    On the other hand, you provide a free service which absorbs your valuable time, thus I can understand the need for financial compensation.
    Thus said, I would feel better if this was a “pure” (ad free) forum, but should you decide to place ads, I would click EVERY day just to send some pesos your way.

    Thanks for letting us readers participate in this.

    Regards from Sunny Buenos Aires.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whether ads are desirable is determined by their effect on the journalism. The IPKat's readers are a discerning bunch and read it for its quality. Therefore I think that ads will provide an incentive to the IPKat to keep up the good work and the reader numbers. Also the ads are chosen by Google and not the IPKat.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I say don't. I know the IPKat blog has grown very successful, but I'd say keep outside of the money making side of it or it will become all evil and more about hits than anything else.

    The best things in life are free and independent from the fetter of outside influence!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It may be that you've long since resolved your hesitations, but if not, you may appreciate another comment.

    It is difficult to envisage how the quality of your blogging will be undermined by the presence of ads on your website. Your ethical credentials will, relatively unproblematically, also remain intact. The adoption of monetary transactions will not, I believe, contradict any deeply-held positions that you have professed, at least on the blog, and could not be dishonest in that sense. Arguing that accepting payments for carrying ads in general or even that accepting cash in the context of independent commentary is unpalatable is also very tough and I would like to see much more argument before swayed.

    Of course, visitors' experiences are another matter. AdSense may not be ideal if it serves irrelevant ads, which it may do, depending on what sponsors exist at a given time for keywords that Google indexes from your pages. It may be more useful to do any of the range of other things that you can - a perhaps not comprehensive list, but an unassuming way of doing it, for instance, at Asymmetrical Information. 'Donate' buttons with the option of claiming back one's donatory impulses, book reviews, Audible.com adverts, are all yours for the taking, I reckon.

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