9.17.2006

That Missing Million Dollars of Mine I've Been Looking For? I Think I Just Found It.

I've read a few blog posts recently about the commercialization of the blogosphere and various other meta-issues which I usually try to avoid here. The posts I have linked are thoughtful and well-considered. I loves me some socratic discourse about issues like ads on blogs and blogging motivation and blogging for the sake of "popularity" and whether that ranks up there on the scale of human indecency along with beastiality and voting for Rick Santorum.

(Funny how when I think of beastiality my mind automatically goes to Rick Santorum. Now why is that?)

But then there have been some posts (and comments) on this topic from what sound to be crazy, ranting nutbars, who feel that anyone considering advertising on their blogs should be drawn and quartered, then publically stoned while being forced to listen to William Shatner sing-speak Stairway to Heaven for six consecutive days. I don't care to link to them.

Interestingly, there's one consistent phrase that I've seen in both kinds of discussions, either by the author or the commenter. And that's the idea that those who disdain blog ads, do so in part because they make me buy products I don't need.

Making them buy products they don't need! I love it! Especially since I, in my ad agency day job am those people with this magic ability to make you do such a thing! And pssst... so's Girl Con Queso. Don't tell anyone.

Now personally, I would loooove to know which blog ad--the majority of which are poorly designed, and show a complete lack of understanding of the blog audience in both content and style--has that ability. Because if I knew it, I would be rich. Rich beyond my wildest dreams. So rich that I could buy you each ponies, and then ponies for the ponies, because hell, even ponies must dream of having their own ponies. And then we'd ride off together on our ponies (these are very sturdy ponies), with our ponies' ponies in tow, headed right for Canyon Ranch, where the Bali Spice Body Mask and Hot Stone Massages are on me.

I've been writing ads for a lot of years. Some people even consider me pretty good at it. And yet I know of no advertising technique with the the veritable power of waving a hand grenade menacingly in the direction of your bookshelf and insisting that you BUY! BUY IMMEDIATELY OR THE FIRST EDITION HARRY POTTER BOOK GETS IT.

Geez folks, any decent arguments against blog ads (and indeed there are some) get lost with hyperbole about people making you--an adult with, one can only hope, free will and common sense and a certain degree of media savvy--buy things you don't need.

Or maybe I'm wrong.

Is there a product you've been forced (forced!) to buy that you absolutely didn't need? Is there a man out there who just found himself mysteriously drawn to the new lighter, thinner maxipads with dri-weave protection? A 20-something couple with an inexplicably itchy dialing finger after watching the AARP infomercials? An Muslim who just couldn't resist having all of the greatest Christian power anthems on one double CD?

Inquiring (and manipulative) ad minds want to know.


61 Comments:

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I was once inexplicably drawn to purchase a complete set of recordings of 1970's hits because some ad genius like yourself KNEW that I would not be able to resist Greg Brady.

Acutally, that's not true. My credit card is perpetually maxed, so they couldn't authorize the sale.

We live in a consumer society. Get used to it. The presence of advertising of most corners of our lives doesn't prevent us from having open and engaged conversations, does it? Our culture still produces great critics, interesting literature and alternative music, does it not?

Every socio-cultural industry since the beginning of civilization has been supported by some form of enterprise - whether this was the patronage practiced in non-liberal cultures or the millenium-old tradition of capitalism, it's been there. And yet, still we talk! And critique! And make choices!

Amazing, I know. I would have really liked that 70's top hits set.

9/17/06, 10:10 AM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Face creams promising miracles. Over it now....

But I still want a pony.

9/17/06, 10:25 AM  
Blogger lynsalyns said...

You know, I barely even notice ads on blogs. It is all about content, baby. I took the google ad words off mine because a)they were ugly b) they were stupid and c) no one ever clicked on them.

And I'm a sucker for a pretty ad.

9/17/06, 10:29 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Great post.

9/17/06, 10:31 AM  
Blogger Queso said...

Ha ha (evil laugh) and yes.

I'm using my magical powers right now to create an ad that forces all who see it to sell everything and move to a nudist colony in Duluth. (So if you don't want to do that, you just better hope you never see this ad. Seriously.)

And when I get my pony, I'll ride it on my boat.

9/17/06, 10:36 AM  
Anonymous dorf said...

Your musings today remind me of the Ancient Greeks. Yep. It's because the Greeks coined the concept of amateur. Know why? So that only the rich could compete. A professional, you see, takes money for performing. Eew! Money. Dirty. Amateurs do not need money. So they are free to compete untainted. Do I smell class here?

So it goes with ads on blogs. In the Iriquoi world, where to each is given according to her needs, the idea of selling ads on blogs would be a non-issue. But we are living in 21st century America, people. Bloggers need to eat. And live. And buy handbags. And shoes for their children.

Only Trust Fund Babies or hermits would think that blogs can not remain 'pure' when they are supported by others' trying to sell us something. Grownups should know better. Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

9/17/06, 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Momish said...

Great post. I agree with you. If you find fault with trying to make some extra money off of blogging, it should certainly be due to a more nobler reason than you feel compelled to shop. I feel compelled to shop more often than not, but I certainly wouldn't blame a blog for this. I take responsiblity for my own neurosis and so should others. I myself am hesitant to try AdSense on my blog. Not because of any haughty moral issues, I just don't want to have to owe THEM when my mom and best friend never click on anything! Power to you! I hope you find that magical ad, so I too can get a pony (but I want to shop for it myself!)

9/17/06, 11:09 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

In the words of Neil Peart (yes, he's the drummer, but he's also the lyricist):

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path thats clear
I will choose free will

9/17/06, 11:10 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Well said. If you learn the secret, let me in on it. Maybe I can make a killing manipulating people with my blog.

9/17/06, 11:17 AM  
Blogger tAnYeTTa said...

huh? what's going on? oh sorry I was on tabbloo creating a profile. Got it from your ad on your blog. Sure hope you make a cool MIL off that LOL....I love your blog! you crack me up.;)

9/17/06, 11:38 AM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

Which blog ad was it? That old guy who wants people to join his class action suit. He's taken over my mind.

And oh yeah - that cheesecake on the BlogHer ad network lately? Do you KNOW how many extra pounds it's put on me? You think I can RESIST eating an entire cheesecake every time I see that ad?

So where's my pony? WHERE IS MY POHHHHNEEEEE?

9/17/06, 11:45 AM  
Anonymous anne nahm said...

Effing Crocs!

Soooo ugly, yet as promised - sooo comfortable. Why? Why did I buy them? Stupid subliminal advertising, I am sure :^)

http://annenahm.com/?p=151

Might as well wear effing mommy pants now.

9/17/06, 11:59 AM  
Blogger Food Mum said...

I am completely for making any money you can with your blog, but I've worked out a new theory. People only click on your adsense ads if they arrive on your website/blog and don't find it interesting enough...so the way to make money would be to write boring stuff with lots of keywords...but then you wouldn't have any blog friends any more...hmmmm theory needs more work.

Maybe we should start a bloggers pact. We all put adsense on our blogs and promise to click on each others ads every now and again (only if we are genuinely interested in the subject of course, in case any ad police are reading).

Then we could keep writing fascinating posts and make money...better plan!

9/17/06, 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Glennia said...

Susan Lucci's miracle face cream was the infomercial crack that did it to me. Because it was Erica-freaking-Kane, people. She is what? 60? I think when she hit forty she happened on some reverse-aging technique, which means she will likely become a fetus again around 2025, since she currently looks like a teenager. And yes, I'm aware that it is more likely the work of a good surgeon than anything that comes in a jar, but I can dream, can't I? Just a little?

It is actually good stuff. I just didn't need it delivered weekly, so I cancelled it. Anyone want any? I've got lots.

Blog ads? This is controversial? I thought the whole point of blogs was to do whatever you want. If ads are it, go for it. If not, don't. I do roll my eyes at ranting, judgmental, obnoxious, self-righteous content. Then I click away.

9/17/06, 12:21 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

If I got out right now and buy something I do not need (newborn diapers, perhaps? Or cholesterol-lowering meds?), THEN can I have my pony?

9/17/06, 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Y said...

FORCER!!!!!!!!!

9/17/06, 12:49 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Blog ads don't bother me....but I also have self control and generally don't click on them. I will tell you that I am drawn to books, I feel compelled to click on book ads. So by all means, have ads on your site. Because while the last thing in the world that I would want would be a pony, I have a child who would probably kill for one at this point.

Oh and I once felt compeled to go to Chilis even though I wasn't hungry, just because the ad for margaritas looked so inticing. Ohhh and Amahla had an ad for an Elmo on her Club Mom site that I did feel compeled to buy, even though the mere thought of another Elmo in this house makes me a bit ill.

9/17/06, 1:27 PM  
Blogger doow said...

I've got nothing against ads and make a point of Apple-clicking on them when I see them. That way, the blog owner gets a few cents and I can carry on reading while the ad opens in a new tab. I've got ads on mine, but as I''m barely getting anything from them, I'm not sure if I'll keep them. Still, they're not hurting, so why not?

As for being forced to buy things? My God, have these people no sense? Don't answer that.

... incidentally, I wrote this comment ages ago, but went out on my bike without clicking "publish". I'm that clever.

9/17/06, 1:35 PM  
Blogger T. said...

I have nothing intelligent to add to this debate. I am easily distracted by the blinking flashing ads on the sidebar.

Yes, really, I am an advertiser's wet dream. Totally gullible and very, very malleable. Or bendy, as my hubs likes to say.

To each their own. Isn't that how it is supposed to be?

9/17/06, 1:36 PM  
Anonymous GetSheila said...

I couldn't resist clicking over to see who Rick Santorum is, only to be slapped in the face by his masthead "Spreading Santorum."

It immediately conjured up an image of Mr. Santorum spread on a sex machine awaiting an anal probe.

Is it just me?

9/17/06, 1:46 PM  
Anonymous dear wife said...

Well I have to say I do not even notice adds on blogs. I think spending enough time on the internet I have learned to tune out anything but content. And who are these people forcing you to buy anything? Although I have been known to want something I do not need do to an ad, but I am usually to lazy to go out and get it, call them up, or forget about it the next time I go to the store. Which is probably a good thing or my house would be filled with as seen on TV crap. I am a sucker for that stuff.

9/17/06, 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Christina, aka Kitty said...

After watching the 8.23.06 episode of BentoTV, (http://www.bentotv.com/episode2.html), I HAD to find those little egg molds. I don't know how she did it, but I started off watching the episode thinking, 'this is the dumbest thing I've ever seen' and ended with me on ebay in a bidding war for those little plastic things. I'll be doing a happy dance when they arrive here from Japan this week! Now this isn't an 'ad' per se (I don't think she is getting paid to do this), but she does a great infomercial!

Oh, and do whatever you gotta do to make some money. Screw those who complain about the ads. Would those people rather pay a subscription fee to you instead? I doubt it.

9/17/06, 1:58 PM  
Blogger J said...

I've never seen an ad that forced me to buy anything, and I'm with you, the ones I see on blogs pretty much suck. I've bought things because the ad made them look good, but somehow, to me, that's different than FORCING me to buy something I didn't want. Yes, I bought Lori Davis shampoo in the early 90s. But I needed shampoo! Shut up!

Would I put ads on my blog? Not sure. I don't think I get enough traffic to make any money, so it's a moot point anyway. I prefer to keep it just for me. If people like the stupidness I come up with, good. If they don't, oh well, maybe tomorrow.

But I'm all about the ponies. So please, count me in if someone comes up with that perfect ad, OK?

(And I love that someone quoted Rush. Too cool.)

9/17/06, 1:58 PM  
Blogger Pattie said...

BlogAds don't offend me. I don't see what the big deal is, honestly.
Anyway, have I ever been forced to buy something I didn't need? Oh yes! Chocolate, wine, luxurious bath lotions....I am a total sucker for great advertising, and I love it *LOL* Of course, it is easier to blame poor choices on others...some want to take the easy way out I guess.I am kidding about the being forced part. I take responsibilty *gasp* when I make a poor purchase. ;)

9/17/06, 2:09 PM  
Blogger Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

That is hilarious! I think the problem is not ads, it's that we live on a buying on credit-based economy. We can buy anything with a credit card, that's why we buy stuff we don't need, not because an ad made us do it.

I love creative ads, for what they reflect about our culture, and because they can be art. I love that they contribute memorable characters to our pop culture. etc etc...

We have a collection of vintage fruit crate labels, which are so pretty, we framed them and made them our kitchen art.

Blog ads are totally wall paper to me. Don't care if a blogger has em or not. I have them and I have so far earned like a dollar thirty three that I will split with my blog partner Kelly. She and i will buy ourselves gum balls and enjoy the sweetness of earning a dime for our words....no more to it than that. They do not influence us in the slightest or corrupt our words..

Lisa

9/17/06, 2:26 PM  
Blogger Jozet said...

First of all, I will never forgive mothergoosemouse for now putting that dang Rush song in my head for the rest of the day.

However, if anyone could now promise that buying their product would remove the song from my head, I would buy it.

Freewill Antiperspirant!

Freewill Pasta!

The only time I have ever boughtanything against my will and better judgment, was when a screaming child was singing the product's praises for hours/days/weeks straight. Bad parenting, but great advertising. If you could write an ad that sounded like a screaming 3 year old, you may be buying that pony ranch.

9/17/06, 3:32 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I feel that anyone has the right to place anything they want on their blog. It's THEIR blog after all. I personally don't like reading blogs that have tons of ads all over them. It's just hard to see anything but the ads. But most people have one or two fairly tasteful ads on their sidebar and that, I think, does not detract much from the blog content. So OK.

That said, I personally wouldn't run ads on my blog if I felt that the ads were for products or companies that I didn't agree with. For example, I would never run a Wal-Mart ad on my site. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind someone handing me $50 bucks a month to run ads for products that I didn't feel like I was selling my soul to promote so I don't begrudge anyone else from doing that.

9/17/06, 3:33 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Lisa - Great points! Especially your last sentence, which is really important but something I didn't get into here.

I have not once thought about the ad that is on my blog, with the exception of the one I made blogHer take off immediately because it was from one of my list of "banned companies" that I will not allow to advertise here. (Yes, we get that option. Isn't that cool?)

When I write, I'm focused on writing. Not ads. Not money. Not my daughter who's often shoving pennies and paperclips in her mouth as I do so. My integrity is worth a little more than the .02 cents an hour I get paid by writing.

Oh, you think I'm exaggerating?

9/17/06, 3:34 PM  
Blogger s@bd said...

Who buys stuff from ads on blogs?! puh-leeze.

I buy from sales-children who come to my door. They CANNOT be resisted by the likes of moi. CANNOT.

Also, my father and I are both suckers for late-night TV ads. (and by 'late night', I mean 'wickedly early', of course) I shall not divulge the ridiculous things we have jointly purchased while in the semi-hallucinatory state (really, that's the only explanation - we ARE normal, rational people when not sleep-deprived) brought on by too much holiday cheer and not enough sleep.

9/17/06, 4:17 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

Maybe it's indicative of how pervasive that ads are in our capitalistic society that I don't have a problem with them on blogs. From time to time, a blogger will say something like "I don't know if I should say this.." or "this might be unpopular..." and usually, the masses respond with a resounding "it's your space, do what you want with it." I lump ads in the same category. If you don't like ads on someone's blog, simply turn away. But if ads had the power that some ascribe to them, I guess I wouldn't be able to do that. That's what must be keeping me here...not the quality of the writing at all! Glad I figured it out.

9/17/06, 5:27 PM  
Anonymous starrynite said...

I don't know if you've been on RockStar Mommy's blog recently, but she had a total flame war going on in her comments section because she put a little paypal donate thing up and joked it was for a boob job. The volume of comments crashed the site.

Obviously when bloggers are popular their commenters use up bandwidth. This has to be paid for somehow. If people want to ask for donations (for whatever worthy cause haha) or ads on their site I say they're entitled to. If they don't get much traffic they won't get much money. If they get a lot of traffic, they'll get more. It's relational to how much bandwidth they use.

And as for being forced to buy things by ads: yeah right!

9/17/06, 5:59 PM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Advertising kept me in cute shoes and handbags for years and even after I fled the biz, my husband's ad gig is what pays our mortgage. Soooo judging blog advertising would be just plain hypocritcal for me.

Oh how I loved what you wrote. With the exception of a few ads for chocolate cake ... really can an adult seriously claim to have no control over their decisions about whether or not to buy something?!?

And my favourite premise of your post ... most blog ads suck. I am a bit of an ad-snob (I'll admit it) and one of the only reasons I even momentarily waffle about the merits of blog ads is only because most of them, as you point out, are poorly targeted and crafted - and that is being generous.

Hey there Liz - there is your next challenge ... charge all those lame blog advertisers for you to inject that stellar creative director brilliance into some half decent blog advertising. Go forth and prosper my friend.

9/17/06, 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Lisa b said...

I want a pony too please. You made me want it. Yes your hilarious powers of persuasion are that powerful.

9/17/06, 7:49 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I am not influenced by blog ads, but I am influenced by your site enough that I still think to myself "chaco taco!".

9/17/06, 8:29 PM  
Anonymous surcie said...

Jonathan Antin's "Dirt." I didn't want it. I was skeptical. He gets on my nerves. It's in my hair I type. Not only am I a sucker for marketing, I also am a slave to reality television. Especially shows airing on Bravo. (Have you been watching this season of Project Runway? Awesome. And the new Top Chef starts soon!)

As for blog ads, I totally ignore them and never click on them.

9/17/06, 9:28 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

I am indifferent to blog ads. I rarely click on them. If I do it is because I want to give the person the click, not because I will ever buy anything that way.

Most often the ads are ignored.

I come to blogs to read great posts by great bloggers. I am more concerned what these "great" bloggers had to say about popularity than the ads. What some forget is us wee ones that are not getting the same traffic read what they say about us and we not so popular ones may be offended.

I do not blog to be a great writer, I share my story with those who care to read it. I also share my love for designing blog and graphics, Apple computers, knitting and the kid. I do not write seeking out that one profound post that will put me on the map.

I guess I was always the kid that could care a less if EVERYONE liked me, rather just the good ones ... Like you :D

(sorry for the rant!)

9/17/06, 9:53 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

I can't tell you, you will only use my words for evil.

9/17/06, 9:56 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Chelle - no apologies needed. Great comment. Sing it!

As I said one one of those blogs, I hate that distinction of "popular" and "not popular" which rings of high school stupidity. Another commenter, very cleverly, asserted that she didn't think of herself as unpopular but as undiscovered. I think that's just great.

9/17/06, 9:57 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

i just want the pony! GET RICH AND HURRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9/17/06, 11:15 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

If you find out what it is about these ads, let me know too. I have ads on my site. Since the click proceeds are going to ALS and to off-set a friend's infertility costs, I want to know the big secret too! They (ALS foundation and my friend) need the money!

9/17/06, 11:55 PM  
Blogger molly said...

I don't click on the ads, there's nothing out there I want that much, sorry. The ads aren't that great that I can't bear to resist. When I want something from the internet, I go an search for it myself. And I'm afraid that I'll end up with yet another pop-up, or some kind of virus, or something else that I don't want.

9/18/06, 12:05 AM  
Anonymous roo said...

All I can think of is :

Frxnt vrmnt xxzx SONY gurm!

We're still fleshing it out...

9/18/06, 12:36 AM  
Blogger lildb said...

christian power anthems: a double disc? really? where can I buy that magical set?

(and if Rick Santorum would autograph said double album, all the better. good old Slick Rick. whatta guy.)

this is a topic I ponder. I'm not a big fan of marketing. I've developed a deep, intense dislike of having a lot of what I look at in a day coated with ads. However, I tend to block out the ones on blogs. and I fast-forward through the ones on tivo.

mainly, it's the print ads that get me. stupid, perfectly lovely, photoshopped-to-pieces models. *grumble, grumble*

anyway, I'm the type who would become a hermit; that is, if I thought I could still have access to a really nice, spa-like bathroom, complete with jetted tub, and an all-Viking-appliance'd kitchen. so whaddo I know. *shrugs*

9/18/06, 1:40 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

This begs the question...if blog ads are ineffectual, why have them??

I'll admit I'm not a fan of ads on blogs. But I'm sure not going to boycott a blog I enjoy because of ads, unless the are so pervasive that they curtail that enjoyment. Those big flashing fuckers that obscure content until you click the close button are big fat deal breakers for me. Otherwise, it's all good.

This whole popularity issue irritates me. In some ways, we never evolve beyond highschool and I hated high school.

9/18/06, 4:58 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

BA: Great questions as always. My point is not that blog ads are ineffectual as a whole - although in incompetent hands they certainly are. In fact, we have plenty of ads on Cool Mom Picks that receive such good traffic that the advertisers renew over and over.

My point is simply that an ad, on a blog or otherwise, cannot make you do something against your will. It can get you interested. It can point you towards more information. But in the end the decision is yours to make.

Therefore people who say "oh you work in advertising? So you make people buy things they don't need?" make me want to laugh. I didn't think such a thing was possible.

By the way you might notice - not blinkies or flash on this here blog. It was one of the mandates I made with BlogHer. I hate em too..

9/18/06, 8:36 AM  
Blogger Waya said...

I have no problem with ads on anything, this is a capitalist society after all right? But I can't say that I've ever bought anything on blogs, t.v. or even magazines b/c I don't need them, seriously. I'd buy a box of girl scout cookies when they come to the door, but that's about it.

My hubbie was the one who set up the ads on my blog, since I'm totally computer illiterate, but it's not all over the place. And if you want to click on it great, if not fine. It's not going to make us rich or even afford a pack of gum but heck, dreams are free.

9/18/06, 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Mother said...

I have ads. And they blink.

However, I don't expect people to click on them.

I like some of the blogads and have clicked on them because a lot of them are home/handmade businesses and I'm into that stuff (as you know).

I have NEVER bought something just because of the ads, however, I love the Real American Hero Bud Light campaign and would buy it just because they are brilliant (the radio ads, that is).

And that's saying something.

9/18/06, 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Binkytown said...

I think that's trying to shirk all responsibility to say that an ad made you do anything. They may make you want to buy something, but if you do, it's all you.

9/18/06, 4:42 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

I don't really understand why people have even made this an issue.

If you don't like ads on blogs, don't read blogs with ads on them.

Pretty simple solution to the problem, no?

9/18/06, 6:25 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Full disclosure: I also get paid to write words that will make people want to buy things. But not nearly on the same scale as Liz here, or Girl con Queso. It's only a casual gig for me.

9/18/06, 6:27 PM  
Blogger Merry Mama said...

Well,I'm going to be the meany here (without being mean.) You see, I'm a nobody really, who has nothing to lose and I've posted and lurked here before and I think you even left a comment on mine(for which, thank you!!)

I'm not judging anyone who has ads on their sites... more power to them. But I came across this post and It was so powerful and well-written, and thoughtful, I absolutely thought more people should at least read it, even if they disagree. And no, she's not talking about stoning anyone...she's simply raising questions and possible answers. I have no knowledge of the woman prior to twenty minutes ago... but ... I am impressed.

http://www.hellojosephine.blogspot.com/

9/18/06, 7:28 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Thank you Merry Mama! I appreciate the link. However I must confess, my eyes glazed over after about the 37th paragraph.

I can't discuss the ups and downs of blog ads with someone who seems to be anti-advertising as a whole. It's like debating the merits of leggings with a nudist.

I'll just say that she's a bit uninformed as to the control that we all have over our own blogs, where to place the ads, who to accept, and under what guidelines. I'm not selling a piece of myself here; good lord, that's dramatic! I'm selling some bandwidth.

And I find her assertion that by having an ad on here, I "remove my mental reluctance to sell to friends" (presumably via undisclosed product placement in my content) insulting.

Again, let me say it - people with ideas like this need to ask questions instead of making assumptions. ASK THE BLOGGERS who have the ads on their sites how it has changed them, their content, their "reluctance to sell to friends."

But then, the debate would probably be over wouldn't it.

9/18/06, 8:59 PM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I have never understood why anyone gets upset with ads on blogs. After all, we're all doing this for free, so why not let us make a few bucks off it, particularly if you enjoy the site? That said, I HATE ads in between posts. Sidebar doesn't bother me, but that drives me insane.

9/19/06, 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

I agree- come on people! We put ads on our blogs- but that doesn't mean you have to click them.

9/19/06, 5:17 PM  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

I am such a target market. I have a friggin' degree in communications, I studied advertising at university, and I am still completely manipulated by ads. Will it make me happier, thinner, smarter, sexier? I'll buy it. Will it make me a better mother if I buy those stretchy diapers instead of those non-stretchy ones? Hell, it's worth a go. And I'm educated, for cryin' out loud. I know better - I understand product placement and why they put things at certain levels on the grocery store shelves and how they use my own insecurities to manipulate me. (Oops, sorry, I guess that "they" is actually "you", eh?) And yet it still happens.

You know what, I read every word of the Hello Josephine post, and it and a bunch of other stuff I've read recently made me do a complete about-face on the blog ad issue. I was all ready to go - even signed a contract, for goodness sake - and now I've had a change of heart. Because the blog IS me - it's the story of me, and my boys, and our life, and the idea of selling that for $60 a month kind of gives me the willies when I really think about it. How exactly is that different from selling it to a publisher some day? I don't exactly know, but somewhere in my addled brain, there is a distinction.

Another thing that really made me think twice is this: I'm 7 weeks pregnant, and I don't know if I'll be able to maintain my self-imposed blog-every-weekday schedule when the baby comes. But would I feel I *had* to blog, because those ads are up there? What if I didn't post for a month? Would knowing that my traffic stats are tied to profit instead of simple ego-boost make me blog in a different way? I'm afraid it might.

Fascinating debate - and I'm actually surprised at where I finally came out. For those who want the ads on their blog, more power to you - but I don't think they're for me.

9/20/06, 7:56 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Dani, You totally have to do what's right for you. The great thing, is you have a choice either way!

Just another question though, do you think you really think you'd feel you *have* to blog for $60 a month? If you were paying your rent with it, sure, but $2 a day? Really?

I'm not trying to convince you (rather to defend my own choice) but I don't feel for a minute I'm selling the story of my life. I'm selling a few pixels of bandwidth in a sidebar, separated from editorial. Same as how a personal essay from David Sedaris in the New Yorker may be opposite advertising.

Glad however that you came to the decision that makes you feel best about what you're doing. It's all good!

9/20/06, 8:13 AM  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

Yah, the distinction you make about selling a personal essay and selling blog space is a shifting line for me.

I guess it's about comfort, and I'm extremely lucky (as you mentioned) to have the choice to begin with. You say you're selling a few pixels of bandwidth in the sidebar, but (to my reasoning, and in my case) I wouldn't have that space to offer if I hadn't gained an audience by telling the story of me, and my boys. If it weren't for the story, I wouldn't have the audience, therefore my space wouldn't have any value to an advertiser.

I've blogged about it a little bit more today, if you're interested. These conversations are fascinating, and important.

9/20/06, 10:35 AM  
Blogger Petite Mom Blogger said...

I'm a little late to this post but I did catch a post or two else where and blogged about some of it on my personal blog.

Personally, I see absolutely nothing wrong with putting ads upon my site or you putting ads on yours. It's an easy way to pay for a habit or a lifestyle. That is if you know how to make it work for your sites.

I'm one of those people that tests out ad placements often to see where the ads perform best throughout my site and/or blogs. I'm aware that some people dont like the ads there but you have to do whatever works for you.

In my experience, bloggers don't click on other bloggers ads. That market just does not click on ads. Your clickers will come from elsewhere. I'm not going to bore you with a whole internet marketing lesson here. Also, Ad blindness is experienced often when you see the same format and the same ad over and over. Am I making any sense? LOL.
Anyway, over all, I see no problem withs ads on a site. For some and myself, it's a way to make a living. I dont buy something because of an ad. I buy it if I need it. Ads DO NOT make you buy stuff you don't need. Like you said, it's ultimately your decision. No one is holding a gun to your head and saying buy.:)but thats just my opinion.

9/20/06, 8:07 PM  
Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

As far as blogs go, I've never had a problem with those that choose to advertise on their blogs. If it can make them a little extra money or even turn blogging into a career, more power to them.

But in all honesty, I don't think I've ever clicked on any of the ads in those blogs. I've just never felt compelled to do so.

9/21/06, 3:00 PM  
Blogger Krisco said...

I do have to say that an ad that I like will actually make me respect the company more. Really. Even though I know it means nothing other than someone there ordered and managed to approve a cool ad. Still it ups their worth in my eyes.

Doesn't mean I'll buy the product.

But I *might* think about it, whereas perhaps I would not even have noticed them before.

(Yes, I'm the perfect consumer for agencies to pick my brain...or the worst...)

9/22/06, 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I don't have anything against advertising on blogs. I do not judge a blog as good if it doesn't have ads or evil if it does -- it's too simplistic a view of the world. There are blogs without advertising that try to skew opinions, and there are plenty of blogs with ads that have never changed their focus or content even while the bloggers are making some money from what they advertise.

I think it's silly when people think that advertising will "trick" them into buying something. That's like the shoplifter saying that he couldn't resist picking up a piece of jewelry. There is such a thing as free will, people.

9/26/06, 8:48 PM  

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