7.18.2007

The Great Sellout: Maybe Me? Maybe You?

There's a good brawl going over at Metrodad's place on, of all things, ads on personal blogs. And just in time! As Weird Girl says, it's been a slow summer, fight-wise. Sure, the crazy "Animals should roam the world free while people are in cages" folks came by to tell me I should have my ovaries forcibly removed from my body for writing this post, but otherwise, s-l-o-w.

Why I was just thinking about posting a good ol' BREASTFEEDING IS FOR PUSSIES post just to get things going around here.

By the way, I can say PUSSIES here. Why? Because I didn't check the "I don't use profanity on my blog so that advertisers can feel happy about advertising here" button in my BlogHer Ads agreement. I feel like a well-placed "fuck" can have great literary value. Besides, if a "holy shitballs, I have toxoplasmosis" line is what needs to come out of my head and onto these pages, I'm not going to hold back.

That's another story. But it is a good segue.

I've got opinions about ads on blogs. Loads of them, some of which I've expressed here from time to time. But eh, I'm sick of hearing me think. So I want to know what you think. Especially because next week, I'm speaking at BlogHer about this very thing. So I'm turning to you, my intelligent, opinionated, and attractively blemish-free readers.

What do you think about ads on blogs? Where do you draw the line? Have you ever stopped reading a blog because of too many ads or annoying blinking ads or ads for nuclear munitions? Are there any blog ads you do like to see? Does it matter what kind of blog it is, or are all blogs the same?

Here's something else I'm curious about: I often see the retort "I'm feeding my family with the ads on my blog" at which point the ad-hater generally stutters "well, uh, I guess that's okay then. Sorry to have bothered you." Like we're talking about panhandling here. Is it acceptable to make money off your blog if it's your only source of income but for no other reason?

Okay so I'm getting awfully close to my opinions again here (dammit!) which is not the point of this.

See how I said "dammit?" I can do that!


88 Comments:

Blogger bubandpie said...

If there's music playing as the site loads up, I'm gone.

And those ads that fall across the page like a flyer blowing in the wind? They're strangely mesmerizing - they're the only ads I actually look at - but they also crash my browser. And once I've restarted it, I don't come back.

Ordinary sidebar ads are pretty easy to ignore. They do communicate something, though - they create an impression of sophistication, in-the-know-ness: they shape my impression of the blogger, but in ways that are hard to quantify.

7/18/07, 9:16 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Bub: YES on the music! Argh, I have to add that one to my list, thanks. Just last night I clicked to a friend's blog which turned out to be a myspace page which turned out to wake up the sleeping baby in my lap the second it loaded.

7/18/07, 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Kathy from NJ said...

The ads don't bother me at all. In fact, there are a few blogs that I would pay to subscribe to, yours is one. Notes from the Trenches is another.

7/18/07, 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

I don't mind the sidebar ads. I don't like the ads at the top of the site, where it interferes with the aethetics. I am all about looks, you know. I'm actually thinking of addiing ads to mine. Sometimes it's a good way to just click around (on a slow day) and see what's what. I feel the same way about Blogrolls, which I have had to tell non-bloggers, is nothing like a tunaroll, much to their chagrin. Cyber-sushi. I may be onto something. Perhaps I just need more coffee.

7/18/07, 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I like the money.

(I didn't check the box either. I mean - what if I need to say cock sucker?)

I wouldn't do pop-ups or audio ads though. That crap drives me crazy.

7/18/07, 9:47 AM  
Blogger doow said...

I have no problem with ads if they're just tucked away in the sidebar or similar. Why not earn a few pennies from media moguls? On my iMac I can click on people's ads while holding down the Apple key and the links open up in a new tab (I expect there's a PC equivalent). Thus, I earn my entertainment provider a few cents and it doesn't interfere with what I'm doing at all. In fact, I make a point of clicking on ads if I see them on a site I like.

Ooh, look at me, I just had an opinion on something. That rarely happens!

7/18/07, 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Susan Getgood said...

Amen to the no music. hate it hate it hate it. Ads with automatic sound on. Hate 'em. Who do they think they are kidding? There's no fucking way they even had any iPhones, as the ads started running months before the phones shipped. And how about those popups where you can't find the close button.

I digress.

I do not have ads on my marketing and PR blog although I do have buttons for blogher and a PR podcast done by some friends. Both unpaid. This blog is part of my business branding and I don't want anything to conflict with it.

On my other blog, which is a cross between a photo blog and a parenting blog, I am running ads, but not too many. BlogHer, Google and Amazon affiliate. Mostly to defray the costs of the blog.

7/18/07, 10:01 AM  
Blogger CableGirl said...

Hear hear on the music issue! I hate blogs that have music embedded. Worst invention of the cyber world. Maybe I don't want to hear your stupid tunes!

I have no problem with Ads though.. as long as they're not a complete distraction and don't get in my way... It's mostly pop-up ads that I hate and I haven't encountered a blog with those yet.

7/18/07, 10:15 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

I blog at Blogger, and was acturally really surprised that my free space did not include ads that I had no control over (like on Facebook, etc.).
So, no, as long as I can still find the blog on the blog, ads do not phase me. And as I am about to embark on my second mat leave and need all the extra coin I can get, I just applied and got accepted to run 'em. How's that for idealism?

7/18/07, 10:16 AM  
Anonymous mustbemotherhood said...

I agree with the ladies above--as long as the ads are tucked neatly on the sidebar, don't include music, and I'm not bombarded by popups, I don't care at all. Because I don't know much about obtaining ads for my blog, I have to admit that when I read blogs that do have advertising, I assume (probably erroneously at times) that they are "successful" eg, have tons of readers and have been around for a while. So I do get a different vibe from blogs with ads vs. those that don't. In my limited research, it also seems like bloggers with ads approach their posts as craft rather than as diary-esque updates on their lives for friends and family.

7/18/07, 10:25 AM  
Anonymous DaisyCake said...

I don't care if the blogger has ads or not. All that matters is the content.

If the blogger is witty and can write well, they can have all the ads they want. I'll still read. If the blogger sucks at writing, with or without ads, I won't read.

I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

7/18/07, 10:25 AM  
Blogger Birchsprite said...

ads .... what ads?

I rarely notice them.... unless they feature chocolate.

mmmmmmmmmm

Chocolate

7/18/07, 10:40 AM  
Blogger Janssen said...

It's the paid posts that have me instantly unsubcribing to a blog (I mean product review posts that are sponsored, not blogs that people have a gig to write). I cannot STAND those PayPerPosts. HATE them!

7/18/07, 10:41 AM  
Anonymous mayberry said...

Yep -- sidebar ads no problem. Music, popups, payperpost: problem.
I also don't really buy the "feeding my family" line. Sure it's a few extra bucks -- you're welcome to them whatever you spend them on; we don't need the guilt trip.

7/18/07, 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Chase said...

I don't mind ads at all...unless, like everyone else said, they're pop-up ads. I won't read anything with pop-ups.

As a matter of fact, I'm one of the weird ones that likes to look at ads because, hey, sometimes it's good stuff! I've found a good blog or two by clicking on an ad. And I clicked on a blogad yesterday that took me to some pretty cool t-shirts!

The fact that that made somoene a quarter is just icing on the cake. :)

7/18/07, 10:58 AM  
Blogger ephelba said...

No sir, I don't like 'em.

I don't know that I would quit reading a blog because of them, but they make me sad. Like the really, really, sad feeling I get in Walmart. All this crap that nobody needs, and everybody working so hard to try and buy it.

Can't quantify it better than that right now.

7/18/07, 11:02 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

I obviously have no problem. By the way, I didn't check that box either. A well-placed fuck from time to time is a necessary thing.

7/18/07, 11:08 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Thanks for the respectful voice of dissent, Ephelba. I was starting to wonder how it is that every one of my readers is totally fine with ads! Or maybe the ones who hate that I have them are hiding...

(Walmart makes me sad too. For more reasons than I can get into now. We'll dish sometime.)

7/18/07, 11:14 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I totally checked that (fucking) box! My husband just told his entire law firm about my blog, so I was going to have to watch the profanity anyway.

I adore blog ads. They pay us for doing what we love and it just doesn't get any better than that. Maybe I'm a naive little capitalist, but isn't that what the free market is all about? People who do what they do well should be rewarded for it.

7/18/07, 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Kathy from NJ said...

I really wish you would do a post about Wal-Mart. I once heard a rumor that Old Man Walton didn't like NJ, NJ customers were too savvy, so we were spared their stores. Unfortunately he is now gone and Wal-Marts are creeping in to NJ. We don't allow the huge superstores (thank God). I've been a few times and have found that I MUST note the shelf price of any item that goes into my shopping cart because the register prices are not usually coordinated with the shelf prices. Especially on the "Price Break" specials - the register ALWAYS rings up the "was" price. The last time I was there I complained to the manager and told her I was going to report the store to the State Attorney General - she said, "I wish you would."

7/18/07, 11:51 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

They don't bother me. I can totally understand it, and if I could figure out how to post things on my sidebar, I'd totally be on the bandwagon. Someday. Someday...

7/18/07, 11:53 AM  
Blogger Piece of Work said...

I hate the ads, but especially (of course) the blinking loud ones. I hate all the posts that say "Hey, check out what I have to say about this on (Babble, Strollerderby, etc etc)". Hate ESPECIALLY the posts that say "check out my review blog to see what I think about such and such book". Also hate when the reviews are on the original blog. And hate the truncated posts on bloglines too-so annoying, and all it does is ensure that I DONT click through. Here's the thing--I don't begrudge bloggers who make money off their blog, I understand wanting or needing to do that. But often it COMPLETELY affects the writing on the blog, or, at least, that's what I've experienced. SOme of my old favorite blogs are now shells of their former selves because the blogger is spending so much time reviewing or whatever and the only posts they write are about how they are too busy to write or, worse, they are just links to another paid place they are blogging. I miss the old blogs. I miss blogging before ads were everywhere. I miss the old no-ulterior-motive posts. Of course there are exceptions--some of my favorite bloggers still write good stuff frequently, even with the ads--and in those cases, of course I come back and read. But the others--and unfortunately, this is the majority--start to suck pretty much right about the time the ads start, and so eventually I unsubscribe.

Its also possible that the ads just happen to come at a time when the blogger gets burnt out.

You know what else I hate? Word verification! People! Use Haloscan! It's free!

7/18/07, 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ads: I care. For instance, I am pro life and won't use Blogher ads because a lot of them are from Planned Parenthood. I am not looking for a debate. I am simply saying that I notice ads.

If a blogger hates Wal-mart and I see a Wal-mart ad, well, there is an inconsistency factor that I notice. I find Wal-mart sad too just for the record.

7/18/07, 11:56 AM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

Heh. Good timing on this post for me, because I was just accepted into the BlogHer ads program.

I see nothing wrong with ads. However:

a. Too many, and I get annoyed, because they make loading the site interminably long;

b. I don't like ads for companies that seem antithetical to the point of view of the blogger. For example, in my BlogHer application, I specified that Walmart is a company whose ads I would not run.

7/18/07, 12:00 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I don't like them on my blog but if they are subtle I don't mind them on other blogs. I hate it when they get all in your face and are placed between posts. I stopped reading a blog that did that. It just irked me too much especially since it was lame Adsense ads. I don't generally click on ads in blogs either.

7/18/07, 12:21 PM  
Blogger Baby in Broad said...

I don't like ads, but unless they're loud, pop-up, browser-crashing or otherwise interfering with my ability to read a blog, I won't stop reading a blog because of them.

I'm sometimes interested to note that the blog I'm reading has or doesn't have ads on it. I remember when one of my favorite blogs suddenly sprouted a bunch of ads overnight. It was a little odd, becuase it didn't fit the mental image that I had had of that blogger.

7/18/07, 12:46 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I have mixed feelings on the issue. On one hand, I would love it if I could generate some income with my blog. On the other hand, I do find ads on other blogs a little irritating, particularly when they cause the blogs to load slowly or freeze my browser.

I'm on a t2 connection and there are several blogs (yours among them, I'm afraid) that still take minutes to load. If I really like the blogger, I deal with it. If it's a new blog, it's a deal breaker for me. I won't go back.

Intrusive, in your face, animated ads are an immediate click away for me, but sidebar ads I can ignore.

I'm not entirely comfortable withe the idea of sacrificing or pandering my own thoughts, feelings and ideals as fodder for commercial gain. But I wouldn't begrudge someone else the right to do so.

How's that for ambivalence?

7/18/07, 12:58 PM  
Blogger David said...

It's your blog, do what you want. If someone doesn't want to read your blog because of ads, that's fine too. I think this stuff has a way of working itself out.

I read this blog every day, though I doubt the ads are really geared toward me. But it's not about me. It's about whatever Liz wants it to be, and most people are fine with that.

I don't anyone's necessarily right or wrong here. it just sort of is what it is.

7/18/07, 1:03 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Anon 11:56: For the record, you can choose which BlogHer ads not to accept, and in fact there was a poll of the bloggers when the not-for-profits were added as to which would be preferred. You have the right to opt out of any particular charity or entire category if you'd like particularly since they're not paid. If you don't want a Planned Parenthood ad, take a Cancer Society ad.

Amy POW: I'm wondering if you could provide more detail as to why you hate people telling you say, to "read me on babble." Because you don't like the idea that they're writing elsewhere or you don't want to have to click again to read them that day? Something else? It's an interesting issue.

7/18/07, 1:10 PM  
Blogger prescott said...

Ha, makes me glad we set up our site as a commercial online magazine from the start.

While I don't have a problem with ads on personal blogs myself, I do actually understand why some really don't like them when they start to appear on a blog they've been reading for awhile. It probably seems similar to having a good friend who all of a sudden every time you see them they're pitching you on Amway or giving you an invite for a Tupperware party.

7/18/07, 1:14 PM  
Anonymous laurie said...

Most of the time I ignore ads, especially the texty ones. But sometimes (and I may veer into hyperbole here) they give me a sort of post-apocalyptic feeling. Like in movies like Blade Runner or The Matrix or Minority Report (which isn't exactly post-apocalyptic, but is futuristic) where their use of ads seems totally foreign and invasive to us, but to everyone there in that world, it's totally normal.

I especially feel that way about Google AdSense and their dyed-to-match approach. Sometimes it's a little creepy to me.

But. That said. They don't dissuade me from reading. I have to ignore ads all over the world -- magazines, billboards, product placement. I have no problem with this method of all-a-y'all earning some dough for your good looks, er, good writing. More power to you, I say.

7/18/07, 1:18 PM  
Blogger Kandace said...

I don't mind ads on blogs I read, mostly. I do mind when they are meshed right into the blog and I have a hard time distinguishing between the content and the ad.

In fact I think ads are great. Since I think I read a lot of great things on the internet and think the people writing are owed some compensation. I've even been known to recharge someone's starbucks card just for reading their blog which brings me so much delight.

I pay for books why wouldn't I do the same if a writer brings me enjoyment?

7/18/07, 1:24 PM  
Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

I agree with bubandpie, if there is music, I am out of there!
Ads don't bother me unless ther are a million of them and I can't find the content.

7/18/07, 1:28 PM  
Anonymous georgia said...

I think the "okay-ness" of ads on blogs really depends on the blog, and the ad. Post Secret, for example, doesn't allow any ads. I think people would be less inclined to send in their very biggest secrets if there was a huge McDonalds ad next to their confession of being molested as a child, ya know? And I appreciate that.
In the case of, say, food blogs and beauty-advice type blogs, an ad may seem like the person doing the reviewing needs to be bias towards whatever advertiser is shilling out the big bucks for a place on their sight, which just seems cheap to me.
Other then that, what the H? Advertise away...and send those bastards my way when you get a chance, I've got an entire empty right-side of my blog just screaming for a Fred Flare ad.

7/18/07, 1:34 PM  
Blogger Parent said...

Prescott's comment struck me as interesting because I never consider that people might see ads (or reviews or directing people elsewhere to read another post) in the same sense as an invite to a Tupperware party - that is, as an obligation.

Many of us get paid purely on page impressions, not clicks. And in some cases, impressions don't even matter. So there truly is no obligation on the part of a reader to pay any attention to the ads. They're just THERE.

However, I agree that music, pop-ups, and obnoxious flash ads are all extremely distracting, which does detract from the writing in the sense that people may click away in frustration before they even read a single word.

Bottom line - it's a personal decision. Don't like it? Don't read it.

7/18/07, 1:39 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Sorry, that was me (MGM)

7/18/07, 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

I live out in the damn sticks and the only internet currently available to me is dialup, so anything that takes more precious time of mine to load the site sucks. That includes, but is not limited to music, pop ups, etc...

As for the concept of ads themselves...well, I don't really give a rat's ass as long as they're not ugly.

I'm vain. I like to go to a site where it looks good. There are three sites that I frequent where I love the writer and the posts, but the poor esthetics of ugly ads and too damn many of them drive me bonkers.

That said, I keep going back because the writing rocks.

As for ads myself...one day. Maybe. If my template allows for it.

I'm all about the esthetics. Call me simple.

7/18/07, 1:47 PM  
Anonymous madge said...

Aesthetically, I HATE ads.

I'm not against other people making money off their blogs. More power to them (er, you). Just keep 'em to the side and as inoffensive as possible.

But, personally, I wouldn't do them on my own blog. Also, when the going gets slow, I wouldn't want the external pressure to post.

7/18/07, 1:56 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

Ads, I can ignore. I don't click on them, so it really doesn't bother me. If people want to make money, who am I too argue? I don't like the music....mostly because it scares the shit out of me when it comes out of nowhere. Some sites the ads over power the blog, they start to take over and make the site really slow, so then I tend to just read it in Bloglines. The BlogHer ads are the least annoying of the bunch. Not that I don't get tired of the BlogHer posts, but that's not the same as the ads. And in all honesty, it's more that I'm too new to be included and may never be, so I do recognize it's my issue. Blogging's a hard thing to get into this late in the game I guess.

Like I said at Metro's site, when people ask for money for themselves, to keep them blogging, like say, Jay over at The Zero Boss, I liked him but when he started doing that, I had to stop reading. A charity, I'm all for giving to a charity or too help someone in need. I'd give money to Why Mommy in a heart beat. But someone just asking for themselves and they are not in NEED, that bugs the shit outta me.

A well placed fuck is always a good thing in my mind, so I'm thrilled that you can still do that.

Oh and the word verification thing bugs me some days...but that's my deal, because I have issues. ;)

7/18/07, 2:12 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

I dont usually care about the ads, in part because as someone said previously, I am so used to tuning out all of the advertising around me that I dont notice them anymore, but also because I read most blogs via google reader, sans ads. When I do happen over to the actual blog, I will not click on anything too commerical, like "click here for a free sample of Tampax", but I do like those pretty little ads that highlight a small company or boutique business. I will click, and buy, on those sites.
I have to admit, I do sometimes get tired of the shilling for other sites. Especially when a blogger I have been reading since W A Y back writes a really profound piece, and closes with "Hey, now check out my review of LoveLube on Babble!" Kind of ruins the moment. But I respect the need to make $ so I just read on.

7/18/07, 2:14 PM  
Blogger Dana J. Tuszke said...

Ads don't bother me unless their pop-ups.

I think having ads is just a part of blogging. Mine aren't profitable enough to pay a mortgage, but they do cover the cost of self-hosting my blog and I think that's just a great wash.

7/18/07, 2:25 PM  
Blogger MamaChristy said...

A note to "Piece of Work":

Lot's of people truncate their RSS feeds because there was this finky set of people from Spain stealing their blog posts. And making money off them. Without asking. That's wrong and the only real way to stop this was to publish the short RSS feed. So please don't be too hard on bloggers who won't publish the entire post that way.

7/18/07, 2:26 PM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

I don't see what the big deal is about ads. They've never bothered me. It's a blog and should have whatever the blog owner likes. They can talk about what they want, post pictures of their choice, so if they want ads in their sidebar, then great!

I personally will not post ads that compromise my integrity (like you'll never see a Wal-Mart ad on my blog or an ad for a vaccine.)

Steph

7/18/07, 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Mommy Babble said...

I really don't mind them. Personally I would rather see banner ads than google ads. why? Because you know, or assume, that the writer selected the banner ads herself. It sort of gives you a feel for the person. I may love a blogger but if I see one day a Baby Wise ad on the side I'm gone. It's just one more way to get a feel for the blogger and what she's about.

7/18/07, 3:21 PM  
Blogger Julee said...

Pop ups -- NO
Sidebar -- Fine
I read for the content. I LOVE Mom 101 -- your personality shines and sometimes a well placed "fuck" is just right. It sounds like the idea of censorship and control from the media are what you're resisting -- right on -- yet, if you have control of the ads on your blog -- that's OK, right?

7/18/07, 3:24 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I really don't mind the little banner and sidebar ads on blogs, but I don't look at them either. I really don't like those 'pay for post' blurbs b/c I feel like they get in the way of things I want to read on someone's blog. But, if someone wants to do this, that is their perogative, as it is mine to skip over these posts.

What astonishes me is that people say they feed their family with their ads. Really? I'd expect that you, Mom 101, dooce, amalah and a handful of other 'big' bloggers could get significant revenue from ads, but can small-to-midsize bloggers really make money in this way? I've had a fleeting thought of adding ads to my site but think that the monthly check of $.05 would really bum me out.

7/18/07, 3:32 PM  
Blogger Treadmillista said...

Ads generally don't bother me, but there is one blog I read that I've found I can't even read at its site anymore. For some reason her ads or something there crashes my internet explorer, ever single time. I can still catch the feeds from my reader though!

7/18/07, 3:34 PM  
Blogger ALM said...

I suppose I don't mind them - because honestly when I read a post I read it pretty quickly & don't really look at the "site" per se. I'd either be at work (like now... shhhh!) or at home w/kids crawling on me, or end of the day exhausted. I just don't focus on them.

BUT - since you asked - I HATE the ads on the bottom of the feed from Google reader. I know all blogs don't have them - so they have to be put on by individual bloggers -- and I feel like those are a real invasion of my (very own) google reader space.

I'm a New Yorker - my space is very precious to me. :)

7/18/07, 3:59 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Seriously? People have fucking light up, sound, ads on their blogs??? And I felt bad about my little sidebar deal, but good lord, that's mad.

I also did not check the "I'll forgo using words not meant for little ears" box, because I like to use the 'c' word a lot. Some people may not, but at times there are some women who deserve to be called that word.

So no, I do not mind ads on blogs as long as it is not obtrusive to the content of the blog. Music, pop-ups, singing monkeys shilling for some product, will all force me to detonate my computer. That's how strongly I feel about such ridiculous things on blogs.

7/18/07, 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MOM101...Good to know about the Blogher Ad option policy. Thank you.

7/18/07, 4:40 PM  
Anonymous B said...

Because I don't get any of those ads that disrupt the flow of my reading thanks be to the Mac gods, I don't give a rats ass about ads. I'm good at tuning shit out...is that my baby I hear crying?

7/18/07, 4:42 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

So... many... comments... to read through!

I work in Marketing so I'm not adverse to ads on blogs, per se, or product reviews by bloggers. BUT! since I do work in marketing I am picky about the aesthetics and content relevance. If the ad graphics are nice (I didn't say "tasteful" because sometimes a slightly dirty ad can really sell product!), are unobtrusive, and for products that relatively fit a site's theme I really don't have a problem with it. And more power to anyone who can make a little money doing what they love.

That being said, I HAVE stopped reading a blog because of the ads on it. In those cases the ads just multiplied overnight, they were ugly, and they were intrusive. But those sites were also instances where the writing wasn't speaking to me the same way it used to. The multiple links within posts of "check out this great product" were also a turnoff. I have no problems with an honest review - I was even accused of getting a kick-back for gushing about my Roomba on a post (I didn't get any money, I just really like my Roomba) - but when it's obvious a writer is turning their posts into ad-machines it's a big turnoff.

However, if the writing really spoke to me, even if they did have ugly ads, I would probably still read. I'm not sure if I would pay subscription fees, though. That makes me a little sad.

7/18/07, 6:17 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

I don't mind ads, either, though I do agree with those that said no music, please! Obviously, there are some that are a little more intrusive than others. I haven't encountered a blog yet that had ads that would keep me from reading.

Also, I am still on the swearing list. You never want to eliminate the possibility, right?

7/18/07, 6:25 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

While I'm not a big name blogger, I get plenty of revenue from my blog. And yes, Fairly Odd Mother, I DO feed my family with that revenue. That and the paid blogging that I do on other sites literally pays my food bill for the month. Thank goodness!

I already posted about this brouhaha on my blog.

I honestly think that this boils down to a class issue. The people who are 'blog purists' and feel that no blog should be sullied with advertisements pretty much turn out to be bloggers who are living on another source of income. Like a husband's income as an attorney, advertising exec, high tech geek, or whatever. Sure they can afford to be purists. I can't. Period.

I see no problem with ads on blogs. I do not like, nor do I read Pay Per Post blogs. Ever. That's not advertising. That's selling out. Blogs are just a different media source. Magazines and newspapers rely on ads to pay for their printing. So do blogs. Big deal.

If you don't like ads on blogs, only read the ones without ads. But it's going to be harder and harder to find them as more people put ads up.

I just wish more people would click on my ads. I'd love some new underwear... hint hint. :-)

7/18/07, 6:42 PM  
Blogger WI Mommy said...

Crap - I don't know if I checked the swearless button or not! Okay - showing my newness here, but I haven't made ANY money on my nice little unassuming sidebar ads. Not a penny. What am I missing?? Please come over to my site an click on some ads before I feel like a total loser! (Just kidding...kind of.)

7/18/07, 8:11 PM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

Eh. I don't really notice unless ads are annoying or slow down my page load. Then I'm pissed...

7/18/07, 9:24 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I don't really pay much attention to them. I've gone back and forth about putting ads on my personal site. So far I've been ambivalent about ads but mainly because there's so little room in my sidebar already. When I get a three column page it might be a different story.

7/18/07, 10:21 PM  
Blogger ~Kat~ said...

I am so totally new to blogging so I have no idea about most of this stuff... but if you are telling me that the ads create an INCOME for you.... AND your blog is delightfully enjoyable for us readers... then who am I to complain! :)

7/18/07, 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Ads? There are ads on blogs? There are blog networks? Who knew? It's not like we ever READ about it. HA!

As for me, after pointing out how very vague the "thou shalt not use words that are profane" policy was, I did choose to not check that damn box. Sometimes people just really need to be told to fuck off. And I want the freedom to do it on my blog.

Now that, my friends, is blog purism! *grin*

(Oh, and more than once I have turned down ads that I don't agree with. Without flinching.)

7/18/07, 11:26 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

What I want to know is: almost everyone says "I don't notice them" (whether or not they preface that with "I hate ads on personal blogs") but clearly SOMEONE is looking (and clicking) right? Otherwise wouldn't the advertisers give up blogs?

Personally, I think ads give you some money to support your family or your shoe habit, great. Seems like part of the discussion at Metrodad (at least last week when I read the conversation) has to do with the incongruity of a certain talented and self-righteous indie dad shilling for McDonalds...

7/19/07, 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Ads aren't so bad if they are not the "pay to post" things. It's hard to read those types of blogs and not that anyone gives a rat's ass but I don't read them anymore. The sidebar ads don't bother me if I like the person's blog and what they have to say.

7/19/07, 12:14 AM  
Anonymous RookieMom Heather said...

I could feed my family like one cheap meal per month on what I make from ads. What am I doing wrong?

(and I don't think the answer is "not enough music")

7/19/07, 1:44 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

i'm going to be a bitch and go off-topic here.

i got a chance to hang out with kelly (mocha momma) last week (cool woman, btw). when discussing profanity on her blog, she said, "sometimes, a well-placed 'fuck' is just what you need." i said she should change it to, "sometimes a well-timed 'fuck' is just you need," and then it would be applicable in more situations. ;)

if she puts it on a t-shirt, i'm going to be first in line to buy one.

7/19/07, 2:59 AM  
Blogger bitemycookie said...

hi mom,
long time lurker, first time caller. you should turn your speaking engagement into a debate moderation session. it could be amazing. just bring a fire extinguisher. it could get hot. but fun. very fun.

like i said to MD, for the 3% who don't take ads or don't have blogs, it's annoying. and really? who cares what the 3% of us think. read. dont read. love one day. hate the next. it's the beauty of blogging. do what you want, when you want, how you want. then bitch about it on your blog, and nobody can say nothing about it.

for me, just don't be one of my favorite blogs full of posts that say, "Hi meet me over at mynewparentingsocialnetworking gig to see what i think today." one too many extra steps, way too many more ads, and why can't they just cross-post the content? and those sites bug me on principle because they've caused such a divide among
those of us who used to enjoy doing this blog thing to amuse one another in addition to ourselves. that's still why i do it.

commerce is king, tho. money is money. i've seen worse ways to make it. i just wish it hadn't taken the toll it has on the community of bloggers to which i relate and enjoy most.

7/19/07, 10:24 AM  
Anonymous dorf said...

This sounds remarkably like the argument about asking athletes who competed in the Olympics to be amateurs. Is there anyone old enough-besides me-to remember why the Greeks didn't want the riff raff to compete? Amateurs were independently wealthy Greeks; professionals were members of the working class. If the ruling class let working folks compete, the world as they knew it would be over. It had nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with classism. And so it was. And so it is....
You go, girl!

7/19/07, 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anne Glamore said...

I use BlogHer and you never know what ad is going to come on when your post is on.
So I might write about my boys discussing erect penises and the ad MIGHT be for Hillshire Farms sausage, but that would only be delicious irony, not purposeful.

I don't notice the ads, don't write to or for them, and I think margalit has a point- if you've built up a decent readership you can make some $ off them. It's easy to be a purist about it if you aren't relying on every cent.

I'm not in Margalit's boat. As I wrote on MetroDad's site, I like the fact that BlogHer features different posts each day and thus can drive traffic and new readers to your site, although maybe I'm being stupid and that's not as valuable as I think it is.

New readers are more valuable to me than $.

7/19/07, 11:32 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Suburban Turmoil will NEVER be a cuss-free blog.

Ads are great, so long as they're not annoying. I figure that I'm lucky to read my favorite bloggers for free- Why not let them make a little money off me, particularly if it convinces them to take off the donations accepted button?

I hate ads in between posts, ads that cover the page you're trying to read, and music. Sidebar ads and even header ads don't bother me in the slightest.

7/19/07, 12:05 PM  
Blogger GRAY MATTER MATTERS said...

I'd love to comment on this, but I had a hard time reading your post...too many damn ads.
Hee hee.

7/19/07, 12:20 PM  
Anonymous ella said...

I don't mind sidebar ads or ads in feed reader posts. Pretty much anything else annoys me but, at the same time, doesn't necessarily put me off reading.

I'm more than happy for bloggers to make money from ads if they write well and write honestly.

7/19/07, 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Scott in New Orleans said...

Dear Mom-101,

First off, I love your blog.
I actually think it's not an insane idea for a writer to get paid money to write well. In fact, it's the American Way to pay people to write poorly, too. What I don't understand is why people who write on the internet should be exempt from this out of some elitist, high-priest idealism. Do these critics only read magazines or newspapers that have no ads?

Granted, I do love blogs that have no ads (when I find them) such as http://julia.typepad.com/. And I sometimes do tire of flashy ads and blogs with many ads. But that is just the little price I pay for being able to read interesting, creative people telling me about their lives at no financial cost to me.

7/19/07, 2:14 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

I don't even know HOW to get ads on my blog, so I can't participate in this conversation --

But, that Photo you added of Sage below, oh, be still my beating heart. Look at her grin! It is perfect.

Carrie

7/19/07, 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Hi Mom-101,

Coming from an advertisers point-of-view, blog ads are a great thing for two reasons:

Coverage:
Blog ads are one of the few affordable forms of advertising available to independent companies like Dr.MOZ to get the word out. Large corporations are finally catching-on which seems to be raising the "obnoxious bar" with blinking ads and large banners, but bloggers ultimately have control of the ad formats used and the advertisers they choose to incorporate into their blogs.

Supporting Writers:
Small businesses couldn't justify spending their limited advertising budgets on their favorite blogs through PayPal donations, but it is good for everyone if writers are supported through blog ad sponsorship. Companies receive coverage to highly targeted readers, and writers are able to pay for hosting fees and other expenses that increase dramatically as their blogs become more popular.

That's my two-cents, keep blogging Mom-101!

Jason

7/19/07, 3:26 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

oooh. i have 'pinions on this one. i'll try and keep this short, as i am also sick of hearing myself think.

a) a la HBM, I think that to argue we should not put ads on our site is a way to devalue what we do. We live in a market economy, and so many women accept the unpaid work status quo of life.

b) this whole thing is complicated by whether we perceive what we are doing as a form of publication or as community- networking or communication. i think that sometimes ads can compromise the latter, but blogs as a medium occupy an in-between place (it's about publishing, and it's about community)

on a personal note--i don;t put ads on my site be cause
a) HAHAHAHAHAH
b) It would be another way I could mindfuck myself--put a monetary amount on how I perceive my success. I prefer to reap other rewards. deep and emotional ones. (i lurve you, lady. y'know?)
c) that said. if you offered me money. like, a solidish amount, i am pimping the shit out of that thing.
d) but even as I say that, i would be pretty anal about what ads could appear. so i would probably be poor.

uhm. let's see. i worry about the possibilities for exploitation (see above comment) BUT i also see a lot of potential to drive alternative, women-drived businesses. It's a delicate act though--leveraging the social capital and not pissing off said social capital and ruining the community in the process.

hmm. i guess i still rambled on about this anyway.

7/19/07, 5:09 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

As I said chez MetroDad, this is on the agenda for the momosphere panel, so I'll be stealing your notes (and reserving my opinion, which you already know, until it can be flung around in the open, hungover air.)

7/19/07, 6:07 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Well, considering no one would ever pay me to have their shit on my blog... I say, "I hate 'em!"

Of course -- if someone were to give me money, then... I would like them.

7/19/07, 7:27 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

My only real problem with blogads is that they're usually quite ugly. I say more ads that feature photos like the one on this post. Fab. More art. Less crap.

7/19/07, 10:12 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Ads don't bother me at all, but if they're obnoxious, blinking ads that might send me into a seizure, I leave the site. Immediately. Also, if there are rollover ads that blow up into huge ads on the page that I have to close on my own, I leave.

Other than that, nope. Ads don't bug me at all.

7/20/07, 8:16 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

To me saying that I'm going to stop reading a blog because of the ads is the equivalent of saying I'm not going to be your friend anymore because you wear clothes with labels. If I like the writing, that's all that matters.

7/20/07, 8:42 AM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

If I thought I could make more than a nickel a year, I'd probably add a few. Generally I don't like them, but it doesn't bother me if they're on other people's blogs, though. To each their own. Just don't have one that pops up and takes me away from the content, for god's sake, or sound. WAY too annoying.

I wonder how much $$ is generated by them? I've never even looked at what they say, talk about clicking one.

7/20/07, 11:50 AM  
Blogger jen said...

my thoughts on blog ads fall into the following buckets:

1) look, feel, placement - blog ads shouldn't be page takeovers or moving units or anything crazy. if it's subtle and on the side and doesn't detract from my main reason for being on your site (to read your writing), then fine. stuff that gets in the way, however, is annoying.

2) who you're advertising - I like when blog ads support smaller companies (i.e. people who make their own jewelry, run their own businesses). the second it becomes overly corporate (nike, mcdonald's), I feel like it takes away from the genuine/real appeal of you as a blogger... feels less personal.

of course as an ad-chick much like yourself I understand the advertiser's interest in blog ads- captive audience, smart, online, lots of women, feel personal connection with writer- however, I do think advertising on blogs is very different from advertising on commercial sites. it's less about disrupting/entertaining and more about being discreet. and, to a certain extent, it reflects on you as a person- not saying you "chose" it but saying you are okay with it being right next to your writing.

just my two cents.

7/20/07, 1:25 PM  
Anonymous nicki said...

i'm not bothered by ads. okay, well, i'm bothered by interstitials - you know the ads that pop up full page before you can view something. stop doing that already i yell!!!funny post.

7/20/07, 2:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hmmm...I left a post, but it disappeared. What I said was that I'm OK with ads as long as they're not obnoxious. Music, pop-ups, etc. are annoying, but sidebar ads are fine with me.

I don't think I like PayPerPost, though. To me there's a big difference between that and review blog posts. If someone actually tried out a product and reviewed it, that's fine by me - I like to read honest opinions. But if it's simply a post promoting something you've never actually tried...eh, it feels like an ad disguised as a post.

There's nothing wrong with a blogger wanting to make a little money off this hobby. Lots of writers are paid for their work, and I'd rather be paid by advertisers than ask my readers to pay. For me, that little bit of extra income is very useful for us. It's not a lot, but right now every little bit helps.

7/20/07, 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Obviously, I don't mind ads but pop-ups (pop overs especially) and music are total dealbreakers. Mostly everything else is fine. Oh, except for those banner ads designed to look like they're shaking or that you've been slipped many hits of acid. HATE those!

7/21/07, 12:48 PM  
Anonymous sandra said...

Am way late to the game on this but have shared with you how I feel about blog advertising in the past. A someone who worked for a long time in advertising and who's mortgage is still paid by the ad-biz via my ad-guy cuter-half, I believe it would be hypocritical of me to slam them.

That having been said, I don't think advertising on blogs is any more corrupt or inapproriate or distasteful or annoying than ads in any other medium. Is a TV program better or worse quality because it does or doesn't get bookeneded with ads? Is a newspaper article less quality than a photocopied article without the support of advertisers?

We live in a captialist, comsumer-driven culture. Advertising on blogs, in some ways, brings legitimacy to the medium as a place that advertisers know they can build awareness. And what is wrong with a blogger making a few bucks for the hours they put into blogging?

And, and, and (I shouldn't have gotten started), not ALL ads are bad. Some PSAs are down right awesome and well-done ads are freakin entertaining and others can be helpful. Sure, most ads are crap but that's true of all mediums.

Okay, I'll quiet down now. Looking forward to hearing you on your panel!

7/22/07, 2:17 PM  
Blogger Petite Mom Blogger said...

Sorry I'm late to this...


I have no problem with ads on blogs.
I also posted this over at MD-

I think it's ridiculous that so many people are upset over a McDonalds ad or any ad for that matter on blogs. Those of you who don't put ads on your blogs must already have a lot of money and fall into a different category different than those who do put ads on their blogs. I'm happy for you but don't knock someone who is trying to support their family through personal blogging AND yes some people do make enough to do so. Some people do it solely through blogging on several different sites and some do via combination of blogs and websites that they have created.

I've been blogging & creating websites since 2003 and I finally started making enough money for my husband to quit his full time job and go back to college and get his PHD so I'm all for advertising! Some of you have never been in this situation but I bet if you were and had the opportunity to make money by blogging then you would.

7/23/07, 1:57 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

Page load time. Sadly, some of my favorite sites are so overloaded with ads they take minutes to load. And seeing as I have the attention of a flea, I flee. It's too annoying.

7/23/07, 6:54 PM  
Anonymous dorothy said...

You forgot about the Fuck Flag. I had it on my blog for a while - Karen Rani designed it, I think - it said, "Warning: May Contain Fuck." 'Cause that's how I roll...

7/26/07, 4:36 PM  
Blogger Desiree said...

We love to blog -- we'd do it either way & POOF they've come up with a way that maybe we could make a buck or two? Who would say no?

I don't think ads are harmful, but they should probably live quasi-discretely in the sidebar WITH NO MUSIC and nothing animated, or lame like that.

ps. this is my first time to your blog & I love it! ah! I'm new to this whole momma bloggins thing :)

8/4/08, 7:27 AM  

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