Friday, June 22, 2007

Ads: Destructive Energy?

Found this fascinating website (my brother will say he could have pointed me to a million of them -- and has with Adbusters) that promotes "ad free blogs," which mine decidedly is not (even my academic blog points to Amazon, which will pay me if anyone ever buys something from them!). update: I found the sneaky backdoor for the website! So the above address now works. But in googling it I found a few people (Adrants and a adfreeblog spinoff supporting ads, which I now have on my blog) seem to have disagreed with the position for decent enough reasons. Thought I'd add my two cents worth.

I had a post somewhere near the opening of this blog about what I like about Google & I believe I mentioned their ad service as a way of providing people with alternate streams of money and in a sense opening up the profit schemes which have been more historically limited to publishers with big pockets. A friend was teasing me yesterday about my stocks and how I'm being un-Medieval by creating money from nothing, which I found humorous just because I think creating money from nothing is a wonderful idea! Our current capitalist system is based, though, on pockets and people who invest wisely and the current stock market booms stem from ordinary folk starting to adopt rich men's habits. And we create more wealth and a higher standard of living. The flip side of this is, of course, those who don't make enough money to even participate in this exchange -- or don't know how since it's a hard lesson to learn when you're teaching yourself.

I consider ads on websites as a way to counter that -- at least ideologically. [I am fully aware that that lady Bush praised the other day as a quintessential American (she worked three jobs! working is American! the more work we do the more American we are! -- unfortunately he's right, but not because America is great, but because it needs to be fixed) probably has no time or energy to blog.] But ideologically, we are redistributing wealth without adding to an infrastructure or requiring capital to buy into it. So while ads might be a little distracting -- and some people obviously only have content to steer people towards ads, the overall promise of the medium offers everyone a chance at increasing their capital despite their lack of means in an everyday job.

So, I do support ads on blogs and think that just as a full page ad helps keep the NYTimes afloat and 'independent' (whatever that means!), ads on blogs can help provide alternate, or even primary forms of income. Hopefully, that can help make more people independent in the way that matters most: to be able to determine your own progress in life apart from what your boss says. But complaints on the whole 9-5 work week are another story entirely! (Though quite related as financial freedom is my mantra.)

More update: I forgot that this faqs from ad-free also include a number of great links that discuss the ad industry overall and which I haven't had time to peruse. One day I hope to and then flesh this out more. There are places where I'd be loath to see advertisements pop up: schools (this already happens, particularly with tv shows and movies, but then if that's what the kids are watching there's some sense in incorporating it. When it's worth it. I just couldn't get excited about including WB shows in my classroom content!), cell phone text messages (I get these alot and consider it invasive), etc. But that's another post, too!

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