Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Why NO ads on my blogs?

Why NO ads on my blogs?

Or: "Don't try to pay me to blog
about your products or books."

The debate, in its recent incarnation at Dave Taylor's Intuitive Life Business Blog, continues. Even Business Week's Blogspotting blog picked up on Dave's post, calling it an interesting discussion:

"Pay me to blog about your product or service"


I direct you to the original post over there, and the comment thread, which is not too lengthy to rapidly read and assess.

Dave Taylor is a friend of mine, an author of numerous books on various computer topics, and a top tier blogologist. But in this debate, we seem to see things a bit differently. It happens. If any two thinkers agree about everything, one of them is redundant.

Some are still wondering, "If a company sends me a free, complimentary product, or copy of a book, am I obligated to remain entirely objective? Can I harshly critique it, even ridicule and trash it aggressively?"

The answer, obviously, is "Yes!"

If you're a Blogstitute, you praise anyone who gives you a free sample, anyone who opens their wallet for you. That's not credibible and is only helping you. You have betrayed your duty as an honest critic or reviewer.

"Should I make it clear, upfront, that I receive products or books free, prior to presenting my review?"

The answer, of course, is "Of course!"

Allow me to quote my latest comment in the thread at Dave Taylor's blog.


A publisher would be a pathetic fool if they only dirstribute comp copies to those reviewers that published favorable reviews.

First: the reading, book-buying public will not trust any reviewer who never bitches and complains about a single title. It's like the girl or guy who hops into bed with anybody who comes along. The credibility of their "I love you" is zero.

Second: a publisher should deliberately submit pre-published versions, I forget the correct technical term, "proofs" or whatever, to such critical, objective, cranky, straight shooting, vaspersian critics to get a frank and thus highly valuable assessment of the book in question.

So undue influence is fatal to audiences, publishers, manufacturers, and critics themselves.

No reputable, successful reviewer of films, books, products, etc. is always favorable about all items reviewed.

Look at the success of Consumer Reports, their credibility. And guess what? They accept NO advertising. What does that tell you?


This is the main reason why there are no Adsense, Amazon, or any other ads on my blogs.

I must again clarify that I display the "I Power Blogger" sidebar button because I have to, according to Blogger's Terms of Use, and I really love the free Blogspot blogs, Hello/Picasa, and design templates they provide to me.

So they give me free stuff, which I explain to you, but I'm not paid to promote them.

I also display some other sidebar buttons or non-linked badges for various causes I believe in, or services that are reciprocal links. For example, I believe very strongly in Firefox browser and feel that everyone should use it. It's free. I advocate its use. So I display a link button for Firefox.

But I am not paid to do so.

I receive Blogger and Firefox free, but not as complimentary reviewer copies. Anyone can receive them for free. The free aspect is not an incentive to provoke a favorable review from me.

Even though I could not get rich by displaying ads, the main issue is I feel that ads lower the credibility of blogs. Others may aggressively disagree with me. That's fine. I'm always encouraging vigorous debate with other viewpoints.

But I think blog ads look junky. Ads sometimes interrupt the text of an article, which is annoying.

Following the example of Consumer Reports and Consumer Reports WebWatch, I display no ads on any of my blogs.

You get valuable information and honest opinions on my blogs...

...with no undue influence, no obligation to "be nice" to any company or publisher, and no interruption of articles by obnoxious, intrusive, distracting ads.

Now, isn't it nice to be in an Unpaid Opinion Blog?

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Peter said...

An AD is still an AD...even if the service is FREE!

steven edward streight said...

That's not true.

A paid ad for an item that costs money is very different from an unpaid for acknowledgement and appreciation of a free service.

An advertisement is a device used to drive sales of a costed product.

A publicity mention is a polite way to express gratitude.

By displaying a Blogger or Firefox link button, or Friend of Israel badge, I simply express appreciation or support.

I receive nothing for it. And the organizations may receive more non-paying users, but do not make any money by my displaying the graphic.