Sites shouldn’t be forced into taking advertising

I agree with Chuq Von Rospach. Sites shouldn’t be forced to take advertising, even to give that money to a charity.

I don’t take advertising here, well, except if you count my Amazon link and my occassional mentioning of Seagate, which sponsors my video show.

Anyway, there’s a cost to advertising in clutter, in extra bits that the infrastructure needs to push out, and in reduced quality of experiences for users.

And, it’s a smart piece of business on the part of Craig’s List to try to be different. You get audiences that way. There’s other ways to make money from audiences than just putting a few ads on your site.

I’m very loyal to Craig’s List, cause he got me my job at NEC, which led to getting a job at Microsoft.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking about this myself – since I almost have enough traffic on my blog that it would be worth my time setting up advertising. But where would I put it? Something else would have to go, and I’m not willing to lose a few readers for a few dollars.

    I wonder if a seperate WordPress Page on my blog called “Advertising” would ever get any hits? Probably not. Advertising isn’t something people opt into often.

    So what’s the message here? Run spaces where you generate original content, but don’t advertise?

    Where’s all the profit come from to feed this infrastructure then?

    Rob

  2. I’ve been thinking about this myself – since I almost have enough traffic on my blog that it would be worth my time setting up advertising. But where would I put it? Something else would have to go, and I’m not willing to lose a few readers for a few dollars.

    I wonder if a seperate WordPress Page on my blog called “Advertising” would ever get any hits? Probably not. Advertising isn’t something people opt into often.

    So what’s the message here? Run spaces where you generate original content, but don’t advertise?

    Where’s all the profit come from to feed this infrastructure then?

    Rob

  3. I’ve been thinking about this myself – since I almost have enough traffic on my blog that it would be worth my time setting up advertising. But where would I put it? Something else would have to go, and I’m not willing to lose a few readers for a few dollars.

    I wonder if a seperate WordPress Page on my blog called “Advertising” would ever get any hits? Probably not. Advertising isn’t something people opt into often.

    So what’s the message here? Run spaces where you generate original content, but don’t advertise?

    Where’s all the profit come from to feed this infrastructure then?

    Rob

  4. I’ve been thinking about this myself – since I almost have enough traffic on my blog that it would be worth my time setting up advertising. But where would I put it? Something else would have to go, and I’m not willing to lose a few readers for a few dollars.

    I wonder if a seperate WordPress Page on my blog called “Advertising” would ever get any hits? Probably not. Advertising isn’t something people opt into often.

    So what’s the message here? Run spaces where you generate original content, but don’t advertise?

    Where’s all the profit come from to feed this infrastructure then?

    Rob

  5. I’m not saying don’t advertise. I’m saying that it’s a choice that everyone should make on their own and not be forced into it.

    I’m looking for advertising that adds value to my readers. Google’s advertising on search, for instance, can be argued to add value to search.

    I’m not sure it comes up to that value on blogs.

  6. I’m not saying don’t advertise. I’m saying that it’s a choice that everyone should make on their own and not be forced into it.

    I’m looking for advertising that adds value to my readers. Google’s advertising on search, for instance, can be argued to add value to search.

    I’m not sure it comes up to that value on blogs.

  7. I’m not saying don’t advertise. I’m saying that it’s a choice that everyone should make on their own and not be forced into it.

    I’m looking for advertising that adds value to my readers. Google’s advertising on search, for instance, can be argued to add value to search.

    I’m not sure it comes up to that value on blogs.

  8. I like the idea that if you’re advertising somebody or a certain company, it’s because you enjoy the product they present. I have no problems with Robert mentioning Seagate, because I have a Seagate external drive and it’s the best one I’ve ever used. Hence, I’d welcome advertising from them in a split second. If someone were to pay me to advertise a product I know is shoddy, well, I wouldn’t feel good about that at all.

  9. I like the idea that if you’re advertising somebody or a certain company, it’s because you enjoy the product they present. I have no problems with Robert mentioning Seagate, because I have a Seagate external drive and it’s the best one I’ve ever used. Hence, I’d welcome advertising from them in a split second. If someone were to pay me to advertise a product I know is shoddy, well, I wouldn’t feel good about that at all.

  10. I like the idea that if you’re advertising somebody or a certain company, it’s because you enjoy the product they present. I have no problems with Robert mentioning Seagate, because I have a Seagate external drive and it’s the best one I’ve ever used. Hence, I’d welcome advertising from them in a split second. If someone were to pay me to advertise a product I know is shoddy, well, I wouldn’t feel good about that at all.

  11. Speaking of the extra bits required to load a page, the home page at the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog takes forever to load for me, waiting for the affiliate links, properityplace, typepad, shoppingcartmeter, sitemeter, etc. I want to bail every time I see the status bar “looking up”, “waiting for”, “read ..”, “transferring …”

    It’s painful. More ads just slow things down. I don’t use adblock for FF since I like seeing the ads on most sites I visit, but sites like this make me want to install it.

  12. Speaking of the extra bits required to load a page, the home page at the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog takes forever to load for me, waiting for the affiliate links, properityplace, typepad, shoppingcartmeter, sitemeter, etc. I want to bail every time I see the status bar “looking up”, “waiting for”, “read ..”, “transferring …”

    It’s painful. More ads just slow things down. I don’t use adblock for FF since I like seeing the ads on most sites I visit, but sites like this make me want to install it.

  13. Speaking of the extra bits required to load a page, the home page at the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog takes forever to load for me, waiting for the affiliate links, properityplace, typepad, shoppingcartmeter, sitemeter, etc. I want to bail every time I see the status bar “looking up”, “waiting for”, “read ..”, “transferring …”

    It’s painful. More ads just slow things down. I don’t use adblock for FF since I like seeing the ads on most sites I visit, but sites like this make me want to install it.

  14. Speaking of the extra bits required to load a page, the home page at the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog takes forever to load for me, waiting for the affiliate links, properityplace, typepad, shoppingcartmeter, sitemeter, etc. I want to bail every time I see the status bar “looking up”, “waiting for”, “read ..”, “transferring …”

    It’s painful. More ads just slow things down. I don’t use adblock for FF since I like seeing the ads on most sites I visit, but sites like this make me want to install it.

  15. Craigslist is a breath of fresh air. I used to use Yahoo years ago. But now I go to Yahoo.com and look at what a mess it is. I can’t tell what’s part of Yahoo and what an ad is unless I start reading carefully through all the clutter which I refuse to do so I just hit back button and leave.

  16. Craigslist is a breath of fresh air. I used to use Yahoo years ago. But now I go to Yahoo.com and look at what a mess it is. I can’t tell what’s part of Yahoo and what an ad is unless I start reading carefully through all the clutter which I refuse to do so I just hit back button and leave.

  17. Craigslist is a breath of fresh air. I used to use Yahoo years ago. But now I go to Yahoo.com and look at what a mess it is. I can’t tell what’s part of Yahoo and what an ad is unless I start reading carefully through all the clutter which I refuse to do so I just hit back button and leave.

  18. Craigslist is a breath of fresh air. I used to use Yahoo years ago. But now I go to Yahoo.com and look at what a mess it is. I can’t tell what’s part of Yahoo and what an ad is unless I start reading carefully through all the clutter which I refuse to do so I just hit back button and leave.

  19. Craigslist is a breath of fresh air. I used to use Yahoo years ago. But now I go to Yahoo.com and look at what a mess it is. I can’t tell what’s part of Yahoo and what an ad is unless I start reading carefully through all the clutter which I refuse to do so I just hit back button and leave.

  20. Craigslist is a breath of fresh air. I used to use Yahoo years ago. But now I go to Yahoo.com and look at what a mess it is. I can’t tell what’s part of Yahoo and what an ad is unless I start reading carefully through all the clutter which I refuse to do so I just hit back button and leave.

  21. I totaly agree.Ads would ruin the quality relationship users have with Craiglist. Plus, Craig List is donating quietly in the field of citizen journalism and education, so I don’t understand the spite their comment (about not wanting to maximise their profits) raised.

  22. I totaly agree.Ads would ruin the quality relationship users have with Craiglist. Plus, Craig List is donating quietly in the field of citizen journalism and education, so I don’t understand the spite their comment (about not wanting to maximise their profits) raised.

  23. I totaly agree.Ads would ruin the quality relationship users have with Craiglist. Plus, Craig List is donating quietly in the field of citizen journalism and education, so I don’t understand the spite their comment (about not wanting to maximise their profits) raised.

  24. I totaly agree.Ads would ruin the quality relationship users have with Craiglist. Plus, Craig List is donating quietly in the field of citizen journalism and education, so I don’t understand the spite their comment (about not wanting to maximise their profits) raised.

  25. I totaly agree.Ads would ruin the quality relationship users have with Craiglist. Plus, Craig List is donating quietly in the field of citizen journalism and education, so I don’t understand the spite their comment (about not wanting to maximise their profits) raised.

  26. I totaly agree.Ads would ruin the quality relationship users have with Craiglist. Plus, Craig List is donating quietly in the field of citizen journalism and education, so I don’t understand the spite their comment (about not wanting to maximise their profits) raised.

  27. Well, yes I think the sites should be kept without advertisements, sometimes its difficult to differentiate which part is advertisement and which part is content.

    Probably I can edit and post a popular quote here: “web content is like sex, its best when kept free”.

    Though, off course this has the potential to kill the online advertising cash cow for search engine marketing consultants like me!! :D

  28. Well, yes I think the sites should be kept without advertisements, sometimes its difficult to differentiate which part is advertisement and which part is content.

    Probably I can edit and post a popular quote here: “web content is like sex, its best when kept free”.

    Though, off course this has the potential to kill the online advertising cash cow for search engine marketing consultants like me!! :D

  29. Well, yes I think the sites should be kept without advertisements, sometimes its difficult to differentiate which part is advertisement and which part is content.

    Probably I can edit and post a popular quote here: “web content is like sex, its best when kept free”.

    Though, off course this has the potential to kill the online advertising cash cow for search engine marketing consultants like me!! :D

  30. I know quite a few people who would argue with you: they earn an average wage by maintaining several niche ad-sensed blogs. It’s hard work, but it’s a great one if you enjoy blogging. Web content should be free, but web-content providers should get some money out of it…

  31. I know quite a few people who would argue with you: they earn an average wage by maintaining several niche ad-sensed blogs. It’s hard work, but it’s a great one if you enjoy blogging. Web content should be free, but web-content providers should get some money out of it…

  32. I know quite a few people who would argue with you: they earn an average wage by maintaining several niche ad-sensed blogs. It’s hard work, but it’s a great one if you enjoy blogging. Web content should be free, but web-content providers should get some money out of it…

  33. I know quite a few people who would argue with you: they earn an average wage by maintaining several niche ad-sensed blogs. It’s hard work, but it’s a great one if you enjoy blogging. Web content should be free, but web-content providers should get some money out of it…

  34. I am looking at this very issue. We run our site over at http://htmlfixit.com and have costs. We try to provide help to people and don’t suggest we charge them anything. We ask for donations … sometimes we get a few and sometimes we don’t. But we get costs just the same every month. Enter advertising … do we or don’t we? We aren’t forced to certainly. At what point do we erode our own crediblity by taking advertisements? I have one proposal to pay $x for one year to insert a linked sentence into a particular article. I have another business willing to provide me with a copy of their software (which I might add sounds like a very intriguing program to convert any file format to PDF for $49 in investment — I currently favor oOO for that …). I know you tend to give stuff away after you evaluate it. I would not be willing to say nice things about a shoddy product, but should I say things about products at all? Right now in our right menu we talk about the things we use and like. Most of the software is free or very inexpensive.

    Nobody is forced into taking advertisements, but should I take advertisements in an effort to continue to bring my content to the people without paying personally to do so?

    I’m debating.

  35. I am looking at this very issue. We run our site over at http://htmlfixit.com and have costs. We try to provide help to people and don’t suggest we charge them anything. We ask for donations … sometimes we get a few and sometimes we don’t. But we get costs just the same every month. Enter advertising … do we or don’t we? We aren’t forced to certainly. At what point do we erode our own crediblity by taking advertisements? I have one proposal to pay $x for one year to insert a linked sentence into a particular article. I have another business willing to provide me with a copy of their software (which I might add sounds like a very intriguing program to convert any file format to PDF for $49 in investment — I currently favor oOO for that …). I know you tend to give stuff away after you evaluate it. I would not be willing to say nice things about a shoddy product, but should I say things about products at all? Right now in our right menu we talk about the things we use and like. Most of the software is free or very inexpensive.

    Nobody is forced into taking advertisements, but should I take advertisements in an effort to continue to bring my content to the people without paying personally to do so?

    I’m debating.

  36. I am looking at this very issue. We run our site over at http://htmlfixit.com and have costs. We try to provide help to people and don’t suggest we charge them anything. We ask for donations … sometimes we get a few and sometimes we don’t. But we get costs just the same every month. Enter advertising … do we or don’t we? We aren’t forced to certainly. At what point do we erode our own crediblity by taking advertisements? I have one proposal to pay $x for one year to insert a linked sentence into a particular article. I have another business willing to provide me with a copy of their software (which I might add sounds like a very intriguing program to convert any file format to PDF for $49 in investment — I currently favor oOO for that …). I know you tend to give stuff away after you evaluate it. I would not be willing to say nice things about a shoddy product, but should I say things about products at all? Right now in our right menu we talk about the things we use and like. Most of the software is free or very inexpensive.

    Nobody is forced into taking advertisements, but should I take advertisements in an effort to continue to bring my content to the people without paying personally to do so?

    I’m debating.

  37. I am looking at this very issue. We run our site over at http://htmlfixit.com and have costs. We try to provide help to people and don’t suggest we charge them anything. We ask for donations … sometimes we get a few and sometimes we don’t. But we get costs just the same every month. Enter advertising … do we or don’t we? We aren’t forced to certainly. At what point do we erode our own crediblity by taking advertisements? I have one proposal to pay $x for one year to insert a linked sentence into a particular article. I have another business willing to provide me with a copy of their software (which I might add sounds like a very intriguing program to convert any file format to PDF for $49 in investment — I currently favor oOO for that …). I know you tend to give stuff away after you evaluate it. I would not be willing to say nice things about a shoddy product, but should I say things about products at all? Right now in our right menu we talk about the things we use and like. Most of the software is free or very inexpensive.

    Nobody is forced into taking advertisements, but should I take advertisements in an effort to continue to bring my content to the people without paying personally to do so?

    I’m debating.

  38. I came to this same conclusion recently.

    I used to put advertising on the front page of noslang.com but removed it when I realized it offered no value to the user.

    I removed the main page ads (except the link to buy my book.. duh!), but added ads on the various articles and tutorials that the site offers… and my ad earnings actually went up. (despite the main page getting tons more traffic)

  39. I came to this same conclusion recently.

    I used to put advertising on the front page of noslang.com but removed it when I realized it offered no value to the user.

    I removed the main page ads (except the link to buy my book.. duh!), but added ads on the various articles and tutorials that the site offers… and my ad earnings actually went up. (despite the main page getting tons more traffic)

  40. I think it’s funny that the content on Craig’s List is advertising. Why would they want to add stuff that leads people off of their site? Doesn’t anyone remember what vertical integration is? Doesn’t that come up in BUS 101?

  41. I think it’s funny that the content on Craig’s List is advertising. Why would they want to add stuff that leads people off of their site? Doesn’t anyone remember what vertical integration is? Doesn’t that come up in BUS 101?

  42. I think it’s funny that the content on Craig’s List is advertising. Why would they want to add stuff that leads people off of their site? Doesn’t anyone remember what vertical integration is? Doesn’t that come up in BUS 101?

  43. I think it’s funny that the content on Craig’s List is advertising. Why would they want to add stuff that leads people off of their site? Doesn’t anyone remember what vertical integration is? Doesn’t that come up in BUS 101?

  44. I think it’s funny that the content on Craig’s List is advertising. Why would they want to add stuff that leads people off of their site? Doesn’t anyone remember what vertical integration is? Doesn’t that come up in BUS 101?

  45. Ryan, I’ve discovered the same thing on my site in the past. If people are looking for information, such as a tutorial or tips on building a MySpace profile (the example from my site), and they find good content that helps them in their quest on your site, they’re much more likely to be friendly to the idea of ads than if they just came to your site for the first time and you’re bombarding them with advertisements. If you just hit first-timers over the head with advertisements, they’re much more likely to stay away and you’ve reduced your effectiveness not only as a voice in the blogosphere but as someone who is trying to make money off the service they provide.

  46. Ryan, I’ve discovered the same thing on my site in the past. If people are looking for information, such as a tutorial or tips on building a MySpace profile (the example from my site), and they find good content that helps them in their quest on your site, they’re much more likely to be friendly to the idea of ads than if they just came to your site for the first time and you’re bombarding them with advertisements. If you just hit first-timers over the head with advertisements, they’re much more likely to stay away and you’ve reduced your effectiveness not only as a voice in the blogosphere but as someone who is trying to make money off the service they provide.

  47. Ryan, I’ve discovered the same thing on my site in the past. If people are looking for information, such as a tutorial or tips on building a MySpace profile (the example from my site), and they find good content that helps them in their quest on your site, they’re much more likely to be friendly to the idea of ads than if they just came to your site for the first time and you’re bombarding them with advertisements. If you just hit first-timers over the head with advertisements, they’re much more likely to stay away and you’ve reduced your effectiveness not only as a voice in the blogosphere but as someone who is trying to make money off the service they provide.

  48. Ryan, I’ve discovered the same thing on my site in the past. If people are looking for information, such as a tutorial or tips on building a MySpace profile (the example from my site), and they find good content that helps them in their quest on your site, they’re much more likely to be friendly to the idea of ads than if they just came to your site for the first time and you’re bombarding them with advertisements. If you just hit first-timers over the head with advertisements, they’re much more likely to stay away and you’ve reduced your effectiveness not only as a voice in the blogosphere but as someone who is trying to make money off the service they provide.

  49. Ryan, I’ve discovered the same thing on my site in the past. If people are looking for information, such as a tutorial or tips on building a MySpace profile (the example from my site), and they find good content that helps them in their quest on your site, they’re much more likely to be friendly to the idea of ads than if they just came to your site for the first time and you’re bombarding them with advertisements. If you just hit first-timers over the head with advertisements, they’re much more likely to stay away and you’ve reduced your effectiveness not only as a voice in the blogosphere but as someone who is trying to make money off the service they provide.

  50. Sometimes ads can be disruptive, sometimes they add to a site. I am experimenting with ads now at latenitemash.com and if used properly they can give some more life to a site.

  51. Sometimes ads can be disruptive, sometimes they add to a site. I am experimenting with ads now at latenitemash.com and if used properly they can give some more life to a site.

  52. Sometimes ads can be disruptive, sometimes they add to a site. I am experimenting with ads now at latenitemash.com and if used properly they can give some more life to a site.

  53. Sometimes ads can be disruptive, sometimes they add to a site. I am experimenting with ads now at latenitemash.com and if used properly they can give some more life to a site.

  54. Advertising can be successful when it’s relevent and useful to the audience. It’s about matching the special interests of the reader with an advertiser who matter to them. Context is key. Think about car magazines and ads for cars and accessories — readers want to see the edit and the ads.

    It’s also important think about audiences as vertical “interest groups” — so many blogs are of niche interest — think about who wants to be there and pitch them for banner ads. It can be done!

    Andy

  55. Advertising can be successful when it’s relevent and useful to the audience. It’s about matching the special interests of the reader with an advertiser who matter to them. Context is key. Think about car magazines and ads for cars and accessories — readers want to see the edit and the ads.

    It’s also important think about audiences as vertical “interest groups” — so many blogs are of niche interest — think about who wants to be there and pitch them for banner ads. It can be done!

    Andy

  56. Advertising can be successful when it’s relevent and useful to the audience. It’s about matching the special interests of the reader with an advertiser who matter to them. Context is key. Think about car magazines and ads for cars and accessories — readers want to see the edit and the ads.

    It’s also important think about audiences as vertical “interest groups” — so many blogs are of niche interest — think about who wants to be there and pitch them for banner ads. It can be done!

    Andy

  57. I don’t run ads cause I don’t see them doing anything but taking up space I could be using for something else. The only thing I have is a smallbie for Google Adsense, I feel obligated as my blog is on Blogger. I really think the monetizing craze has gotten out of hand. If anyone does make money Google seems to shut down their account before they are paid anyway. So what is the point? You’re only making your site/ blog look cluttered, load slowly and seem like a junkpile with the content wedged in somewhere. I edit at a web directory and have begun not listing blogs and sites which don’t offer enough content versus ads. If I find them annoying likely others feel the same.

  58. I don’t run ads cause I don’t see them doing anything but taking up space I could be using for something else. The only thing I have is a smallbie for Google Adsense, I feel obligated as my blog is on Blogger. I really think the monetizing craze has gotten out of hand. If anyone does make money Google seems to shut down their account before they are paid anyway. So what is the point? You’re only making your site/ blog look cluttered, load slowly and seem like a junkpile with the content wedged in somewhere. I edit at a web directory and have begun not listing blogs and sites which don’t offer enough content versus ads. If I find them annoying likely others feel the same.

  59. Really?

    Even if this money were going to feed children for 6 months? You’d let them die?

    This isn’t a strawman. You could easily put adsense on Craiglist in a place that isn’t annoying an make more than $10M per year.

    Kevin

  60. Really?

    Even if this money were going to feed children for 6 months? You’d let them die?

    This isn’t a strawman. You could easily put adsense on Craiglist in a place that isn’t annoying an make more than $10M per year.

    Kevin

  61. Really?

    Even if this money were going to feed children for 6 months? You’d let them die?

    This isn’t a strawman. You could easily put adsense on Craiglist in a place that isn’t annoying an make more than $10M per year.

    Kevin

  62. Really?

    Even if this money were going to feed children for 6 months? You’d let them die?

    This isn’t a strawman. You could easily put adsense on Craiglist in a place that isn’t annoying an make more than $10M per year.

    Kevin

  63. Really?

    Even if this money were going to feed children for 6 months? You’d let them die?

    This isn’t a strawman. You could easily put adsense on Craiglist in a place that isn’t annoying an make more than $10M per year.

    Kevin

  64. Computers and printers: video about everyday and computers, printers and scanners, monitors. New products mouse and keyboards, computers. Laptop and printers.

  65. Computers and printers: video about everyday and computers, printers and scanners, monitors. New products mouse and keyboards, computers. Laptop and printers.