Chart detailing daily growth of blogosphere courtesy of Technorati
I have received more than a few emails and comments about my decision a few months ago to accept blog advertising on this site. Most of the feedback has been negative, but I sort of expected that. Advertising is annoying, and no one actually likes to surround themselves with ads, save a few Madison Avenue wonks.
I suppose I have been most puzzled by the blogosphere purists who hold on to idealized notions that sites such as this should somehow remain "above" the seedy world of competition for ad dollars. The blogosphere, goes the argument, should be a world untainted by commercialization, perhaps the last refuge of pure communication.
Of course, such people access other media on a regular basis, yet they do not lambaste television and radio stations, newspapers, or magazines for accepting advertising dollars. When was the last time you saw a group of concerned viewers protesting a TV station for making a profit?
There will always be a part of me that wishes the world was a place of plenty, where no one had to work and everything humans needed grew on trees.
We do not live in such a world.
Thus, like everyone else, I am forced to accept compromises in my life, and one of those satanic handshakes involves blog advertising. Were I not able to justify the hours I spend on producing blog material in some fashion, I doubt that this site would still be around, or at least not in the form it takes.
Besides, has my perspective been changed in some manner - or has my writing been corrupted - by the inclusion of advertising? I write what I want to write, irrespective of the sensibilities of any advertisers who might surf here. True, if I dislike a product that I am paid to review I am not going to describe it as "the most vile piece of human-inspired excrement since the release of the Billy Ray Cyrus song 'Achy Breaky Heart,'" but I also do not smack my boss upside the head if I disagree with her, either.