November 30, 2011
And Now A Word From Our Ghost Sponsor
I was visiting a friend and she was telling about someone she’d seen on TV, it was either a politician or House (Hugh Laurie) and she said, “He can be so nasty. He reminds me of you.” I acted more shocked than I was, and she said, “Well, you do have a reputation for being snarky sometimes.”
It’s true I have a reputation among my acquaintances. Some of the nicer words that describe it are snarky and sassy (I don’t like sassy. It makes me sound like a feisty old lady and I’m not quite there yet). The truth is, I can be a smart-ass. If I ever learn to control my mouth, I’ll still have a reputation of being snarky, because reputations aren’t easily fixed. I guess I’d better quash that “sassy” thing now.
Every time a blogger posts something they put their reputation on the line for the entire world to judge. (Well, in my case, it’s exponentially less than the entire world). It’s a risky thing if you think about it because it hinges not only on the content of your blog but on the ads or endorsements it may contain.
When I created this blog I knew that there would be “occasional contextually relevant ads,” chosen by the pie-in-the-sky-ad-picker and attached to my posts. WordPress.com services are free, but they still need revenue so I was OK with an occasional unobtrusive ad.
I forgot about the ads because I never saw one– until I happened to go to my blog without being logged into the site. Imagine my surprise when I saw the bright yellow advertisement with a large, bold DUI? WE CAN HELP at the top of it. Hmmm, the pie-in-the-sky-ad-picker decided my post on Thanksgiving would be the perfect place to advertise DUI legal advice. I clicked on a few of my other posts and found that striking DUI ad at the bottom of each.
The little light bulb went off in my head: when I’m logged into my WordPress account (which is always), the ads aren’t visible to me so I have no idea what I’ve been promoting. I decided to do some reconnaissance over the next few days. It proved very interesting. The DUI ads disappeared. A few days later an annoying baking video graced some of my posts, followed by more video ads. I wondered if the pie-in-the-sky-ad-picker decided at some point that Fredericks of Hollywood, or Viagra ads would be compatible with any of my posts.
I’ve tried videos on my blog. They bombed. I don’t want them here.
Thanks for your concern.
PS- If you ever post an ad here for Starbucks or Nordstroms, do you think you could get me some kind of coupon? Thanks.
Although I appreciate the fact that my blog is free, and I understand revenue needs to come from somewhere, I decide my reputation is on the line. Not only are my readers going to think that I’m getting paid to host these ads, they’re going to think I endorse these products and services. And my reputation is fragile enough so I decide to opt out of the ads. I do more research and learn opting out is possible for $30 a year.
Fair enough. But it’s Christmas time and money is tight (and I’m not asking for “ad opt out” for Christmas. I want a real gift), so I’m stuck with the ads for now. I think I’ll get my hustband to come up with a catchy little disclaimer to put on the bottom of my posts (he’s good at that kind of thing). And I’ll apologize to you for the annoying distracting videos and ads that may assail you at the end of an occasional post. If I’m going to have a reputation, I want to earn it myself.