The ads are going. Herewith an explanation of why, an apology to BlogAds, and thoughts on advertising in general.
It’s gone because the ads were irritating me visually, it wasn’t making much money, it was slowing down the ongoing load time, and because it’s an unsatisfying relationship.
The AdSense Decision · I’m not surprised the revenue is low, the ads are lame and uninteresting, I wouldn’t click on ’em either. I’ve actually seen ads from EBay for “Blogging software! Buy some cheap right now!” I’ve actively used the AdSense controls to suppress the sleazy get-rich-quick-with-RSS ads, maybe that’s the problem. I don’t think you can conclude that AdSense ads are necessarily useless, Russell Beattie is raking it in (but then he writes mostly about cellphones), and there was that guy Scoble linked to who claimed to be raking in tens of thousands per month. Maybe.
The relationship with Google is opaque, and uninvolving; which I guess it has to be, to achieve the scale they’re trying to achieve with the absolutely minimal effort required to join. So maybe AdSense is viable for some people. I wasn’t really doing it for the money anyhow, but to better understand the economics of the ecosystem; but even at that level, the only conclusion I can draw is that AdSense isn’t going to make you much money if you write about Web technologies and politics and publish pictures of flowers and donkeys.
Also, tossing the ads allowed me to simplify the stylesheet and I think it’s a real improvement, visually.
BlogAds · When I got irritated with AdSense, I applied to BlogAds. They were nice and responsive and a few days later I got my first ad, $70 for a week, which is a substantial part of my AdSense monthlies. But I never got the cycles necessary to hack the publishing system. It was from Citrix, and the text was:
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So, my apologies to BlogAds and Citrix; they did their part and I didn’t do mine. When I get some cycles for some more blogonomics research, I’ll definitely give them another look.
Advertising in General · Dave Winer says advertising is so over, he says the blog is the ad, and I’m starting to have a lot of sympathy with that world-view. Sun pays me decently and the costs are low, so I can’t claim that ongoing isn’t a profit centre. Your mileage may vary.