About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: web craftsman, community leader, husband, father, and partner at Fictive Kin.


April What?

I really like the way Trent describes blogs:

There's something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else's site. It's like visiting a friend's house for a quick meal 'round the breakfast table. It's personal — you're in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting.

My blog is my personal space, free from all the things I don't like about the rest of the Web. It's my home. When you read what I write, it's like you're joining me for breakfast. Blogs and comments provide the means for us to have a conversation, and our good manners provide the grease. If you want to lead the next topic, you post to your own blog. Thanks to the fantastic response to my plea for a blog revival, conversation seems to be alive and well again. For now.

I've never advertised on my blog. More often than not, advertisements are garish and intrusive. They scream for your attention. Advertising on your blog would transform your quiet breakfast table into a truck stop with a flashing billboard just outside the window. It would change the atmosphere. No longer would your blog be yours; it would be just another public place, devoid of any sense of community and camaraderie.

Over time, I learned to ignore advertising altogether. Like someone trying too hard to be noticed, it was easier to ignore it than to pretend to care.

Then came Google AdWords. For the first time, advertising was relevant. A lot of my friends began advertising on their blogs, and to my surprise, I didn't mind. We could still have a quiet conversation. As the antithesis of loud, animated advertisements, AdWords were a welcome relief.

Now, with The Deck, Fusion, Carbon, and others, advertising has evolved to the point that I'm reconsidering my tightly-held opinions. These networks do something advertisers never did before. They care. They care about who advertises, they care about what the advertisements look like, they care about who sees them, and they care about who shows them.

Starting today, as announced on the Carbon blog, I'm joining their Code & Dev Circle. Consider this an experiment. If you visit my blog, look for the advertisement. Refresh a few times. Click on a few. Who knows, maybe you'll discover something you like.

About this post

April What? was posted on Fri, 01 Apr 2011. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:

8 comments

1.Charles Roper said:

April fool aside, surely the problem with ads on tech blogs is that most users will be running AdBlock or similar extensions?

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 at 16:25:44 GMT Link


2.Charles Roper said:

But, because you're open about it and obviously care about the experience, I've added shiflett.org to my exclude list and therefore see your ads. It might be quite cool to have some unobtrusive alert come up when someone visits with an ad blocker, invite them to read a post about why you're carrying advertising, and then invite them to add you to the exclusion list. There are several sites and blogs I read that I respect enough to re-enable ads - it's just I forget to do it.

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 at 16:30:43 GMT Link


3.Kent William Innholt said:

Although it's a nice idea, I don't think it should be a blog owner's responsibility to nudge people into allowing ads. On the contrary, I think it's common decency that any user should allow ads in general, as an acknowledgment that content most often was not generated for free, and therefore is worth "paying" for (with the chance that you might look at them).

That having been said, I applaud these new and more value-focused ad styles. I think they're a win-win situation.

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 at 18:08:30 GMT Link


4.Joel Caton said:

Chris, go ahead and monitize this thing. The only way i would quit reading your blog is if you sold it. Content is king and you got it.

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 at 22:29:33 GMT Link


5.Chris Shiflett said:

Hi Charles,

It might be quite cool to have some unobtrusive alert come up when someone visits with an ad blocker, invite them to read a post about why you're carrying advertising, and then invite them to add you to the exclusion list.

That's a neat idea. I'm not sure how to detect an ad blocker, though; I've never really looked into it.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 at 16:34:12 GMT Link


6.Chris Shiflett said:

Content is king and you got it.

Thanks a bunch, Joel. :-)

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 at 16:34:42 GMT Link


7.Dajve Green said:

That's a neat idea. I'm not sure how to detect an ad blocker, though; I've never really looked into it.

One of the simplest ways I've come across is just to have a note positioned beneath the ad div. This way, if it isn't obscured, the ad's being blocked.

Just a thought =o)

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 at 06:50:48 GMT Link


8.Gustavo Atar said:

I liked the ad I clicked on, it gave me info on a eCommerce solution that I was looking into for a client. I block out ads subconsciously, I think most designers/developers do, even common folk.

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 at 19:11:45 GMT Link


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