April 28, 2005

RSS Ads...

I completely respect this persons idea of unsubscribing from feeds with advertisements. What is complete BS is calling feed ads spam. He even says "there is no way to opt-out." there is...duh...you unsubscribe. Believe me when I say this isn't about Google or AdBrite or whatever, I don't think feed ads are spam, and to call it such diminishes the evil that is -real- spam.

I do think that there is an interesting time coming where people overwrite/remove/replace ads from feeds. That'll be some interesting time. I am obviously not bothered by relevant advertising. I do think that there will be plenty of people who won't put up ads in thier feeds. I don't blog for money, that's for sure.

I have thought about putting up an adsense ad on my site, but its tricky as I work for Google and the question would become this: Would I be getting attention because I work for Google or because of my erudite comments? Maybe I'll put one up and donate the cash to the EFF or something and I'll leave the ethics questions as an exercise for the reader.


Matt Hartley said...

Ya, this guy is going a little overboard I think. BTW, I'll see you at Linuxfest tomorrow! ;o)

Andrew Hitchcock said...

I'm surprised by how some people react toward internet advertisements. One of my friends (actually, he was the one at the Google Open House with me) uses Firefox while I use Safari. When my roommate got his PowerBook I said he should just use Safari, but the other friend recommended Firefox. I like Firefox on Windows, but I prefer Safari on OS X and I said that. Then they attacked me because Safari doesn't support AdBlock. There are three people in my cluster (dorm room arrangement) that use AdBlock in Firefox to ruthlessly block every ad they come upon. I don't mind them so much; I think they are a necessary evil (and text ones are just fine). The only ones that really tick me off are ones that blink/flash really quickly, or the Flash ads with sound/video.

BTW, from now on I'll be reading this blog in Safari RSS, and I don't mind if you put ads in it :).

Adam Lasnik said...

A lot of that hyperbole annoys me, too. It's the same thing with privacy (as you probably well-remember with Gmail :D). I remember that people were calling those ads "spam," too.

Some of the most guilty parties in this context are the organizations Junkbuster and some Privacy group in the UK, both of whom are annoyingly reactionary and quick to label almost anything as a threat to privacy and/or spam.

At the risk of me blowing this out of proportion myself, I'll just say that some people really need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

If you really try to understand the issue in a dispassionate and impartial way, you can see through the two sides and discover what's really going on. Ads decrease the signal-to-noise ratio (s/n). They co-opt a person's computing resources for the benefit of someone else. This creates a conflict of interest for the tird parties that provide the technology. This conflict of interest weakens the trustworthiness of, and thus devalues the technology.

The producers of the valuable content want their readers to compensate them, but the compensation offers come from a (not necessarily disinterested) fourth party. Faced with the dilemma of producing high-quality content for free or diminished content for pay, there is only one professional way out.

What needs to happen is that resources need to flow in a circle from producers to consumers and back in a mutually beneficial way. The problem with today's situation is that it erodes the trust relationship that is necessary to form efficient economic relationships. If you sneak ads in the RSS feed, then you're engaging in an arms-race between (who should be the) vendor and client.