It struck me as a pretty good idea: Ads Are the New Tip Jar by Seth Godin.
If you like what you’re reading, click an ad to say thanks.
It made sense at first read. But maybe I was multitasking a bit, doing three things at once. I often do that … see, I’m off the subject already …
But then I saw an interestingly negative reaction titled How Do You Help a Blogger at Zen Habits, which linked to Ads Are NOT the New Tip Jar on Get Rich Slowly. Two very thoughtful posts on high-quality blogs. Both of them objected to Seth’s idea and offered some suggestions of their own, things they’d like to have you do instead of just clicking on ads. Which included:
- Add a comment. Any normal blogger wants as much input and feedback as possible. Make a comment.
- Tell people about it. If you really like a blog, tell people about it. Word of mouth is the best advertising, especially from those who really like a blog.
- Link to it. If you’re a blogger, and you like one of my posts, link to it! That’s always appreciated greatly.
- Subscribe. I’ve posted on this blog about metrics. Every blogger wants more subscribers.
- Amazon purchases. Most bloggers are Amazon.com affiliates, so that when they recommend a book and you click the link on their blog, they get a small commission. I receive a small commission on this blog, when, for example, I recommend a book, link to it at Amazon.com, and I include my affiliate code in the link.
And so on. I’ve left some out. I like controversy.
By the next day, in Beating the Status Quo, Seth acknowledged the criticism. Here’s what he wrote:
It’s pretty clear that this post and the one before were seen by practitioners of click advertising as just plain stupid. If you read them the way they read them, that interpretation is entirely possible, and I apologize. My intent was to point out that we’re creating a culture of surfers who just don’t click on ads, which has far-reaching effects for our medium. For those that saw some other intent, I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better next time.
To be fair, Seth’s suggestion was not self-serving. He doesn’t have the kind of pay-per-click ads he writes about. His model is different. He links to his books, and he makes money if you buy them, not just because you clicked the link.
Which is a good reminder that business models vary. Not all blogs are created equal.
And that some very good writers and thinkers — all three that I’ve linked to here — can differ.
For the record, I don’t have pay-per-click on this blog either; my model is a lot like Seth’s. I’d love it if you do any of those four things on the list above, or buy my book, or my company’s software. Or, if you like the book or the software, review them on Amazon.com. Or anywhere else .