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Fighting the Enemy via Google Ads

Simon Owens is a respected blogger about new media, with a slight bias toward the liberal side. He’s not a political blogger per se, but politics comes up fairly often. See his anatomy of a Michelle Malkin post, the ambiguity of a Youtube video and a collection of his best links from the years.

Yesterday he made a post about why conservative bloggers like to smear their subject with guilt by association, yet seemingly have a blind eye to when it affects their own candidates. He mentions how two of McCain’s top advisors were implicated in the Burmese military (which is a pretty damning charge).

At the same time, he supports his site by running Google Adsense, (which now are apparently doing graphically-based ads). On the post about McCain, I see a color ad for Ann Coulter while on the side is an ad for the John McCain campaign. Perhaps the John McCain ad was placed on oppositional sites on purpose, but the Ann Coulter ad is purely a mistake. That’s why I say, click on it! Let McCain and Ann Coulter pay  to the nose for misplaced Google ads!

Update #1: Now I see there are pro-creationism ads on the site, probably in response to a critical piece about creation science.

Update #2: Now, I see that the ads have changed to the more middle-of-the-road University of Phoenix-Motley Fool sponsors.

I have  mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, a blogger should have every right to make money, and it is a funny practical joke to have the butt of your jokes also to be earning you money as well. On the other hand, I doubt Simon would intentionally pick these sorts of ads; they are just what Google Ads deemed  relevant to the page. (It requires a lot of mental energy for a lone blogger to run a blog as a business. He or she can’t be expected to make all these kinds of microdecisions.  Otherwise, there wouldn’t be enough time in the day to write).

On the other hand, Bloggasm is a provocative weblog, and in a way it deals with advocacy. Isn’t it right for a commercial service to pay for counter-advocacy? After all, it’s not interfering with Bloggasm’s message, and in fact, most Bloggasm  readers are too sophisticated to find a Google ad  persuasive. But think. Is that the sort of sponsor Bloggasm wants to be affiliated with?  Why is it so hard for ad networks to arrange for nonpolitical ads (after all, I doubt the Republican Party has a bigger ad budget than Archer Daniel Midland or Walmart). Nowadays, are  partisan ads profitable enough to sustain bloggers of all political persuasions?

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By the way,  I am eventually going to include ads on this blog. Since essentially nobody reads this blog (let’s not kid ourselves), the only thing I have to offer is my precious google juice from my 2000+ blogposts.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Simon Owens 5/12/2008, 1:18 pm

    I could technically block those ads, but to date I’ve only manually gone in and blocked one ad since Bloggasm’s creation. Somebody was targeting the site with asian dating ads and they were showing up on non-relevant posts.

    That’s the downside of adsense, it’s so two-dimensional. But, on the other hand, it takes very little effort on my part. Given that on most days bloggasm only gets between 700 and 1000 pageviews, it’s just not worth the energy right now to pursue other kinds of advertising.

    As for whether political blogs can make much from adsense, i doubt it. I’m making between $30 to $60 a month on adsense right now. Not that I’m necessarily a political blog, but I touch on politics semi often.

  • Robert Nagle 5/12/2008, 2:43 pm

    I wonder if there is such a thing as a Liberal Ad Network. I mean, I hardly need more liberal blogs to read, but it might be cool to have ads for products liberals are more likely to buy (organic food? classical music CDs? West Wing boxed sets?

  • Simon Owens 5/12/2008, 3:09 pm

    Yeah, blogads has a liberal blog network:

    http://web.blogads.com/advertise/liberal_blog_advertising_network

    It makes it extremely easy to put the same ad on dozens of liberal blogs at the same time.

    –simon

  • Poonam 5/13/2008, 1:41 am

    This is certainly out of context, but I did find a suitable place to comment:

    I am so surprised to see Bollywood flicks in your watching list, how in the world would you discover them?

  • Poonam 5/13/2008, 1:41 am

    I missed writing “not” in the first line. 🙂

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