Scott Hanselman

RFC - RSS Advertising

November 05, 2005 Comment on this post [27] Posted in Musings
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Request for comment: I do Google Adsense and no one has complained. What do you guys think if I inserted small ads in my RSS feeds? Every item? Every 3rd? This is to pay for gadgets to review and bandwidth; I'm not getting rich on this.

What do you think?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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November 05, 2005 5:05
Wouldn't bother me. I'm so used to ingnoring ads that as long as they didn't delay showing content or other such intrusive annoyances then go for it. Whatever pays the bills.
November 05, 2005 5:45
It's your blog man. If it buys you the gadgets and provides us with interesting posts, I'm totally for it.
November 05, 2005 5:51
Like the others, I'm fine with it. Gotta do what you gotta do for gadgets.

Every third would be my preference if it fits your economic model (gadget quantity, natch), but every post is fine too.
November 05, 2005 5:52
Go for it, when the content is worth reading, the ads are worth checking out to support.
November 05, 2005 6:06
So long as the value in the post is greater than the annoyance factor in the ad, it wouldn't bother me. I do read your feeds at work, so subtlely is key for me. I wouldn't want to see ads with anything not suited for the office. (Like a scantily clad woman in a match-making ad)
November 05, 2005 6:57
I'd have no issues with ads in your feed. You provide great content, and a little ad won't bother me in the least.

Having said that, you may get good results from ads on the site, but word is that ads in feeds don't perform very well. There's a reason - most people actually visiting your site are probably from a search engine - they're looking for something, and with relevant ads, they may actually find what they want. RSS users are there to read your content - they aren't looking for something specific.
November 05, 2005 6:58
A few text words at the bottom of each entry. Not a big deal. No pictures.

November 05, 2005 7:12
Joel - interesting stuff! We shall see. Perhaps just a trial.
AndrewR - totally. no pics.
November 05, 2005 7:18
Ads via RSS don't boher me at all - FeedBurner does a nice job. I agree with Joel - the ads may bother visitors to your blog who are searching for something other than the content you provide than the RSS subscribers.
November 05, 2005 9:15
I've seen a couple of people who only put the ads into their permalink versions of their content. That way people who are loyal readers find relevant content via search engines - and then find matching ads to go with - so it's a great combo in terms of gettting the best clickthrough on your ads, without making your site look, overtly, like a billboard. (Somewhat similar to what Joel is saying.)
November 05, 2005 9:16
Doh. This "That way people who are loyal readers find relevant" should read: "who AREN'T loyal readers"...
November 05, 2005 9:18
Wouldn't bother me a bit. I think the Google AdSense RSS ads (the little footer banners in posts) is the ideal way to do it. Any ad that runs down the side of a post is just bad as some people who use "resolution unfriendly" aggregators (like me @ FeedDemon) would get some hairy content otherwise!
November 05, 2005 9:55
Yeah, gimme the ads.
November 05, 2005 10:10
Count me out. Ads in RSS feeds is one step too far for me.
November 05, 2005 10:40
Hey stopping by, i am a computer tech. I also have a blog. I use adsense, so i feel ya. Go for it, it won't hurt anyone.
November 05, 2005 11:08
I don't use RSS as I like to visit the site. However, I am vehemently against ads of any kind. They are distracting, condesending and an utter waste of my time. After all, I am a college student with NO money whatsoever!
But seriously, I believe that blogs refelect the nature of the person who owns them. And the reason I visit blogs is because its like a converstation between me and the person who owns the blog. Would you want converstations with people to be suddenly interrupted by ads?

I understand that there are ad blocking technologies etc but there are two problems there.
1. Why should I have to resort to "censoring" YOUR blog
2. Ad companies are constantly finding new ways to click on their ads. Ad blocking technology is fighting a loosing battle and they are always trying to catchup.

As such, I would say that ads are useful when they are on a site designed for people willing to spend money. However, when you have a large population of people, who don't come to your site to buy things, but to read and learn from you, then that "trust" should not be breached lightly.

Kudos to you for asking your readers though. Not a lot of people do that.
November 05, 2005 12:23
November 05, 2005 21:01
I unsubscribed from one feed that started adding ads in RSS. It was too annoying on short posts when half the post was content, and half was ads. I'm not against any of the principles of it, but if the annoyance outweighs the benefit, there is a chance I'd unsubscribe. However, your blog stands apart in that it provides a lot of unique content, so it is likely the benefit (of conent) would outweigh the annoyance (of ads).
November 05, 2005 23:09
Even if you put ads on all our posts, I will still subsribe to your feeds. I get a whole lot of great content form your blog.

In terms of preference, I like "Every third"..

November 06, 2005 3:59
Doesn't bother me, put 'em on every post. As long as the RSS feed contains the whole post I'm happy. I unsubscribe from most blogs though that change to small excerts so people have to click on the site to read it all and get exposed to more ads.
November 06, 2005 15:43
I don't care either. I am going to ignore them anyway. Best position is at the bottom of the post, so I don't even have to do anything to ignore it. Just please don't put them inbetween your content, that would be aweful!
November 07, 2005 1:36
By all means ad-away! You provide content that people find valuable and enjoy and should be compensated accordingly. I think that having to look at an add is a small price to pay for great content. I really doubt that anybody would stop reading your blog if you started ads. And if they do...good riddance leech!
November 07, 2005 17:26
I think everyone should be rewarded for providing valuable reading. I just hope that any type of ADs or sponsorship you chose to bear in your site or feeds have zero influence in your content, and keep your opinion as valuable as it is today. I personally do not care how you will be spending the ads income. Use it to buy gizmos, pay for hosting, buying intresting software, dining out, whatever. That will be money you earned.
November 07, 2005 17:55
As long as it's not a banner...
November 08, 2005 1:45
Why not? And who could object if you *were* getting rich on it? Doesn't bother me in the least.
November 11, 2005 16:23
No problem: the new RSS Bandit will be able to block that, if users don't like them
November 19, 2005 5:31
A couple of questions:
What kind of ads and will enough people click to make it owrthwhile. If not I wouldn't bother.

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.