Or more properly taking the .003% of the King’s Shilling!
As some of you have observed over the past 24 hours, this site is now taking advertising. I have hesitated on this issue for a long time, fully aware that in some quarters of the Blogosphere this is seen as ‘selling out’ – and indeed the first comment along those lines appeared within seconds of the first advert showing up. (I do know you were only teasing Caedmon, but I thought the subject deserved an answer from me!)
When I first set this site up, I was determined that it shouldn’t be a niche blog ‘preaching to the converted’ as it were. I didn’t want a group of ‘followers’ who thought the same way as I did – I wanted an open forum where divergent views could be expressed and arguments thrashed out in public. I was also keen that I shouldn’t be held hostage by Blogger should someone object to a view posted on here – they have a reputation for taking the site down and then asking questions.
That meant being hosted outside of Google’s network on an independent server, and also using software that could turn posts into keywords that Google’s search facility would serve up to the general public rather than merely appearing in their well hidden list of blogs. It was a way of reaching out to readers that were interested in a particular subject, rather than being followers of a particular blog.
It has been stunningly successful on that count, not so much successful in being a drive for ‘hits’, for hits themselves are meaningless except for one’s ego, but in bringing in readers and commentators who have specific knowledge and information on specific subjects.
My interest in the Court of Protection is well known, and when I started, if you Googled Court of Protection you could only find a list of Solicitors who would be pleased to take your money to further complicate your situation. Some of my old Court of Protection posts have now logged up many thousands of hits over the months, indeed, one recent blog entry clocked up 43,000 hits in a few days – and that was always my intention, that a broad spectrum of people should be able to access information, add their pennyworth to the pot, and go on their way better informed.
The hosting and the necessary domain name were not that expensive, but the SEO software was – and is. I need to renew it in a few weeks time.
Some of you finance blogs by asking for donations. That didn’t appeal to me for many reasons. Some of you finance blogs – or at least your Internet connection, for Blogger is free – by your day time occupation, which is undeclared and quite rightly private, but could be ‘full time abortionist’ for all I know. Some of you could even be Gigolo’s! Who knows where the money comes from that bought your broadband and your computer?
Taking advertising is a very public declaration as to where the money will be coming from to finance renewing our software – and the fact that I am using MessageSpace which is well known to be partly owned by Guido was always going to be open to comment.
MessageSpace specialises in advertising to the political spectrum, as opposed to GoogleAdsense, which picks up keywords in your copy – given the number of times I write about elderly or incapacitated adults, GoogleAdsense would have meant a blog that was covered in ads for walk in baths and stair lifts!
Over 50% of our readership comes from outside the UK, and also from outside the ‘Blogosphere’ – I want that to continue. Hopefully MessageSpace will prove to be the means by which we can continue to finance achieving that balance.
I am retired, and under the UK’s current economic regime, that means that inflation is (apparently purposefully!) decimating my income in order to pay for the excesses of the past Totalitarian regime. Taking advertising to compensate for this no more signals any change in editorial policy round here than whatever your means of financing your blogging does.
Guido’s pockets may be deep, or so the rumour goes, but I can assure you that they are not sufficiently capacious to accommodate this Raccoon…..besides, as a breed, we have some nasty surprises for those who seek to exercise control over us…..