Monday, September 11, 2006



I had a huge, labour-intensive post written this morning, and just lost it to the vagries of Blogger's whims. Now you get the short version. Perhaps that's better after all.

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about blogging, blogging for profit, and my own motivations for blogging. It started about a month ago, when I received an invitation to apply to join the BlogHer ad network. While an ever-growing part of me thinks that getting financial recompense for something I already do for love has a certain appeal, the true motivation for me would be the ego-boost of standing shoulder-to-jowl with some bloggers I think are way-wicked cool. And I've seen the ads on their blogs, and find them mostly inobtrusive and harmless.

So I'm thinking about applying, which entails them accepting my application. We're a long ways off yet.

But we were talking about this the other night at the Blogger Meet-Up when a reporter from the Citizen was chatting with us. Her curiousity was piqued by the idea of the moral dilemma of accepting blog ads, and some of the other perks bloggers have started to receive, and she and I did an interview Friday night that should appear in an upcoming edition of the Citizen. Very cool! Because if you know me at all, you know that I value attention and affirmation far more than I value free stuff... and that says a lot!

But I've really been thinking about this a lot lately, and then this morning I read an absolutely fascinating post by one of my favourite bloggers on just this subject. Except she's going in the exact opposite direction, even going so far as to take out her blogroll and (gasp!) sitemeter.

It wasn't that long ago that I got my first offer of a free book. Since then, I've been offered a few more books, which I always accept, and of course, the free smartphone. I've also been offered a free personalized children's book, which I will eventually get around to ordering just because I think it's a neat concept and don't mind giving a few inches of space to promote. There's other stuff I've declined, and I've been asked to join two other ad networks and turned them down, too. (So you see, I do have some standards - but they're capricious.)

The more I think about it, though, the more I am leaning towards running small ads here. Really, and I would like your opinions on this, what's the difference between getting paid for your hard-won traffic and getting paid by a publisher? Why shouldn't you get paid for something you do for love? I'm not looking for your permission or your absolution, but your honest viewpoint on whether not running ads is morally superior or just foolishly idealistic. Or somewhere in between? What's the line between accepting free books, and accepting other merchandise, and accepting ad revenues?

What's your price?