Those of you who read my blog via syndication see occasional ads which are inserted by Feedburner. I don't make very much money from these ads (a very good month brings in about $300) but each year I accumulate enough to pay for hosting and offset some other blog-related costs. Occasionally there's enough for a trip to Lucky Baldwin's for Guinness and veggie curry, but I am not getting rich from these ads by a long shot.
When I was experimenting with ads on my site last year, I adopted an agnostic policy toward what I would and wouldn't accept, figuring that to deny one thing was to implicitly endorse another. That didn't work out, and my inability to fully embrace that philosophy, (combined with Federated Media doing fuckall to put the advertising inventory on my site they'd told me was coming Real Soon Now) lead to me eventually scrapping on-site advertising entirely.
Still, the feedburner advertising program is much better, and even though it's not pulling in the kind of earnings people always claim I can get here, it does what it does quite nicely for me.
I mention this today because I don't think I've ever pointed out that I review every single ad that gets put into my feed's rotation, and I approve and deny things based on how I feel about the company, product, or service. It's not an explicit endorsement, but if there's something in the feed, you can safely assume that I don't hate it, and think it's somehow relevant to the majority of WWdN readers.
By way of example: Earlier today, I got an e-mail that there was an ad scheduled for insertion into my feed. I checked it out, and saw that it was for car insurance from the Automobile Club. The CPM was bullshit, but that's not why I denied it: I denied it because Anne and I had used AAA for our insurance for almost 12 years without an incident, until her car was vandalized in our driveway a couple of years ago. It was going to be very expensive to repair the damage, and when we filed our claim, the AAA agent told Anne that, because she didn't send in a photograph of her car when the policy was upgraded months earlier -- a request that had never been made by AAA -- they were denying our claim because they couldn't confirm that the car wasn't already damaged when we bought the policy. Never mind that it's completely illogical to assume that we'd drive around in a car with three broken windows for months, and never mind that we'd never missed a payment or filed a claim before; the insurance company found a way to fuck us, so they did. As a bonus, their agents were rude and outright nasty to us throughout the entire ordeal.
We tried to fight it, but it would have cost so much, we just cancelled our policy and switched insurers.
So when I saw that the AAA wanted to advertise on my blog, not only did I deny the ad, I said, "Hey! Why don't you go fuck yourself, you fucking assmasters!" when I did it.
I went back to work, proud of my useless act of rebellion. A few minutes later, I got another e-mail from that a new ad was scheduled for insertion into my feed. I looked at it, and -- surprise -- it was the same AAA banner.
"Hey, didn't you fuckshits hear me?" I said, as I clicked DENY, "Go to hell!"
Five minutes after that, I got another e-mail.
"These guys are persistent," I thought as I clicked over . . . and saw a third attempt.
This time I just laughed out loud. Even though it's just an automated computer doing its thing, I imagined a hapless AAA agent, alone and cold in a dark cubicle that hasn't seen natural sunlight in a decade, desperately hoping that I'd just give them another chance. (Yes, I know that nothing of the sort happened, but just let me have my stupid little moment, okay? Jeeze.)
I'm usually not petty like that, but I'm an honorable guy, so when a person or a company fucks me, I never forget. I don't hold a grudge as much as I create a blood feud. The AAA's insurance division is, as they say, On The List.
So this is all a longwinded and hopefully amusing way of telling all you syndicated readers that you can click those ads with some degree of confidence, if that sort of thing matters to you, because it matters to me.