I have about half a dozen websites that I visit daily. They’re my go to sites in my sometimes vain attempt at trying to keep up with everything going on around me. Recently, one of these sites changed the advertising on their page to add in pop up video adverts on every page you open. If frankly almost made the site unreadable, so to get around this I started to use a browser that comes with ad blocking. This week, I would go on the website and I got a message saying that I had to switch off the blocking.
One of the effects of the internet is the devaluation of content. In the good old days, I used to buy two or three sci-fi magazines a month. Now, I can get the same amount of content daily; without having half of it about shows I’m not interested in. I also save the money I spent on the magazines. Everything is coming up Emmett.
Hopefully you’ll have noticed that there aren’t adverts on this blog. I also don’t intend to ever have adverts on the site, because this isn’t about me turning this into a living. This is my attempt at evangelising about being a geek and writing about my interests. I’m also fortunate enough to have a day job that pays me enough so that I am comfortable.
OK, I also don’t have the readership (yet) to make any money from advertising, and if someone offered me a wheelbarrow full of money to advertise on my site, I would probably take it. I, after all, give into nothing but temptation.
But what about those who are dependent on internet adverts? There seems to be a culture today that if it is on the internet then it should be free, and even I have fallen into this trap. I consider myself to be a reasonable person, but if your website is more advert than content then I think that your business model is flawed.
Something that I’ve noticed in recent years is the number of content creators who have kept things free, but asks their readers/listeners directly for money to keep going. I’m the type of person (a mug) who still buys music of those artists that I’ve found on YouTube deep dives. I’ve funded podcasts/websites that I enjoy through Kickstarters or Patreons. I will even buy the occasional piece of merchandise.
Yes, I get perks, but I’m really doing it because I enjoy the content that they produce and want to support them in doing the things that they love. I don’t think that I’m brave/talented enough to try it myself, but I believe that those who go down this route are the pioneers of how making a living off the internet is possible in the future.
I’ve always thought that the internet is the natural successor to the printing press. Anyone can now produce content and put it out there to the world. Maybe it will also radicalise how we pay for that content as well. It’ll be direct from the consumer to the creator.
As for that website? I think that it is time for a change.