Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the long Jubilee weekend. Apart from the rain it’s been a fantastic affair and one of those times when it makes you glad to be British. I’ve been through a few towns and cities over the last four days and everywhere I’ve gone there’s been an overwhelming sense of celebration and togetherness. Let’s hope and pray it doesn’t all fade away too quickly once the bunting comes down and life goes back to normal.
Over the weekend I’ve had to make an adjustment to the site that I wasn’t expecting to. It’s quite an important one to me and I want to explain why I’ve done it.
Last week Krish Kandiah tweeted me asking how my ads work. This was a bit of a surprise as I’ve not been aware that I’ve been running adverts. WordPress who run my site have said that occasionally they may put ads up on blogs to generate income for themselves, but up until now I’ve not seen any. What I hadn’t realised was that when I’m logged into my site, which is pretty much all the time, I won’t see any ads WordPress put up. As a result I’m still not sure just how many ads I’ve been displaying.
My stance has always been that I have never wanted to have ads on my blog. I have no interest in making any money from this site as in order to do my best to maintain my independence and integrity I don’t want to have readers wondering if I associate myself with or endorse products or services that could be advertised on this site if I went down that route and I certainly don’t want to be showing ads I have no control over. The only exception up until now is the Coalition for Marriage ad that I displayed for a few days last month to make a point in relation to the ASA’s ridiculous investigation into it.
While I was away I thought I’d try out the site without being logged in to see if I could find any ads. It didn’t take long and what I did find really annoyed me. At the bottom of my previous post I found an advert for Wonga, whom I have a deep mistrust of.
Wonga are a payday loan company who have come under fire for what amounts to a 4,214% annual interest rate on its customer loans and also questions have been raised about its collection practices. Only this Sunday the Telegraph published a critical article on Wonga’s expansion plans. This is a quote from the piece:
‘In a recent report, Which? found that payday loans trapped consumers in a downward spiral of debt due to the high charges, with a third claiming they experienced greater financial problems as a result of the loan. Wonga, which is not regulated as a normal financial company, was recently censured by the OFT for “aggressive and misleading” debt collection practices.’
This is exactly the sort of scenario I’ve been wanting to avoid. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, I’ve paid WordPress to stop publishing any more ads (which I admit I should have done right from the start). Just to highlight the change, I’ve installed an ‘Ad-free blog’ logo on the sidebar at the bottom of all my pages which has come from this great little site
By using this logo on my website I am stating…
1. That I am opposed to the use of corporate advertising on blogs.
2. That I feel the use of corporate advertising on blogs devalues the medium.
3. That I do not accept money in return for advertising space on my blog.
I understand that I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t need to raise funds from this site. I’ve also seen some Christian sites that advertise valuable Christian products and I’ve not got a problem with that where the blog owner is in control of what they’re advertising and the advertising isn’t compromising their message. I doubt everyone is going to agree with me on this, but this is what I believe, so I’m going to stick to it.
I am feeling somewhat ashamed and apologetic that I’m the last person to catch up with what’s been happening on my own site, so if you have been wondering why those little ads have been popping up on here, now you know.
I hope you’ll enjoy the totally ad-free experience from now on.