I’m in the process of adding ads to this thing, strictly as a means of survival. I’m sort of opposed to it, but obviously not enough to shut ‘er down. Nevertheless I am a bit sad about it in some ways and thought that some clarification was in order.
Everyone that blogs is to some degree narcissistic. I have to be, because I’m an entertainer. And because I’m an entertainer I have no problem asking people to pay for my “deep thoughts.”
But ads are a bit insidious, first of all because they seem so innocuous. Just having the things sitting there subtly changes the experience. Even if I tell you (and you believe) that I have no investment in any of the specific companies (and in fact, may have no idea which ads are being “served” at any given moment.) Their presence changes the game, just like billboards in the outfield of a baseball field change the game a bit.
The second point is that they will help make up for a lack of proper income (ie. income from sales of albums and concerts.) That in and of itself is a deal with the devil. How much income is acceptable from a source that is not your main deal before you gotta worry? In other words, at what point do I stop being a musician who blogs and have to admit that I’m a blogger who does some music. (A similar problem exists in my actually ‘playing.’ I’m currently a songwriter who makes some money playing guitar. But as CD sales decline when do I start to say that I’m a guitar player who happens to have a couple of CDs available on-line?)
In both cases, I’m concerned in taking your attention off of what I want you to focus on and allowing it to drift somewhere else. I’d much prefer that you focus on the ‘me’ as a composer and not so much on the ‘me’ that plays guitar or blogs. But when you need to play guitar to get people to buy the records then you give up some of that control. But at least there’s a direct line back to the songs.
However, when you take ad money for people reading about what you think about your work then you’re just begging to lose the connection back to the songs. It is now valid to see me as a guy who writes some copy just to draw clicks.
And if that’s the case? Man, I better learn to write a lot more interesting stuff!