A word on Advertising

M32 was joshing with me today about my adding an advert for a restaurant that got a particularly favourable review.

I smiled because I was aware, even while I was writing the article, that I sounded like one of the magazines that drop onto our doormats who claim to be independent but write glowing reviews of everything – with an accompanying ad for the joint on the opposite page.

Let me tell you now. I will NEVER do that – that would just be reinventing the wheel. There are plenty of mags that do that already – and a total waste of space those reviews are, too. I could make a BIT of money doing it if I wanted to, I guess, and get the odd free meal. But I’m not doing this for the cash. I want good services and a nice environment because I live here – and the ONLY way to do that is to remain totally independent and totally anonymous.

But websites don’t pay for themselves – and what I may have to do soon will be to allow discreet computer-generated ads down one side to offest the cost of the actual site.

At the risk of teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, let me explain how this new type of advertising works, in case you don’t know.

I allow Google’s search engine to filter through my words, picking out the ones that are relevant to their advertisers. Their computer puts up random ads on my site which LOOK as though they’ve been specially chosen, but they’re absolutely not.

I have no contact whatsoever with the advertiser and they have no choice over where their ad goes.

So it’s entirely possible that I’ll pan some place – and there will be an advert for it next to it – that’s fine by me – they have no say in what I write so I can remain independent.

I get some derisory amount every time someone clicks on the advert. I’m not allowed to ask you to click on any ads but if your mouse accidentally happened to hover over an ad or two from time to time I wouldn’t be at all upset.

As you will see I haven’t set this up yet, but it will probably have to come – merely to offset the costs of the website itself. Please bear with me – I will make it as un-gaudy as possible and let me repeat – I will never take direct advertising from anyone who would benefit from the words I write.

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