All thee who read the interview with yours truly in Unleash the power of RSS by Rok Hrastnik might have gathered that I don't fancy the idea of RSS-feeds full of ads much.
I might be the only person on the planet who doesn't like ads in my RSS, since so many are now trying to employ them. Don't get me wrong, I do understand the financial reasons why sites with many RSS subscribers are trying to support their costs of offering said feed by text-ads in the feed. I just feel this online ad-supported revenue model is a bit like an arms race, the ads become more intrusive and everywhere, the adfiltering software becomes better at filtering things out, and people turn to alternative ways - RSS over email for example - to get the content they are after without the ads.
This weeks big news is that Longhorn Blog is testing Google textads in the RSS feed, a new toy in beta by google. Ironically Pentdego blog got his google ad-account closed last October for doing the exact same thing. So will Google ads in the RSS feeds become a success? Only time will tell.
Online advertising has always had a big dark shadow lurching right behind it, SPAM advertising. The practice of spewing your message out over and over again regardless of who it reaches SPAM is not limited to email only, and no longer means those cross-posted messages to usenet. Spam can, much like an H-bomb, kill an entire channel, and nobody and nothing is safe.
Today, Adland got two little spam visits, the first one was user stevclark posting to the front page via the add news form a story with the headline. "Remove Erectile Dysfunction from your life", as if I was going to approve that. It's thanks to people like him that there is an approval process before anything reaches the front page, you just can't trust that people won't try and ruin a good thing. I mean, even the Wikipedia gets spammed. Not much later someone from conviniblogs.com decided to do a really ugly trackback which actually looked like this;
Back to RSS, there is a new free e-book out called the Business Case for RSS if you are interested in reading more about RSS and advertising in it. What do you think about RSS and ads in them? Have you seen BoingBoing.net's feed lately ? They use Feedburner.com to serve up their feed, and at feedburner you - a site owner - can opt in to having text-ads in the feed if you wish. You will then gather the pennies said feed generates with those ads in it. The Google RSS feed idea promises to work in much the same way.