As you may have noticed, there are now advertisements on The Daily WTF. Well, technically, I've been running ads here since October of 2004… but I just realized that I never bothered announcing it. So, there you have it dear readers: I have officially sold out.

Normally, the Sell Out announcement goes something like this. I really hate ads. I know you do, too. But my blog takes soooo much time and cost sooo much money, I have no choice but to put up ads. Besides, everyone else is doing it. So technically, it’s them selling out, not me. Please don’t hate me.

While I did consider taking that approach, I came to realize something else: I really don’t hate advertising. And neither do most of you. We just hate obnoxious advertising.

And you see, therein lies the problem. As of late, the advertisements here on TDWTF have not only become incredibly obnoxious, but outright embarrassing. I’m not kidding. Consider these “choice” ads that were served up here last week, courtesy of the Google AdSense network:

Yes, that’s an X-Mas ad in the middle of June. And one for Pokemon cursors. Seriously. Pokemon cursors. Then there’s the IQ test ad that doesn’t even have a correct answer, and finally, one that I’m sure none of you missed: the “Get The Facts” campaign for Scientology.

I’m not exactly sure how we ended up with Scientology ads – or, for that matter, why the marketing folks at The Church chose the same tagline as Microsoft’s “Get The Facts” campaign – but what I do know is that virtually none of you have any interest in learning more about Scientology. Consider this Venn diagram I put together based on a thorough inverse chi-squared analysis of derived reader demographics:

Clearly, the Scientology – and the Pokemon, and so many others – are a bad fit for TDWTF. After seeing this, I knew it was time for a slightly different approach.

 

Sell Out 2.0

Here’s the new plan:

  • Less Advertising - As of yesterday, I’ve reduced the number of adspots down to two: the Leaderboard (up top) and the Skyscraper (on the left)
  • Better Sponsors - Every banner ad you’ll see is from a company that I personally talked to or approved, and has products/services that I know many of you are interested in: development tools, web hosting, irishgirl, etc.
  • Text-Only Google Ads - When there's no hand-picked banner ads to display, I'll fill in the gap with text-only ads from Google. While that means that we'll still see things like “Industrial-Strength Steel String”, their algorithm may occasionally pick out a cool product or service.
  • You Disable AdBlock - Okay, wishful thinking. But look at this way: there are some pretty cool sponsors lined up and I might able to actually upgrade from the Quick Meal.

I’m also very interested in what you think. If there’s a company you’d like to see advertise or think your fellow readers would appreciate, send me a link or post a comment.