‘Ads Are The New Tip Jar’ – By Seth Godin

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Seth Godin is one of the most famous bloggers around and has authored numerous books on the subject of marketing. I just ran into this old post of his, ‘Ads are the new tip jar‘. It’s an interesting, but controversial concept.

At first the idea certainly appealed. Bloggers, like myself, spend a lot of time writing unique content and promoting it, usually for little financial reward but because bloggers are sharers; people who get genuine pleasure from sharing knowledge and opinion, and helping others.

Advertisers are fighting for attention. The attention deficit, in this age of information overload, is a real problem for producers of content and advertisers alike.

Google say you mustn’t ask people to click on your ads. It’s strictly against their policy. But what if you ask, “Please click on my ads, but only if they’re potentially of interest and relevant to you”? Isn’t that what advertisers want?

In a follow-up post, “Beating the status quo“, Seth apologises, but defends his original post which came under quite a bit of criticism.

Even in the world I work in, large media companies have similar problems with the monetisation of online content. Rupert Murdoch of News Corp (the world’s second largest media conglomerate) is tackling the problem head-on (see ‘Murdoch on Leading the Charging Charge’).

At 79 years old, and with a net worth of about $6bn, I think it’s amazing that he still has the energy to fight this battle for his companies. His views on the subject of paying for content have been well publicised and we are just about to see whether or not people are willing to pay, at least for news, as he puts up his pay wall on The Times web site.

The world’s media companies, and perhaps even bloggers, are watching with baited breath to see what happens. If he’s successful, it could change the economy of the internet forever. Or will people simply go elsewhere?