… but not really.
This blog doesn’t get nearly enough views for me to put advertisements up, but if I did, I would be getting paid just because you’re reading this. This is part of the reason Facebook makes money- not a lot, granted, but Facebook is currently worth a few billion dollars. For every page on which an ad is shown, the proprietor of a website will make a few cents. Given the number of ads on each page, and the number of viewers, this can add up fairly quickly.
So why don’t we use ads to pay for more? In a sense, we already do. Twitter shows ‘promoted’ feeds that pay for more views even though you might not subscribe to the sender. I once heard a great quote that went something like “If you do not pay for a product or service, you are the product being sold.” Essentially, this is true. Free services like most e-mail servers, website hosting (including, dear friends, my blog), social networking and other such web-based platforms are all fueled by advertisement revenue.
You’d figure, then, that with such widespread use of banner ads and whatnot on websites, we would be more than accustomed to seeing them everywhere. Why is it such a big deal that websites like Wikipedia don’t want to sell advertising space? As far as I can tell, the only reason they could have to want to avoid it so badly is that they want to keep from seeming like their
information is tarnished by advertisers. Ay, there’s the rub: if advertisers wanted to change their (or a competitor’s) page on Wikipedia, they COULD! It doesn’t take much to create a Wiki account and change a public page. In order to make money and pay their higher-ups, they need to do something. At present, they have fairly obnoxious ads (pictured at bottom) that very nearly beg readers to donate money in order to keep from putting ads at the top of each page. In my opinion, though, it would be less conspicuous and less annoying to have a few simple ads here and there than be pestered by “personal appeals” from higher ups for cash. I don’t want to pay them, and as far as I can tell, neither do most Wiki users. Hire some advertising companies and leave us alone.