… 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.