Today on Blogcritics

Our New Ad

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We are of course always trying to improve our economic situation by improving our content, getting the word out, increasing traffic, and selling more ads and doing more Amazon business.

We still operate at a loss, but our situation has improved very steadily over time and I am confident we will reach our goal of solvency. We just added a sponsorship ad today – over there on the left at the top of the page – for a blog by a porn publisher: “Diary of a Porn Publisher.”

Since the ad clearly states that the site is for adults only and is not work-safe, and is about the workings of the biz – even saying “Why Am I Not Having More Fun?” – I don’t have a problem with the message of the ad.

But the image itself gave me pause and I have heard from several writers and readers who are concerned that the picture on the ad might get Blogcritics banned from their work, wich would directly impact our traffic, and therefore our ability to deliver traffic. The picture doesn’t include explicit nudity, but it’s about as close as you can get.

What are your thoughts on the ad? The picture? I am very interested in any thoughts on this ad, the boundaries of what you consider to be acceptable advertising, your web surfing habits at work (anonymous is fine), or anything related.

I can’t really pick and choose what ads we get other than to flat out reject a given ad, which obviously, I would rather not do. Thanks for your input.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.allahpundit.com Allah

    Allah had the same ad submitted to his glorious blog yesterday and he rejected it. The respect accorded him would perhaps be undermined by an image on his frontpage of a nude woman grabbing a man’s dick, yes?

    Does this mean it’s now okay to drop the F-bomb when posting to BC?

  • Bill O’Reilly

    Yet another example of how the secularists are ruining our country–and our blogosphere. Where is the ChristianBlogcritics.org to counter this trend? Tonight on The Factor we’ll interview some religious blogcritics who are speaking out.

  • Eric Olsen

    Hmm, I hadn’t even noticed the crotch-grabbing aspect, certainly a key point.

    No word in and of itself has ever been forbidden – it’s all about the context, Big Guy.

  • Shark

    Eric: “Hmm, I hadn’t even noticed the crotch-grabbing aspect…”

    And where WERE YOU LOOKING?

    Anyway, it’s a tough call, Eric. One has to accept advertising, and on some level, it’s ALL Satan’s handiwork, so selling one book is no less a sin than selling another.

    But then again, it does open the flood gates to future porno ads, and it could diminish the legitimacy of the site in quite a few minds. It is the first thing one sees when the site loads, and first impressions are Important.

    What’s your gut feeling?

    I like gut feelings.

    Mine is: Just Say No.

    (I’d like to hear Hal P’s take: he’s an old marketing guy too)

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Just saw it. It is disgusting. Another step toward the toilet for Blogcritics. But, hey, it is pretty much there anyway.

  • Bee

    Another bite at the hand that sends you traffic.
    I do, however, find the ad offensive.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Despite Mac’s potshots, I agree that it is inappropriate for the site. I am not a real conservative person and normally, I wouldn’t care. This site hasn’t ever had any photos (other than Ms. Jackson) that would get me into trouble, and as of yet, BlogCritics hasn’t been banned from work. But a graphic like this makes it very risky for me to visit because I could be held responsible for what is on my screen if someone were to look over my shoulder. The ad message is fine if the picture was toned down.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Eric, sorry I missed your call – I was at lunch. You’re right, though, you can guess my response. :-)

    Please lose it! I’ll cut you a check for a little bit of money myself to see it go away.

  • http://www.allahpundit.com Allah

    Allah notes that there is now a very interesting post at the offending website entitled “Upskirt Pussy on the Loft.” Allah will be sure to check it out.

  • http://www.shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    While it does make me feel engorged and tingly, I don’t think I would have it on my own site if I did blogads.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I agree with Craig, above. The ad copy isn’t nearly as bothersome as the image itself.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    The picture really has to go. It immediately relegates the entire site to the negative social status of a porn site. Makes the place look sleazy. Even the liberals are basically telling you this. To me, the text is a bit much, but would be ok without the picture.

    Plus, it’s doubly inappropriate for writing about anything decent. It’s just plain YUCKY to have to see that stuff when trying to read about something of a spiritual nature, for example any of our 50+ articles on The Passion.

    As to the Diva’s invocation of the toilet, she personally accounts for the lion’s share of the stank in the atmosphere. Refraining from maliciousness and libel would go a long ways towards improving the smell.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    By the way, as a member who is willing to put his money where his mouth is, I would be willing to contribute a little extra cash (like Philip said) to make up for the loss of the ad for one month until you can hopefully replace the revenue.

  • Eric Olsen

    Okay, all of this is along the lines of my personal thoughts on the matter and if I can’t get the pic modified we’ll just take it down.

  • duane

    The polls have closed it would seem, but as for the picture, I’m agin it, for what it’s worth.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    I LOVE IT! DON’T TOUCH IT! PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT DOWN!! IT’S — IT’S– Oh, yessss.

    Okay, now you can take it down. I’ll send $3.95 — but NO MORE.

    Curt

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Too sleazy for me – dump it.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    <hack, hack, hack> Okay, until we can get in touch with all of the appropriate people, I’ve hacked out the picture and left everything else alone. Hopefully, the sponsor will supply an alternate image.

  • mike

    I liked it.

  • Chris Kent

    There’s something about a woman’s thonged ass dangling next to every word on the left-hand side of a blog. You forget its there briefly, and then *BOINK*, there it is making an encore appearance……

    What was I reading again?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Perhaps we should all click through on the new, non-picture ad- strictly as a show of support for our advertiser, of course.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Wow, that is some lame ass porn. We want better pr0n. Y’know quality gentlemen’s magazine type of stuff with sove and de-boner stuff ‘n’ shit.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Of course since Plain Brown Wrapper died the death with lack of interest, I guess you people just aren’t the media metric which Russ Meyer targeted with “Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixens”.

  • sheri

    I didnt find it so much offensive, as just not appropriate. Even though some here may need a lil stress release. j/k

  • Eric Olsen

    Jim, not dead, just in suspended animation. We will have some new things to talk about in that regard shortly. Email me if you have a chance.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    You’re right, sheri, “offensive” was not the right word. It just seemed out of place on such a diverse site. THanks.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Eric, dude! That site mentions that he offered some people $600-700 to put up his ad! You’re getting big-time ripped off!

  • sheri

    y/w Phillip

  • Chris Kent

    I find it difficult to believe a pornographer would even be remotely dishonest.

  • http://www.tekwh0re.net Ms. Tek

    I don’t care.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Well, when Phillip and I agree that something is bad for the site maybe even Eric will see our point.

    I just posted my initial gut response earlier, but will explain why I thnk a blatant porn ad is a bad idea for a review and commentary site. It cheapens the goal of the site. One hopes a reader comes here to check out the latest music CD or book review or look at the series we have going on cultural appropriation and art. But, if the first thing the person sees is an ad like that his impression of the site goes from ‘information’ to ‘sleaze’ in seconds.

    It doesn’t help that the next thing he may see is a blatant attack entry by someone barely literate on our one of the best writers at the site. That conveys the message that someone doesn’t care about quality at all and that good work is unappreciated.

    There are a few sites with similar goals as BC. I do not believe they would accept overt porn ads. Maybe something tasteful from Nerve, but not actual porn.

  • Eric Olsen

    It’s an ad for a blog by a porn publisher – it’s not an ad for porn.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I’m with Diva on the basic point here, 100%. Porn ads at all make us look cheap, very far down market. Taking away the picture makes it not nearly as bad, but still.

    An ad for a blog by a porn publisher versus an ad for porn is really a distinction without a difference.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    If you take the first letters of the posts by Al and Mac Diva, and then run them through a recursive ROT13 encryption it is clear they are being held prisoner by John Ashcroft and are blinking a message: please send help.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jim, that may be the funniest thing you’ve ever said here, though I may be prejudiced as part of the joke.

    Of course, when Diva and I get on the same page about something, that should start sending up warning flags of some kind.

  • Shark

    MacDevil: “It doesn’t help that the next thing he may see is a blatant attack entry by someone barely literate on our one of the best writers at the site.”

    Then lay off ME!

    heh.

  • http://www.claywhittaker.com Clay Whittaker

    I’m glad you posted this query. I was about to email you. Definitely dump it. One of the main points – in my mind – of blog critics is to show that the internet is more than a bunch of porn, it fosters an environment where people can come together and write on worthwhile topics. This cheapens that message.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    The photo was hacked out? I still see it, and ewwwwwwww. First Amazon-dot-crap and now this. Ewwwww.

  • http://www.swillfilter.com Josh Keller

    Whether the eventual destination is considered porn or not, the picture itself implies porn, and that’s the issue — to the avg viewer, bc is advertising porn.

    I agree with most, it cheapens the site’s real content, dump it.

  • Eric Olsen

    I am not sure why the comments here have disappeared. Apparently the main server refreshed the ad last night, which is why the image reappeared. I am still waiting to hear from the advertiser about modifying the ad.

  • Eric Olsen

    okay, comments are back.

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog/ Michael Croft

    So, is there a slippery slope or is the line firm? The ad is clearly to drive hits to increase traffic to his blog, which supports porn web sites, but also has comments about his mother’s guns. What about other cases? What if an amazon link had a risque picture? Some bloggers support books they’ve written with their blogs, would we refuse an ad from Virginia Postrel, were she to offer to buy one? How about the “how to blog for a profit ad?” Or John Mudd’s real estate posts? Those also dilute the superior blogger/critic message, but we’re hosting them.

    If it wasn’t porn, but something else like pop-tarts, would the objection be the same?

    I can live with the ad, but would personally prefer a text-based version so that we don’t distract from our message.

  • Eric Olsen

    My thoughts are about what they were when the ad went up: I am not particularly troubled by having an ad for a blog written by a pornographer, but the picture itself is distracting from the tone of this site, which is a semi-earnest take on popular culture and the events of the day.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    I think a risque book cover is different because it will only live in each post where an author decides to include the Amazon ASIN. The ad on the left is different because it is on ever page of the site as a permanent object in the left hand window. As for the other things, I am sure a case-by-case basis would be appropriate.

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    Someone forgot it on the Leaderboard…

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    Eric dear, in my recent last post I was announcing the birth of my granddaughter, a third generation feminist. When it was published I found next to it that porno ad, so throughly discussed here and with a clear indication of thumbs down. I wrote there the comment you’ll find at the bottom and for a day the picture was taken off. Today it’s up again. I’m taking off this post of mine as the two cannot live side by side.

    Apart from that I think that with a porno ad you’ll find few ads corresponding to our contents and yet willing to share the same space with it. Why not define which is your target group and go from there. Now, with such high and growing ratings, You might find publishers of literature, music, video, books – willing to advertise the publication of a new work, as well as foundations and not for profit organizations promoting political issues. They will bring in more such fine and worthy causes so that we’ll be only proud to have them side by side with our writing.

    Here is the comment to the post I’m taking off now, sadly:

    “Eric please can you take off this totally out of place ad I find next to my new post? Darya is a born feminist. Anything that objectifies women is abhorent to her. She says: “This is how you keep your promises?”
    I feel shamed and ashamed.”

  • http://www.tekwh0re.net Ms. Tek

    Oh no… not the “if you are a feminist, then porn is bad”.

    *rolls eyes*

    I am a feminist and I have no problem with porn. Not at all. If a woman wants to blow a hundred penises, so be it. Part of feminism is allowing women to do what they want. If they want to do that, (hell, the money can be very good if you don’t snort it all up your nose) let them.

    People who work in the Sex Industry are not bad people.

  • Eric Olsen

    The picture will be permanently removed shortly. We thought it was permanently removed but apparently the host computer refreshed it overnight.

    Also, we don’t pick the ads, the ads come to us – I would love to see much more targeted ads but we have no method of going after them right now.

  • Eric Olsen

    Okay, pic is gone again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Roger

    Warning about the book cover! I have no problem with the book cover or average mainstream porn. However when I clicked on the book cover one of the first things I saw was nudity, no problem. As I scrolled down it got more and more explicit which would probably offend some, but I could care less. The one problem I with it is that ever since I went there I have been getting around 2 or 3 porn emails a day. I linked it directly to that book. If you don’t want to receive porn via your email be careful while scrolling through it’s contents. I can’t get the bastards to stop.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Okay, here’s the scoop: The ads that appear here are chosen by BlogAds within criteria specified by Eric. We don’t know exactly what they will look like until we see them the same way you do. The “Sponsor” ad is a link to a blog, and the consensus around here seems to be that the ad copy itself is fine, but the picture is inappropriate given the context.

    We approached this in two ways: Eric tried to contact the publisher of the ad for permission to yank the picture, and I hacked the picture out temporarily.

    Unfortunately, the publisher of the ad has not responded, and the ads are automatically refreshed every night in the middle of the night. So every day I have to go in and hack it out again, and since I’m in the US Central time zone, that happens pretty late in the day for some readers.

    So I have again hacked the code so that the picture will not appear, and now I have taken the further step of copying this hacked version of things and changing most (soon to be “all,” I hope, but I’ve updated the Leaderboard and Search results pages already) of the pages here to point to the hacked copy. This still isn’t ideal, but it should hopefully keep that pesky picture from coming back.

    Roger (#50), the reference to book covers has to do with the Amazon links that appear at the end of every story, not the ad at the top of the page. Also, it is not possible for websites to get your email address unless you give it to them, so simply scrolling through that or any other web page will not get you on any mailing lists.

    On the other hand, spammers (of which purveyors of porn are common) tend to blast email to random addresses every now and then, and even Hotmail accounts than are created and never used eventually accumulate spam. It is also possible that someone manually retrieved one of your email addresses from this site. Though we use spam-protection code to keep automated spiders from doing it too easily, any human could click on your name at any comment you’ve left here and have your email address. I would suspect something like that is the source of your unsolicited email.

    All, I hope that clears up any questions, but feel free to ask anything I haven’t addressed. Thanks!

  • Roger

    I may have accidentally opened something on that wrong page. “That’s why I used the term “be careful while scrolling through”. I have never given anyone like that my email. They began to appear daily the morning after I checked out the site. They all have the exact same origin. I really don’t mind it’s just the damn girls are ugly. Maybe that’s why you get 15 or 20 pics of each girl free.

  • http://www.sexxxxpics.com/blog/ Rask

    I’m the author of the blog everyone is complaining about. I was unaware of the controversy until I happened across this page today. I did not receive the emails requesting that I change the banner image. Probably a victim of my email filters. I’m really sorry this has caused you so much hassle. I went to Blogads and can find no way to remove the image associated with the ad. It appears that I can replace it, however. I will ask my graphics person to alter the banner or make me a new one tomorrow. It always catches me by surprise when people are offended by the sort of softcore images I’m accustomed to seeing on regular network television.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    And, your name is not Piece of Sh!t?

    As for the lie about seeing women grabbing men’s crotches on “regular network television,” spare us.

    Not that the image in the ad is the major issue as anyone who looked into this knows. The links lead to the much more explicit porn “Rask” is marketing.

  • Shark

    Rask, don’t mind her; she does that to everybody she meets. (Actually, you were lucky; you only got a taste of MacDiva Lite, since she couldn’t determine by your short post whether or not you ever owned slaves or discriminate against minorities as often as you breathe. But the night is young, so grab yer shorts!)

    She’s sort of like a pit bull that’s tied up near the entrance to scare off people who have thin, delicate skin, except this pit bull has a modem, a keyboard, horrible self-esteem, and is in the throes of an eternal estrogen imbalance.

    But we tolerate her because it keeps her at her computer — and therefore off the street.

    Please don’t assume we’re all so rude.

    PS: More free pics, less pop-ups!

    [winky]

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Oh, two pieces of sh!t sitting around talking.