Google ads have hit Atheist Nexus. You've likely noticed the fairly unobtrusive box to the right side of the screen. If not, take a look quick, I'll wait...
Advertising, by and large, is a way of life on the net. Be it very loosely targeted like Google ads or annoying flash panels telling you that you've just won a new laptop, we deal with it. Maintaining a fairly well trafficed site costs and the people behind the curtain need to do what they can to come up with cash for hardware, staffing and maintenance (among other things).
In a previous blog I mention having left myspace due to advertising. Myspace gets an ungodly amount of traffic and they don't ask users for a penny, thus, it's the internet equivalent of an ADD infused infomercial on crank. Nexus, simply by the nature of the target audience, will never achieve that level of traffic. The day I come to log in and have to click around a gaudy Mountain Dew ad or something promoting a band I've never heard of (nor likely would enjoy) is the day I'm outta here.
So we have Google giving us ads and I'm ok with that, google ads can be amusing sometimes. Richard has kept the display small and out of the way...works for me. I do question the verbiage of "support our sponsors" when we have ads for sites like "CosmicFingerprints.com" popping up..but we can't really predict what Google is going to shove in there.
Lets see what I'm being sold this morning (yes, I did click each add from the page...it helps!):
www.MinnesotaAtheists.org - This works, I'm already a member.
www.True.com - Internet dating, ugh. Does Google know I'm single? Does the mere mention of the word in my profile instantly give me this ad? I'm happy single and the day I decide to start trying to meet someone the last place I'm going is the intertubes.
www.Mary.com - I had no idea what this was upon clicking. The ad said "Are You A Real Atheist ? Or Are You Just Pretending ? Test If You Have The God Gene." I assumed it was joke or one of those amusing sites proclaiming it's impossible to not believe in fairies. It turns out to be just another dating site and the 'god gene' is one of their "compatibility" questions. Too bad, I was looking for a fundie bullshit laugh this morning.
www.freethinkermatch.com - More internet dating, blah blah blah. Perhaps relevant to someone but not myself.
These last two have got to be the clearest example of why I question calling these people "sponsors".
www.CosmicFingerprints.com AKA www.celestialmechanic.com - "The Atheist's Riddle So Simple, Any Child Can Understand So Complex, No Atheist Can Solve" This is a generic looking page asking for your email address so they can tell you how bad you are for being an atheist and how much jesus loves you. Essentially a christian fishing site so they can constantly tell you how much jesus wants to jump your bones. If you give these people your email address and you suddenly get herpes, don't say I didn't warn you.
www.Jesus2020.com - "Do You Believe in God?Jesus Christ Loves You. Here is a Prayer That Can Change Your Life" There's my fundie chuckle for the morning!
We've got ads now, it was inevitable. If you don't like them that's fine but please don't bitch, it's a necessary evil. Does this mean we shouldn't strive to support the site? No, not at all, donations will keep those ads to a minimal. We can't stop them but we sure can keep them in check.