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Ads and RSS

Nick Finck

November 24, 2004 at 12:53 PM

Nick Bradbury makes some excellent points about RSS ad and what NOT to do. I highly recommend that you give his list a good read-through if you are considering adding ads to your RSS feeds. As far as readers go, my take-away here is that if you don't like where this is going as far as RSS, simply unsubscribe. The mass exile of subscribers to a feed will speak far more loudly than any amount of money an advertiser will throw at a site. If there are no readers, what good are advertisements. I am not saying this will stop them from including ads, but it will help define the status-quo within this market. With that said, let me open the fire hose; what are your thoughts on ads in RSS feeds? Add your two cents in the comments for this post.


Jens T

November 24, 2004 at 1:19 PM

Ads has nothing to do in a RSS-feed! New Scientist is using ads in and it is a mess. They are clearly marked ADV:, but I can't actually read the ads. I'm from Denmark and the ads is blocked for IPs from my part of the world.

Nick Finck

November 24, 2004 at 1:56 PM

I agree that the intent of RSS isn't to feed ads to readers... but, as you know, people abuse technology if it will make them a buck.


November 24, 2004 at 3:00 PM

I've been wondering about how the expansion of RSS will affect the blogs I read through an aggregator. Many sites have been adding AdSense or BlogAds that provide them revenue based on page views and click throughs. I use Bloglines exclusively (and ORBlogs for my local area blog watch), and when available, I always opt for the full text feed. This eliminates the need to hit that URL (unless I feel like commenting) and be subject to those ads. As RSS expands, these sites will see their traffic (and any possibility for click-throughs) trend down, resulting in lost revenue that will have to be replaced. Sadly, I'm sure that Bloglines will eventually start injecting ads on to their site and probably integrated with the feed content. They provide a great free service, and I don't see any other way they could generate revenue. That will be a sad day. Hopefully, it will be smart enough to work similarly to GMail's attempt at "context sensitive" ads (which is kinda spooky BTW). At least their might be something informative or valuable in the ads I see. How much longer will it be until somebody builds a plugin for the mainstream blog CMS's (Moveable Type, WordPress, Blogger) resulting in those ads being injected into their feeds and showing in my aggregator? If it hasn't happened already (I haven't seen any), I'm sure there are people working on it as we speak. Spam 1st came through email, then via blog comments (let's not even mention my TiVo!). I think the next wave of spam will likely be through RSS.


November 24, 2004 at 3:28 PM

ooops. I guess it only takes a little clicking on the article's links (the third one to 37signals specifically) to see the debate already rages.

Christoph Wagner

November 26, 2004 at 12:31 PM

Well, i agree with nick in almost every point besides #3. I dunno which Feed it was, but one did show ads only in every third feed and i think for such solutions its okay to provide only summaries. And if I'll see any banner ads, i'll delete the feed asap.

Dave Marks

November 27, 2004 at 12:48 PM

I don't see the harm in including an ad within below the summary. (ie like 37signals) Why shouldn't they? and what harm is it doing? None just done read/click below the ad. Extra "articles" including just an ad though i think is terrible and wouldn't put up with that

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