Starting next month, kottke.org will be joining The Deck, a “creative, web + design professionals advertising network” consisting of Waxy.org, 37signals, The Morning News, Coudal Partners, Daring Fireball, A List Apart, and now this site. Here’s the announcement. I am honored for kottke.org to be associated with these fine sites.
Functionally, this means that a small ad (120x90 pixels) accompanied by a bit of text will appear on (nearly) every single page of the site beginning May 1. If you’ve been paying any sort of attention over the past few years, you know I’m not a big fan of advertising and putting ads on kottke.org was almost the last thing on my mind. From the perspective of the reader/viewer, ads are often pushy, irrelevant, redundant, deceitful, insipid, or just plain poorly done. But advertising can also be useful when it communicates clearly, is relevant to its audience, doesn’t attempt to mislead, and lets the product/service in question sell itself. An artfully done advertisement can raise the boats of all concerned: the advertiser sells more products, the reader/viewer is informed of useful or appealing products and services, and the content provider is able to feed and clothe her family.
In the past few years, mechanisms for the delivery of advertising have evolved outside the purview of traditional advertising agencies. Two of the better efforts I’ve seen are Google’s AdSense (simple, straightforward, highly relevant (most of the time anyway)) and small ad networks like The Deck (high quality, considered, relevant). For instance, here’s The Deck’s policy on accepting ads:
We’re picky about the advertising we’ll accept. We won’t take an ad unless we have paid for and/or used the product or service. Sell us something relevant to our audience and we’ll sell you an ad.
That’s a pretty sweet deal for advertisers and readers alike. In the past, I’ve dismissed advertising without experiencing it from the perspective of the content provider. By giving The Deck a go on kottke.org, I hope to gain a better understanding of the issue and fulfill my desire to keep doing kottke.org as a (nearly) full-time endeavor.