I have thought, like so many seem to be doing lately, about slapping up some ads on the ‘bottle. I’ve called those who do so ‘blogwhores’, of course, and told them, in my inimitable and charming way, to ‘f–k off’, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seriously considered pasting a couple of ads for Viagra on my own nubile butt and hustling a few johns down on blogstreet. I don’t claim to be consistent, except in the byzantine recesses of what’s left of my mind.
I still agree with Dave Rogers when he says that the much-abused blunt instrument ‘authenticity’ is the difference between speaking the truth, and trying to sell it, though. And I still think that money, lovely and fleeting and delicious and sexy as it is, turns everything to sh-t.
I even, all a-chuckle, submitted the ‘bottle’s URL to Google’s adsense program, expecting all the while the response I eventually received: “You’re a dirty dirty man, and you use dirty words, and tell filthy, violent, scatological stories about yourself and certain venerated public figures, and you’re just generally not the sort of person who writes the sort of happy bibblebibble that we want to encourage, because we don’t do evil, you dirty sh-theel.” That may be mildly paraphrased, but you get the picture.
I was thinking at the time — despairing that I wouldn’t be able to scrape up the dosh for another year’s hosting and positively trembling with horror at the prospect of depriving you all of the magnificence of my maunderings — that I might pop those googleads into my archive pages, where nobody in their right mind deliberately goes beyond a week or two after posting, anyway. I could even get fancy and whack ’em into divs that wouldn’t display unless a certain period since posting had elapsed. If, of course, Google inexplicably decided that I was clean enough to make the grade. Which, of course, they didn’t.
But it struck me today, after ruminating a bit about Shelley Powers‘ recent decision to throw up ads (which I’ll never see, because I block ads as a matter of course), that we’re looking at the advertising Ouroboros here. Google eating its own tail. Or sucking its own dick, but that doesn’t let me use clever mythological allusions, now, does it?
I would estimate that 99% of all of the hits that my individual archive pages receive, once they fall off the front page, are from searches, generally for such tried and tested combinations as ‘bottle f–k’ or ‘korea f–k’ or even ‘beer chicken f–k’ (don’t ask). The vast majority of these arrive from Google itself, or from one of the search sites that license the googlengine. If I threw up Google ads on those pages, the only people that would see them would be googlenauts, who’d presumably launch themselves back out into googlespace riding the googlead booster rockets, lured by the promise of bottlef–king or whatever they were in search of in the first place. Google is creating its own customers for a service that it sells.
Does his remind you of anything bubbly and evanescent and doomed? It does me. It’s either pure brilliance or utter chicanery. Maybe both. *scratches chin contemplatively while gazing off into the middle distance*
Look, I’m not one to turn up my nose at FREE!! CASH!!, but I’m still on the fence about this ad thing, and if I can find another way of doing it that doesn’t support and encourage advertising scum (have I made that clear yet, that I think, Hicks-like, that advertisers are the sh-tstreaked tapeworms of commerce?), I will. My recent Dreamhost signup drive was quite a success, for example — more than 40 people got cheap, kickass hosting for 10 measly bucks, I made $60 out of it, and if half of them stay on for another year at Dreamhost, I’ll make enough to pay for my own hosting next year. Win-win, all around, and there’s no whoring of anyone, for anything, involved.
Then again, whoring sounds like such fun sometimes. I like fun.
Update : Jonathon says some interesting things, and well, as always.
Update 2: See also Google transforming ads into ‘content’. Evil, I’m tellin’ you. [via]
Update 3: boingboing, ka-ching ka ching.


Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I recall an Iggy Pop interview where an indignant young hipsternazi “journalist” was demanding an explanation for the recent acts of poisonous commercialism involving the Iggy back catalog. “Search and Destroy” in a Nissan ad for fuck’s sake. . .
    Iggy’s response was something like “if you really think any of that music was made to pander to commercial considerations you missed the boat. I made the music for the right reasons — if somebody thinks they can sell sausage with it, let ’em sell their sausage…”
    Point being, as long as you don’t change what you do to accommodate the rat bastards of advertising you can take money with a clean conscience.

  2. ah, going for the anti-marketing market. thats a huge market…
    yeah, stay away from it if you possibly can i say. depends on you’re conception of empty bottle as a creator i suppose. would seem out of place to me as a reader. elegance does count for something. seen boingboing lately? eesh. kottke’s method is interesting, but then, not many of us have a readership large enough
    for a patronage system.
    “to anyone in the audience in advertising or marketing… (two beats) kill yourself.”

  3. “to anyone in advertising and marketing …. kill yourself” and stavrosthewonderchicken suddenly drops to the ground.

  4. Well, I am a walking talking advertisement for my own fine self, and for miraculous fowl everywhere, it is true.

  5. Hypocrisy

    Sometimes I can be really slow to catch up on things. I don’t read Stavros as often as I should— he has covered the whole advertising on blogs thing with his usual verve and style. Highly recommended. I can remember…

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