I don’t mean “strap yourselves in!” in the sense that I am about to say something that would so totally rock the foundations of your world that you will need to put on an imaginary seat belt for the imaginary shock, because one, I can’t imagine a single thing that I could say on my personal blog that would have any kind of even slight tremor effect on anyone outside of my direct sphere of influence (which includes two dogs and Phil, who has been pretending to be deaf lately) and two, because come on, that would be a lame thing to say. I should get over myself if I said stuff like that, because, shut up, hypothetical me.
No! I am saying it because my blog is clearly in danger of listing strongly to the left, and… uh… you might… fall off?
Ok, that was equally lame.
But anyway, if you are reading through a feed reader, you probably have not noticed and that’s okay with me, because I read through a feed reader so often that sometimes, I’ll click out of it to comment, and have maybe four or five tabs open of blogs on which to leave my brilliant thoughts, and it will have been so long since I actually VISITED the blog that the design has completely changed and I forget what I was going to say in the first place because I have NO IDEA WHERE I AM.
But if you have looked at my blog in, oh, I don’t know, the last 17 minutes, maybe, you will have noticed that there is a change, and the left hand side of the blog is looking quite nude, and I have [finally] removed my BogHer ads.
For something that has so irritated me for so long, I can’t really explain why they lasted as long as they did.
I was going to list out my reasons here, because I know that there tends to be some general interest in why people stay with or leave the BlogHer ad network, but a lot of the reasons I’m leaving aren’t specifically my own – that is, I’ve seen a lot of other people (people I like) be treated quite poorly or unfairly by the network. While not my personal experience, that definitely factors in to whether or not I want to continue to be associated with them.
And it’s not really a money thing – I know a lot of people end up leaving the network with complaints of poor payout, only receiving a check quarterly, when they cross the minimum revenue needed, but that’s not really the case with me, either. I mean, I’ve gotten a check every month since I signed with them. Not a huge check, by any means, but not a manicure and cup of coffee check, either. An actual check that I will need to report on my actual taxes.
Though there was the time last year that the checks suddenly dropped by more than half, explained away with a letter about the “slow season” after the holidays (though house ads advertising BlogHer itself continued to run). The highest traffic month in the history of this site ever ever ever resulted in the lowest check I ever got. That was… weird, but no big deal. Though it was kind of a big deal when the revenue never really recovered and another letter about another slow season went out earlier this month.
And it’s not really about the restrictions the contract places on the blog – I don’t really need to say “fuck” in my post titles, and I’m not really worried about giving away anything that costs more than $40 because no one has really ever asked me to give anything away.
Oh, except for one time, and the item I gave away was significantly less than $40, but I still got a letter from the ad network citing some rules that I didn’t really understand, especially considering plenty of other blogs did the same kind of thing, and I had to take it down (I didn’t, but I did move it from general view). And the letter about ad placement I got one time, which had me tearing my hair out trying to get my ads in line in the layout, even though other blogs had the same kind of thing going on was also kind of annoying.
I will miss the visits I get from the BlogHer headlines that ran beneath each ad, but I can’t really say I’ll miss having the headlines on my own blog. Most of them were okay, but BlogHer always attached one of their own headlines onto the bottom, as did iVilliage, and some of them were pretty objectionable, to me, anyway. Which is what matters, because it’s my blog. Also, there was this phase for a little while where the bottom headline they ran said (AD) next to it, but there was no extra pay for running that (AD). That stopped, though.
Well, they stopped putting (AD) next to it, at least. They still run the same kind of headlines. They just don’t disclose it as an (AD) anymore. I guess because you should pay if you’re going to run an (AD). I don’t know why it would bother them to pay to run the (AD), though. I can’t say I know how advertising works, but they take out an overhead cost from the revenue and then split the rest with me, and take the slightly bigger half, so it seems to me they’d do pretty well if they just kept that (AD). They’d get most of the money anyway.
That stuff is annoying, yes. It really is. But, you know, I had a wedding to pay for, and while I was getting more and more uncomfortable with the ads… I had a wedding to pay for. Now, I no longer have a wedding to pay for, but I do have a baby coming, and I’ve heard they can be a bit spendy, but I just can’t deal with it anymore.
The actual reason (which is actually an overarching reason covering many smaller reasons) that I no longer wanted to run BlogHer ads? (Besides no longer getting the monthly email that was part information, part advertising AT me)
As time went on with the ads and the things that happened to other people and the things I observed myself, I started to think things that I don’t like thinking. I do not want to be the type of person who thinks thoughts like, “This is what happens when you get involved with a woman-run organization.”
As a lady, I don’t like thinking negative things about ladies as a whole, but being a part of the ad network and watching the goings-on in the ad network, and what seems pretty clearly to be favoritism and look-the-other-way-ism and other kinds of uncomfortable -ism type things that I’d have to make up words for has made me start to think stereotypically negative things about groups of women and organizations for women run by women.
So. That is [vaguely] why I have ditched my ads, and while I’m not especially afraid to get into specific specifics, we’ll just see what direction the conversation takes.
More importantly, however, is the vast expanse of nudity on the right hand side of my blog.
I’m thinking of filling it up with old school dancing baby. I was feeling really nostalgic for dancing baby this morning. Maybe some badges. I’m not really a badge person, as I am a lifelong non-joiner, but I feel like maybe all that blank space is screaming out for some kind of 125×125 declaring my position on some topic or membership in some conglomeration of like-minded bloggers. Let me know if you have a badge for me to put in there.
I’ll probably put some ads back in eventually, when I get around to it, and as has long been my stance on this blog, I don’t particularly give a hoot if you don’t like them, or object to what I choose to advertise or whatever. When you come to my door with a check, we’ll talk.
Until then, badges?
* INAUGURAL POST TITLE VULGARITY!