Monday, 3 March 2008

The Case for Adverts on Sites

There is a small but vocal (i.e. loudmouthed) section of the internet community that is dead set against adverts on any site. Apparently the thought of getting any money from your hobby is distasteful, greedy and shows a lack of pride and integrity.


Now, there are some sites out there, a large number of them in fact, that are there purely to make money. I've written about them before, they are a plague on our digital landscape on a par with email chain-letters (send $1 to each of the people on the list, as seen on Oprah!) and there is nothing that can justify their continued existence.

How about for regular sites though. Why do I have adverts on my sites? Simple. It gives people a chance to show support in a meaningful way. It is the equivalent of a tips jar on the counter of your local cafe. If you like the site, click on a link, but you don't have to if you don't want to.

I've experimented with using a PayPal tips jar, which in the time it has been on my main site has yet to garner a single donation, and yet I've had plenty of people emailing me about how they like my games, and thousands of downloads from around the world (even appearing on the magazine cover DVDs), so it's not entirely down to unpopularity.

On the other hand I have had people clicking the adverts on the site. Not many, but still more than the tips jar. Before anyone gets the wrong idea about me somehow making a fortune from this, in the last three months I've ended up with $10 in the old adsense account. At the current rate it'll take a couple of years before I reach the magic $100 for a payout.

So if you want to talk about integrity just remember, I, and many people like me, are giving you something for nothing: in my case my writing (via and freeware games (via

You can read my stuff, download the games and share them with your friends legally and for nothing. Gratis. Free. If, however, you feel like saying "thanks", then there are measures in place to do that.

And that, to quote Stone Cold Steve Austin, is the bottom line.