Suspending promises

A reader contacted me recently to ask why they are seeing ads on the blog now.  It wasn’t that many posts ago I proudly proclaimed the site to be ad-free, after all.  I have, so I have been told, broken a promise to my followers.  Well, yes and no.  After I explain I hope that you will support my plan.

When I first purchased the No Ads option from WordPress it was a stand-alone option that cost $30.  I purchased it in December which is a month I’m usually short on cash not just due to the holiday but also because as an independent consultant if I’m not working I’m not getting paid.  December is a slow month for me due to all the holidays, year-end code freezes, and budget cycles.  But for $30 I was able to splurge last year.

But what about all the other services that renew in December?  I don’t know about you but I first purchased Amazon Prime during the Christmas shopping season because it saved me money.  After having it all these years I no longer count the cost of shipping in my gift budget and now the Prime renewal feels like just another large cost I don’t need in December.  Amazon doesn’t offer any partial-year option or give a few months extension.  Even long time customers who have spent more than $30,000 with them don’t get the courtesy of sifting the renewal forward by as little as a month from “the best customer service company in the world.”  Go figure.

Then there’s the magazine subscriptions, some professional dues, and a bunch of other stuff all falling due in December.  But for $30 I can afford to buy the advertising off of my blog.  Even in December.

Problem is, WordPress did away with stand-alone options last year.  Now the only way to get ad-free is to buy a bundle for $99.  Due to my timing on the original purchase, that renewal now falls in December. There is no pro-rata pricing or sliding scale.  Heavily trafficked sites pay the same price as low trafficked sites.  In my case my readership is so low that removing ads from my blog costs WordPress at most a few dollars a year, and that’s assuming both of you read every post and click every ad.

But it was never about profit and loss for me but principle.  Advertising is known to carry malware and I do not want to support that business model.  But I also don’t want to have yet another $99 (and rising) bill in December every year so I’m waiting until March to buy up to the Ad-Free version again.

Did I break a trust with you?  I sincerely hope not but if you believe I have I’ll understand.  I like to think of it more as having suspended a promise.  In either case I hope you will rejoin me on March 1st for more ad-free posts about underwear, cats, fatherhood, weight loss, consulting, and food.  Most of which I’ll probably have written in February.

About T.Rob

Computer security nerd. WebSphere MQ expert. Autist. Advocate. Author. Humanist. Text-based life form. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or LinkedIn.
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6 Responses to Suspending promises

  1. Kevin Cox says:

    T.Rob if you haven’t looked at Promise Theory please do so. A promise is your best effort to keep your word. Promises are not obligations. It is good of you to tell us why this particular promise could not be kept and we appreciate that. We trust you and know there was a reason.

    I do feel a little neglected as I am not getting any ads. Perhaps I am ad unworthy.

    • T.Rob says:

      Thanks Kevin, I’ll have a look. As for the ads, would you feel better if I just asked for money now and then? It’s not as professional as a read ad but I won’t try to take over your PC or phone so it more or less evens out.

  2. T.Rob says:

    I’ll respond in aggregate to say thank you for the kind words, although I have to say I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I TELL YOU! Not that my readers would be so gracious but that apparently there are now at least three of you. At one point I was able to do like Oprah and give each of my readers their own car. I was very proud of that but then I got my first regular reader and had to discontinue the policy for economic reasons. With what appears to now be a 300% increase in confirmed readership since then (and 50% of that in the last day alone!) I’m afraid I’ve had to revise my Oprah-style gifting policy once again. But the good news is I haven’t given it up entirely. Wanna know what it is?

    You get another blog post!
    You get another blog post!
    You get another blog post!

    I hope you don’t mind if it’s the *same* blog post for all three of you, Thanks to digital technology I can be both generous and stingy at the same time.

  3. T.Rob, your blog is one I’d read even if it had one of those gawdawful popups I had to click through to get it. Because I know you’re gonna be honest and direct about everything, including the ads.

    Which I still don’t see, by the way 😉

  4. Morag says:

    I know where the ads should be (because I have my own WordPress blogs) but I never seem to see any of any of the blogs I follow. Maybe they’re not interested in selling me anything!

  5. blorro says:

    There’s ads on this post, and a smile on my face. Keep doing what you do Rob. Ads ,shmads, it makes no difference to me. Your protips are invaluable( for free too..) Particularly for people working with IBM MQ and security.

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