Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sensible AdSense

[file under: Clicking for Change]

So, one of the features of Blogger I've stayed away from using is the AdSense program where I could display Google ads on my site and be paid for clicks on those links by readers of this blog. I didn't start this blog to make any money, and to go that way because i'm getting more hits would be just plain wrong.

But, I'm about to change that and add some ads. Why? Well, for a very interesting reason.

One of the greatest thing about my workplace is how incredibly generous my coworkers are. Every month there is someone doing something - a walk, run, bike, volunteer - for their favorite causes and they raise an incredible amount of money from our small office of a hundred people. I'm a regular contributor myself to these efforts(which is the easy part), and last year I walked the Boston Marathon route for the Jimmy Fund(which was pretty darn hard) and was fortunate to raise funds from my officemates for the good cause. Point being - i'm affected by the charity bug by being around these folks.

A friend did the Walk for Hunger two weekends ago and we were talking after and he asked if I would donate for another thing he's planning for later this fall. He doesn't know I'm going off to b-school, and I realized that I won't have an income. So, it dawned on me that maybe I could use this blog as a resource to raise some money for good causes.

Hence, AdSense. I'm going to take a couple of days to play around with display formats etcetera to make it non-obtrusive. I know it's probably going to only generate small change, but something is better than nothing, no? And this is my promise: All proceeds WILL be donated to charity, and accounted for on this blog. I say that because it is you the reader who is generating the money by potentially clicking on an interesting link.

And, as is wont to happen, ideas lead to more ideas. So, here's my pitch to Google: why not create a program around this. So that interested users can sign up to have any revenues from ads on their blogs/sites be pooled in a repository - pennies from each site add up to dollars - and it be administered in a sensible fashion. It's a win-win-win, in my opinion. I'm sure there are many users, like me, who don't want to 'pollute' their pages, who may be swayed by the good cause nature of this advertising. Maybe create a note/logo saying this is charitable revenue. The more AdSense is adopted, more money for google. And, hopefully, some money ultimately finds its way into the pockets of those among us who really deserve some help. Think about it.

PS: Props to Aregon for pointing me to Amazon and their giving program. They have an interesting take: Non-profits can use the 'Wish Lists' feature to create lists of things they need, and users can browse through those to make very targetted and relevant contributions. Their philosophy:
At Amazon.com, we believe that innovation has the power to change the world. We innovate on behalf of our customers every day, and our passion for innovation extends to our philosophy for giving.
Bookmark: del.icio.us

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