Blogger sells ad space July 30, 2001 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Blogger sells ad space. Don't panic. It's only the last ditch cry of the "free web".
posted by Neale to General Weblog-Related at 4:15 PM (30 comments total)

It's only on the front page, so it's not that bad.

What if Blogger was $5 a month, who here would abandon using it (if you already are)?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:26 PM on July 30, 2001


I am, and I would, simply 'cause I could roll my own easily, and $5 US is, like, $11 Australian so it would be pretty expensive.

Maybe for $20 bucks a year, but would that be for the service or per blog?
posted by Neale at 4:47 PM on July 30, 2001


My objection to Blogger had nothing to do with price, but rather to the fact that it runs on its own server. I chose Graymatter (and would have paid for it) because it runs on my server and so I'm not at the mercy of anyone else's system (or the commercial viability of their company). My tools are completely self-contained (except for my name server).
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:08 PM on July 30, 2001


i personally would abandon blogger if they charged, but that's unfair because my latest project has been writing a CMS in python, and i plan on switching to it (no need for sql or other db program, woo hoo!) as soon as is allowed. on the other hand, i imagine a lot less web savvy users would be a bit put out about blogger charging, though i also imagine there are enough free services that are similar enough to blogger out there that they would move to instead. bottom line is, i don't think blogger is necessary to the survival of the weblog community, experienced users or not. that's not a knock on blogger, that's just what i think the reality of the situation has become.
posted by moz at 5:24 PM on July 30, 2001


I would probably abandon Blogger if it charged, and just go back to updating by hand. And although I see Steven's point, the main reason I use Blogger is that I can get to it from anywhere. I might pay $5US/month for that, if I made US dollars :)

But frankly, I don't mind the ad. I even clicked on it.
posted by transient at 7:03 PM on July 30, 2001


"I use Blogger is that I can get to it from anywhere"

Just like Greymatter.
posted by dangerman at 8:52 PM on July 30, 2001


I already did and Blogger's still free... :-)

I think this is probably an urepresentative audience for such a question, tho... There are probably plenty of people out there who would pay...
posted by fooljay at 9:53 PM on July 30, 2001


Err, it's also an uNrepresentative audience...
posted by fooljay at 9:54 PM on July 30, 2001


If Blogger was a pay service, and I was the only one using my blog, then I would probably abandon ship.

However, the blog that runs on my site is not just my blog, but a team blog, comprised of about 10 posters. Of all the other "moderators", only 2 of us know anything about html, let alone anything more complicated than that. I would gladly pay 5 bucks a month to make sure that the other moderators were able to equally express themselves. Because if Blogger doesn't do it, I'll have to, and my time is more valuable than a measely 5 bucks a month - I mean, for 8 other posters, that probably post every other week, while I post almost every day, I would greatly increase my maintenance time. I think that that time alone is worth the 5 bucks.

I'm not sure how many people are in my position - maybe Ev should make team blogs 5 bucks, while single poster blogs remain free. Just a thought...
posted by J. R. Hughto at 5:32 AM on July 31, 2001


Bottom of a right-hand sidebar? Probably one of the most unobtrusively positioned ads I've seen.
posted by harmful at 6:29 AM on July 31, 2001


I'm not the least bit bothered by the very inobtrusive "Sponsor" box on the Blogger main page. I wouldn't care if it had a big banner at the top either. A pop-up or pop-under would bug me, and I'd never go back if one of those take-over ads appeared.

When I started using Blogger, I decided that I would try it for six months and if I liked it well enough I would kick in $50. I'm three months in and at this point would gladly give the $50, so to get from there to $60 ($5/month) would be no big sacrifice.

I'd pay $5 a month for MeFiPro, too.
posted by briank at 6:48 AM on July 31, 2001


My objection to Blogger had nothing to do with price, but rather to the fact that it runs on its own server. I chose Graymatter (and would have paid for it) because it runs on my server and so I'm not at the mercy of anyone else's system

That blogger requires no setup other than FTP configuration information (and not even that if you use Blogspot) is why many many more people choose--and will continue to choose--Blogger over Graymatter.

Heh:

My objection to Graymatter has nothing to do with the location of the code, but rather the face that I'm not in control of it. I chose to write my own weblog software (and did so on my own billable time) because I'm in complete control of its features and I'm not at the mercy of any other developer.

:)
posted by daveadams at 6:55 AM on July 31, 2001


Dave, Noah lets you freely modify Graymatter, so you can have as much control as you want. Of course, all thos 666 files bother me a little . . .

Anyway, I only use blogger about three times a month now, and don't think I'd pay $5 a month for that.

So long as we're playing Pyra CEO without really knowing much about the company's real situation, I know one thing that would make me start using blogger again and pay for it is the search function.
posted by alan at 7:56 AM on July 31, 2001


Well, since Ars' poll has semi-died, I can't link to the results, but the poll I did about 6 months ago indicated somewhere around 80% of the (admittedly self-selecting) audience for a Pro service would pay 5 bucks a month.
posted by anildash at 10:13 AM on July 31, 2001


i personally wouldn't want to hack with GreyMatter, because... well... it's written in perl. childish, maybe, but i really dislike perl, and i find it ghastly to read. that's not a comment on noah's coding style or anything, but rather i dislike the Perl Style and moreover the Perl Way, which can be boiled down to mean that there are 3 or 4 different ways to do the same thing -- syntactically. yikes.
posted by moz at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2001


i personally wouldn't want to hack with GreyMatter, because... well... it's written in perl. childish, maybe, but i really dislike perl, and i find it ghastly to read. that's not a comment on noah's coding style or anything

You haven't seen the code, then... :-)

but rather i dislike the Perl Style and moreover the Perl Way, which can be boiled down to mean that there are 3 or 4 different ways to do the same thing -- syntactically. yikes.

That's one of the things I love about it. Different strokes, different folks and arguably why Perl is so popular...
posted by fooljay at 11:58 AM on July 31, 2001


Moz, you don't have to know anything about PERL to use Greymatter. I don't know the first thing about the language and have never even looked at the source.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:04 PM on July 31, 2001


How would you feel about a human language that gave you only one possible way to express an emotion? What you call sloppy, I call flexible.
posted by waxpancake at 12:21 PM on July 31, 2001


waxpancake:

with all due respect, programming languages are nothing like human languages to myself. i love playing on words and the art of expression which some authors excel at, but when it comes to programming, i value conciseness and clarity very highly. perl's eclectic background -- from scripting languages such as awk, sed, the bourne shell, and the C programming language to name a few obvious influences -- represent a lack of any serious language design on the part of larry wall and his core development team. the result is functional, but disjarring; usable, but not personally preferable. i'm not the only one who thinks so.

steve:

you're right, but i didn't comment on not using GreyMatter because it's written on perl -- i merely said i wouldn't want to hack with it. i actually plan on not using GreyMatter because i hope to complete my own CMS in the not-too-distant future rather than out of the distaste i have for the language it was written in.
posted by moz at 1:30 PM on July 31, 2001


I chose Graymatter (and would have paid for it) because it runs on my server...

That's the point. Not everyone has their own server. Blogger is a content management system for a larger slice of the non-tech crowd. It's problems are due to a lack of scaling in its infrastructure rather than the idea of a remote service per se.

What interests me is how reluctant people are to pay for the service Blogger provides especially given how much they pay for their phone, modem or DSL connections. It says more to me about why you shouldn't give a service away for free on the net. Very quickly it becomes equal to the value people place on it. Precisely nothing. Nada.

posted by lagado at 4:30 PM on July 31, 2001


Moz, this one's for you!
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:46 PM on July 31, 2001


perl's eclectic background -- from scripting languages such as awk, sed, the bourne shell, and the C programming language to name a few obvious influences -- represent a lack of any serious language design on the part of larry wall and his core development team.

That's all relative to your definition of "serious language design"...

Seriously, drop it. There are millions who love Perl. Eat sleep and breathe it. It's easy enough to simply say that you don't like something without tearing it down, you know?

Here. I'll help... "I don't like Perl. I prefer more structure laguages..." See how easy that is?
posted by fooljay at 11:21 PM on July 31, 2001


fooljay:

my definition of serious language design includes overall syntactic clarity. both form and function are important aspects of a language, and i feel quite strongly that sacrificing one for the other is not good for the language.

Seriously, drop it. There are millions who love Perl. Eat sleep and breathe it. It's easy enough to simply say that you don't like something without tearing it down, you know?

oh, come on. i suppose proponents of the theory of evolution should shut the hell up because there are millions of people who believe in the bible's theory of creation. and what utter cranks the evolutionists must be to try to "tear down" the creationists' little world.

in either case, it doesn't matter. it's not like you go to a better heaven if you believe in evolution, so in the end it does not matter if i go out and proselytize or not. in the same way, i can bark all i want about perl, and all that matters is that you use what you're comfortable with. but i still have the right to call perl out on what i think are its problems. if you think my reasons aren't any good, you can say so and explain why.
posted by moz at 12:33 AM on August 1, 2001


You didn't read what I wrote...

As far as your example, creationsim and evolution are fairly diametrically opposed. One has to be torn down for the other to be "right". Not so, with programming languages...
posted by fooljay at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2001


fooljay:

you're missing my point. i am not arguing that perl is wrong for you; i'm arguing that it's wrong for me, and i gave some reasons why. and, to be quite honest, creationism and evolution are not diametrically opposed in their aim, which is to explain how the world got to this point; in fact, they're quite similar in that. how they do so is very different.

similarly, both perl and python try to provide high-level interfaces to the computer, but exactly how they do so is quite different (both in form and philosophy).

as for your comment "you didn't read what I wrote," it might help me if you explain what you mean to say. do you want me to respond and say, "i read what you wrote several times: so there"?
posted by moz at 1:16 PM on August 1, 2001


Okay, sorry. I was being lazy because I am kind of tired of having this same type of argument throughout metafilter with many different people on many different subjects.

Here is the exact comment I had a problem with:

"perl's eclectic background...represent a lack of any serious language design on the part of larry wall and his core development team."

My point was that there is design there. Years of it. Serious language design. But Perl didn't go after the design that you prefer. That's okay, but it doesn't represent a "lack of serious language design".

I offered this as a replacement (with the typo fixed):
"I don't like Perl. I prefer more structured laguages..."

My point, which was mainly a "trying to make metafilter a nicer place" sort of comment was, why can't we say we don't agree or don't like something without having to tear it down by discrediting it completely, when so often, it's simply a perspective issue.

There are a few threads that come to mind, but I'm too busy and lazy to find them. The pentagon fraud and tax rebate threads. There was a race thread (I think it was the Jennifer Lopez one).

So basically, your comment wasn't a big deal, and I'm projecting. However it does have the same sort of tone to it... That's all. I don't really have the strength to continue this conversation, so be kind.
posted by fooljay at 3:53 PM on August 1, 2001


i suppose we can agree to disagree. larry wall places a great deal of emphasis on mnemonics in his design of perl: many of the global variables (such as $, $#, and so on) were named precisely for their mnemonic value, and the association many unix users would already have had for them. my feeling is that perl evolved beyond what larry had originally imagined, and a lot of the language basically came together from disparate origins.

you're right to say that's not the design i would have preferred, but i was wrong to say that it lacked any serious language design. mnemonics is largely the aim of perl's design. the result is a very syntactically diverse language, and i don't like it. (how about this: some versions of COBOL have upwards of 250 keywords built into the language. some COBOL programmers incorporate a habit of naming variables using a hyphen or number as the first character in order to make sure that the names they choose don't conflict with any of the keywords. things can get oogly.)

posted by moz at 6:08 PM on August 1, 2001


I agree. We are both happy. Metafilter is again a beautiful place. Thanks moz...
posted by fooljay at 12:24 AM on August 2, 2001


many of the global variables (such as $, $#, and so on) were named precisely for their mnemonic value

Pardon me while I squirt Pepsi One out my nostrils in mirth.

I realize that the statement is actually true for people with UNIX backgrounds, but that just makes it even funnier.
posted by kindall at 2:11 AM on August 2, 2001


I think the ads are cute.
posted by corpse at 7:36 AM on August 2, 2001


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