Ethics and AdSense
What makes people post their writing online? Probably a variety of reasons like using it as an outlet for stress, or perhaps they want to share their thoughts with the world for no reason beyond they’re just that type of person. So what makes someone include AdSense in their hubs or blogs or whatever else they’re writing? They probably hope to make a million dollars by accident or maybe they just figure that making a few bucks on the side wouldn’t hurt anything. Of course click fraud is illegal, that’s what it’s called when you sit on your own site and just click your own ads for profit.
Well let’s take a look at these ads for a second. They’re basically like internet commercials and companies pay Google to include links to their product regardless of whether or not you actually take advantage of their services. Likewise, companies pay millions to advertise during the Super Bowl. I don’t even drink soda but I still like the “wuzaaap” commercial from years ago. I don’t drink alcohol either and often can’t remember which brand of beer put on which commercial even though they tend to be the funniest advertisements. And what do we do during a regular sitcom commercial, channel surf, get popcorn out of the microwave, text a friend, use the potty, actually do that homework assignment (yea, that’s me) etc. So basically, TV companies are paying for time to fill our screen until we get back. I guess they’re paying for our intermission without missing any of the sitcom plot.
So let’s apply this to the internet. Advertisers are paying for exposure and access to the audiences of web-authors. On TV you can just ignore the commercials, but on the web, the consumer has to actually out of their way to see the product so there’s a bit of a trade off, they pay for a target audience that will probably be interested unlike the beer commercials on my TV. So there’s somebody at home writing whatever they think is good enough to put online for you to read and frankly it’s the luck of the draw if they get any return on it. Really the fact that you’ve even taken an interest in what the person has written should probably be worth something in itself. Think about it, you’d vote it up or dig it, give it stars, comment or otherwise rate it. As they say, “actions speak louder than words.” It seems like there should be a way to actually do something for the author to show them how much we appreciate their time and effort to provide us quality material. Sure some people like the warm fuzzy they get from kudos given by a complete stranger. Others get their jollies from the comments section. Well, they also say “money talks.” Why not kill two birds with one stone and try out my new idea; I’m calling it a “courtesy clicking.” I was thinking about it and realized that if I like something that I read online, I should put my money where my mouse is and “courtesy click” an ad. If the Author is there for money, they'll keep writing what brings in the most revenue, so it's practically a form of voting for content. I don’t have to stay on the page for ever. In fact I could right click and open in a new window/tab without even noticing it in the background. Or I can use the time that the ad is on my screen to go do the same stuff I would normally do if I were watching a TV commercial. I haven’t really figured out an exchange rate yet, but maybe what would be a 1-star rating gets converted to a 1-click to say thanks to the author (feel free to take that as a hint if you like what you've read). So the funny thing is that by asking what you think about this with the intent of you posting a comment, I’d be creating a double standard. From now on, I'm going to literally put my two-cents in as you'll see when you check your earnings.