Changes

It’s been quite a while… this blog started out as a replacement/continuation of my first essay on chowk… but somehow, the sharp edge of despair – that, with me, often acts as a motive force to write – got dulled, was lost in the routine of pretending to grow up, putting on the disguises of respectability, tempering my anger.

But the “winter of our discontent”, as the fashion editors at The News perceived it, has been a season of changes and experimentation for me: discovering Khoj, working with the Students Action Committee, the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan and the Institute for Peace and Secular Studies, trying my hand at amateur dramatics, learning about revolutionaries, a little bit about Marx, about transformation as a series of experiments.

These days, I’m thinking seriously about content provision as service that may pay for itself. The content I have in mind is diverse: scholarly discussion, esoteric, original photography, reporting on events in town, maths puzzles, scientific articles… anything that provokes a potentially fertile stream of thought.

I have concerns – is it ethical to work with an advertising service? Even one such as Google whose context-sensitive/semantic search technology is pretty good (though, not a 100% accurate)? Am I giving in, joining the rat race by a different route? Or is it okay to accept payment for helping readers get to a service that actually helps them?

As part of the whole try-it-out philosophy, I’ve decided to give it a go. I’ve submitted an application for AdSense and if it comes through, I’ll put up a couple of ad boxes to see what happens.
Major concerns:
relevance,
embarrassment,
ability to block ads from particular services I don’t approve of.

Questions:
How good is the context-sensitive technology, after all?
Do the ads change each time a post is viewed, or are they fixed as long as the content of the post remains substantially the same?
Correlations between:
blogging frequency and earning.
content type (text, images, video, audio, mixes) and earning

All this is a way of finding out about the world of online revenue generation, learning that will help me decide the direction in which I will take certain web-oriented projects I have in mind.

If you have any articles to share on ethical advertising or ethical business practices (is that an oxymoron?), please do share them with me.

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