WordsPress and racy advertisements on this blog

ARRRGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!

Since the beginning of this blog, it has been hosted on WordPress. I love the WordPress platform… absolutely love it.

But it appears that WordPress has hooked me in with all the “free” aspects of the service, only to attempt to get me to pay them money on a monthly basis. What am I talking about??????

WordPress has begun to insert advertisements into my blog feed to “keep the free services free” – as their explanation says. They say that the possibility of ads showing up on my blog was part of the terms of service I agreed to… and I’m sure that’s true (I, like 99% of you, do not read all that legalese when I sign up for a new service). So in that sense, I am getting what I agreed to. But you can BET I they knew that very few people would take the time to read the never-ending terms of service when they signed up… and thus, here come the advertisements!

Why is this such a big deal to me?

Two reasons:

  1. The latest batch of ads are a bit racy – which is exactly OPPOSITE what this blog is all about.
  2. I was not at all aware of this happening until my father-in-law told me about. So, I’ve been sending out blog posts with questionable advertising in them for who knows how long.

That makes me MAD, because it has potentially compromised my testimony and witness in ways that I had nothing to do with!

What will I do?

I only see 4 options:

  1. Insert a disclaimer at the end of every post taking no responsibility for the advertisements or warning against them (scroll down… what do you think?)
  2. Pay the $30 a year and be happy that I have such a great blogging platform to use. (It really is cool and easy, I still have to admit…)
  3. Switch to the self-hosted version of WP, where I have complete control over my blog, though that costs even more (that’s where my other blog, Christian Home and Family is hosted).
  4. Suggest all of you good folks who subscribe to this blog go over to my other site and subscribe there, and then shut down this blog.

What do YOU think I should do?

UPDATE: later that same day…

Before becoming aware of the buried terms of service section that allows WordPress to put ads in my blog posts, I had sent a perplexed and preturbed email to the company that was supplying the ads –Sharethrough. I insisted that they remove the ads from my blog feed immediately.

Today, after having written this post, I got this reply from Mike Gaffney, their Chief Revenue Officer.

We’ve turned off the video ads appearing on your blog.  These ads are authorized by your agreement with WordPress with whom Sharethrough has an agreement.  I will forward you the correct person to contact at WordPress but I first wanted to let you know that the ads have been suspended at this time.

I appreciate that. Really, I do. It’s nice to know that somebody in the loop wants to be considerate of how a “hidden agreement” like this can effect people who think they are sending out one thing, but discover after the fact that they’ve been sending out another. Thanks Mike.

I’ll keep you informed of changes to this issue as they transpire…

UPDATE: Even later the same day…

My internet friend Loren Pinilis just informed me in the comments that I can self-host this blog on the same space my other blog is hosted. I’ve asked him to explain… and I’m eagerly awaiting the news!

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4 thoughts on “WordsPress and racy advertisements on this blog

  1. Hi. I manage advertising for WordPress.com. I’m sorry that out advertising program made you mad. I do feel that the use of ‘shady’ is not fitting as we are transparent about our advertising program. We let people know here: http://en.wordpress.com/tos/, http://en.support.wordpress.com/no-ads/, http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/, http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/go-ad-free/, and here http://store.wordpress.com/. We do want all users to understand our advertising options but because we do not talk to every user we cannot ensure that they will read what we want them to read. So I hope you will understand that this is not willful deceit on our part.

    I hope you might also understand that operating and improving WordPress.com requires that we take in earnings, either from advertising or from the No Ads upgrade. Without this, WordPress.com would not be the platform that you have come to appreciate.

    I don’t like it that the ads were not appropriate for your site. This is a big challenge for us because we have such a great variety of sites on WordPress.com we cannot target ads manually one to one. We like the Sharethrough ads because they are ads that run on prime-time network TV and have passed network tests but I can certainly understand some ads would not be appropriate for your site’s mission.

    If you have any further trouble you can write support@wordpress.com, it will come to my attention and I will write you back. Regards, Jon

    • Hi Jon, and thanks for the comment and concern. Yes, I agree – “shady” was not the right word, and I will be modifying my post title, etc. to reflect that change of heart on my part. Part of my frustration stems from the need for users like myself to read everything that really should be read. Software, websites, blogs, WordPress, Facebook, Youtube, and thousands more have pages and pages and pages and pages of Terms and Conditions to cover themselves. I understand the need for them from a legal point of view, but wish there was something truly do-able to be enacted that considers the predicament of the end-user, because it truly is impossible for the end user to read all that stuff. There simply isn’t enough time. And since there’s not, most of us just click “agree” and move on. And then we are expected to sit back and take it when the verbiage-hidden terms are actually enacted. I know there’s likely no other way to do it… but I feel there HAS to be.

  2. Huh, I never saw ads in my feed on Google Reader. I don’t think I saw them here, and if I did I didn’t notice them.
    And if your other blog is self-hosted, you can use the same hosting for both blogs.

    • Hey Loren, good to hear from you. Fill me in… how do I go about self-hosting this blog along with the other? I’d not known that prior to your illuminating comment!

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