How much does your attention cost?

A mailing list I’m on had a link that interested me, so I clicked through.

The post that I was redirected to had ads interspersed between the paragraphs, ads in a side bar, and an ad at the bottom of the screen. The lead image is a screen shot from one portion of a similar article.

Distracting and way too much, I unsubscribed. “Too many ads” is not one of the “why did you unsubscribe?” choices.

Podcasts I listen to have ads at the beginning or an ad in the middle or ads every ten to fifteen minutes or an ad at the end or any combination of those. Often, those ads are read by the hosts themselves. Sometimes, they’re two or three minutes long.

I skip past all of them, but it’s a pain because often when I’m listening to podcasts, I’d like to be hands-free.

I understand first-hand that it costs money to produce a podcast, not including billable hours for the work done. (Each full episode of Ordinary Chaos takes me seven to ten hours.) But that was part of the decision to make one in the first place. Can’t give something away and then complain that it costs money to make it.

How much is too much? How many ads are too many? How much do people and companies pay for my attention?

They do not pay as much as it’s worth. What takes attention takes energy, and energy is finite. I don’t know any adults who have more energy than they know what to do with. (I know a few kids…)

My promise to you, reader, is that I will not sell your attention. Everything I create is ad-free, aside, I suppose, from self-promotion. 

Besides the reasons already listed, if I were to run ads, either I would need to only advertise for products and services that I could get behind or I’d have to advertise things that I don’t think people should be buying or companies I don’t think should be supported.

That energy piece? Yeah. This is not what I want to dedicate my energy to.

So: no ads from me. If you’d like to back that decision, you’re both welcome and not obligated to do so. I’d rather not make a living writing and podcasting and photographing than make a living selling my people’s attention.

Thanks for being my people.

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