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Some of you may have noticed that a few, subtle ads have started appearing on the blog. I thought I'd take a second to explain whats going on since its probably not totally obvious. To be clear, we're not trying to monetize this blog. I don't really expect any of you to start clicking away on the Google AdSense. So why are there ads? Once the actual NewsCred site launches, we will have to monetize it. After all, we took a decision early on to run NewsCred like a business rather than a non-profit. There were pros and cons of both approaches, but we felt that running the startup like a real business would give it the best chance of success. As my previous post about bootstrapping detailed, its critically important to be lean, efficient, and optimize all decisions, especially during the early days.
So given the fact that we will have to build up a revenue stream, the primary source of income in the early days will be advertising. We have quite a few innovative ideas with regards to diversifying the business model, but we obviously have to start walking before we run. So in order to build up the advertising model, we are using this blog to test ad formats and the technology behind serving those ads. Frankly, we also needed to open a Google AdSense account! So the summary is that you might notice ads, but most of you probably haven't seen them. Which is a good thing. Ads are annoying and usually irrelevant - we think ads should be subtle and not divert your attention from the main content of a site (in this case, my writing!). Ads could be beneficial if they are very targeted and based on the actual reader's needs, habits and wants. More on that topic in a separate post. For the moment, we want to ensure ads don't get in the way. That's the goal with advertisements on the actual NewsCred site too. When it comes to ad serving, subtlety is an art worth mastering.