Why I am Adding Ads

In the coming days you may notice something new on this blog, ads. I have decided to start running targeted ads on this blog using Google Adsense. Let me explain.

When I first began this blog some eight years ago, I started it for a selfish purpose. I wanted a place to archive my "Tech Tips for Teachers" emails which I was sending on a regular basis to my faculty in Frisch. I had sent similar emails in my previous school and at some point as things sometimes happen with email or anything technology related for that matter, all of my old emails got erased. So I thought, if I backed up these emails in a second location online, I would have a copy even if I lost my email. And I figured why not make these posts public to all so I started this blog.

Over time, this blog developed into much more than that. It became my personal space to reflect on whatever technology related educational idea was on my mind. I think by writing and through my postings I was able to formulate my opinions, shape, and refine them. If other people read my blog and gained from my online ramblings, this was an added bonus.

As I moved about the world of Jewish education, I met people who shared with me how my blog affected them. I came to realize that I had a voice that others wanted to hear. This has become an awesome responsibility to me. I now blog not only for myself but for my readers. So what does all of this have to do with ads? I feel that you as the reader deserve to know my thoughts on "monetizing" this site.

Firstly, I would obviously like to see if Google Adsense makes "sense". Will I gain monetarily from this undertaking? None of us went into education to become millionaires like professional athletes. Although wouldn't it be wonderful if teachers were treated as such. But we do have families to feed so if this blog can help, then why not.

At the same time, I am treating this as an experiment of sorts. Since I doubt the ads will add that much to my bottom line, I am wondering what it will do to this blog. I know the ads will be targeted and I tried to block as much as possible in Adsense that one might deem inappropriate but will these ads detract from this blog?

One must realize, if one thinks about these things, that ads are the driving force that makes so much of information sharing online possible. Google as the most striking example, and the owner of so many products that I depend on in education including Blogger, YouTube, Gmail, Drive and the list goes on and on is really an ad company, the world's LARGEST. When Google gives out all of its products to the us, the consumer, for free it is because we really are not the consumer, we are the product. This can be scary. A few year's back, The Wall Street Journal ran a series on issues of privacy with a focus on companies like Google and Facebook and what some might consider to be the Faustian bargain we make with them to trade our privacy for convenience. I happily give Google access to my email, documents, photos, even my voicemail messages in exchange for the amazing products that Google provides that add to the quality of my life. I put my trust in Google and Facebook and similar companies not to abuse this tradeoff, hoping that they will respect these boundaries since they need me the user of their services for them to continue to be successful and (tremendously) profitable. Adding ads to this site is but a small example of this. I hope that the ads will not greatly inconvenience you as it allows me to continue providing this online space.

The ads might enhance this blog. I am not saying you will enjoy seeing visual and text based ads although some will be targeted enough that you might find them useful. Rather, the ads will motivate me. I try to blog regularly but at times it becomes on a more periodic basis. A month or two could go by without a post. The "לא לשמה" stimulus of blogging to gain additional readers (and ad views) might keep me blogging more consistently. I am even considering starting regular blogging series like "15 educational apps in 15 days" and the like to share useful ideas for integrating technology into the classroom.

As this is really an experiment, I could very well change my mind, so PLEASE feel free to share with me you feelings about adding ads either in the comments to this posting or by contacting me directly. I look forward to our continued conversation about this and many future edtech topics.