RSS Ads ” let’s get it on!!!

I was just surfing around my RSS reader and found some comments by Dave about ads in RSS not beingnecessary. Dave makes some interesting points, and mentions how our RSS feed at Engadget.com solves a lot of his needs. Excellent that is why we do it!

However, what Dave doesn’t mention is the amount of work that goes into running a blog like Engadget.com. Here is the inside skinny: Engadget.com has more then half dozen people working on it, and is updated every day of the week numerous times. Many days we update it 20, 30 or 40 times! Do the math, a good blog post takes 20 to 40 minutes, so 30 posts at 30 minutes each represents about 900 minutes of workor 15 hours!

So, we will definitely have ads in our RSS feeds shortly, because the only way we can provide such a great service is to make sure our writers get paid, get raises as their experience/value grows and invest in the technology that drives the blog. Since a significant portion of our readers are on RSS, and advertisers are looking to get to those elite readers, it only makes sense that we would add ads. Now, how big the ads are, how we position them and how we account for them are all issues, but two things are certain:

  1. RSS readers are higher value to advertisers because they are more loyal readers, and by extension more loyal to the topic.

  2. RSS ads will provide amazing value to readers.

I’m down with the whole disruptive advertising is dead thing. I hate commercials, and I fast forward through them on my Tivo too. However, our strategy of having one great big advertisement per blog is really working for advertisers. The current (and huge) ad on Engadget.com doesn’t disrupt the reader *too* much, is highly targeted and is getting clicked on like crazy. I can’t wait to get that ad into the RSS feedit’s killing me that we haven’t gotten it in there by now!

Now, I too think there will be paid RSS feeds, however who knows when that will happen since people are just starting to figure out what RSS is.

Dave, how much would you pay for an add-free RSS feed from Engadget.com? I’m honestly interested to hear because we would totally consider it and would love to take your money and serve youour customerhow you want to be served.

For people who are drunk on Cluetrain or Seth Godin’s Cows let’s sober up to the fact that although we live in a world advertisers still operate in the old world where they pay money to interrupt the user. Sure, the future is going to be different, and I’m all for new ways of doing business. However, I’m living in today’s reality and I need to make money today. I say screw the future if it means I can’t pay the writers *today*.

We’ll certainly change models and do advertorials for advertiserswhen they tell me they are ready. For now, bring on all the disruptive advertising you got because it pays the bills and makes for great content produced by happy writers who don’t have to worry about paying their rent!

As a side note how many people out there take the perpetually free “day pass” at Salon vs. subscribing? Exactlyusers have voted and they are totally down with free content supported by reasonable disruptive advertising.

OK, let’s discuss. 🙂

Leave a Reply