A great way to earn money is by offering good taste to masses of people. I’m actually talking about the Deck, the ad network for Web sites that hate ads: One ad per page, appearing only on sites Jim Coudal knows and likes, billed at premium rates. If I am running the numbers correctly, Gruber alone, with his four million monthly pageviews, grosses a quarter-mil a year from ads via the Deck. (Merely an unconfirmed estimate. [I asked; he didn’t answer.] I am quite sure the order of magnitude is correct.)

But those are all blogs for Apple fans and users. Taste is something they already have. If any sector needed a hot-taste injection, it’s the demimonde of gay blogs. Each and every one of them is atrociously coded, typeset, copy-edited, and designed (none actually have “design”), and only a couple are viable, namely those of Andy Towle and that grizzled positoid. All of them are festooned with ads that cause various sorts of trouble, like presenting not-safe-for-work images on seemingly unrelated stories from the paid work of legitimate journalists. They all look like shit, and the grizzled positoid’s site crashes your browser so much he has to keep advising people to upgrade. Joe Jervis, menace to society.

But the grizzled positoid’s site hits about three million pageviews a month, if I recall a posting I can now no longer find, with zero hosting costs because he runs it through Blogspot. Now imagine the improvements to be had if somebody invented a full-on Deck clone just for gay blogs. Obviously we’d call it the Dick network.

  • Gay blogs could actually be designed for the first time ever, and would feature exactly one ad at a time, which in turn would never be a shock to the senses.

  • Blog owners could quite possibly earn more money than they do now, particularly since they’re dealing with exactly one ad provider. Or, if they earn slightly less, they at least are running blogs that do not repel readers and impair their equipment.

This would require a commitment to doing what actually works instead of what doesn’t work, a commitment few are willing to make. It requires, further, a commitment to user experience and design, at both of which are atrocious. And it requires gay-blog proprietors with taste, of which there are none.

I believe the name for this is “leaving money on the table.”

What do gay blogs look like with their “content” removed – showing only chrome and ads, in other words? They look as good as you’d expect.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.04.04 14:32. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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