Matt Haughey writes about putting Google AdWords on PVRBlog:
Make no mistake, last month PVRblog made a lot of money from Adsense. When was the last time you heard someone say they received a check for advertising on their hobby site that could be used to purchase a fully loaded Aeron chair? Sounds like something you might have heard in 1998, no? Well it’s true today, and I hope a lot more people meet with the same success.
Haughey’s experience sounds very intriguing and his tips for running a successful Adsense-based semi-commercial venture may very well gesture in the right direction for niche commercial weblogging enterprises. I’ve never been very comfortable with the idea of getting money from weblogging, because I’ve always felt that there was a distinction between getting sponsorship for what one writes and getting advertising based upon what/who one is. Weblogs have seemed to be to be a space in which individuals could self-describe and – as such – putting advertising upon them has felt to me rather like being prepared to sell parts of one’s face or body for commercial advertising purposes.
Today at the iSociety event, Cameron articulated a useful and simple distinction between a publishing model of weblogs where a specific site is (to a greater or lesser extent) impersonal and subject-focused (which is – I think – the only part journalists seem to understand), and a social model where the site is no more or less than a representation of a person online and connects with other sites around itself as a proxy for a social connection to the person behind the keyboard. That we can understand weblog space as being a spectrum like that (with people like Mark Pilgrim occupying this weird Schroedinger-like superposition between concept and human) makes it much easier for me to conceive of a comfortable place for this kind of commercial weblogging venture.