On destiny and text ads

Boing Boing's Jackhammer JillDuring the summer of 2004, Boing Boing was experimenting with sponsorship ads, partly to cover skyrocketing hosting costs and partly to make money. Underneath those ads was the text: Interested in Sponsoring? Email Us.

By August I was getting annoyed by the array of Suicide Girls ads showing up next to my beloved Boing Boing, so I decided to let them know. This is the email I sent.

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 17:04:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: sg ads distracting

The SG ads on boingboing are distracting. I have no problem with SG or porn, but I’d rather they not encroach on my ability to focus on the boingboing content.

Which makes me think about all the other “ads”. Typepad, O’Reilly, Wired. I have no problem with the BB editors hawking their books, but the real ads are boring. They are too static. They are the antithesis of a frequently updated blog like boingboing.

So why not create a means for frequently updated, user-submitted ads. Think of it as adwords meets blogs. People submit a small text add plus URL, and for a buck (via paypal, credit card?) it sits at the top of the right hand column. Maybe you ensure that it will be displayed for at least X page views, and then the next one will appear on top. Maybe you’ll display five at once and they scroll through as each hits its max page

Just a thought.

Boing Boing text adsI remembered writing this (presumably to Mark Frauenfelder) because last month (exactly two years after I sent it) I implemented the ability to sell and serve flat rate text ads in Federated Media’s advertising platform—which manages Boing Boing’s ads.

Here’s the part that really bakes my noodle. Turns out that the Interested in Sponsoring? Email Us text linked to the email address of John Battelle, founder of Federated Media, who it turns out I had actually sent the email to (not Mark).

Which means that two years ago I had an idea, and two years later I implemented it, now working for the person I originally shared the idea with.



Although this is probably wrong, but could this be classified as a classic case of Déjà vu. However, it’s not a “new situation”, or is it? Help me out here…


Oh, sorry, one other thing, what exactly was distracting about the SG ad, was it animated and moving so it caused you to focus on them?

The only difference between this experience and deja vu (et al) is that my inital sense of deja vu was actually a memory—backed up by the record of my email archive.

The SG ads were revealing, scantily clad pictures of female pinups. I found them distracting from the content of the site and not especially safe for work (not that I’m condoning reading BB at work).


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