This is an interesting, and admirable, move by Ben Brooks. In his announcement post for The Brooks Review’s new membership-driven business model, Ben gets to an element of the point I was trying to make earlier today:
“No matter if I am the one booking advertising slots, or someone else is booking them: the companies I write about are the ones that must decide to book the spot and pay me (indirectly). Therefore if I write something negative (gasp!) about a company, that company may decide not to sponsor the ad network that is powering my site in the future. Likewise if a company is sponsoring the RSS feed in a given week and they do something stupid, I may feel that I need to refrain from making fun of said stupid move — that notion never sat well with me.”
Agreed. It is for these very reasons that, earlier this week, I pulled the Yoggrt ads that were running on here on Static Made. In addition, like Ben, I always found banner ads to be distracting from what should be the focus of this site: the ideas.
Independent web publishers should hold only their readers’ best interests in mind, never advertisers or members of the top-tier clique. I applaud Brooks for this endeavor, not that he has ever been one to compromise his journalistic integrity. Consider me the newest member of The Brooks Review.