I’m not alone, Ian Landsman is also annoyed by Russell Beatties in-feed ads.
In feed ads have been showing up more frequently lately, and frankly there are a few problems with them.
- They’re almost always irrelevant; and
- They’re much more intrusive
The first problem is clearly a matter of tweaking FeedBurner’s algorithms, or a matter of Google’s AdSense or the Yahoo! Publisher Network getting into the business. I’d guess that picking relevant ads for feeds isn’t that different to picking them for pages.
The second problem is more serious though. One of the appeals of syndication is that I can view lots of disparate sources in one place with a consistent look and feel. I can download themes for my aggregator and customise the display of feeds to my heart’s content. If your advertisments can’t fit in with that, then they’re a pain in the ass and I’ll either unsubscribe from your feed, or block the ads themselves.
Images and coloured blocks of text will almost always clash with my chosen theme, so what are the alternatives? I’ve noticed that Weblogs Inc. has recently started inserting plain text footers into their feeds. These fit in perfectly with my aggregator, but I’d expect their CPM is pretty low.
In short, I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that I don’t like the current generation of in-feed ads. So far Russell’s is the only feed that I’ve remained subscribed to. His content is good enough to justify it, few others can say the same.