I'm in Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress on Tuesday to advocate against legislative changes that would affect independent web publishers whose sites are funded by ads. The primary concern over the years has been that Congress would pass legislation to require a do-not-track setting to be turned on by default in all web browsers, a move that would prevent contextual ad services such as Google AdSense from tailoring ads to a user's interests.
As someone who published ad-supported websites before contextual ads, I think such legislation would cause thousands of sites to fold. If ads can't know anything about a user, ads get worse and more intrusive. They also make considerably less money.
If you receive all or part of your income running websites with ads, let me know of your concerns and comments so I can share them on Capitol Hill.
The event is organized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which has established a Long Tail Alliance for small web publishers to have a voice in D.C. Memberships are availablen in the alliance, which describes its purpose this way:
We feel very strongly that interactive advertising is essential to growing your online business. The Long Tail Alliance was created to help small businesses and online publishers develop a better understanding of this essential portion of internet growth.
All of our members are small businesses and online publishers who sell directly, indirectly, or through a network, with revenues under $1 million.
I've been a member for four years. In addition to this event, the IAB offers webinars throughout the year for small publishers.
I have hosted Google Adsense ads on my blogs for the last six years. If I had been denied the income those produced, I would have had to go without one whole grande latte (double shot) every month. Fight for my lattes, Rogers!
I was hoping for more gut-wrenching stories of looming personal and financial disaster without contextual ads, but this is a town that appreciates overpriced coffee. Perhaps your tale will warm their hearts.