The Clarion Call sells out!

Long-time readers of the Clarion Call Blogs will have noticed a more commercial look to our home page recently. It started with the addition of a small number of local advertisers who I approached in December.

Thankfully some of them said yes and I was able to add a little cash flow to what had been, for its first 8 months, entirely a labor of love (or hate!) I am grateful to my local advertisers and I hope those of you who are regular readers of the blog will show your appreciation by being regular customers of those businesses –and don’t forget to tell them that you saw their ad online!

Not satisfied with that, however, in the great capitalist tradition of our country, I recently signed up to run text and display ads provided by Google. I also converted all my web site’s search engines over to Google one’s as well.

The way the Google program works is that I earn a very small amount every time a reader clicks on one of those Google ads. (As near as I can figure, it’s something less than 20 cents depending on the type of ad you click on.) Nevertheless if you have lots of readers and lots of clicks, you can eventually expect to make enough money to buy your morning coffee. (Hey, every little bit helps these days!)

As part of my agreement with Google, I am not supposed to encourage people to click on those ads just to make me money, and I certainly wouldn’t want to violate that agreement. On the other hand, I hope readers will pay careful attention to the ads, and if you see something that truly interests you, feel free to click through!

If you use the Google search engine (and who doesn’t?) perhaps you would like to bookmark our version of it. Just clink on the link above and then bookmark the page. Then if you happen to click through on an ad on the search results page, we’ll make a few cents. Thanks!

The interesting thing about the program is that, Google, in its infinite wisdom, targets what ads you will see based on the content of the page you are reading or the search term you used. I’ve noticed that some local ads have already shown up on the home page, as well as a text ad for people looking for plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Lowe’s. Now they’re getting the right idea!

Of course, we are also getting a lot of ads for Clarion Hotels and Clarion software and electronic equipment, but I guess that can’t be helped! I’m going to try experimenting with adding some meta-tags to the pages to see if that brings more focused results.

If you don’t like all the commercial clutter, I also added a donation box. This is a service provided by Amazon.com that allows appreciative readers to make anonymous donations to the site. All you have to do is click on the little donation box (or the link below) and Amazon takes it from there.

Amazon reports that 25 million Americans already have an Amazon account, and if you do, you may see your first name come up in the greeting on the the box. I admit this is a little spooky, but it just means that Amazon knows who you are, even if I don’t!

As I point out in the copy on the donation page, the suggested contribution is $10 per year. That is less than 1/3 the cost of subscribing to a local newspaper, and the Clarion Blogs can cover breaking stories in a much more timely (not to mention unbiased) fashion. Isn’t it worth it?

Who knows? If I get enough donations I may be able to dispense with the advertising altogether–but don’t count on it!

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4 responses to “The Clarion Call sells out!

  1. I like the look of the new website. And, your post was very informative about what you were doing with the site. The only thing that caused me some questions was your statement about covering stories in a “unbiased” fashion. Generally, I’d say that is true but you always seem to sneak in that anti-Lowe’s sentiment into just about everything you write. Nonetheless, I do like the site better.

  2. Greg – it looks as if you have read the disclaimer on the newly revised Clarion Call Blog. The key word is that this is a Blog not a newspaper. As such, it is open to opinion and that would include that of the Blogger-in-Chief, Corrin. His stance is no different from the editor of the Livingston County News. Mark’s editorials, like all other editorials, is his place to insert his opinion. Corrin, therefore, is following his editorial perogative. That said, he tries to be unbiased by allowing opposing views on the blog, not in altering his. Your pro-Lowe’s views have been included and your pro-Lowes opinion is inserted into what you say. Best to you.

    Jean Lindsay

  3. I don’t like to insert myself into every discussion, but this is an important issue, even though my original comment about being unbiased was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Personally, after 18 years in the news business, I really don’t believe that true objectivity exists anywhere. We all have a point of view and we can never totally escape our bias when we decide what stories to cover and how to cover them.

    That being said, there are various degrees of subjectivity, even on this site. I try to make this column, The Clarion Call, the successor to my print column, which is definitely on the opinion side of the fence. I try to apply a more balance approach to the Clarion News Blog, which is closer to the kind of coverage you might find in the news pages of a paper.

    However, since it is a blog, I sometimes take the liberty of throwing an editorial comment into the news blog just to spice things up. I also don’t feel the need to be quite as fair and balanced as I might have been in a newspaper story, although I don’t want to go overboard with my bias and lose all credibility.

    I tend to agree with the comment attributed to Studs Terkel, “Objectivity is a beast much sought after in the wild, but never actually seen in captivity!”

  4. I agree that a blog is different in that it does let opinions into the discussion and I have no problem with that. I missed the tongue-in-cheek intent. Must have read it before I was awake one morning!

    Even with your and others opinions, I enjoy reading the pieces as they are generally informative, albeit somewhat argumentative at times.

    Obviously I am pro-Lowe’s and I know that shows often in my comments. I appreciate the opportunity to express the pro-Lowe’s opinions and usually don’t get too beaten up over them.

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