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April What?

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 2 April 2011.
Planet PHP

I really like the way Trent describes blogs:

There's something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else's site. It's like visiting a friend's house for a quick meal 'round the breakfast table. It's personala-ayou're in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting.

My blog is my personal space, free from all the things I don't like about the rest of the Web. It's my home. When you read what I write, it's like you're joining me for breakfast. Blogs and comments provide the means for us to have a conversation, and our good manners provide the grease. If you want to lead the next topic, you post to your own blog. Thanks to the fantastic response to my plea for a blog revival, conversation seems to be alive and well again. For now.

I've never advertised on my blog. More often than not, advertisements are garish and intrusive. They scream for your attention. Advertising on your blog would transform your quiet breakfast table into a truck stop with a flashing billboard just outside the window. It would change the atmosphere. No longer would your blog be yours; it would be just another public place, devoid of any sense of community and camaraderie.

Over time, I learned to ignore advertising altogether. Like someone trying too hard to be noticed, it was easier to ignore it than to pretend to care.

Then came Google AdWords. For the first time, advertising was relevant. A lot of my friends began advertising on their blogs, and to my surprise, I didn't mind. We could still have a quiet conversation. As the antithesis of loud, animated advertisements, AdWords were a welcome relief.

Now, with The Deck, Fusion, Carbon, and others, advertising has evolved to the point that I'm reconsidering my tightly-held opinions. These networks do something advertisers never did before. They care. They care about who advertises, they care about what the advertisements look like, they care about who sees them, and they care about who shows them.

Starting today, as announced on the Carbon blog, I'm joining their Code & Dev Circle. Consider this an experiment. If you visit my blog, look for the advertisement. Refresh a few times. Click on a few. Who knows, maybe you'll discover something you like.