Thursday, September 03, 2009

Why we need an Adsense that values relationships

So why don't I have Adsense on my blog? Google keeps pushing it at me. Why don't I take this free money?

The first reason is simple and mercenary. The payment I may receive via Adsense is too low to tempt me. The return on my time not sufficiently rewarding. ( I know, I've tried in the past).

That may be because there are insufficient advertisers for the Adwords related to the stuff I blog about. And that means the ads served seem rather less like the helpful content that Adsense promises and more like the spam it seeks to avoid. (image courtesy)

And I don't want to put you off, dear reader. I value our relationship more than I value a few cents from Google.

A lot more actually, which is where RoI comes in. Or perhaps we should call it RoR - return on reputation and/or relationship?

By allowing advertising which could sell you something I have not tried myself, I can't give it my endorsement.

I can't recommend it to you. In fact an ad may pop up for a product or service I will actively recommend you do not use. Each time this happens our relationship is damaged and my reputation with you is diminished.

Adsense takes no account of the value we both place on this.

I'd like to think the niche nature of this community is such that should I recommend a product, service, event etc you will give it quite serious consideration.

Our conversations can be – and regularly are – one to one. And this is the reality of the future online as more and more we become The Eighth Mass Media - the publishers, advertisers, marketers, distributors, connectors.

You'll give me the time of day because over time you have come to learn from experience that we share the same thirst for knowledge about certain things, have similar problems to solve etc. We are one of my favourite things - a community of purpose.

In short, we have a relationship in which we exchange trust to build reputation.

I described a simple model previously which could value reputation using something like Adsense. It may be worth reviewing again.

I think if a model could be devised and implemented which raised the valuation of reputation and therefore of our recommendations, one to another, it would kill the incumbents.

Who would stick with the few cents of Adsense if instead you had a way of being rewarded for the recommendations you give freely to those you know will value them?

It’s a micro-relationships model, but not a micro-payment one. Car manufacturers have been know to pay up to £300 to large media outfits for a lead which results in a test drive. We as individuals will come to expect equal returns in our niches.

That’s mostly because our recommendations come with our reputations and micro-relationships tightly bundled to them.

We don’t give our recommendations lightly. False recommendations are taken personally. We lose friends. Your recommendations would become ultimately worthless. And we understand that recommendation is in the eye of the perceiver – and we don’t want to lose face by giving friends something they perceive as ill conceived. (Yes, I do think my recommendation to you is more valuable than a recommendation from some form of mass media broadcasting at the lowest common denominator of its audience.)

We know our friends (our communities of purpose) in ways advertisers – even Google – can’t touch.

The future is not in-context, related, targeted. It is in conversational flow (with all the real-time that suggests), peer-to-peer recommendation and consistently and constantly validated reputation - otherwise known as human relationships.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?