I ranted recently about how having advertising on my blog made me feel dirty. After saying that, it's been kind of bugging me, especially since someone whom I deeply respect provides marketing and branding creative for companies.
I've been thinking about it, and the part that made me feel dirty was because I had changed the rules of my blog. I've always considered it to be nothing more than just my own personal outboard brain - a core dump indexed by Google. Changing the nature of the beast to become a "monetizing engine" would have subtly altered what/how/when I posted. Perhaps not right away, and perhaps not even visibly (to anyone but myself - hey, another circular reference - if it's primarily for me, wtf do I care what anyone else thinks? :-) ) but it would have altered it enough to become less useful to me. I would have started writing for accumulation of Google Juice™, rather than just documenting thoughts and actions.
Anyway, I just wanted to think out loud about this for a bit. Marketing and branding are important activities. It's advertising for advertising's sake that sucks out loud. The need to drive up ratings to sell more (or higher priced) ads is what makes TV and radio suck so badly. It's what infested the 'net with punch-the-monkey popups. Intelligent and creative marketing and branding shouldn't have to be a zero sum game - it shouldn't detract value from an experience in order to derive value for a company.
Maybe the whole iTunes/iPod video store, with high quality first-run TV shows available for a nominal fee without advertising, will act as a catalyst to help us emphasize and reward creativity rather than continuing on with a business model based on pandering to the lowest common denomenators of society.
There endeth the sermon :-)