I decided that I'm putting up a Google AdSense widget. Look for it to appear in the next few days. I'm also going to put AdSense in my RSS feed. I decided against text-link-ads, because there's no RSS option. Does my blog gets more RSS traffic than direct visits? (I really should set up FeedBurner.)
For those of you who feel strongly about it, there's a FireFox extension that blocks AdSense. I haven't tried it, so I don't know if it works.
The arguments against putting up an AdSense widget were unconvincing. Most of the anti-AdSense comments were Anonymous, so I have no way of knowing if they were all posted by a different person or all by the same. There were non-Anonymous commenters arguing in favor of AdSense. Some of them have their own blogs or websites, so they're not completely Anonymous.
I'll review the arguments against AdSense.
Google AdSense is collecting information on users!
Google can already do this just by owning Blogger. They get the IP address of everyone who visits my blog. I already have Google Analytics installed, which you can block via NoScript.
If you're that paranoid about privacy, use Tor. The NSA probably has already infiltrated the Tor network, but they probably don't care about tracking people reading my blog. If anything, people accessing my blog via Tor might draw the bad guys' attention to my blog!
When I first started blogging, I was super-paranoid about the evil power of the State. I've mellowed out since. The State derives its power from the fact that most of the enforcers are not themselves consciously aware that the State is evil.
The State seems more powerful than it actually is. Most of my friends, relatives, and coworkers will say "You're an idiot, FSK!", if I mention any of my free market economics ideas to them. State police don't need to violently suppress debate. My friends and relatives do a fine job on their own. This creates the illusion of State omnipotence.
Just because the bad guys are collecting a lot of data, doesn't mean they're capable of using it intelligently! Any automated spying system that flagged my blog as dangerous would generate too many false positives to be useful. Any State enforcer who reads my blog regularly would probably eventually start agreeing with me.
Are the bad guys really that clever that they're using "People who read FSK's blog." as a list of people to murder when TSHTF? When TSHTF, the bad guys are going to have bigger problems and a lack of resources! Of course, I can never convince you that I'm not a spy planted by the State to compile a list of intelligent people to murder/harass.
The best defense to "People who read FSK's blog might be harassed (or FSK himself)" is to attract as many readers as possible!
I'll stop readng if you install AdSense!
I'll be looking at my Google Analytics statistics. I doubt I'll see any discrepancy larger than the usual random noise. For example, a lot of people go on vacation at the end of December, which means fewer readers.
Based on my experience, commenters who say "**** you FSK, I'm leaving!" usually weren't contributing much anyway.
AdSense revenue supports the State!
Until there's an advanced counter-economy, all wage slave labor supports the State.
For now, I can use State resources against the State, if I can promote agorism and show a profit at the same time.
You should solicit donations instead!
This is seriously worth considering. Unfortunately, via Blogger, I can't hide AdSense for registered users who have donated. If/when I move to my own domain, I'll try that. On my own domain, I may collect donations and give some type of better service to donators.
The argument in favor of AdSense is that I want to move to my own domain and want to see if I can raise $10/month to justify the expense. I predict I'll be able to clear $10/month, but I want to verify first.
I want to roll my own PHP forum engine, and for that I need my own domain and hosting. I'll need my own domain to start operating AgoristBay. I want to expand the services I'm offering beyond blogging.
Eventually, I'd like to be able to promote agorism and show a profit at the same time! I'm looking into other possibilities.