A few months ago, I added the cute little Ad-Free Blog banner to our sidebar.
Don't get me wrong. It doesn't bother me at all that people who write for a living, and whose posts and pictures are clever and entertaining enough to make me want to go back include ads on their blogs. Garden Rant does it, and I'm enjoying the blog enough to read most of their posts.
Then again, many blogs, even really wonderful blogs with a lot of great information, beautiful photos, inspiration, such as Gardening Gone Wild or Clay and Limestone are ad free. Come to think of it, almost all of the blogs I really cherish are free, and it's a sweet, heart-warming feeling that someone has given the gift of their time, and doesn't want anything in return.
Ad-free also applies to comments. If someone takes the time to leave a comment, I'm always excited and have a look at their site. If the site belongs to a business, especially in cases where the English in the comment is so bad that I'm sure someone got paid by the hour to leave the comment, the comment is marked as Spam. If the site belongs to a business and includes a URL, I might mark it as Spam or, for thoughtful comments, just delete it. After all, that's what having an Ad-Free Blog is all about.
Meanwhile, thank you to Google for hosting so many blogs and offering clever ways to load pictures, change templates and all that. Thank you to all our fellow bloggers who are resisting the urge to Monetize (is that even a word?). Thank you to all of you who are leaving comments even without a comment-provoking question at the end.
Don't you want to comment on that?