Now with 100% fewer ads!

In my recent site redesigns on nathanhowemusic.com, I rearranged some pages, changed some colors, and got rid of Google ads.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with AdSense for nearly a decade now.  In the beginning of my self-publishing life, it brought in a couple hundred dollars that I really enjoyed having at the time.  But the internet has changed more than a little bit since then.

One of my big motivations for dropping Google ads was the issue of privacy.  I don’t believe in collecting identifiable data about my site visitors unless they choose to give it to me in the form of a donation, comment, or message.  Google feels pretty differently about collecting information from people who visit sites that display AdSense ads.

While this change removes a portion of my funding strategy to support the creation and distribution of my music, it seems like the right thing to do.  As more people find out about my music and click the “donate” button when they use it, I expect that soon I will not miss the meager revenue AdSense previously provided.

Google+, Control-

In case you’ve been completely disconnected for the past couple of weeks, Google+ is the next big social networking platform. Some people think it will kill Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other competitors.

Although I don’t think Facebook will be hurt enough to shut down, there is one aspect of G+ that makes it more enticing than any previous social networking tool: It’s embedded in Google.

Almost everybody who uses the internet also uses Google search. Calendar, Gmail, and other Google services are also quite popular. Now, as a Google+ user, your status updates appear in a bar at the top of most of the Google services everybody has come to rely upon.

I work in schools, and I’ve seen the evolution of content blocking. But can any corporate or school network admin really block Google? Blocking Google would handicap reasonable, everyday business or education tasks. They couldn’t get away with it.

But soon, Google+ and Google everything else will be inseparable. Google realized that social networking is largely seen as unproductive use of time, so it designed its social network to embed itself in places that we have come to see as necessary for productivity.

Don’t be evil…?

(Waste some time connecting with me on Google+)