Thursday, February 09, 2012

Not for filthy lucre: blogging free of charge

We live in such a commercialised, consumer orientated society that it is difficult to escape being exposed to adverts, whether watching commercial TV, walking down the local high street, or catching up with friends on Facebook. Talking of Facebook, it was recently reported that the social networking site may well be worth $100bn when floated on the stock market. Why? Largely due to advertising-based revenue. Has Don Draper taken over the world or something? 

We can all 'tut-tut' at the absurdity of it all, but do we have to join in?  Maybe I'm just getting a bit crotchety in my mid-40's, but I'm getting increasingly vexed by seeing Christian blogs that carry adverts. Once site I visited recently dedicated 'reformed spirituality' to featured ads for Amazon and a mobile phone company. Another hosted ads for Tesco and Dell  alongside posts on Wesley and Whitefield.

Yes a 'workman is worthy of his hire', and those who 'labour in the word and doctrine' are 'worthy of double honour'. But would we allow advertising posters to be plastered on our pulpits? Blogging isn't something for which we should get paid via advertising revenue. It should be done free of charge. Not for filthy lucre's sake.  


David Reimer said...

If some of these advert-laden blogs are based at (the "freebie" service), the blog owners might not even be aware that the ads are appearing on their blogs.

I have my own bee-filled bonnet regarding some other commercial tie-ins with the online presence of certain ministries ... but this is the wrong place to let them buzz. ;)

Guy Davies said...

Fair enough.

Ben said...

I'm not so sure about this. Is commerce ungodly? Not many, I think, would want to pay the cover price for a copy of ET or Grace Magazine unsupported by advertising revenue. Nor are we necessarily more spiritual if we are less well informed about products and services which are available for us to buy.

(The original readers of Mr Spurgeon's The Sword and the Trowel magazine found adverts for, among other things, patent medicines in its pages.)

I agree that the pulpit should be free of "but first, a word from our sponsors" but I'm not sure the analogy is a fair one. Preaching is surely uniquely prophetic, and occupies a place as the summit of worship of almighty God.

That being so, there are quite a few other things which currently intrude in pulpit discourses which we would be well rid of.

Guy Davies said...

No, commerce isn't ungodly, but that doesn't mean that almost everything should be commercialised - blogging included. Magazines and newspapers, even Christian ones are commercial ventures, so I don't have a problem with adverts in ET ect.

My point wasn't to draw an analogy between blogging and preaching, but to anticipate the objection that as it is legitimate to be paid for preaching, so it is also OK to receive ad-based revenue from blogging. A workman is worthy of his hire, but does that mean we should get paid for what is essentially a hobby?