Ads and directories

The most popular thing I’ve ever written is the JavaScript table sort library, sorttable. Recently, I got into a discussion with the LugRadio chaps about advertising on websites, and whether it’s a good idea or not. I’ve toyed in the past with the idea of adding adverts to this site; it somehow feels a little distasteful to me, but during the discussion it became apparent that I don’t actually have any reason to back that up; it’s pure prejudice. Somehow it feels less pure to do something if you make money from it: the phrase “filthy lucre” exists for a reason, and the love of money is the root of all evil. On the other hand, I do love money since it lets me buy cool things. So. To ad or not to ad? On the other hand, I got an email from the Dynamic Drive people asking if they could feature sorttable in their directory of JavaScripts. Now, one of the things that the JavaScript community have discussed (and this came up in this past weekend’s JavaScript pub meet — pics available) is trying to get good, well-coded, modern scripting into these huge galleries of download-and-use plug-n-play scripts. The idea here (and not everyone agrees with me on this, I feel bound to say) is that we are never going to convince some people to actually give a damn about the quality of scripts that they use or write. They’re just going to think, “I want some effect, I googled for that effect, and here’s a script that does it, so I follow the instructions to drop that script into my site, job done.” Since that’s going to happen, we should make sure that the scripts that people find are decent ones. That’s why I wrote sorttable, for example: to ensure that people have a simple drop-in decently-coded way of doing client-side table sorting. One good way of doing this is to talk to the current big repositories of scripts, like Dynamic Drive, and work with them to try and make sure that their scripts are good ones. But…if I put the script on Dynamic Drive, then some people will get it there instead of from me (even though there’ll be a link to my site) and…that’ll hurt my ad revenue, if I have ads. So, questions therefore, for those of you out there reading this, whether you’re a JavaScripter or a website owner or just a consumer:

  1. Would it be a good idea or a bad idea to have ads on some of my pages? (I’d probably do the browser code and other code pages, and old (not current) weblog posts.)
  2. Should I put the script on Dynamic Drive?
  3. Should I do both?

Your opinions greatly received in the comment box.

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