Monday, November 28, 2005

Ads on Housing Bubble Blogs

About a month ago Ben Jones over at The Housing Bubble added Google Ads to his blog. Some of these ads are from companies that are in real estate or mortgage lending.

One reader critical of The Housing Bubble Blog set up this blog. On it the reader writes:

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Ben Jones, the "freelance writer" who posts which is sponsored by the real estate biz. Or, more accurately, the memory of what is left of Mr. Jones's credibility. We posted to Ben's blog and he quickly deleted our simple and respectful question: "What's with all the links to real estate agents, lenders and other bubble heads?" So, Ben, we're giving you another chance. What's up?
1) Has Ben Jones' Blog lost it's credibility'?

2) Should housing bubble blogs accept Google Ads, if some of them the ads are from companies that are housing cheerleaders?

I want input from my readers on there two important questions.


  1. I don't see why not...
    Hell, he might as well make a bit of cash out of all his hard work. These companies aren't evil they are a necessary part of our economy and we may well need them when housing hits bottom and are shopping for bargains ;)

  2. making money out of the the very same companies your ripping.... priceless

  3. Ben's site is very good. I found out about this site (bubblemeter) from Ben's site, I think.

    If the ads are affecting content on Ben's site, I don't see it.

  4. Some of these companies that have ads on his [ Google decided which companies based on kewywords] site are taking advantage of uninformed buyers. Selling them toxic loans.

    Obviously, Ben has put in a huge amount of time in his blogging. One could argue that having ads on Ben'ssite is the best place to have them because the readers of Ben's site are much more aware of ways in which some bubble related companies are hawking toxic mortgages and lousy investment advice.

  5. This is ridiculous. If they want to advertise on his site, that's up to them. Why should he refuse? Because they are "evil"? Some people do want/need to buy houses, refinance, etc., even those that read housing bubble blogs and know about the issues. Advertising serves an important function of connecting services to people that need services. Especially when the consumers are aware that they are being "marketed" to, what is the freaking problem?

    Some housing bubble people have lost their minds.

  6. Ben Jone's blog just chronicles the news. A service, yes. But as he offers almost no analysis or original content of his own I find his blog to be of limited value; the value is in what the commentors on his blog say. I also get the feeling that he has let the popularity of his blog inflate his ego, but that is just my impression.

    It does seem a little ironic that he is trying to make money from his blog. Sort of goes against the blogging spirit but he's only human. People allow their ideals cave into commercialism all the time.

  7. I hate ads. Period.

    I occasionally look at the Google ad taglines that show up on Ben's blog for a laugh. Talk about a message falling on deaf ears! As vocal as the community is on his site about the financing, etc. that the ads are usually pushing, I really doubt that anyone spending much time there is going to be paying serious attention to pay per click RE hype.

    Nearly a year ago, I spent several hours searching online for an explanation of what was going on in the California RE market. I eventually came up with 4 sites that thankfully put the housing bubble situation in perspective for me, Ben's being one of them. There wasn't much information out there at that point. 3 of those sites had ads that I just ignored.

    I don't feel that the credibility of these sites was compromised by a couple of ads similar to the ones that I ignore everywhere else. I'm grateful to those people who took the time to assemble that information back when no one was associating bubble with housing! If the ads served to defray some of their costs, so be it.

    I find Ben to be very busy but down to earth when I have e-mailed him. He's created a spot to chronicle the undoing of the bubble that also facilitates some great discussions. A few dumb ads aren't going to change that.

  8. "I find Ben to be very busy but down to earth when I have e-mailed him. He's created a spot to chronicle the undoing of the bubble that also facilitates some great discussions. A few dumb ads aren't going to change that"

    Solid Points. I have also emailed him. I agree.

  9. Why not profit from the bubble? Everyone else is. Greed is king. What makes Ben Jones any different?

  10. I don't have a problem with it. I prefer this blog however. You can put in google ads here too and I won't mind.

  11. I went through this today on my blog on the "happy thanksgiving" post.

    Another F@CKED Borrower

    What is the big deal?? If you can't discern ads from content, then you have a problem.

    The google ads are keying off keywords on his website.

    Yes, people want to talk about the "spirit" of blogging...but you still have to eat. If you are searching for articles, posting to your blog, and maintaining takes time, and lots of it.

    If you were spending hours a day doing something...providing a "free" service and adding value to thousands of people, would you really care if a 3rd party was paying you a little bit for the clicks you generate?

    I don't see it as that big of a deal. the only ads I can't stand are the pop-up ads. Everything else my eyes/brain seem to be able to filter out pretty quickly.

  12. Why not? It's a free country.

  13. Getting paid to express opinion? Great. Getting paid to allow other people to express their opinion? Great. People worried that this isn't gret? Worrisome.

  14. Uh; that's how google's AdSense works. It looks at keywords on your site and brings up advertisements that match those keywords. So even if you typed "mortgages suck" it would bring up advertisements about mortgages.

  15. I've been reading and participating in Ben's blog since about March. Seven days a week, Ben has been posting interesting and entertaining articles, dealing with stuck blog mechanisms, having to rename the blog at least once -- all for an occasional kudo. When he finally got some advertising, I was delighted to click on his ads to help him out; to my surprise, I found that several of the ads were interesting to me, which may explain part of Google's success in targeted ads. I'll continue to encourage his readers to click on the ad links as a very modest way of saying "thank you." I sold my home based on what I learned in these blogs and am very happy renting and saving a lot of money. You bet I'll read those ads!

  16. I should have added that, if you use banner ads, I'll click on them, too, to support you.

  17. who cares where the ads are from - we know they are computer generated

  18. any updates coming ?