So I've been thinking a little bit about experimenting with ads on the blog. I've been approached quite a few times over the last couple of years with offers to advertise and have always said no (for all the obvious reasons). The reason I'm thinking about it now is not to make money but rather just to see how it all works. I just finished reading Free by Chris Anderson (worth your time, btw, and free audio download at that link) and am feeling the need to understand a little bit better how this actually works. I figure the best way for me to understand it better is to actually experiment with it, and this blog is the natural place to do it.
So, if I do this, I was thinking of using Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates. Those seem relatively safe, easy and tame, and Amazon Affiliates is something I've been trying to talk my school district into allowing us to put on our school web page (no luck in convincing them so far), so this would be a good way to see how it works. I would donate all proceeds from the advertising to my school, so that would hopefully alleviate some concerns. (Note: If it turns out I can make hundreds of thousands of dollars from this, all bets are off and I reserve the right to pocket all the money and retire. If, however, it turns out I make $23.80 a year from this as I suspect, then I'm good with the donation thing.)
So, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject. It still doesn't quite feel right to me, but I can't really articulate why. Would it bother you to see AdSense or Amazon Affiliate ads on the sidebar? Do you think it "cheapens" the blog? Do you think people might assume it "taints" what I write? Is there some other reasons it's a bad idea? Or a good idea?