Update: Timethief points out that Matt has clarified the official wordpress stand on ads on the WordPress forums in the past (September 6th, 2006). WordPress.com has been displaying ads as part of content served to irregular readers of wordpress.com. In my opinion, 80% of the wordpress blogs out there receive a significant portion of their traffic from irregular readers who find the blog either through a search engine or through a referring site. It’s the top 20% of the blogs that enjoy loyal readership and can afford to either be ad-free or control the ads shown on their blogs.
In order to judge the general feeling out there, I’d like to request you to vote on whether you would pay to remove ads from your wordpress.com blog.
My own opinion is that I’d rather pay to remove ads so that I can focus on building a loyal readership over time from the 80% who discover my blog. What this also means is that I am opting to host myself. WordPress.com need (speculation) the additional revenue from advertising in order to support the “free” nature of wordpress.com. Nothing individual bloggers can pay them will actually cover up for the revenue lost per blog if they got rid of the advertising.
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