I noticed, a couple of days ago, that my blog has acquired adverts.
For example, in my blog post It’s here, it’s green, and it’s got ears! a couple of the phrases in the post have acquired dashed underlines and Snap Shots icons, like the term ‘One Laptop Per Child’ in this screenshot (the link ‘XO (or OLPC) laptop’ has a Snap Shot icon because it’s a link that I created):
(click the picture to see it more clearly)
I’m not sure that I like this. I don’t want to be advertising random companies that I know nothing about. I was aware that the Snap Shots windows that are added to my links contain small ads in addition to the preview of the target website. But the preview of the target website is why I include Snap Shots on my blog and the ad is smaller than the preview and I can live with that. But I’m less keen on Snap Shots identifying phrases in my blog posts purely to add adverts.
I had a look at the Snap Shots website which explains that the adding of Snap Shot icons to non-link phrases is a new technology called Snap Shots Engage. It also describes the Snap Shot Shares scheme, in which I can get a share of the advertising income (I guess from both Snap Shots and Snap Shots Engage ads).
I’m not against people making money out of their websites – though I don’t choose to right now as that’s not the purpose of my website – and the Snap Shots Engage method is fairly non-intrusive compared with, say, Google ads. My objection is to a third party inserting adverts into my blog without me knowing and explicitly agreeing to it. Also, while the normal Snap Shots ads are obviously ads below the preview of the link target:
the new Snap Shots Engage ads are less obviously ads that have been chosen by someone else:
and in this particular instance, the tone of the text in the ad jars slightly with my enthusiastic OLPC post.
I’ve had a look at the Snap Shots FAQ page to work out how I can opt out of them putting ads on my blog but they just say:
“At this time, Snap offers advertising exemption to educational and governmental institutions. If you feel that your web site fits these criteria and would like to apply to be exempted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review your application and get back to you shortly.”
And I’m neither an educational nor governmental institution. So, I’m going to disable the Snap Shots WordPress plugin and lose Snap Shots completely.