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AdSenseless - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
One of the strangest things for me about starting up Souciant is that the site was designed for running ads. In all the years that I was involved with Bad Subjects: Political Education For Everyday Life, we never sold the publication itself -- "Hard. Good. Free" was one of our early slogans -- and never sold advertising for it either.

Ironically, although I was fond of critiquing those who aspired to ideological purity, I was rather fond of our refusal to let ourselves be commercialized. And so were other members of our Production Team. In fact, the decision to allow an anthology of our work to be published by NYU Press was pretty fraught, because several people objected to our work being up for sale in any capacity, even though we had demanded the right to keep every anthologized piece available online for free.

A lot has changed since them. Sources of funding, whether public or private, have dried up. The resources that Bad Subjects leaned on in order to distribute hard copies for free and maintain a presence on the Web are battled over by worthy ventures to a demoralizing degree. Simply put, the price of remaining above the commercial fray is too high even for some of the stoutest advocates of free publishing to pay.

Whether Souciant ever makes enough money to provide support for its staff and contributors remains to be seen. At the very least, it will probably take at least a year before we can even think about how to make progress towards that goal. But that doesn't meant we are trying to keep ourselves pure in the interim. Until we have a deal in place to incorporate a more sophisticated means of serving ads into the site, we are plodding forward with Google AdSense.

It's not generating much revenue for us yet. But we're at least making a little money that we can apply towards the fee we pay for being hosted. And the best part is that many of our click-throughs seem to be of an ironic stamp. Because of the way AdSense works, unintentional comedy is rampant. Sometimes, the accidental montages generated by the relationship between Souciant's content and the ads that pop up are so delicious that they seem like performance art:

The unapologetically blasphemous audio collage rebels in The Christal Methodists meet their match, so to speak, thanks to Google AdSense

If you have ever heard my Co-Editor-in-Chief Joel Schalit's audio collage outfit The Christal Methodists, you will understand how perfect it is to have his piece about their recent rebirth via YouTube running alongside an invitation to become a minister. My mother was always incredibly open minded about music. Hell, she often listened to the records my sister brought home and even became a big Smiths fan. But when I put The Christal Methodists on the stereo one New Year's Eve, she turned white with anger and demanded that I take their "blasphemous noises" off at once. Thinking of that moment when I first saw this particular iteration of Souciant's home page, I couldn't help but smile broadly.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
alsoname From: alsoname Date: June 21st, 2011 07:00 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Only very mildly related, but you reminded me of this memory: I was 14 years old or so, in the kitchen, playing the radio -- the "edgiest" radio station in town, not that that says much. Anyway, "Jane Says" was on the air. My mom walks in, listens for a bit, and says, "This is what I mean when I say the music you listen to is abrasive. Listen to this. This is just so abrasive!"

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 21st, 2011 07:04 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My mother would probably have agreed with yours, just because she sang in choir and disliked too much "grain of the voice." Then again, she came to appreciate Robert Smith's mid-80s singing, so maybe I'm selling her short.

At any rate, you should click on the link for the Christal Methodists in my entry. It takes you to a posthumous video someone made for them and posted to YouTube. They have a few others as well. Truly abrasive!
quuf From: quuf Date: June 21st, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I used to get Mom to laugh by playing "Babelogue" on our living-room stereo. She was familiar with Patti Smith from her appearances on The Mike Douglas Show, and had, I think, a grudging affinity for her. But I would have never considered playing "Gloria" - that first line would have been a deal-breaker.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 22nd, 2011 12:04 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes, I'm pretty sure that line from "Gloria" would have been a deal-breaker for my mother as well. It's impossible not to hear those words clearly.
4 comments or Leave a comment