Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monetize This!

So every time I open up blogger to work on a post, I am confronted with this shiny new "monetize" tab. At first I assumed -who wouldn't?- that this was a tool designed to render all lettering and photography in broad, impressionistic strokes, so as to blunt the inherent brutality of prose and make my more cutting asides resemble fat, happy water lilies.

Alas, not so. Further investigation revealed that "monetize" was the work not of a Monet devotee gone mad with power, but of Adam Smith's good ol,' gnarled, hairy, invisible hand. "Monetize" my blog, the instructions intoned, and I could make buckets of money off of my political ramblings or my convoluted musings on cheese.

Needless to say, there will be no "monetizing" of Aphaeresis. In the first place, cheese doesn't pay, and in the second place, ads are really damn annoying. Not to mention that profoundly disturbing word "monetize," which does away with the intermediary verbs that usually come between subject (you) and object (money) (e.g., "make," "lose," "spend"), and dunks you straight into a pile of cash.

Plus it kind of incenses me that the capital M Market is trying to package and sell that last holdout against rabid consumerism, my brain. Come on, folks: we're treated enough like commodities as it is! Do we really want to whore out our thoughts?

The only thing that tempts me is the potential -pleasant, substantial- for ridiculousness. Monetization hooks you up with a sidebar's worth of Google ads, the kind that assess the content of the rest of your screen and attempt to target, narrowly, you and/or your readers. It's a kind of poor woman's tarot, revealing yourself to yourself in unexpected -and spectacularly commercial- costumes.

Facebook does the same thing. Here's a recent sampling of ads based on my profile:
  • Attend Brown University's Infant Mental Health Conference!
  • Buy swarovski crystals to make your stethoscope unique and fun!
  • New Zealand WANTS YOU.
Gotta go, folks. My destiny is beginning to clarify.

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