Why I’ve Removed Google’s Ads

It’s a Matter of Control.

As of today, I’ve turned off Google’s “Adsense” service on this site.

This is True went online in the first half of 1994, so True has been in business longer than many big names in the Internet biz, including Google (1998). As a classic feature column, I received (and turned down) syndication offers from two different newspaper syndicates, including one of the biggest in the business, because I wanted full control of True’s publication rights — including its online presence. I’m not about to let Google control what I write about in this context!

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“Only in Premium”

The Minor Format Change introduced last week brought a lot of positive comments. Just one example: “Love, love, love the new way you tease the ‘missing’ Premium stories.” —Mark in New Jersey. That’s awfully nice. But, of course, there were protest unsubscribes last week because I stopped gathering all the “stories you missed” summaries into a large paragraph, and instead left their story slugs up among the full stories, and included a brief summary of the story there. A few examples:

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Ask Me Anything

A reader thought I should go on Reddit and do an AMA, or “Ask Me Anything” event. I do have a Reddit account, but I’ve been far from active there, and I’m a bit dubious that I’m known there. It’d be pretty icky to do an AMA and not have anyone show up. But after pondering it for several months, I thought I’d do an AMA outside of Reddit, and invite the Premium subscribers to ask the questions.

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20 Years …and Counting

This Week Marks a Huge Milestone for This is True: the end of its 20th year. It started as a bulletin board item outside my office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The first one, dated 26 June 1994, was written to go into my business plan — I hadn’t actually gotten distribution set up. As I was working on the tech, I kept writing a new column each week and, when it went online in July 1994, it was an instant hit, quickly ramping up in circulation.

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Ground Control to Major Tom

It’s been forever since I’ve written a “What I’ve been reading lately” blurb. You’ll like what has been on my tablet lately. (It’s amusing that while putting this in my blog software and having to choose categories, both “Away From Work” and “True Business” seem appropriate. Read on, and you’ll understand!)

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The Return of Paul Myers

OK, my old buddy Paul hasn’t gone anywhere, but I’ve talked about him before on this blog, and it’s time I talked about him again. He’s the type of friend that if I make a quick phone call to him (as I did today, to catch up), we end up gabbing for over an hour. Sometimes three.

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Unusual Unsubscribes

When people unsubscribe from This is True, they have the opportunity to leave comments. Most don’t, and oddly some think they “have to” (I mean really: “No comment.”?) And of course some use it as an opportunity to protest — like when I tell the truth that they don’t want to hear.

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Hints on Advertising in This is True

I’ve been meaning to write this up for some time, and with the holiday ad season ramping up, now’s the time.

I’ve had some of the savviest people in the world advertising in This is TrueSeth Godin, the first online marketer ever, was actually the first, way back in 1994. I’ve also had some really clueless (in a business sense) advertisers. Most, of course, have been somewhere in between. Here’s a quick review on how to help your ad buy achieve the best result it can.

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