It’s been almost a year since we made FeedDemon, NetNewsWire and NewsGator Inbox free, and it has been very gratifying to gain so many new customers. But as you can imagine, we continue to look for ways to generate revenue from our software.
One of the ideas, of course, was to include advertising in our applications, but that idea never sit well with us. As I’ve written before, I’ve seen too many cases where advertising led to compromising customers’ privacy, and that wasn’t a path any of us wanted to ever go down. And besides, so much advertising on the web is irrelevant, tacky and often just plain obnoxious. No developer wants to work at building a great user interface only to see it marred by animated Viagra ads.
At some point, Brent Simmons mentioned an ad network called The Deck, and it was different than most other networks we’ve looked at. The Deck is focused on ads for creative web professionals, and they’re picky about the ads they accept. Just as important, the ads can be embedded in our applications without sharing any customer data.
I’ve been running a test version of FeedDemon which features ads from The Deck, and I have to say, I like what I see. Every single ad is tastefully done, and since they’re static images, there’s no flashy animation trying to get your attention. I even found myself clicking on several of them to find out more, which is something I very rarely do.
The screenshot below shows how it looks (click to enlarge):
As you can see, the ads are displayed at the bottom left of FeedDemon’s user interface – they’re not inserted into the feeds you’re subscribed to, nor will they jump around the page you’re reading.
Long story short, we’re going to give this a shot, and we want to know what you think about it. It’s important to us that we generate revenue from our software, but we absolutely don’t want to do it in a way that offends or distracts our customers.
If you’re interested in taking a look, stop by the FeedDemon 2.8 Beta site to download a test version which has the ads enabled.