I've decided to monetize Specter of Reason. According to Blogger, Specter Of Reason has received 200,599 page views since its inception on October 28, 2007. For the past year or so, it was averaging around 100 to 150 views per day. This year, the numbers are going up rapidly. For the past week or so, it's been getting around 600/day. Yesterday, the blog received over one thousand page views.
I've been blogging for almost nine years, and never wanted to earn money from it. It's always been primarily about two things: (1) developing my writing and critical reasoning skills and (2) influencing philosophical debates (both academic and popular). It's hasn't only been about philosophy. I've used the blog to pursue some other interests, as well. I've been writing a lot about politics lately. I also write film criticism and reviews, and I incorporate musical interludes from time to time, too. However, philosophy has always been the focus, and I thought monetizing would be counterproductive. I was afraid that if I monetized, people wouldn't take my arguments seriously.
Monetizing does open me up to a certain line of criticism: If somebody thinks one of my arguments is weak or superficial, they can accuse me of posting garbage just to increase my income. It's an easy way to dismiss an argument. However, if somebody wants to dismiss an argument, they will find a way to do it. The ads might give them an easy tool, but it won't give them the motivation to dismiss me in the first place. If somebody wants to take me seriously, the ads won't stop them.
The only issue for me, therefore, is whether I want to participate in online advertising at all. I don't have strong feelings about it yet, so I'm giving it a shot.
I'm not sure how this will influence my posting habits. I will, as always, try to develop a more accessible writing style. I will probably also try to include images and other elements to grab attention, but always in a way that is both relevant and interesting. I might try to post more regularly. I might try to post on topics that I think will be more popular. You might think politics, film and music are likely to generate more page views than philosophy. It could be that I'm getting a lot more hits now because I'm writing more about film and politics. However, I'm not sure.
Most hits go directly to my home page. None of my specific posts from 2015 or 2016 have received a huge number of views, though the most successful are indeed about film and politics.
The most successful from 2016 are:
- Luke Skywalker and Rey: Comparing Character Arcs (posted January 18, 2016) - 217 views
- Spinning Coates (posted January 28, 2016) -- 207 views
- Mad Max: Fury Road - Renewing Old Mythology (posted May 23, 2015) - 676 views
- Judaism Lost: A Comment on "Ida" (posted February 15, 2015) - 499 views
- The Unintended Irony of Birdman and Big Hero 6 (posted February 27, 2015) - 373 views
I'm glad to say I'm happy with all of those posts. Most of them have received over 1,000 views since their original publication, but three of them have not:
- 2013 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Existence Of Nothing (posted March 22, 2013) - 640 views
- Knowing *about* what it is like (posted March 16, 2013) - 617 views
- Is Parenthood A Rational Choice - Take 2 (posted March 13, 2013) - 626 views
- Sam Harris and the Moral Realism/Moral Relativism Myth (posted May 19, 2010) - 4,984 views
- The Ball State Controversy: The Limits of Accreditation (posted May 19, 2013) - 4,093 views
- Kant on Morality and Dignity (posted June 23, 2010) - 3,015 views
- 3rd Annual 3QD Philosophy Blog Post Competition (posted August 30, 2011) - 2,651 views
- Descartes Contra Wittgenstein (posted May 24, 2009) - 2,513 views
- TED Talks: Deb Roys "The Birth Of A Word" (posted October 19, 2013) - 2,022 views
- Inception Deception (posted August 2, 2010) - 1,658 views
- Properly Basic Beliefs (posted February 7, 2012) - 1,588 views
- An Argument For Compatibilism (posted February 26, 2014) - 1,532 views
- Calling Stupid On Winter Soldier (posted July 10, 2014) - 1,478 views
- I have something to say to Neil deGrasse Tyson (posted March 17, 2013) - 1,477 views
- Two Arguments For Theological Noncognitivism (posted July 8, 2010) - 1,453 views
- Musical Interlude: The Best of the Last 25 Years (1985-2009) (posted July 8, 2010) - 1,433 views
- Ryle On Rules And Creativity (posted July 27, 2010) - 1,384 views
- A Closer Look At Sam Harris On Guns (posted February 14, 2013) - 1,316 views
- Two Kinds Of Knowledge In Plato's Gorgias (posted October 6, 2013) - 1,299 views
- Public Displays of Atheism (posted February 27 2011) - 1,233 views
- TOK: Sense Perception and Illusions (posted November 25, 2014) - 1,203 views
- Why I Am Not A Teapot Agnostic (posted August 25, 2008) - 1,143 views
- An Objection to Stanley's Accusation That Ryle Appeals to Verificationism (posted February 1, 2012) - 1,199 views
- Clarifying Theological Noncognitivism (posted February 7, 2009) - 1,132 views
- A Universe From Nothing (posted March 26, 2013) - 1,122 views
- Stanley and Williamson on Ryle: "Knowing How" (posted September 5, 2009) - 1,088 views
- TED Propaganda and Pseudo-Intellectualism (posted October 15, 2013) - 1,037 views
- Gravity Is About Finding God (posted October 18, 2013) - 1,003 views