Should We Continue AdPulp Forever? Yes But No But Yes.

I didn’t realize it until today, but YesButNoButYes stopped updating last spring.
The site’s founder and editor, Scaramouch, says that “you’ll probably never make money blogging, so only do it if you love it.” YBNBY regularly got up to 500,000 visits a month, but most months made less than $1000.
Scaramouch, who has a day job as Creative Director and Partner at Campfire, also looked into the looking glass to see if there might be better blogging days ahead.

I use a lot of this type of intuition in my day-to-day work – telling brands what Foursquare means to their business, or the potential impact of the iPad, or yadda yadda yadda. YesButNoButYes was actually set up in frustration in 2005 when I worked at the world’s largest advertising agency, and got tired of trying to convince confused clients that “blogs were going to be important”.
So what does this have to do with YBNBY? Well, once again, I think I see the future coming. And blogs like YBNBY have no place in that social dystopia. Because what we did best – curating the best (or worst) of the web, unearthing those pop culture gems from the dark corners of the internet with a wry commentary – that no longer has value. You guys don’t need a blog for that. Twitter and Facebook have changed that forever, you can just go there.

Naturally, Scaramouch’s message is one I’m eager to consider. Even when your project truly is a labor of love, it’s still important to ask if you’re getting what you need from it. A project like AdPulp can pay off in lots of different ways, and it has. AdPulp opens a lot of doors and it’s a strong reputation engine for us. I’m also happy we’ve created a place to talk about advertising–it’s an industry people love to hate, nevertheless, it’s one of the most powerful industries on the planet today. As such, I really can’t leave it alone.
The frustrations I sometimes feel have to do with the math that isn’t being done by a small but important segment of our readers. The equation goes like this: Your need for a popular website + Our ability to deliver it = Big win. I do understand that’s not what people are looking for here; hence, the disconnect. Even so, the self-promotion special will appear on our menu from time to time. Maybe you’ve heard the maxim, “I’ve tried asking and I’ve tried not asking, and asking works much better.” Yes, asking works much better.
I’ll wrap this up by challenging the notion that blogs are losing relevance to Facebook and Twitter. I know what Scaramouch means, but I see it differently. Due to all the noise in the networks, this is the perfect time for a site with longer form niche content to succeed–whatever success means to the publisher, editor(s) and writers in question. Speaking for the AdPulp team, I think it’s safe to say we have been successful for many years, but there are always more and higher peaks to scale. It’s the nature of the game. You build something and you make it better. On the web you do that every single day.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.