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My feeling is that John Dehlin has overestimated the blogging community's willingness to support him. He'll need some big donors to bail him out or he'll come back anyway and have to face the decision of whether he still wants to charge those who offered support.

I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem with book ads or Google Adsense ads. They cost the readers nothing and may help a blogger cover hosting costs. If a blogger is sufficiently popular to make a little bit of profit from ads, all the power to him/her.

I love the title; reminded me of something that happened years ago in Primary. Thanks.

I actually like the book ads and always ignore the google ads, so no big deal for either.

I don't really see the "book ads" as ads; it's more like a deal, with Amazon supplying thumbnails, author/title info, and links to their bibliographic screen (which often includes a table of contents and an excerpts) and, in return, they get some traffic. I find the books on the sidebar a great way to organize information (after I learned how to embed links in the book blurbs).

The Google ads are just ads ... but it is always interesting to see who's willing to shell out a few bucks for online advertising. Deseret Book shows up regularly, as do sites with LDS personals and ringtone outfits. I just don't get the thing some people have for personalized ringtones.

Dooce, if anyone reads that, pointed out yesterday that she was featured in Saturday's Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune article quotes her husband Jon Armstrong as saying that ad revenue from her blog is the source of income for the family (neither he nor she works): The monthly checks add up to a "comfortable enough middle class to upper-middle class income," Jon said.

In other words, I think that John Dehlin could actually make his living with his blog, as Dooce does. The secret is to write inflammatory and disparaging material about the Church, a mainstay of Dooce's blog, as well as be an interesting person who writes about highly personal subject matter on the blog, including bodily functions, medical conditions and their resolution, frustrations with neighbors and family, and sexually explicit material. John might want to talk to Dooce (Heather Armstrong) about their ad gig and Mormon Stories might be able to take that path to a middle to upper class income instead of seeking donations in the amount of $2K per month from the Bloggernacle and DAMU.

Personally I hope John the best. But I think it would be wise to remember blogging is a hobby. Even if he could make money at it, it wouldn't be a lot. I think he'd be better off applying that time to finding a job or creating a job. For instance I love blogging but I've done precious little of it the past six months or more simply because I'm starting a new business and then have a young family. I hope to get back to blogging in actual depth rather than hit and run posts. But it's simply a low value priority.

Hit-and-run posts -- nice term. I find the short quickie posts often generate as much interesting discussion as longer, more detailed posts. While I get a lot more out of a longer post (it forces me to synthesize material and actually put an argument together), you just can't do one of those more than once or twice per week unless you have a lot of time on your hands. Student. Between jobs. On disability. SAHM or SAHD. That sort of thing.

I didn't know that about dooce. So she gets fired for dooce and becomes the family bread winner via the same vehicle. That's neat. Regarding her playing on the theater of the absurd aspects of Mormonism, BYU, Corporate America, etc, the shame is on us for supplying the free entertainment, not on her for using what was dropped in her lap.

Hey all!

Couple of things....

--I have already retired Mormon Stories. This was only a response to the 40+ emails I've received since retiring, asking me what would need to be done to bring it back.

--I already have a sweet job now (landed a gig last week...started on Monday), so I'm all set up that way.

--I have no interest in being another Dooce. For those of you who didn't like or listen to Mormon Stories--I don't expect you to understand. I will say that over 3,000 downloads an episode means to me that it did resonate with some...but I'm not interested in talking about bodily fluids, or even bashing the church. I'd be interested to hear about part of a podcast episode where I was guilty of that.

--Ads are an interesting idea, but honestly I no longer have the time to test out the theory. If I were able to build an audience that would ultimate be large enough to support ads, I'd be totally willing to forget the subscription idea. But I'm skeptical this would work given my target audience--somewhat liberal LDS folk who don't hate the church, and are interested in hearing stories from people within it...regarldess of where they fall on the ideological spectrum--be it Grant Palmer, Buckley Jeppson, or John Lynch. I can't imagine more than 10,000 people in the world who would fit in this category, and I'm not sure 10,000 would be enough traffic to fund ads that would keep me in business.

--Again, I'm totally at peace with this dying. I was doing it in response to those who asked me to, nothing more. I will be relieved in many, many ways if it continues to remain retired.

Clark--thanks for always being so decent.

John D., congrats on finding a new job!

I agree that your audience probably wouldn't be large enough to give you an upper-middle class income off of ads on your blog with your current content. That's the whole reason I listed the things about Dooce that I sense are the reason for her 800,000 to 1,000,000 hits per month, and the reason the ads pay off for her. So, my comment about ads was kind of tongue-in-cheek, because, although Dooce shows it is theoretically possible, it is a function of her content why it works for her, so if you wanted it to work for you, you would have to change your content to either the type of thing Dooce is doing or do something else that could bring that kind of traffic. But maintaining the status quo wouldn't provide a big enough audience.

But, again, it is good to hear that you are set now with a great job. That didn't take too long!

Thanks, John!!! I appreciate the explanation. I didn't quite understand, but I totally understand now.

You make good points.

Congratulations for finding a job. I know how stressful it is getting out of academia and trying to make sense of everything. It was one of the most stressful points in my life.

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