John Battelle on Adsense Update: Fred, $500, and Is Google Trying Harder?

John Battelle’s Searchblog: Adsense Update: Fred, $500, and Is Google Trying Harder? I’m glad to see someone of John’s stature take up Fred Wilson’s post and use it to talk about Google’s Adsense. And thanks for linking to my comments on the subject at Thomas Hawk.

John clarifies much of what is wrong, in my opinion, with Google’s Adsense program. Conceptually I think it’s a great idea, but like John a lot of the parts of the program just don’t sit right with me — the secrecy around the program, the fact that bloggers can’t talk about it, the TOS, the no competition clause, etc.

Sergey, transparency is not evil. I’d encourage you to rethink your Adsense program and the requirements that you put on bloggers who use it.

Anytime someone tells me that I can’t talk about something that’s out in the public like Adsense it just smells bad to me. I can understand if a company has a product in beta and very shortly it’s going to launch and can be discussed, or if someone gives you information off the record or on background due to retaliation that they might face for giving you information for further research as has been part of the journalism trade for decades — but to take a huge major public program and demand sercrecy about how it works just doesn’t seem right.