Back in February, we ran an accidental but successful project called Flowers for Al and Don. We raised a bunch of money to buy flowers for gay and lesbian newlyweds in the US, and made donations to organizations that defended their rights.
As a result of a lot of people linking to that page, it has great search engine karma. I’m averaging 5000 visits a month from people searching for the term ‘flowers’ (and only about 1000 for the term ‘gay’, and about 190 for ‘gay wrestling’, but that’s something else entirely). When I noticed this trend, I had a few thoughts:
- Almost all those people are disappointed when they visit Flowers for Al and Don.
- This is an opportunity to educate people about gay marriage.
- This is an opportunity to make a little cash via Google AdSense.
On the education front, the page does pretty well by itself. The list of names alone has a certain power. I added a prominent statement that says ‘Do you believe gay marriage should be legal in the US? Support Lambda Legal and the ACLU Gay and Lesbian Rights Project.’ I think that’s enough. It’d be kind of underhanded to foist a gay marriage agenda on random folks searching for flowers.
I have mixed feelings about including the ads. On the one hand, it might actually be helpful to people seeking flower vendors (there are, of course, a bunch of flower vendors already listed throughout the page). Hopefully when Google indexes the page, the ads might become more relevant. At the moment they’re for MADD and donating your car to charity.
More practically, I’ve got bandwidth costs to cover. AdSense certainly isn’t going to make me rich (those ads might be worth US $1-2 a day, maybe?), but it helps to cover those costs every month. Excepting karma, I didn’t profit from Flowers from Al and Don. Clearly, though, I’m skeptical about the ethics of running an ad there, or I wouldn’t be posting about it.
Maybe the right thing to do is give a portion of this page’s AdSense revenue to Lambda Legal and the ACLU. What do you think? Am I evil? What should that portion be? Feel free to leave disparaging, anonymous remarks in the comments.