During the early hours of the morning, Jon Burke, of Automattic made an announcement which looks to help certain WordPress users monetize from their blogs. The program is called WordAds, and is being implemented through a partnership with Federated Media.
The announcement not only introduced users to WordAds, but explained the timing and reason for it, "Over the years one of the most frequent requests on WordPress.com has been to allow bloggers to earn money from their blog through ads. We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense."
Ouch. Burke explains that there are over 50,000 WordPress blogs created everyday and their new advertising program will provide these users with a tasteful and effective option for advertising.
If you'd like to apply for the program, they're accepting applications now. However, only certain sites will be accepted with a custom domain being a requirement. The selection process will be based on level of traffic, content, and language utilized on a blog. WordPress uses BoingBoing and Apple Insider as examples of sites which use Federated Media as an advertising partner.
Deanna Brown, CEO, Federated Media Publishing, said this at the time, "WordPress.com contributors epitomize the idea of passionate and influential publishers on the Independent Web. They have ardent followings and they present information in a very focused, conversational format, which is exactly the type of media offerings found in the rest of our existing portfolio. They really are an excellent fit for us."
Twitter has been responding to the news, with most people focusing on Burke's jab at Google's Adsense:
WordPress Introduces WordAds: “You Deserve Better Than AdSense”
It's interesting that Burke would announce this as a rival to AdSense, considering the program looks to be exclusive and through a partnership with Federated Media. Judging from the ads provided on AppleInsider and BoingBoing, it seems as though there will be very few WordPress sites which would meet the standards set from the application process. Comparing this to the Adsense platform which is massive and represents a large number of sites seems a bit of a stretch at this point. As sites adopt the program, we'll be able to see the potential it has to rival Google.