$30,000 for making a cell phone call during a game. $5,000 for wearing a baseball cap with a cross on it too soon after a game ends. Jim McMahon forced to remove his Tagliabue headband while watching football on TV. Michael Vick Fined $50k for using Breath Assure instead of Tic-Tacs.
Okay, that last one was a parody, but there is a point to all this, a point I hope those of you using “free webhosting” in exchange for pop-up and banner ads, and/or those of you subscribing to services such as Google or blogAds on your church website get.
- Once you sell out your space, you also lose control of your image and message.
- Once you sell out using cheap tricks and you destroy your image and message.
Case in point: Super Bowl XXXVIII.
As I understand it, the NFL, an organization known for it’s agressive and some times extreme control of their image, sells the rights to air the Super Bowl to the
Central Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS, a Viacom subsidiary, sells sponsorship of the half-time show to America Online. The NFL and CBS then select MTV, also a Viacom subsidiary, to produce the half-time show for AOL. The result? The first Super Bowl to require a parental warning.
I’ve seen something similar happen with church web sites. The National Federation of Lutherans hosts their site for free over at Cool Bandwidth Services. In exchange for the service, CBS is allowed to place banner and pop-up ads on their site. They hire Ads Omnipotent Logos to produce the ads. They in turn contract Mike’s Virtual Titillation. The result? A church website who along with advertising twelve step programs of their own, also hurl pop-up ads at their visitors with enticements to online casinos, viagra and other items you’d rather not have associated with your ministries.
So to my first point, remember, if you want to control your image and your message, then be wary of adware service on your church or charity’s website.
Regarding my second point, think about this: here we had one of the more exciting games in Super Bowl history that won’t be remembered for the heroic play during the game, but rather the cheap theatrics during the half-time. This is too bad, because the game really had some substance.
Similarly, contrivances and gimmicks such as spinning animated crosses, cursor trailers and moving marquees may be fun and easy to deploy, but they usually convey a lack of content to your visitors.
In other words, figure out what your church or charity’s message is, and remove anything from your website that distracts, detracts or degrades this message.
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment.