Would you be willing to pay $5/year for access to East Carolina Roots content if all advertising and tracking codes from Google and Facebook were removed from the site?


THE POLL HAS ENDED
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What’s this all about?

I’m hearing a lot of concern from folks about Google, Facebook, and other big tech companies and how they collect and use data from people all over the internet.

I completely understand the concerns. I’ve wondered how to protect East Carolina Roots website visitors from being tracked by big tech on my site while still bringing in a few dollars each year to offset the cost of hosting and maintaining the site.

You’ve noticed ads on East Carolina Roots. They are served by Google Adsense, which I’ve used since the site was founded in 2007. That brings in a very modest amount of ad revenue each month and helps with the cost of maintaining the site. I’ve also previously had a Facebook widget on the site, but I’ve made the decision to remove that since it offers no benefit in terms of ad revenue.

Both of those “features” use cookies that allow Google and Facebook to know you have visited any site where their services are in use. In other words, virtually every site you are going to for news or information (unless it is a government site or a paid subscription site) is going to be using ads and tracking codes in some capacity. This is why you keep getting those cookie pop-up boxes asking you to consent on almost every site you visit.

It occurred to me if I charged a modest membership fee for East Carolina Roots, it would offset the maintenance costs and I could remove every single sort of tracking code on the site so your ECR site visiting experience will be completely free of big tech.

It’s ok with me either way. I am willing to keep the ads in place if you’d prefer to keep completely free access, but if you have found the site useful, or if you currently find the site useful, and you’d prefer to help maintain it with a modest subscription fee, I will get that set up right away and remove all tracking codes.

Or if you have some other idea, I’m welcome to that! Please leave a message in the comment box above.