Why Darwin Beats Danny Carlton

Danny Carlton writes a little known personal blog under the pseudonym “Jack Lewis” at jacklewis.net/weblog. But don’t try to visit it if you use Firefox, because he’s banned users of the popular browser from visiting his site. Firefox users are now redirected here.

Why? Because he objects to the fact that some of those Firefox readers are using an ad-blocking extension to block ads showing on the site. To counter the problem, he’s thrown the baby out with the bathwater and kicked 13% or so of the Internet off his site.

While Carlton is certainly enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame, in my opinion this is not a good strategy to build a blog. Users are solid gold. Even the ones that block ads. They sometimes write comments, which is free content. They link to you from their own blog. And they tell friends about your site. All that leads to more readers and, ultimately, more revenue. If a user wants to skip the ads and is willing to go to the trouble of installing ad blocking software, so be it. I still love ’em. And I gladly hand them my content for free.

Carlton doesn’t agree, apparently. Although I wonder why he continues to provide a full content feed, sans ads, at jacklewis.net/weblog/atom.xml (and it has been reposted here). Those users are “stealing” his content, too. What about them? Perhaps he’ll now turn his attention to the evils of RSS.

The Internet will certainly be a less colorful place without Carlton’s passionate editorial. A perusal of his blog posts (via Safari) tells me he thinks Barack Obama is a communist and that “fourth graders can be lied to and told the Theory of Evolution is a fact.” The problem is, Darwin was right. Only the fittest survive. And Carlton just made his blog an endangered species.