As of this week, I have removed all ad networks from Publishing 2.0 and will be offering paid sponsorships directly to companies with products and services that are highly relevant to Publishing 2.0 readers. For a niche publication (e.g. on publishing, media, and technology), I believe there is an opportunity to create more value for sponsors with a direct-to-publisher model. (Let me know if you are interested in learning more about sponsor opportunities on Publishing 2.0.)

You may have noticed ads from the first sponsor — NXTbook Media — running on the site. I’m grateful for their support.

Given the recent dust up over Federated Media’s Microsoft advertorial, I thought I would grab the bull by the horns by articulating a statement of principles regarding Publishing 2.0 sponsorships:

  • As both editor and publisher, I am responsible for maintaining the editorial integrity of Publishing 2.0.
  • Any content that is paid for by a sponsor to appear on Publishing 2.0 will be clearly labeled as such.
  • All sponsor content links will be ad redirects or tagged with rel=”nofollow” so that they convey no search engine optimization benefit.
  • Nothing that appears in an editorial post is paid for or otherwise influenced by a sponsor.
  • I will do my best to ensure that sponsor ads and content are highly relevant and not significantly annoying or distracting.
  • I may advise sponsors on how they might create advertisements or sponsor content that is more relevant to Publishing 2.0 readers, but I will never create any content for sponsors.
  • I will disclose when I make reference to a company or a competitor of a company who is a paid sponsor.
  • I will disclose when I make reference to any other company with whom I have a financial relationship.
  • I reserve the right to alter any of these principles with full disclosure and explanation for the change.
  • I reserve the right to make mistakes, learn from them, and be fully transparent about how I made the mistake and what I did about it.
  • Anyone who reads this blog is entitled to tell me publicly that I’ve blown it with one of these principles and to seek redress.

Just so there’s no confusion, here are the sponsorship elements that you may see on Publishing 2.0, i.e. someone paid for these:
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IAB Standard Ad Units
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  • 728×90 leaderboard at the top of the page
  • 468×60 banner at the bottom of every post, including in the RSS feed
  • 125×125 button in the sidebar
  • 300×250 rectangle in the sidebar
  • 160×600 skyscraper in the sidebar

Sponsor Posts

  • Headlines and teaser text from the most recent items on a sponsor’s blog, appearing in the sidebar with a colored background (as on TechMeme)
  • Sponsor posts published on Publishing 2.0, clearly labeled as SPONSOR POST in the headline, and written entirely by the sponsor (as on paidContent)

Here is a discussion about how sponsor posts can be legitimate ad units.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback.