I've added a Google AdSense banner to the bottom of the navigation pane on this blog. Don't worry though, I don't intend turning this blog into an advertising freak show.
I'm just experimenting with how effective the Google contextual advertising will be with the content of this blog. This is a technology blog after all, and therefore the ads may actually prove useful. If the ads do eventually manage to pay for the hosting of this server, I'd be mighty pleased. If the ads don't pan out to be useful, I'll investigate another avenue or just remove them completely.
I know there are large crowds of people completely against any form of advertising on web sites (and blogs in particular), but I do believe that advertising can be done right in order to help finance the activities that make them popular in the first place. Jeff Atwood has a great piece entitled How To Advertise on Your Blog Without (Completely) Selling Out which is a good guideline for bloggers thinking about using ads to subsidize their hosting/bandwidth fees.
Of course, if you're a technically natured person reading this blog, you're probably already using Firefox with the Adblock Plus extension, so you'll never need to see the ads. I know I am, and that also explains why I (like an idiot) uploaded the ad modifications to my web host 3 times before realising that I couldn't see my own ads because they were being blocked by my Adblock Plus extension. Adblock Plus is so effective that I often don't even realise I'm using it.
Blocking ads on web sites has become somewhat of a morality debate on the interwebs recently. Some publishers feel you're stealing their content if you don't view the ads, but I'm personally in the camp that believes that anyone with an ad blocker installed is probably not going to click on your ads anyway.
If you've got strong feelings about blogs and ads, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.