Well I didn’t get much of an on topic response to my question of whether readers would be bothered by ads in an RSS feed, but I did get into a nice chat about hosting at home verse with a service. Apparently Robb Allen has enough computers at home to supply a third-world country. Think about it Robb? They can really use it. ;)
But it appears that a general backlash is brewing against the idea. It’s the battle between the Utopian view of RSS and market pressures. Personally, if a feed is interesting enough to me, I’d be happy to tolerate ads as long as the ads weren’t too distracting or garish. For small fries like me, it’s a nice way to supplement the income, especially as one who has recently made the jump to be independent.
Having said that, it’s almost always a bad move to alienate readers (unless your taking a principled stance on an important issue you believe in). The best choice (for me at least) is to offer a choice (paper or plastic?). I’ll probably keep my main feed ad free, but add a separate (but equal) rss feed that would contain an occasional ad. At that point I’ll cajole, grovel, and beg subscribers to switch to the feed with ads to help a brotha out.