Ethical Advertising

Read the Docs is a large, free web service. There is one proven business model to support this kind of site: Advertising. We’re building an advertising model that respects users while providing value to advertisers.

We talk a bit below about our worldview on advertising.

If you’re a marketer, we have information on how to get in touch with us about running ads.

Our worldview

We’re building the advertising model we want to exist:

  • We don’t track you
  • We don’t sell your data
  • We host everything ourselves, no third-party scripts

We’re doing newspaper advertising, on the internet. For a hundred years, newspapers put an ad on the page, some folks would see it, and advertisers would pay for this. This is our model.

So much ad tech has been built to track users. Following them across them web, from site to site, showing the same ads and gathering data about them. Then retailers sell your purchase data to try and attribute sales to advertising. Now there is an industry in doing fake ad clicks and other scams, which leads the ad industry to track you even more intrusively to know more about you. The current advertising industry is a vicious downward spiral.

As developers, we understand the massive downsides of the current advertising industry. From malware, slow site performance, and huge databases of your personal data being sold to the highest bidder.

The trend in advertising is to have larger and larger ads. They should run before your content, they should take over the page, the bigger, weirder, or flashier the better.

We opt out.

We don’t store personal information about you. We only keep track of views and clicks. We don’t build a profile of your personality to sell ads against. We only show high quality ads from companies that are of interest to developers.

We are running a single, small, unobtrusive ad on documentation pages. The products should be interesting to you. The ads won’t flash or move.

We run the ads we want to have on our site, in a way that makes us feel good.

Join us

We’re building the advertising model we want to exist. We hope that others will join us in this mission:

  • If you’re a developer, talk to your marketing people about using advertising that respects your privacy.
  • If you’re a marketer, vote with your dollars and support us in building the ad model we want to exist.