Fri 14 May, 2004 05:16 am
I was perusing one of the threads here, and came across an old post of mine in which one of the words had been underlined in green. When hovering over the word with the mouse, a box appeared which announced that this is a sponsored link.
If what we write can be, willy nilly, converted into hot links to other sites, i think we should be informed, so that we can make an informed decision to edit what we post to eliminate the sponsored link, or simply to refuse to participate any longer on such a basis.
What do you think?
craven has a thread on this very subject - started a while ago. something about ads in text? the testing is just starting.
errrrr, and i'm one of the people who think just about anything to keep the site alive is a very good thing.
Sigh. Oh dear.
Personally, I really do not see the problem - forgive me, but, when a site has to support itself, I do not see the difference between this and, say, the old Google ads, which also used the site content to deliver targeted ads.
I am not meaning to be critical, or anything, of peoples' reactions - but this is just a more direct "google effect", as I see it.
I have no qualms with it at all.
Well, the green links increase the humour value of my day, so I gots no qualms. As the bunny said, it's not really that different from the Google ads.
can someone post a link to such a sponsored post. I hope the ads are tasteful. Otherwise , Im going to start making lots of references to weiners and stuff.
That might be tough farmerman. They are just in the testing stage, and seem to randomly appear and disappear.
hmmm, there's one I find particularly funny where patiodog refers to a camera - and an ad for a security camera floats over the green link
(let's see if it'll appear here - hmmmmmmmm - and what other words have triggered them - business .......... internet .........
Just like - er....well, nemmind....
Set, leaving is, of course, your prerogative but if you would be so good as to give me soem specific feedback I'd appreciate it (I'd announced this a while ago, but did not get feedback from people who would have been contitutionally opposed to it).
Right now it's in testing phase and will probably (depending on time, contracts and test results) be removed over the weekend so I'm don't yet know what will happen but here are some ideas I have.
1) Make available a template free of banner and image ads, using only these text ones.
That depends on the viability of the text ads supporting the page views but it would allow for users to choose those ads over the image ones (e.g. I personally prefer text ads to the image ones).
2) Allow users to delienate their posts as "off limits" to those ads. The technical issues for this solution are not yet thought out. basically it would involve a tag that can be wrapped around your posts that keep those ads out of it.
This type of thing would be considered because I think some objections raised have to do with how the pages are displayed for other people (e.g. right now you can turn off those ads for yourself by changing your forum template (style) in your profile to anything other than the default template, so opting out of display for yourself is already possible, but I think some people have concerns about how it's displayed to others, so feedback on this would be nice).
3) Have them displayed only to logged out users (i.e. guest visitors, who are a substantial part of the traffic and cost).
4) Have templates that simply do not use them.
5) Don't use this altogether. This is possible to some degree (I have a clause in my contract that says I have to use them for at least 90 days but I can relegate them to relatively unused pages) right now but the whole point of experimenting with this was for future needs.
Right now the current advertising is close to paying the basic operational costs (the servers and bandwidth), just the invetments in improvements (e.g. a new photo gallery software etc) is red.
So right now, removal is possible in that I will not have to close the site and I can afford to pay the differences.
Thing is, the next scaling of the site will mean servers that stop being affordable (I'm talking about servers that cost more than a car) and I'll eventually need to address that kind of scaling (hellifino how, that's why the testings).
6) Implement these ads. This is, of course, not something that those who object to them will see as an attractive option but it's one of the options.
7) Implement these ads and reduce other ads. e.g. I personally would prefer the text ads, and perhaps get rid of the skyscraper ads on the right.
Options 6 and 7 are no help to those who object to the ads.
Options 1, 3 and 4 would work for those whose objectiosn are about the way pages are displayed for them (but not for others).
Option 2 has some technical things to resolve but would be a solution for those with objections to how their posts are displayed for others.
Option 5 is the solution for objections on multiple levels (e.g. not wanting to see them, also not wanting others to see it in your own posts but also wanting others to not see it on other people's posts).
Like I said, I've no idea at this time what will be done, the objections are kinda blindsiding me because I'd solicited feedback and received pretty much nothing negative until the testing started.
So I'm not sure which of those options will work and which will be chosen, but I want some feedback from the people with objections because at the time the test was implemented I'd not received this kind of feedback and to avoid future surprises I'd like to get a handle on what type of objections I've to work with.
Incidentally, if you are interested in existing ways to remove ads from your posts keywords I can let you know of some ways (though IMO, it's too tedious to be worthwhile).
e.g. camera might turn into a link, but camea won't, and with BBcode on the interrupting tag will not display.
I really have no problem with the links. It is far preferable to pop-ups, or those things that swirl across your screen, and then disappear!
Yeah, I actually much prefer them to certain existing rich media that sometimes get used here (rollover expansion, audio...).
Popups will never be an ad model here. The site will close before popups are chosen as a means to keep it going.
The ad market changes a lot, and many sites resort to intrusive advertising.
Intrusive is in the eye of the beholder but there are several formats that large sites (as opposed to warez and shady ones) use that I don't want to ever use here.
1) popups, I do not like popup advertising. It pays about6-10 times more than the ads we use but I don't like popup advertising and will not use it.
2) floating ads. Some of our ads expand but no campaigns that float over the content and have to be dismissed are allowed.
3) Email marketing. One common way a site like this will monetize their user-base is to sell out the emails. This is something that we will not do. Emails provided to the site will only be used for the purposes of the functionality of the site (logging in etc) and will never be sold.
4) Paid site only. Allowing free access to this site is a cornerstone of the vision for the site. Paid membership only isn't something I will ever consider.
The image ad market might die in the face of the contextual boom and the next phases of growth for this site will be very expensive (e.g. the last server I was looking at as one for future growth cost 30,000 dollars).
Right now the revenue is doing ok with the basic operational costs of this site, but that's nowhere near the cost of the next levels of growth (hopefully the evolution of server power will help offset this cost, if servers evolve a bit faster than we grow we can avoid having to go with industrial size servers).
Options need to be explored to cope with both the growth of the site and the evolution of the adverting market while at the same time avoiding the models that are unacceptable (e.g. popups).
Oh, that one that you used to have "What do you want me to say". You know, the talking robot. It's not that I minded it. It's just that every time it came on, (which was often) it scared the hell out of me!
My only qualm with the text ads thusfar is that they aren't context sensitive (maybe that's just a future tuning thing.). If I say I need to access an ATM machine the text ad for access has been some company advertising Internet access - not really applicable.
They are done with client side scripting and don't actually run off a context engine (as I had been led to believe they would).
The contextual relevance can be improved, e.g. we are running "tech" tags site-wide but can also specify "travel" tags and "entertainment" ones for those areas.
But that contextual improvement will still not address the lacking context sensitivity in your example.
My qualm is technical, the html DIVs are re-written on the client side and in certain cases it can cause a lag that's unacceptable. There are ways to avoid it but that's one thing I saw that would need to be improved if this model is to work here.
We are not journalists, so their eithical code of isn't that relevant to us.
But the issue of delienation of content/advertising is a valid question. Thing is, we already have less clearly delienated advertising.
The intelliTXT ads use a special double underline that has become their trademark to differentiate themselves from links, they also don't work as ordinary links and are clearly labelled as sponsor links before any visitor can arrive at the destination.
So the issue of them not being clearly labelled as ads is addressed. And they are more clearly labelled as ads than regular affiliate advertising.
Anywho, you seem to be just now looking into this debate online. Here are some more takes:
This is from a guy who seems to both object to them as well as take a more nuanced reaction to them.
This is the ASME best practice guidelines for digital media. It's for journalism but that's where this debate centered.