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What if we add Advertising to the site?
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:21 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

What if we would add advertising to the site?

What type?
Where?
Banners?
Text?
Flash?
Animated?
Within posts?
Inbetween posts?
Left side - right side - top or bottom?
Sell them ourselves or use a network?
Which network?
Does it hurt our quality?
Do you trust sites with advertising?

 

ettore

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 7:16 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

As long as content and advertising are easy to distinguish, I'll be fine with ads all over WebmasterWorld.

kartiksh

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 7:52 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I second the views by TheMadScientist

webwiz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 8:59 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think that this is a good idea & agree with previous posts that it would probably increase membership. It could also address the issue of not mentioning commercial products in the posts. Perhaps if members know of useful products or web services they could recommend that those companies advertise on the site.
I think that there needs to be clearly identified areas for banner ads & text ads. Perhaps there could be an option to hide ads area for those members who object.

irldonalb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 9:22 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Issue with Adsense is some less informed users might think WebmasterWorld are recommending SEO agencies.

Picture a thread started by a newbie "How do I get my site Ranked....." with advert ad on the top such as:

Be On 1st Page in 24 Hrs
From only $6.95 per day.
Ask about our Free Trial.

(Actual Ad)

Everyone hold WebmasterWorld in such high esteem and it's important it does loose that.

I agree that advertising should be allowed but there needs to be quality control (higher than Adsense's).

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 10:38 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

So long as ads are labelled "Ads" (as Adsense and others usually do), there is a limit to how much mothering visitors need. Those interested in SEO should not be considered internet naive, and text ads are everywhere.

The only issue to worry about for WebmasterWorld is the page layout (ie not dominated by ads), and taking the wheelbarrow to the bank.

I don't like ads any more than the most negative person in this thread - but realistically, it is the only viable business model for 99% of web sites, including this one. I don't even see most ads; but once in a while I do spot a good one and click - which makes the whole thing work for me.

And those who cannot tune out of ads can get the appropriate browser tool and make 'em go away. In the 21st century, web ads are really not a problem, they are part of life. Go for it.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 11:33 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

1.Advertising is fine if it is quick loading
2.Doesn't affect the site's/management's impartiality. I think we are all adults here and are capable of making our own decisions on knowing whether to trust or not trust anything
3.Probably better kept up top and on the sides rather than between posts



.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 11:39 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

All this talk about advertising, is the WebmasterWorld audience really one to click on AdSense Ads? I don't think so.

I'm voting again for developing the WebmasterWorld Ad Network and putting quality ads in front of us, those I might click on. Anything else is just a waste of space and open for abuse and negative community feedback.

I'm so used to seeing them up there in the top right, they just "fit". ;)

Rumbas

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 1:55 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sure, bring it on, but keep it outside of the content please and please dont use those js/ajax banners that goes amok once you put your mouse over them.

dauction

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:04 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sell ad space for webmaster services , products, and How To Videos related adverst only..right side column (direct sale not adsense or other 3rd party)

Portal View for webmaster world with advertising in a 250 px right side column.....

mergen

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:34 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I second pretty much everyone. Non invasive ads are OK, especially if they are HIGHLY relevant. Other than that, ad model is difficult to make enough money. It can certainly be a good revenue stream, but not your entire revenue model... my two cents

markflury

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:34 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think having advertising on the site is a good idea as long as it is discrete. It is also important to control what is advertised so it is relevant to the people on the site. Animated ads or ones that popup and take up the whole screen shouldn't be allowed.

~ Mark

sfg789

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:38 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I support advertising on the site if like mentioned above the loading time isn't greatly diminished by 3rd parties. Otherwise i see no problem with it ;)

MMac

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:43 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ads are fine, but please not animation, movement or flashing/blinking. The best ads would be those that are related to the topics here in the forums.

freelistfool

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 3:00 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you keep the quality of the information on the site and keep out the forum spammers then I don't care if you put ads all over the place. Most of your users are sophisticated enough to go ad blind within about 10 minutes.

Your site is of such good quality that you have every right to monetize it.

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 3:29 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Small text-only ads or "quiet" banners (no loud colors or 'dancing bologna') that comport with the "News and Discussion for the Professional Webmaster."
Ads clearly labeled as such.
None in Supporters.
No 'extra' ads for non-logged-in visitors; We want them to log in and participate, and extra ads might be off-putting.

Jim

tiori

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 7:59 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ads are a good idea.

gpilling

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 8:06 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Paid classifieds for users to sell their services to other users. Some people here can code like crazy, but can't design to save their life. Others can design, but wouldn't know Perl if it hit them in the face. I personally would hire people on this forum that I like and respect but I don't know who is for hire and who is too busy and who just does their own stuff. (Yes I cam sticky mail and phone, but that is time consuming to find out that they are interested in the project but too busy)

If the classifieds are simple and related to the username, you could scale the fee to match the popularity. Like adwords pricing but for classifieds. SEO ads cost $100 per month, Perl programming ads are $75 etc. Top placement costs more.

KenB

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 8:11 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't mind traditional banner style ads as long as they are loud (e.g. the old punch the monkey ads). I use Flashblock on Firefox so I never see Flash based ads, but I don't otherwise block ads (except for popups/popunders). I do really hate ads that float over the content or impede my access to content in any way. In the end advertising helps pay the bills so that I can access stuff for free.

grelmar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 9:00 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I meant to reply to this thread a Tuesday, but I wanted to think out my response and ended up getting distracted by work. The thread has grown beyond my meagre attention span's ability to sift through all of it since then, so apologies if some of this sounds repetitive.

Short Answer
Go for it Brett. Nobody here should resent the need to raise capital, which gives you the ability to hire (more) staff, invest in contract coders, and of course, reward yourself financially for the outrageously useful venue that you've provided to your users over the years.

I have absolutely zero doubt that there are hundreds of profitable webmasters out there who owe great debts to this site for the ideas and discussions that can be found here and nowhere else.

Long Answer
Go for it, but be very careful, and expect problems.

First off:
If you are going to keep a "walled garden" for supporters, then make sure that the supporters don't have to see ads. Ever. In any form.

Secondly:
Consider getting rid of the supporters "walled garden". Of course, you would first have to determine that the revenue lost from the supporters area was more than offset by advertising revenue. One of the things about WebmasterWorld that has annoyed me for some time is supporters section threads that get front-paged. There was a time when I was using this forum much more heavily than I am now (career has moved into a direction that makes this forum somewhat less relevant to me personally), but the front paging of supporters forum threads decided me against contributing. It seemed like a cheap baiting tactic, and got my hackles up. However, if you put advertising on the site, many people (myself included), would feel they would be "paying" for the content in the act of being subjected to advertising, and thereby a separate area for "contributors" might seem like you were pushing it.

Thirdly:
Don't use a stock program like Adsense or any of the others. The crowd here is savvy enough that those types of programs will simply be looked past, if not actively blocked. AdBlock is a cornerstone of my web surfing experience. It makes otherwise atrocious sites tolerable (dead tree News publishers who have websites I'm thinking of you here), and I would argue that a high percentage of this crowd has some form of Ad Blocking technology built in that would filter out any of the stock advertising/affiliate programmes you could tap into.

Fourthly:
Lead by example and build it out yourself, and with the help of some of the deep minds here. And then tell us how you did it. Seriously. There are many people here who would love to break out of the grip that the big affiliate programs have on their sites, who would relish the chance to explore building out their own, in house advertising program, if only they could see a winning example in action that demonstrated how to do it right. This place is, and always has been, about surviving and winning as an independent webmaster. Taking full control of the advertising revenue stream is a step towards greater independence that many here are afraid to take, because they have real world concerns (mortgages, families, employees), and the risks involved with taking advertising in house can be a little daunting.

Fifth:
Be careful how you combat ad blocking technology. Don't get into an arms race. You will lose. Technologically, there are far more people actively working on ways to get rid of advertising than you could ever hope to hire to work on the problem. Socially, in engaging in that battle, you would anger a huge segment of your users and just drive them away. Is it Ok to have a little nag message show up every now and then saying "Hey, I know your using AdBlock, could you disable it for this site? Throw me a bone, brotha..." or something along those lines? I'd say sure. I've seen those messages on other sites, and I've even clicked the option to disable ad blocking for those sites from time to time. Ask politely, and you never know, some people will probably play along.

Sixth:
If you decide to allow image based Ads, keep a firm editorial approval process on the types of ads you allow. Nothing "blinky" or moving, nothing garish or gaudy. Those ads have a place - they have a target audience. That place and that target audience are not here.

Seventh:
Make money. Live long and prosper WebmasterWorld - you've earned your rewards.

bluelook

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 9:24 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

What type? Text and simple graphics

Where? Doesn't matter to me

Banners? Yes, if not too flashy.

Text? Yes.

Flash? No, it will conflict with the simple design that WW always had.

Animated? Same as above.

Within posts? Preferably outside...

Inbetween posts? No problem.

Left side - right side - top or bottom? Doesn't matter.

Sell them ourselves or use a network? Maybe yourselves, but using a backup network when ad inventory isn't enough and if they don't insert annoying ads.

Which network? Hum...

Does it hurt our quality? No. Most websites have ads, if done properly it won't affect.

Do you trust sites with advertising? Yes.

designaweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 10:12 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ads are fine, as long as paid subscriptions don't have them.

jecasc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 11:42 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

A piece of advice if you want to go for ads. Sell the ads yourself:

1. You only need half the amount of ads, because you do not lose 50% on comission.
2. You won't have problems with the pageload of 3d party ad servers if you host the banners yourself.

We once started a small forum so we simply slammed some ads by a 3d party network on the site. And when the forum grew bigger and bigger we did not change anything. Until someone came by and offered us the same amount we got for rotating banners in six month from the network for a 3month banner. Then we removed the network ads and sold the spaces ourselves and this was much more profitable. Since you already have a decent amount of daily visitors you should have not much problem in selling ad spaces yourself.

SLR Web Design

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 12:55 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think advertising is a good idea. Just dont let the site become over comercialised. I think maybe 1 or 2 small ads at the top and/or bottom is sufficient. I am sure plenty of forum members would love to advertise here, and I would hate to see irrelevant stuff or outsiders taking business from us.

alchemyst

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 1:03 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Advertising is okay as long as it is NOT:

Flash!
Animated
Graphic
obtrusive
out-weighs content
interferes with conversation

Keep the ads light, text only, in one location on a page, relevant to forum/topic.

redintheforest

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 1:19 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

What if we would add advertising to the site?
I think advertising is perfectly acceptable on forums as long as the advertising is related to the forum topic and is of value to the members.

Where? Along one side in a column
Banners?Better than text
Text? There is enough text on a forum
Flash? Really slows the upload time of the page
Animated?Slows it down
Within posts?NO!
Inbetween posts?NO!
Left side - right side - top or bottom? Left or right side, but bottom will not be viewed.
Sell them ourselves or use a network? Doing it yourself will be cheaper
Does it hurt our quality?If related to the forum it should not
Do you trust sites with advertising? Depends on the site. Forums and Directories, yes. Retail, no.

urbanwebkat

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 1:20 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

What type? Simple, non-intrusive ads

Where? Top and right side, not in between posts.

Banners? Yes, as long as it doesn't flash, blink or annoy me.

Text? Yes.

Flash? No, it slows down the site and gives advertisers license to add the annoying "look at me" effects.
Animated? Same as above.

Within posts? Only if it's on the top and right, not in the post.

Inbetween posts? No.

Left side - right side - top or bottom? Top and right.

Sell them ourselves or use a network? Sell it yourself. Don't use 3rd parties.

Which network? N/A

Does it hurt our quality? No. You have to pay your bills at the end of the day. Just don't let it get obnoxious.

Do you trust sites with advertising? Trust is build through excellent content, not advertising. As long as your content isn't overwhelmed by your advertising, you should be fine.

jatar_k

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 1:24 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I encourage ads, just don't break my thread continuity, couldn't care less where they are aside from that.

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 1:48 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

>> I encourage ads, just don't break my thread continuity,
>> couldn't care less where they are aside from that.

I'll second that emotion!

QualityNonsense

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4138385 posted 2:57 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

My thoughts:

- I've no problem with more ads

- Adsense-style text ads would be most in keeping with the site (regardless of who serves them: Google or in-house clone)

- Avoid animations/interstituals/banners, please please plase

- Make positioning more aggressive for non-logged in members (eg, 300x250 ad block above the fold for non-logged in)

- Avoid ads for paid subscribers - it'd be one big reason to subscribe.

- Current ad positioning (very top right) is poor deal for advertisers

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