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Author Topic: Blocking text-ads, no revenue left for web-writers?  (Read 4557 times)
justice
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« on: August 08, 2008, 04:16:40 AM »

Just been reading Gizmo's article on disabling Google's text advertisements. I'm realizing it has come this far: people have been increasingly annoyed by advertising on their favorite websites. N now even Google's textads are targeted because a small percentage puts the ads on the page people have become annoyed. So they disable the ads. That's their right.

However that leaves millions of bloggers without a possible revenue stream to support their writing so I am thinking what it can be replaced with. I've no idea. Personally I wouldn't donate to a website because I liked a certain article, donationware works best for 'tools'. I don't think I can get paid for putting legitimate search results underneath a post, which would be a benefit to readers, which is a shame. Subscription services go against the nature of the web (hiding content from public). I wouldn't buy a mug just because i read a website. Maybe that means that it's just too hard for an individual to recoup their costs?

That said, the majority of people will not have adsense blocked. And I think the majority of bloggers don't blog for money, but because they like to discuss.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 04:24:17 AM »

Now, how do we disable the ads in that advertising brochure that masquerades as a newsletter?
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Lashiec
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 06:04:44 PM »

Well, the idea is to always support those sites you regularly visit by whitelisting them in the adblocker you use. Both Opera and Firefox (via Adblock Plus) require a few clicks to achieve this, and global apps should be similar.

In any case, it's not exactly clear you're denying revenue to a site by blocking their ads. While it must be true for those that rely on clicks (and let's be realistic, not many people remember to click through), it seems like for those that use page views as a measure, ad blocking does not affect them... and now I can't find the reference. Besides, the number of users of adblock is not as high as you might think
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008, 06:20:01 PM »

we should all support sites we like.
if you block ads -- find another way to support them.. maybe it means donating, maybe it means telling friends about the site, maybe it means just sending them an encouraging note, maybe it means leaving a comment on their posts, etc.

personally i find the ad-based web quite troubling -- i can't quite put my finger on why it bothers me so much.. it's not so much the ads themselves that bother me, as much as it is the fact that the entire content of the web is being warped in a bad way in order to appeal to advertisers, and the fact that we are basically living in google's world now, where the entire internet is increasingly focused on creating stuff that advertisers want to advertise on, and google's goal in life is to sink it's teeth into everything it can get its hands on in order to ensure that they are the advertising middleman for every site on the planet.

Are we soon going to get to a point where music and books are all free, but filled with google advertising? And book content is written mainly with the aim of attracting advertisers and click-through users? ugh.

Anyway -- in my dream world, individuals would donate and help sites (and artists) that they like, and the advertisers and advertising middle-men can go sit in the corner and suck on their thumbs.. but i know it's just not realistic currently -- people just don't donate enough (and it's not easiest enough to donate) to make that a feasible way for sites to get funded.  so the ads may be the best way for small sites to get funded -- and i don't for a minute say they shouldn't.

Bottom line -- support people who do stuff you like, so they can keep doing it.  If you can't support them one way, find another.  Even if its just putting out a little good karma in the world.
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kartal
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 06:27:28 PM »

Google adsense is so widespread it is like virus, it is google nonsense to me anymore. I get so many wrongly diagnosed direct advertisements which means that whatever they are showing has no relationship to my liking or needs. Anyways I have never clicked on a banner in my whole life. So I would block any ad as much as I can. If the visitor needs to support his favorite website then s/he needs to find other means and ways.

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40hz
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 06:31:54 PM »

Personally I wouldn't donate to a website because I liked a certain article, donationware works best for 'tools'. I don't think I can get paid for putting legitimate search results underneath a post, which would be a benefit to readers, which is a shame. Subscription services go against the nature of the web (hiding content from public). I wouldn't buy a mug just because i read a website. Maybe that means that it's just too hard for an individual to recoup their costs?

FWIW I don't see subscriptions as going against the "nature" of the web. The web was based on a technology developed primarily to to provide for reliable military communications in the event of a nuclear attack. Hardly a lofty humanitarian goal. It was designed to be a tool (and toy) for academicians, military planners, and defense industry engineers. It was not originally intended to become a public communication utility. And despite what many people want to think, it isn't, nor was it ever, "free." All that infrastructure, all that code -  all that everything was bought and paid for by somebody.

And we're lucky most of us can get access to it for nowhere near what it cost to build it. The web is human history's finest example of squatter sovereignty. One day The People showed up and settled in - and nobody came along and kicked them out. Talk about a land grab!

But just because we can access the web for next to nothing doesn't mean that it is free. Not does it follow that everything that is up on the web should also be free. If somebody chooses to make their work available at no charge, more power to them. I've done a lot of that myself. And the rewards I received were worth it even though they wouldn't buy me a cup of coffee. But if somebody wants to sell what they produce, I have no problem with that either.

I believe a subscription model works. But only if a website is providing real information value.

Now if bloggers just want to discuss, there are plenty of places that will give them free space to park a soapbox. But I would suspect many, if not most, want a bit more than that.

I've never had a problem with paying for information. But I do object to being asked to pay for personal opinions, regurgitations of scraped content, snide comments, hipster jive, and jokes. For that I can go to the local pub. At least there I can get a Guinness while I'm listening to drivel. And I doubt I'm alone in that.

The sad truth is: talk is cheap. Always was. But information, that "difference that makes a difference," is worth something. And I'll gladly pay for it if I need it. Preferably by some sort of subscription since paying for info "by the slice" is more of a hassle than it's worth.

Unfortunately, "monetizing your blog" has become one of those memes that crops up with dismal regularity in all books with titles like: 101 Part-Time Careers that Can Net You a Cool Million in 30 Days. It's the stepchild of all those 900-number and newsletter marketing schemes we suffered through back in the 90's. And the public has gotten both wise and weary of that game.

So why don't people want to pay (via watching ads) for what the average blog has to say? I think the answer is fairly obvious: Most blogs aren't worth anything other than the time it takes to skim them. And IMHO, three quarters of them probably aren't even worth that.

Quote
However that leaves millions of bloggers without a possible revenue stream to support their writing so I am thinking what it can be replaced with.

Three words: original quality content. And a subscription option. If they truly like what you're doing, they will pay for you to continue. And if they won't, then the blog in question is just a classic case of vanity publishing - except now it's decked out in cyber drag!

Because despite what we like to think about how different the web is from everything else we've ever experienced, the same old rules for business still apply. And Darwin is inescapable.



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J-Mac
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008, 08:14:16 PM »

I don't really mind Google text ads, as long as there are a reasonable amount. I don't know who controls how many appear - Google or the account holder, but I have been to a few sites where there were just an unusual amount of Adsense ads.

I don't want to hurt blogs that I like, but I admit I have not whitelisted all in AdBlock Plus.  I just never thought about it, and no blogger - before today - has ever mentioned it that I have seen.

Jim
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app103
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2008, 02:39:46 AM »

The problem is not the Adsense ads themselves on sites, but how some people display them. They are relying on a single type of ad, placing it in a rather obnoxious way, and it can be quite annoying. If used properly, Adsense works on the right type of sites, without having to resort to being obnoxious with them. It's the people that abuse the ads that are ruining it for everyone.

I have been playing around with various ads on my blogs and I have found there is 2 types of ads and 2 types of visitors, so figure out what kind of traffic you have and use the right ads.

1. Hit & run info seekers. They come mostly from search engines, mostly from Google, and they respond well to Google's own text based contextual ads. You only need a simple strip with a few ads in it across the top and bottom of each page they see...not a huge block that makes people have to scroll to get to the content.

2. Loyal repeat visitors that usually end up blind to Google's ads on your site and respond better to something like Project Wonderful's 125 square ads and the smaller buttons, which a great many blogs and web comics use to advertise on each other's sites. This ad program is mega cool because of the interesting advertisers.

And if you publish a webcomic, it is better than adsense, because Adsense can't contextually match an ad to your comic images (there is not enough text), and usually gives crappy ads nobody will click.

I use both on my blogs and sites, but I use Project Wonderful a bit more. Rather than it being pay-per-click, it's pay-per-day and you will get paid whatever someone has bid on your ad box, regardless of whether anyone clicks the ads or not. (and yes, you are allowed to click the ads on your own site, unlike Adsense) You also get a lot more control over who is advertising on your site. The program has a lot of advantages for both advertisers and publishers.

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my experiences with Project Wonderful. Things have changed a bit since then, and I am now making more off of their ads than Adsense, on some sites. (like I said in the beginning, what type of traffic you have makes a big difference) The article will give you a good idea of what kinds of sites are using the service and what you can expect to show up in your ad boxes. (the sites mentioned all advertised on my programming ebooks site) There is also both Adsense and Project Wonderful ads on my blog, and you can compare them and see, as a visitor, which are more appealing to you if you are not seeking info, and if you were.

Something else I noticed, is that turning off javascript in your browser will kill most ads (adsense included), preventing them from appearing on pages, but Project Wonderful ads will still show up.

There is also a wordpress plugin that will allow you to control who sees ads and which ads they see, which means you can show Adsense to people coming to your site from Google searches, and something else to everyone else.

You can also use it keep your site ad free for people coming from Digg, StumbleUpon, and EntreCard, since those people never click and showing them ads will just damage your CTR and get you budget priced by some ad networks, and in some cases get you accused of "artificially inflating page impressions" and your account revoked.
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2008, 04:17:51 AM »

nice post app  thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up
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J-Mac
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2008, 10:37:18 AM »

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my experiences with Project Wonderful.

app,

When I open your blog post page I get a popup telling me that it is restricted and I have to sign in to "freethesaurus.com".  (See image below).  What is that?



Thanks!

Jim
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2008, 11:31:23 AM »

you are optning freethesaurus.net, a site run by our own wordzilla (anderson), but the site seems to have some problem causing that currently.
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app103
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2008, 08:16:44 PM »

I have a dynamic link list/blogroll that picks up feeds and fetches the favicon of sites listed in it...and Wordzilla's site is in the list.

I didn't know about the issue, and I'll remove the entry till it is fixed.

Sorry about that.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2008, 11:30:53 PM »

I have a dynamic link list/blogroll that picks up feeds and fetches the favicon of sites listed in it...and Wordzilla's site is in the list.

I didn't know about the issue, and I'll remove the entry till it is fixed.

Sorry about that.

Not a problem.  I know about the freethesaurus site - I have had Mobysaurus installed for a while now.  I just didn't know what was giving me the popup.

Thanks!

Jim
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kartal
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2008, 12:26:15 AM »

Dc is the only place where I do not block scripts and cookies.
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