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Author Topic: I want to try an experiment on the site for March 2012  (Read 19070 times)
mouser
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« Reply #75 on: March 02, 2012, 03:21:25 AM »

Ok.. after chewing over everyone's comments, I decided to abandon the one month ad experiment for now.

Not because I think there is anything wrong with experimenting -- but because I think the comments exposed that I didn't have a good reason for doing it other than basic curiosity.  So I think instead we will wait until there is some question worth answering -- some new idea to experiment with.  If you think of anything that might be worth an experiment let us know.
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IainB
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« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2012, 03:38:18 AM »

...because I think the comments exposed that I didn't have a good reason for doing it other than basic curiosity.
Sorry. Yo no comprendo. When is that (basic curiosity) not a good reason for running an experiment?
The conclusions/evidence that you might be able to draw from such an experiment could help to develop a hypothesis or idea, no?
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mouser
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« Reply #77 on: March 02, 2012, 03:50:01 AM »

Quote
When is that (basic curiosity) not a good reason for running an experiment?

well said -- i agree completely.

what i meant to say was: let me not waste the patience of our visitors and members by just doing random things that have little chance of providing some useful insight; let me wait until i have some experiment that is more interesting.

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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #78 on: March 02, 2012, 06:53:27 AM »

...because I think the comments exposed that I didn't have a good reason for doing it other than basic curiosity.
Sorry. Yo no comprendo. When is that (basic curiosity) not a good reason for running an experiment?
The conclusions/evidence that you might be able to draw from such an experiment could help to develop a hypothesis or idea, no?

Agreed, and being a have your cake and eat it too kind of guy. I'd say why not do both... Leave the main page/site intact and untouched. Then put up a separate (but site accessable) Ad experiment page that clearly says this is an experiment at the top...and contains only ads below. That way participation could be complete voluntary for those that could/would/did go to said page periodically to effect the necessary traffic.
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anandcoral
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« Reply #79 on: March 02, 2012, 10:22:51 AM »

Ok.. after chewing over everyone's comments, I decided to abandon the one month ad experiment for now.

Ahhh... After generating all the curiosity,... cold water. As a husband I am, and hopefully other husbands too, have experience of same.

I was hoping to see the result and then get an idea how good / bad is to go this way.

You see, in mobile platform, users are accustomed now to get ads, if the app is free. But the scenario changes here and the  data of result may have thrown some light on it.

Anyway we will find some better or similar experiment.

Regards,

Anand
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #80 on: March 02, 2012, 01:10:36 PM »

Ok.. after chewing over everyone's comments, I decided to abandon the one month ad experiment for now.

Not because I think there is anything wrong with experimenting -- but because I think the comments exposed that I didn't have a good reason for doing it other than basic curiosity.  So I think instead we will wait until there is some question worth answering -- some new idea to experiment with.  If you think of anything that might be worth an experiment let us know.


Agreed, and being a have your cake and eat it too kind of guy. I'd say why not do both... Leave the main page/site intact and untouched. Then put up a separate (but site accessable) Ad experiment page that clearly says this is an experiment at the top...and contains only ads below. That way participation could be complete voluntary for those that could/would/did go to said page periodically to effect the necessary traffic.

To give Mouser some credit, I feel that this is far from "idle curiousity". I think it's one of the ten biggest issues of the entire web/internet. It's a simple clash between Moar Money Needs Ads, vs Ticked Off Users Leave, thus leaving Less Money. Then it's a Site Specific question for every site in existence.

So only y'all would know where on the curve DC falls. (Can we invite Randall Munroe of xkcd to play on this theme? Someone give him a pizza. This is right down his alley.)

Next up, I'll also amplify Joker's post because it mirrors my own from a while back - every existing ad installation is somewhere on another curve (!!) about Unobtrusive/Ineffective Ad Impression vs Violent/Negative Ad Impression. This is all because the ads are on "what you are doing".

The awesome idea Joker and I are playing with (and satirizing) is make the ads *the Destination.* Build the entire page to add things to do with the ads. Knowing a little about the crowd here it has potential to be an Underground/Cult hit. I think there's a wee bit of social culture statement to be made behind the scenes too. But come on, think about it - a site full of *coders* (and hangers on like me) - I (delightfully) shudder to think of how viciously we can overturn the entire ad "experience" in that proposed month.

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iphigenie
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« Reply #81 on: March 02, 2012, 04:28:47 PM »

And here I was planning how to target google ads so they would appear here, to sell my wine.
All in vain... although I hadnt figured it out yet
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2012, 04:40:53 PM »

And here I was planning how to target google ads so they would appear here, to sell my wine.
All in vain... although I hadnt figured it out yet

No no no my friend, you're doing it wrong!

You're a member, right? And you want to sell something, right? And the only people who will see this post/page are ... visitors here, right? The name of the site is *Donation*(Coder), aka we're already doing "once my happiness threshold is reached we'll donate", so they've already got a payment structure set up, which is usually the hardest part. (And it's good ol' Mouser, not OhDearGawd Paypal!) So post a nice spicy/funny/creative/twilight zone/Stephen King ad and ... ASK us to buy it! See all those other threads - why does Google need to be involved?

Mouser, the model I am describing is the one the chess servers use. You'd just open a similar account to the existing (Coder/Wine Merchant) accounts already here.

Whee, innovation is fun!
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app103
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« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2012, 05:07:22 PM »

I have decided to run an experiment of my own this month.

On a bunch of my websites I am using my visitors unused CPU cycles to generate Bitcoins while they are on my website. I will only be using the CPU cycles of anyone that is dumb enough to run around on the internet with a Java plugin enabled in their browser and doesn't use a script blocker.

If I can generate more cash value that way than displaying ads, I may reduce or eliminate the ads on my websites.

Any site where I am doing this now carries the following link near the top of the page:

Why your computer fan turns on when you visit this website.

I'll let everyone know at the end of the month how this little experiment pans out. I don't anticipate continuing it past this month, but I am open to surprises that may change my mind.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #84 on: March 02, 2012, 05:21:03 PM »

And here I was planning how to target google ads so they would appear here, to sell my wine.
All in vain... although I hadnt figured it out yet

No no no my friend, you're doing it wrong!

You're a member, right? And you want to sell something, right? And the only people who will see this post/page are ... visitors here, right? The name of the site is *Donation*(Coder), aka we're already doing "once my happiness threshold is reached we'll donate", so they've already got a payment structure set up, which is usually the hardest part. (And it's good ol' Mouser, not OhDearGawd Paypal!) So post a nice spicy/funny/creative/twilight zone/Stephen King ad and ... ASK us to buy it! See all those other threads - why does Google need to be involved?

Mouser, the model I am describing is the one the chess servers use. You'd just open a similar account to the existing (Coder/Wine Merchant) accounts already here.

Whee, innovation is fun!

It was more in the spirit of experimentation - how site specific can you do google ads if you really try?

As for selling wines, it's so geographically specific it makes less sense here. You're all spending your spare cash on software anyway :p

Just kidding
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #85 on: March 02, 2012, 09:07:38 PM »

I think we should get BitCoins here on DC - Seeing as we can mine collectively - Would be cool to see how much got generated each month for DC - And seeing as you can trade them for real services and money, it could be a fun thing to do.

I know I would personally donate all my idle CPU to mining bitcoins for DC smiley

https://bitmarket.eu/ <---- Trading for real money, seems possible, and seems to have an active amount of buyers/sellers - If DC just undercuts everyone selling...its a good earner lol

**edit**

For those of you who have DC open when your PC is on (Tab always open) - What real difference would it be to have one extra page dedicated to doing this? (Asides from the extra bit of noise coming from your computer due to the fans going crazy lol)
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« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2012, 01:51:07 AM »

I don't get it - what % of DC members really replied to this post and were in opposition to ads? 5-6 ppl?? Most ppl honestly don't give a fuck coz they can just block ads or whatever they don't care to see... I have my views about the whole donation model and stuff and I initially felt mouser was getting the lion's share of the revenue but guess what ... I also realized after spending considerable time here that this person completely devotes himself to this site is fucking passionate about it and completely deserves to make all the $$$ he can. This is why an asocial (bordering on antisocial) personality was convinced to donate to this site.


The only problem I have with mr. m is that he waffles and asks questions about stuff he really wants to do and seeks permission where he really doesn't need it.


I'm completely drunk so this post doesn't really count lol. low in caution high in honesty.

#i'll regret this later
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nosh
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« Reply #87 on: March 03, 2012, 01:55:52 AM »

and by the way i think the whole "i'll use your cpu coz ur not as smart as me"  thing stinks.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #88 on: March 03, 2012, 02:26:21 AM »

I have no issues with mouser running ads but as I stated earlier problems are obvious here. So let's be realistic about it.

- 30 day sampling time is too low to bother.
- Donationcoder.com is tech niche site, so just see the amount of cpc value for such sites. It's horrible.
- As per data from mouser, the amount of traffic is too low for attracting CPM users, so CPC is equally useless.

My suggestion, we should start something beyond "Give away of the month" and request more software product owners, services and push the profit for the site. I for one prefer that idea because it is selling these days under "Humble indie bundle" trend.
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nosh
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« Reply #89 on: March 03, 2012, 02:32:23 AM »

My suggestion is: if you start something and ruffle feathers over it, it bloody well makes sense to see it through and put it behind you!




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app103
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« Reply #90 on: March 03, 2012, 06:32:41 AM »

and by the way i think the whole "i'll use your cpu coz ur not as smart as me"  thing stinks.

I didn't mean it that way. I'd love to use the CPUs of smart people too, if I could, but unfortunately for me they don't have a Java plugin enabled or they use noscript.  Sad
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mouser
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« Reply #91 on: March 03, 2012, 06:37:39 AM »

I would be pissed off if i visited a website and a java applet started, especially if it were to generate bitcoins, etc.

It's one thing to have a special page for it and a link to the page explaining what's going to happen if they click -- but quite another to just launch it when someone lands on your regular page.

Just my 2 cents.
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IainB
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« Reply #92 on: March 03, 2012, 07:11:41 AM »

I think that this thread could be used to provide some hard evidence in support of the supposition that the camel was designed by a committee.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 07:17:52 AM by IainB » Logged
mahesh2k
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« Reply #93 on: March 03, 2012, 07:41:26 AM »

Quote
It's one thing to have a special page for it and a link to the page explaining what's going to happen if they click -- but quite another to just launch it when someone lands on your regular page.

Isn't that the case for annoying Google Ads? They start when you surf any website where those are placed. They collect IP, cookies, click pattern and some other data too. Compare that to Bit-coin mining (which is harmless) and then you get the idea. Only CPU power is used without any personal information aggregation and that CPU power is again shared with browser and then remaining is used to solve some random puzzle and generate bitcoin.

Thing is that, there is a difference between how ads sell and likes/dislikes of people surfing on the net. I have yet to see any adsense user with some experience in monetization to put up case against that fact.
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IainB
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« Reply #94 on: March 04, 2012, 09:31:58 PM »

Quote
When is that (basic curiosity) not a good reason for running an experiment?
well said -- i agree completely.
what i meant to say was: let me not waste the patience of our visitors and members by just doing random things that have little chance of providing some useful insight; let me wait until i have some experiment that is more interesting.

Well, off the top of my head, and just as a suggestion, and in the hope that this may be of help/use...and without wishing to teach my grandmother to suck eggs....    Wink
(These are not my opinions; it is mostly drawn from past marketing experience and training.)

It probably wouldn't be so "random" (as you say), if you published a more clearly defined hypothesis that you wanted to test in the experiment.
If you defined the experiment as a pragmatic piece of test marketing (market research) - which is arguably an accurate description of what it is likely to be - then, the possible objectives could reasonably include (and taken from the above thread) items as follows. These are merely suggestions that you might consider - I do not know whether these objectives are what you intended, I am just supposing:

Objectives:
Quote
  • To enable the introduction of advertising into the DCF (DC Forum) as a test trial of them as a possible revenue-generating tool.
  • To base the trial results on feedback from the users, regarding their experience of the trial and on the statistical analysis of the usage/traffic of the DCF during the trial. (This will necessitate unambiguous user feedback and clearly defined and measurable performance data.)
  • To publish the analysis of the results and the conclusions that can be drawn from them, as a project on the DCF, for users to study and comment on if they wish.
  • To provide the users with the ability to disable the advertising (which would be enabled by default) during the trial, if they wanted to (if they didn't have AdBlock+ or similar add-ons).
  • To provide the users with the ability to enable the advertising during the trial, if they wanted to (if they did have AdBlock+ or similar add-ons).
  • To gather feedback from the users - at the end of the trial and/or during it - about their experience of using the DCF during the experiment.
From these objectives, you could work backwards to a hypothesis something along these lines (say):
Hypothesis:
Quote
To identify whether there is an optimal level of:
(a) advertising acceptance of the DCF user community during the trial, coupled with
(b) user experience/satisfaction of using the DCF, during the trial.
(What you seem to have in this discussion thread so far is a collection of feedback and opinion as to what you stated as being your intention, together with some self-prediction of user experience/expectation. This is arguably of little use for testing the above hypothesis.)
What this hypothesis would probably necessitate is at least five objective metrics, for the trial to be of any real/valid use:

Metric #1 - User population(members of the trial group). (Mandatory.)
Quote
If this is a trial marketing exercise, then you do not want to include respondents who are not part of the trial market group.
Thus, when users enter the site, they could be asked whether they agree to being part of the trial at the outset.
If they said "No", then the default advertising would be disabled. These users would then be filtered OUT of the trial for that and all subsequent visits - unless (say) they decided to become part of the trial at a later stage (so you could leave them the option to join the trial at a later stage).
You could also leave them the option to trigger their leaving the trial group at a later stage (to avoid unannounced abandonment by members of the group - which could render the data meaningless).

Metric # 2 - User lifespan  (Probably mandatory.)
Quote
The length of time during the trial that the user stayed as a member of the trial group.
This could be used as a weighting factor for some of the results.

Metric #3 - Acceptance: (Mandatory.)
Quote
Measured by the users either:
(a) leaving the default advertising enabled (in those cases where they do not have AdBlock+ or similar), or
(b) disabling AdBlock+ (in those cases where they do have AdBlock+ or similar).

Issues to resolve:
(i) How to determine automatically and with certainty whether a user has visibility of the advertising at the client, or is blocking them at the client.
(ii) If visibility cannot be determined, then how reliable (percentage) is the compliant user confirmation that they have disabled as per (b).

The implication here might be that the accuracy of this metric will be dependent on the compliance reliability of the user.
This also assumes that when users enter the site, they are made aware of the trial and the need to (a) or (b).

Metric #4 - traffic/performance data (Mandatory.)
Quote
I  assume that you will be able to monitor and gather this data for each session from the point where a user enters, peruses/actions DCF discussion threads, and then exits/drops out of the DCF. This may imply the use of cookies, and the user agreeing up front (as above) to being a member of the trial group, gaining visibility of the advertising and accepting cookies from the site.

Metric #5 - statistical analysis of user feedback/experience (Highly desirable.)
Quote
For feedback to have statistical veracity or reliability, you will generally need as large an amount of data as you can get hold of:
(a) A large population to survey: in this case a few hundred (say?) might suffice. Having (say) 10% of 20 people state the view that "such-and-such" carries no statistical relevance and would only be of any use if you were (say) trying to kid yourself or substantiate the fallacy of the appeal to the consensus - e.g., similar to the "97% of climate scientists agree that..." kind of logical fallacy of the appeal to the consensus.
You will need to determine/estimate your total max possible population to be surveyed ("X"), and determine the actual population to be surveyed ("Y") - i.e., those users who opt-in to the trial. You will only know "Y" on a suck-it-and-see basis - i.e., after you actually start/finish the trial.

To increase the probability of having as large a population as possible in "Y", you could:
(i) Before the trial, request and encourage co-operation from all DCF members (maybe offer some kind of an incentive or reward?). This is your main and potentially "captive" audience.
(ii) Before the trial, request/encourage co-operation from other audiences - e.g., (say) from users of other blogs/forums - to enter into the trial.
(iii) Before the trial, update those features of the website that might attract members of a population that might formerly have been unable to access/use your site for whatever reason - e.g., say, blind or poor-sighted people, by enabling ARIA technology (Accessible Rich Internet Applications markup) in the website.

(b) At least 60% response rate from that population: this is a general rule-of-thumb used in statistical census-taking in New Zealand and the UK. For your purposes, you might have to put up with less, but, as it diminishes, the reliability/veracity of your statistical analysis diminishes quite rapidly - as per (a). Reliability/veracity can be described as a function of total population size and response rate.

Method of collecting feedback and making an analysis:
Quote
To improve the feasibility and use of the feedback in analysis, it is probably useful to ensure that there is a questionnaire which asks specific closed (but not loaded) questions, designed to elicit specific objective responses on matters that you have identified as being important to assess for the purposes of the trial and in testing the hypothesis.
Some of the questions may need to be antithetical to cancel out "faking" in the responses.
Where a question may necessarily and unavoidably be likely to provide a subjective response, then the Kepner-Tegoe approach can be useful in averaging out bias in the population of responses. That could probably involve (say) using some importance or weighting factor to multiply each response by, and then taking the average of the results. (That is, not all responses to some questions would necessarily carry equal weight.)
Avoid mixing up the objective response data with the subjective.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 09:39:57 PM by IainB » Logged
TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #95 on: March 05, 2012, 06:19:59 AM »

Hmm, I must have a talent for Semi-Flamebait posts on the heels of a previously insightful one. So I take it no one liked my "Ad Page" idea in either of it's forms.

I still think we're stuck in a rut in the ad world. It's based on server side "we decide what you see, whether you like it or not, and we'll data mine you to guess what you like".  Then there's all the ad-block wars, etc.

Why don't more companies do user-selected, interactive/gamey, user topic-selected ads? I get that TV is as TV was, that's where the ad industry was born, but the whole point of the net is that people now interact. So I get that Cleaning Detergent isn't 'sexy', but then I wouldn't be the target of it anyway.

Plus, we have a Statistical Bias now, we're all watching for the ads, where as ads sorta are supposed to depend on surprise value.
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IainB
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« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2012, 08:11:08 AM »

So I take it no one liked my "Ad Page" idea in either of it's forms.
No, that's not true in my case. I didn't dislike the idea in either form, but it didn't seem that you were all that serious about it...   tellme   (Sorry.)
And in any event, your idea(s) didn't really seem to encourage the unabandonment of "the one month ad experiment".
I had thought the idea of this experiment could potentially realise some concrete and useful information/knowledge if it were implemented, and that just might lead to change for the better (which I am all in favour of). I was expecting it to go ahead until mouser indicated that he thought it might be:
Quote
...just doing random things that have little chance of providing some useful insight...

If the experiment were implemented as "random", then any change action arising from its outcome could likely be random too. That's not so good:
Quote
"Action which is not based on sound theory or "best"/good practice is irrational by definition." (WE Deming)

Thus, I figured that thinking about how to build a sturdy hypothesis for the experiment might be more immediately useful (right now) than innovative ideas - e.g., like yours.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #97 on: March 05, 2012, 11:39:08 AM »

So I take it no one liked my "Ad Page" idea in either of it's forms.
No, that's not true in my case. I didn't dislike the idea in either form, but it didn't seem that you were all that serious about it...    (Sorry.)
And in any event, your idea(s) didn't really seem to encourage the unabandonment of "the one month ad experiment".
I had thought the idea of this experiment could potentially realise some concrete and useful information/knowledge if it were implemented, and that just might lead to
...
Quote
"Action which is not based on sound theory or "best"/good practice is irrational by definition." (WE Deming)

Thus, I figured that thinking about how to build a sturdy hypothesis for the experiment might be more immediately useful (right now) than innovative ideas - e.g., like yours.

I am easily "Medium-Serious" about this, I think there's a couple of revolutions coming in new ways of advertising. Chief of which is to stop bludgeoning visitors trying to do *something else*, and make the ads so interesting that they become the destination. The good ads get voted up, and I *guarantee* that will be a quality Ad Impression. I was also serious about my Ad Page. It specifically says "I am stopping whatever I was doing, come to me companies, feed me ad impressions!"

I'm sure there's a marketing exec somewhere who will complain "but if my ad wasn't voted down, we would have seen more sales." I don't think that's true. Yes, there's a little bit of Sniping risk, trolls, etc. But overall if a company gets a drop dead incredible ad, it rockets to the top, you'd better believe people will remember the name, which is the point of an ad.

I also think companies need to take a risk and let users mash up ads. Ads are in a weird category. Every other type of content is supposed to be "Demand Pull, don't share" with all the copyright wars. Ads are "Supply Push, and please watch it as much as you can stand." So just a rough example, Coca Cola, Inc, might be smart enough to let people play with the Coke Polar Bears mashed up on the Star Trek Enterprise, with Heavy Metal Music going.

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IainB
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« Reply #98 on: March 07, 2012, 11:16:59 PM »

@TaoPhoenix: Thanks for your comment. I think I understand what you were getting at now!

As an addition to my comment above about a "hypothesis, under Metric #5, is suggested widening the user audience by (say) catering for blind or poor-sighted people by:
Quote
...enabling ARIA technology (Accessible Rich Internet Applications markup) in the website.
Just by chance I came across something else for widening audience participation today: http://www.odiogo.com/
Might be worth considering.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #99 on: April 02, 2012, 09:48:07 AM »


I also think companies need to take a risk and let users mash up ads. Ads are in a weird category. Every other type of content is supposed to be "Demand Pull, don't share" with all the copyright wars. Ads are "Supply Push, and please watch it as much as you can stand." So just a rough example, Coca Cola, Inc, might be smart enough to let people play with the Coke Polar Bears mashed up on the Star Trek Enterprise, with Heavy Metal Music going.


I closed the loop on this theme today by offering both to "dogfood" it by using DC as our own test case, and offering a second donation to get some raw materials to mash up.  Sadly I don't have a lot of imageshop skills, but that's what mashups are, you need to accept having a base of beginners and a "bodycount" so that the experts rise up and become celebrated.

Eventually I plan to ask a few other companies if they would donate/permit some similar raw materials for mashup ads. All my efforts are meant to be respectful and promote the site/product involved, I don't plan any trolling. The only mistake I'd make is if I mistimed a joke and it went sour.
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