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Should we experiment with google ads on the site for 1 month?

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Perhaps there could be a set of "special" cafepress items that are given out as gifts (with high prices), and then another set of fairly priced items for those of us wanting to "brand-up" with the DC badge.

(i'm not into fussy graphics on my garments (to be honest) so my favourite DC shirt is a black one with the words "DONATIONCODER.COM" on the front - nothing else. i'd actually be happy to design a few "proper" t-shirts if mouser wishes it, i.e. simple graphics and colours - things like the main DC logo text, etc.)

I see Carol has just posted the same suggestion.

Boy this has really thread gone off the rails quickly..  :-\

The original subject of this post was about bringing ads back as a brief experiment for 1 month, after which they would be turned off again for another couple of years.
Just like we did back in January of 2007.

We always experiment with stuff on DC, and the question was only ever if we should try it again for a month to see if we noticed any differences from the last time we experimented 3 years ago (i.e. has the ad revenue changed dramatically? would donations drop off? do people object to them? etc.?)

There never was and isn't any intention to keep ads on the site.  As i posted above, i find them ugly and counter to DC spirit, and we already get enough support from members here that we do not need them in order to keep running the site.  I'm also not a big fan of google, and i think the fact that the ads are normally for software tools makes them almost a kind of conflict of interest.  So the question was never whether we should put ads on the site to raise money.  The idea was simply to experiment and understand what if anything had changed from 3 years ago when we last tried it.

The one person above who made some very thoughtful comments that need to be reflected on was slowmaker, because he was addressing the issue that having ads on the site, even briefly, could very much give a negative impression of the site to new visitors.  That's one thing that really concerns me and gives me pause regarding any experiment, however brief it may be.  

One one hand, it might still be worth doing as a way of letting everyone experience what DC would be without support from donors.  Personally the last time we experimented with ads in 2007 had a very strong effect on me in terms of convincing me that it was something i absolutely hated having on the pages.  On the other hand, maybe doing this even for just a month would make people feel like the fundraising events that we occasionally do are less meaningful, which would be a very bad thing.

Bottom line.. if it's something people think is a bad idea, we won't do it! :Thmbsup:

Regarding the CafePress prices -- we should have this discussion on a different thread.

They are priced the way they are specifically to PREVENT people from buying these items.
We give away these things during special events and as recognition of special thanks, and i think the items are all the more special when they aren't things that anyone can just go buy.

We're not trying to make money from selling them.

Carol Haynes:
Sorry if the ads are nothing to do with fundraising I can't understand the point of the experiment?

Strikes me that the only effects of adversing (and especially Google ads which I really dislike) are negative? So why do something that is only going to impact on potential new donators druing the month.

I don't really see an apologetic link under the ads saying 'this is just an experiment for one month' is likely to help alleviate confusion or improve the initial impression the site gives.

Re. the shop - I can see why you have done it the way you have but you have people posting in this thread (me included) who would happily buy a T-shirt for a reasonable price - hell I'd buy a few and give them away. Seems a bit perverse not to let people buy some of the items - hold back some unique items as prizes if you want but a shop which people want to buy from strike me as a great way to raise funds. If it smacks too much of commercialism then perhaps see the low price items as a small donation to the site that people want to mak ;)

Google ads don't bother me per se, but I do always think it amusing when they are advertising a direct competitor to a website's product; having them certainly says something not so hot about a site's status.

About the shop. I can go along completely with what Mouser and Carol said. It seems to me that having a basic range, and a super extra-good price range can simply enhance the perceived value of the prize range as there is greater general attention to the products. Might also increase site visibility a little.


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