Some thoughts on advertising on web forums

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Skarny | Discussion: Life, the Universe and Everything

So there was a bit of discussion recently about advertising on Wincustomize. Basically RAH RAH GRR! and then sensible explanations.

But the question in my head was, for 'revenue raising' advertising (where you are advertising 3rd party ads for small income) - does it really help a forum owner? Does it just equate to $1-$2 dollars a day? Every little bit counts I guess, but 36 members donating $10 would cover that and then all users would be 'ad-free'.

On Wincustomize if I see ads for stardock stuff I'm not bothered at all - I *do* want to know about it, I'm here and interested in things which are related to here.

But everything else, I ignore. Or never see at all because of Firefox's AdBlock addons.
Which makes me wonder if a majority of Firefox users are the same (AdBlocked) and for them there is very little impact on a website from ads.

There are lots of people using other browsers, and they do see the ads I suppose, and I guess those are who the ads can be ... useful (?)... for.
But is it 'worth it', to the forum owner, the advertiser and the forum users? I don't get it.

Edit: And just thought - do add 'views' still get counted if they are 'blocked' by something like adBlock?

 

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redskittlesonly
Reply #1 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 10:44 AM

You'd be surprised about how much revenue comes from those pesky ads.

The ads don't show if you are a WinCustomize subscriber.

 

Island Dog
Reply #2 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:05 AM

Adblockers deprive websites of income.  That's why I never use them.  

Forum advertising and website advertising are two different beasts.

 

Wizard1956
Reply #3 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:52 AM

 

redskittlesonly
The ads don't show if you are a WinCustomize subscriber.

This method works for me.

Island Dog
Adblockers deprive websites of income.
 

More people would see the ads if Adblockers disabled the Download buttons.

Heavenfall
Reply #4 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:06 PM

I don't click ads, I don't buy stuff from ads. I got an adblocker. I see no problem. If you depend on ad revenue for a website, force it on the user. Don't take the middle road and complain.

Island Dog
Reply #5 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:47 PM

Wizard1956
More people would see the ads if Adblockers disabled the Download buttons.

That's an interesting idea.

RedneckDude
Reply #6 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 3:16 PM

Island Dog
Quoting Wizard1956, reply 3More people would see the ads if Adblockers disabled the Download buttons.



That's an interesting idea.
Very.

starkers
Reply #7 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 3:24 PM

For mine, ads on the front page are better placed and more likely tolerated, but inserted into forum pages and threads is downright rude and less likely to be tolerated.  People are in forums to catch up with news and friends, so being confronted with ads when ads are placed elsewhere on the site is more likely to be considered overkill and quite annoying.

Island Dog
Adblockers deprive websites of income.

That may be so, but flashing banner ads can have detrimental affects on some people, epileptics for example, and ad blockers are essential to browsing the web.  I have issues with flashing banner ads and can become quite nauseated if subjected to them for even a short while, so I find an ad blocker essential to my online experience and comfort.

DrJBHL
Reply #8 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 4:08 PM

Unlike you starkers, there are many who 'use' the site and download art without a care to helping defray the costs of the site.... 

The idea of 'ad blocker' extensions disabling the "download" button would seem to neutralize the policy which is in place of allowing a certain number of downloads to non-members (to encourage membership).

It might be more beneficial to only allow 'trialware' to apply the skins which come with it (if that's possible), and to decrease markedly the amount of Mb's which can be downloaded by non-members.

Perhaps rendering the ads "ad blocker" proof (if that's possible) for non-members is the way to go.

 

starkers
Reply #9 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 7:57 PM

DrJBHL
Unlike you starkers, there are many who 'use' the site and download art without a care to helping defray the costs of the site....

When commenting on ads in forums I was speaking in a more general sense than about Wincustomize.  As a member I do not see ads so it's not relevant to me here.  However, there are other forums I have visited in the past and the ads were not just annoying but downright distracting.  On one site I was trying to read a post that interested me but the flashing banner ads on either side were so prominent and distracting that I had to give up trying due to the nausea they caused [was in the day prior to my discovering ad blockers].  However, I do agree that non-members on WC should have the download button disabled if all they're doing is ad blocking and leeching while giving nothing back.

 

Skarny
Reply #10 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 8:13 PM

Ok, so what could be an answer? Raising revenue to be able to maintain a forum is important is what I hear. How else to continue making it available?

Some forum/website also must help make money for the owners - as part of their income - I'm not saying anything wrong with that, it's totally up to the site/forum owners, they provide for us, we provide for them.

But on a forum where that is not a factor... I imagine a web community driven for its own existence, the money making could stop each time the hosting and maintenance costs are met... monthly? yearly? Or should just always keep raising money for 'the future? (your idea?)

And there are few ways to get to any needed amount - donations, ads, selling things on website. (your idea?)

I've thought of one idea for a different member experience: regular participants in a community can have no ads.
This means casual visitors, or just down-loaders can still enjoy themselves, but they 'contribute' by having ads.

And of course, a member who actively participates with posts, replies and artist feedback, or a most valuable person - skinners/artists who provides content for the community to consume, could have no ads!

What do you think? Any other ideas?

As you might imagine I am very curious about new dynamic ways to interact with a web community because of the new Skinning Community Forum which I am helping administrate at the moment. They are trying to think of ways to give something different to the skinning community.

I want to pose your questions and ideas to them.

Jafo
Reply #11 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 10:14 PM

In the late 90's there was this 'thing' called the Dot Com [.com] business/enterprise model that IMAGINED/BELIEVED there was massive wealth to be had via site owning/hosting/advertising.

It ended when the majority of the 'high fliers' took their last flight out of a window of a high-rise.

The advertising 'model' was/is flawed.  It won't sustain/balance the costs of website hosting....never did...never will.

The DESERT which is today's world-of-skinning-sites is testament to that.

They either remain VERY small where the costs can be absorbed as a write-off or will NEED direct financial support [such as is the case here]...

 

Skarny
Reply #12 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:53 PM

Yes, I'm waiting to see how much bandwidth a skinning only site might build up to. I can get about 500gb of bandwidth a month for $10AUD/month - with community donations, some advertising income and my own contributions - I'd think that would be more than sustainable, even for a moderate or large community.

What did you think of my 'money model' for a forum Jafo - do you think it's impossible?

As for the desert of skinning sites... here's hoping - I have confidence in our ideals.

'We shall succeed, because we know we shall, and we are different. Though some before us have fallen, they have fallen from different horses! Ours she is a strong and loyal steed.'

*giggle* Come riding with us.

RedneckDude
Reply #13 Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:04 AM

Skarny
Reply #14 Thursday, July 26, 2012 7:44 PM

Heavenfall
I don't click ads, I don't buy stuff from ads. I got an adblocker. I see no problem. If you depend on ad revenue for a website, force it on the user. Don't take the middle road and complain.

Careful Heavenfall! That's a punishable admission!

ADVERTISEMENTS AND PROMOTIONS Stardock runs advertisements and promotions on WinCustomize.com Sites. By creating your WinCustomize.com Site, you agree that Stardock has the right to run such advertisements and promotions. You also agree that you will not attempt to block or otherwise interfere with advertisements displayed on your WinCustomize.com site via JavaScript or any other means. Doing so is grounds for immediate termination of service. The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Stardock on your WinCustomize.com Site is subject to change. Your correspondence or business dealings with, or participation in promotions of, advertisers found on or through the Service, including payment and delivery of related goods or services, and any other terms, conditions, warranties or representations associated with such dealings, are solely between you and such advertiser. You agree that Stardock shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred as the result of any such dealings or as the result of the presence of such advertisers on the Service.

RedneckDude
Reply #15 Thursday, July 26, 2012 7:46 PM

Or you can buy a subscription. 

StevenRLynchAbundanceThatIAM
Reply #16 Thursday, July 26, 2012 7:56 PM

I don't find the ads intrusive.  (I did when there were two ads per thread though!)

Btw: mods, do you know when you will be able to fix the "advertisement counts as a reply number" bug?  It must have been there for a month or so now, so it would be great if you could fix it sooner rather than later!

redskittlesonly
Reply #17 Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:12 PM

RedneckDude
Or you can buy a subscription. 

 

I agree!!

Skarny
Reply #18 Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:24 PM

RedneckDude
Or you can buy a subscription.
redskittlesonly
I agree!!

Wait, so...they'll be extradited now unless they buy a subscription?

StevenRLynchAbundanceThatIAM
Reply #19 Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:40 PM

I'm not so sure it's a good idea to ban people if they use adblockers on your site.  I mean, is Stardock really going to suffer tremendously and not survive if people use adblockers?  Hasn't happened up til now.  And adblockers are everywhere these days, so that makes it a bit hard.

RedneckDude
Reply #20 Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:45 PM

Skarny
You also agree that you will not attempt to block or otherwise interfere with advertisements displayed on your WinCustomize.com site via JavaScript or any other means.

 

 

Skarny

Quoting RedneckDude, reply 15Or you can buy a subscription. Quoting redskittlesonly, reply 17I agree!!

Wait, so...they'll be extradited now unless they buy a subscription?

 

 

Silly....lol.

 

My take on the quoted bold part of your quote is that you agree not to block the ads from happening on your personal WC site.  By using an ad blocker, you simply ensure that YOU don't see the ads. They're still there for everyone else. You haven't stopped the ads for anyone other than yourself and that is fine.

 

 

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