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Author Topic: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?  (Read 5402 times)

Dangazzm

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2011, 04:19:09 am »

Even if Toady selected an ad-streaming service with an impeccable security record, there's still the problem of making the ads useful and relevant to the content of the site. A lot of them attempt to match the ads to the content of the webpage they're on through keywords, with results that one might tactfully describe as "mixed", and the mind frankly boggles at what an ad-engine might decide to show based on some of the discussions on this forum.

Besides, our hosts aren't exactly in desperate need of a second revenue stream if the August '11 Report is anything to go by; their average pre-tax income since March is a little under $3850 a month. I don't know if he's ever revealed how much it costs to host the website, but I'd be extremely surprised -and strongly advise him to shop around for somewhere better- if it was more than $150 a month.

:O Those are some damn good figures! I am very happy for him. Then thats proably part of the reason he doesn't even think about it.

As for relevancy of the ads... if you think about it does it really matter? If they aren't relevant nor do they interest you then you wouldn't click them like on any other site right?

PS I dont want anyone to think I am /pushing this... just continuing discussion, as I have first hand experience with monitizing websites in fact I do consulting free lance for this type of thing... though this game is niche and not high demand IT WOULD bring in a little bit. Seeing as how I assumed this being an indy dev and all that they were scrim/ping by... I was wrong there! :D
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C0NNULL

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #46 on: August 06, 2011, 05:46:11 am »

As a newb here and a recent contributor;

I'm not sure if I'd have as quickly made this a monthly payment if there were ads here, even if they were blocked. I would have sent my initial payment just as fast, sure - any game that grabs me like DF deserves money - but I'd likely have figured that all is well for a bit longer. [3 months? then I'd stumble onto an income thing and reconsider.]

By this I mean the typical ads and such. Or the google-tries-to-know-what-you-surf type. (They may be the same anymore, dunno.)

I am not against indy games being brought to my attention, but if that was a goal, couldn't there just be a sub-forum on all participating sites' forums - maybe right above or below "General Discussion" or so - that would be pretty obvious and skip ads altogether? Sometimes in forums a post or two crops up that obliquely references another game, and someone looks it up. One might find them better if they were together... if that were the goal, which isn't the point here. [To be fair, in one of myriad posts I read back on the Civ5 forums, fellow 1 mentioned <can't remember> was complicated to do in game, and fellow 2 referenced DF to cure all woes related to over-complicated-ness.]

And as has been stated by others above, to filter them well would require time none of us here should wish be taken from The Toad. QED
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Itnetlolor

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2011, 01:42:25 pm »

I'm against the idea of resorting to ads.

From what I can gather, Toady has been doing well enough from the donations alone, and ads will only discourage other users (that particularly hate ads in any place, especially forums) from signing up and even donating (also assuming the ads make the revenue anyway; or the stigma of having ads feels like betrayal on a forum; especially if the admin is collecting donations as well), there would be increased chances of malware/adware without Toady's consent, it can break the character of how the forums are, and there will be tons of topics about when Toady would be getting rid of the ads, and lastly, a great portion of people online have an ad-blocker program and other forms of virus/malware protection (as well as a stylish/greasmonkey script to eliminate ads or ad visibility) active to be a countermeasure anyway, which renders having ads up pointless anyhow.

How do I know? Because I do that. I have more countermeasures than I need to prevent ads from interfering with a site's enjoyability, as well as to prevent my computer from getting infected by some random ad from a random site, or pop-ups (pop-unders, or -minimized, -intangibles (they exist), javascript and action/flash script in-lines (in images even (rare, but possible nonetheless, and hard as hell to detect from any scanner)). I mean, I run virus scanners and Spybot/Malwarebytes every other day just to feel safe. That's how bad ads have gotten these days; where you actually fear your computer breaking down just because "Ford is built tough.".

In agreement with others, the lack of ads is actually one of the many reasons I like it here. Any other forum I've been to had ads every 5 posts down, and on the side bar, and on the side bar (opposite side), on the upper portion and the bottom portion of the thread (simultaneously even, including all of the above), and even set themselves up to look like a legit post. And in some cases, you can't read a certain post or go another page without clicking on an ad first AS A REQUIREMENT TO PROGRESS. It has happened before, and it was one of the many reasons I quit the places. Hell, it's another, among tons of, reasons I no longer use social networking sites (Facebook/Myspace/Google-whatever/wannabe etc.).

EDIT:
On a side note, I find it ironic that I have a, although freelancing, career where I make these things (not main focus, but an option). At least I have the choice whether I want to or not (ads, that is.). When designing, I want to work on things that are practical, not annoying. In other words, if I am going to make an ad, I choose to make one that is used in a print media, rather than digital (more room for creativity there anyhow). Or at least anything that's not related to the types of ads described earlier.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 04:24:31 pm by Itnetlolor »
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Sutremaine

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #48 on: August 06, 2011, 04:13:00 pm »

Heck some programs on sites have started to get smarter and now don't countdown if you move away from the site (I've found a way around it...) so you can't ignore it.
I've never experienced that, but do tell.
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Buttery_Mess

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2011, 09:04:00 pm »

Can you imagine the sorts of things that Google ads would throw up, given the sorts of things we talk about?

Anyway, no. Advertising is a horrible thing. Firstly, I never pay the slightest attention to it; I don't think I've clicked on an ad in years. Secondly, it eats up my often limited bandwidth. Thirdly, it's a virus vector. Fourthly, flash ads often annoyingly come with animations and sound tracks. Fifthly, and most importantly, advertising is harmful to human consciousness. Adverts make you want things that you don't already want, perpetuating a cycle of capitalism that serves only to see the manufacture of endless gumpf rather than directing human effort towards nobler goals. Economists and governments only view things in terms of economic expansion, which basically means keeping people busy making things that they don't necessarily need. Capitalism has had its day and needs to be replaced with something better; I don't know what shape that better system will yet take, but capitalism needs to die off before it can be established.

Toady and Threetoe are setting a fantastic precedent to us all, by devoting their time and effort towards something they love and which others value, demanding not payment for their work but inspiring others to reward them out of kindness. This is the way things should work, and the brothers are showing us that it can and does work. Advertising is an annoying and intrustive method of encouraging people to labour for money to pay for things they didn't want beforehand, instead of working for things that they decide they want from the outset; and people can only earn the money for these things by labouring to make or distribute junk that has to be advertised for. Worst still, all money is created by loan from central banks at interest, that can never therefore be fully paid off, and requires someone somewhere down the line to default on their loans, resulting in the loss of all they own. If it's not companies or private individuals, it has to be government; if not government or business, the people; if not the people or their leaders, private firms. All are harmful to the wellbeing of society. The process is accelerated by people working towards making profit. Making money, however you do it, or spending it, screws someone over down the line. If Toady could get by without money, with say donations of housing, food, electricity, Dr. Pepper and computers, perhaps he would.

Hell, I'd accept payment in a house and utilities if it were an option.
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Makbeth

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2011, 01:22:52 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I disagree with some of your opinions on money.  It is a fundamental concept of economics that wealth is not zero-sum, and therefore making or spending money does not inherently require screwing someone else over.  There are many ways to make money that do screw people over, but these are unethical and a drain on the economy, and many are illegal.  I'm no expert on the nature of money, but I've never heard of money being "created on loan from central banks" before.  They can print the paper, but they can't create money.  Bottom line is that working and earning a reasonable wage for a useful or valued service (when such value is not grossly exaggerated through marketing) is not only harmless but the surest way to have a healthy economy.

That said, I do believe advertising as currently practiced is harmful.  Marketers are often little more than paid liars (a scam is just a worthless product or service with good marketing, for example snake oil, homeopathic remedies, and most EA games of the early 2000s), and I do not like the idea of said liars influencing what a society values, especially when they are growing their audience bigger and bigger through more intrusive and ever-present ads.  I have seen many ads encouraging beliefs and values, not to mention misconceptions, that I think can and have done real harm.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 01:25:07 pm by Makbeth »
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SirPenguin

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2011, 01:34:58 pm »

Far too many posts in this topic seem to indicate a severe lack of understanding of how ads work, and an equally bizarre sense of...entitlement?

Ads don't have to be obtrusive or obnoxious, and the person who allows the ads has 100% control over which method they choose. Even a small footer ad in the forums could help offset the costs associated with just the forums alone. There's really no reason not to.
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Makbeth

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2011, 03:17:23 pm »

Perhaps that's not the word you were looking for, but I do not see a sense of entitlement here.  While I am concerned with malware and bandwidth issues from ads (I use ABP but it doesn't work 100% of the time), they aren't my main concern.  My main concern is how pervasive and intrusive they have been in the last decade, and how they show no signs of slowing their rate of encroachment on every available real-world surface and virtual-world screenspace, how vacant, possibly harmful, their messages are, and how unnecessary it is.

Last time I tried to watch Fringe, one of only two TV shows I used to watch, I did it on FOX.com.  Even with ABP, I still had to watch ads for the Home Depot every five minutes.  First off, I live in an apartment, and a gardening equipment sale is meaningless to me.  Second, interrupting a show I'm trying to watch every five minutes to show me two commercials for the same sale at the same store would be counterproductive even if I did have a garden or yard, because I couldn't stand the thought of rewarding this obnoxious behavior with my money, and I would happily travel farther and pay higher prices just to do business at a store that didn't spam me with ads for their products.

If your ad is good (there are such ads, see TED's "ads worth spreading" for a few neat ones), if it doesn't hound me every few minutes, doesn't treat me like an idiot, and doesn't get in the way of what I'm trying to do, I will consider the product or promotion being advertised.  If it pulls this Home Depot shit, like most do, then I will go out of my way to make sure that the cost of the ad is wasted on me.
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Buttery_Mess

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2011, 05:27:55 pm »

Central banks create money by loaning it at interest. They also print a small fraction of this money (most money is virtual). Because this is the only source of money, debt is necessarily always greater than available money; so it can't be paid off. This requires defaults to occur, and the seizure of property. It's a method of transfer of wealth (capital) to large financial institutions. The end result is that all capital will in actuality be owned by a handful of private individuals; the obvious endgame of capitalism.
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RenoFox

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2011, 07:45:23 pm »

I would accept the ads as well, but they could be implemented better than usual: Have a page of ads for everyone who wants to support by clicking them. Would they need to be on the front page if the hits are counted from how often the links are opened anyway?

Capntastic

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2011, 08:55:35 pm »

I would accept the ads as well, but they could be implemented better than usual: Have a page of ads for everyone who wants to support by clicking them. Would they need to be on the front page if the hits are counted from how often the links are opened anyway?

Cool, if you'd actually read the discussion, you'd know that clicking ads for the express purpose of generating money will get Toady blacklisted and his funds frozen.  Making a page specifically for that wouldn't even have a veneer of plausible deniability.

Edit:  I'm pretty sure Something Awful, with its millions of hits a day, and all those high-value ads, etc, is only profitable because of the forum's registraton fees and paid-avatar schemes.  Ad revenue isn't the get rich quick scheme everyone seems to be thinking it is.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 08:58:28 pm by Capntastic »
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Jake

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2011, 12:36:07 am »

Far too many posts in this topic seem to indicate a severe lack of understanding of how ads work, and an equally bizarre sense of...entitlement?

Ads don't have to be obtrusive or obnoxious, and the person who allows the ads has 100% control over which method they choose. Even a small footer ad in the forums could help offset the costs associated with just the forums alone. There's really no reason not to.
I don't think anybody's arguing that all website advertising is obtrusive and/or obnoxious. The problem is making it worth following up on, because ad-engine providers are increasingly moving to a business model where you only get paid per clickthrough. At one point Amazon were going a step further, and only paying out for the ads for products on their site when the person who clicked through actually bought something.
And the trouble with advertising to us Dwarf Fortress players is that we are an extremely diverse group of people; there's a gender bias towards males and nearly everyone is a fan of fantasy fiction, but we represent every age and income bracket in the world. Getting a significant number of us to click on a particular ad would be a matter of sheer luck. Now, the forum does get enough hits that the scattergun approach to advertising to pay off to an extent, but if it boosted Bay 12's monthly revenue by as much as 5% I'd be really quite surprised. Not really enough to justify writing off a long weekend's worth of dev-time at least shopping around for a suitable provider and integrating it with the forum software, I don't reckon.
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Neonivek

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2011, 03:05:58 am »

Quote
With the recent limelight that DF has just received, there would be no better time than now for Toady to approach other indy gaming companies with the idea of self advertising within the genre on each others' web pages.

Sure that would make perfect sense.

If he was selling Dwarf Fortress
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Rowanas

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2011, 06:41:37 am »

Quote
With the recent limelight that DF has just received, there would be no better time than now for Toady to approach other indy gaming companies with the idea of self advertising within the genre on each others' web pages.

Sure that would make perfect sense.

If he was selling Dwarf Fortress

Derpdederp. Of course, because no-one ever wants to know about something similar to the things that they already enjoy. Neonivek, this is not your best post. Go and get some sleep.

Only problem with the original suggestion is that roguelikes already have huge listings and announcement sites (Roguebasin and Temple of the Roguelike foremost amongst them), and DF doesn't really fit into any other genres. I guess you could call it an RTS, but I'd like to see an RTS that's anything like this one. Sim? Same again.

EDIT: Damn you, R key!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 08:06:37 am by Rowanas »
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Jake

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Re: Does anybody else support putting ads on the forums?
« Reply #59 on: August 08, 2011, 07:45:15 am »

Derpdederp. Of course, because no-one ever wants to know about something similar to the things that they already enjoy. Neonivek, this is not you best post. Go and get some sleep.
I'd be the first to agree that any way of bringing DF to the attention of more people is worth looking into, I'm not sure how Toady could return the favour in a way that the Other Games sub-forum hasn't already got covered.

Besides, you yourself said that DF doesn't really fit into any named genre. The only game I can think of that would even make sense in an "if you like DF, try X" context is Minecraft, and I think we can safely rule out any possibility of Toady giving them a leg-up.
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Never used Dwarf Therapist, mods or tilesets in all the years I've been playing.
I think Toady's confusing interface better simulates the experience of a bunch of disorganised drunken dwarves running a fort.

Black Powder Firearms - Superior firepower, realistic manufacturing and rocket launchers!
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