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Dealing with the ads

By spacejack in Meta
Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 09:43:59 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

As Rusty announced recently, and as you can probably see at the top of the screen, there is an additional banner ad on the top of every k5 page now.

I perused the comments about this, and for the most part people seem to think this is a perfectly reasonable way to support the site now that it's getting bigger. IMHO, I think it could be a good thing. The more time Rusty & crew can spend on the site, the better it's going to be. One of the great things about this site is the personal attention it gets from its creators.

But, of course, the ads are not agreeable to all. Some people think this means k5 is slipping. Well, an idea struck me last night when I noticed that onyxruby had posted his/her distaste at the e-music ad. Rusty also mentioned that we could feel free to alert him of any ads that were found to be extremely distasteful, for whatever reason.

So why not vote for ads, just like stories? Not that the ads will go away or anything. Of course the ads will only be as good as the pool of ads OSDN sends down the pipe. And I doubt the ads will ever please everyone.

But I do think the idea has potential. It could:

- Remove or lessen the frequency of ads we all hate
- Give us ads we might actually enjoy or find informative (hey, I can dream, can't I? :)
- Improve k5's marketing clout (well, if we like k5, we want to see it thrive, and we don't want to pay subscriptions...)
- Most interestingly: allow the community to set the standards for the marketing content we're forced to endure. This could be quite empowering and it's the main reason I'm making this suggestion.

Problems I can see:

- All the ads get voted down consistently (well, so what, at least the advertisers know they aren't doing their job properly). Of course we can't vote all the ads off hoping nothing will show up.
- People wasting too much time voting on ads like it's some kind of Ad Critic site. Or worse, waste time arguing about how people voted on the site (this should be totally anonymous).
- Athos mentioned in a reply to my post last night: "This would probably be worth removing the filter from junkbuster for. Of course, some assurance would need to be given that response histories aren't being tracked, yada, yada. Fortunately, I think the K5 gang is fairly aware of issues like this." which is a very valid point!

But of course the biggest hurdle may be:

- Is there technology in place to do this? Unfortunately I have no idea if it's possible to filter what OSDN sends down the pipes.

What does everyone else think?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Ad ratings:
o would improve the situation for everyone. 39%
o are a waste of time. 32%
o would record too much personal marketing data. 6%
o would just make money for k5! Why should I help with that?! 2%
o won't change a thing. Ads are bad. Period. 19%

Votes: 94
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o comments
o last night
o posted
o Also by spacejack

Display: Sort:
Dealing with the ads | 41 comments (41 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Good Idea. (4.37 / 8) (#1)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 05:14:55 PM EST

I think it's an interesting idea, whether or not it even works. It would be a unique expiriment. Advertisers couldn't complain because, after all, why advertise somewhere that people not only dislike advertising and ignore it, but dislike YOUR advertising specifically? Spend your money elsewhere.

However, another way of voting is already in place. Click-throughs. If nobody clicks on an advertisement, chances are it's not going to hang around as much as if dozens click on it. Seems obvious?

Finally, here are some advertisements I do not mind seeing. In fact, I enjoy them:

Programming and other technical books. Even the occasional social-engineering type of book. Not just anyone who has a book to sell, but something that one or more (educated) people have read and perhaps even reviewed and would reccomend. Advertisements for the K&R book? Good. Advertising for O'Reilly's How To Use Windows 95... bad.

Advertise cool geek junk. ThinkGeek is good at this. Nerf toys, legos, books, MP3 players, coffee stuff...

In other words, if possible, don't advertise the obvious (Redhat... for instance). Advertise stuff that will make even us go "whoa! fucking sweet!". Slashdot is better at that than your average website, but I think K5 could be even better.

If you do set some sort of voting mechanism up, make the scores viewable by everyone, including WHO voted which way for each item -- that way nobody can claim that K5 is pulling a fast one on us and telling us "no, this Victoria's Secret ad really was voted up!" (Hm. Actually, that doesn't sound too unlikely! heh. ).

Also, maybe you could have a page where you put advertisements that are pending -- or even currently running so those who are interested can browse and vote all on a single page.

Basically, I'm just saying to take a pro-active role when at all possible and choose to advertise things you would consider worth it -- not just whatever pays you money (if you can).

One last comment -- I think more "geeky" stuff would go over better than "corporate" stuff. More of us are probably interested in cool lego toys, good books, interesting ways of consuming caffeine and fun ways to hurt each other without causing permanent damage than we are in buying a $2500 rack-mount server for our business.
I just read K5 for the articles.

yeah (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by spacejack on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 05:50:11 PM EST

All good points.

However, another way of voting is already in place. Click-throughs. If nobody clicks on an advertisement, chances are it's not going to hang around as much as if dozens click on it. Seems obvious?

That's true, but click-throughs are unpredictable and generally avoided, regardless of the product (my own clickthrough rate is probably something like 0.000001%; I'm not making anybody money via their banner ads). IMO (here I am giving away more free info to advertisers of all people.. but anyways) billboard-style ads are better. If it's a really nice image or cool layout I'll probably stare at the ad. If it's got enough info in it, it may be enough to at least raise my awareness of the product and consider purchasing it in future (eg. if an electronics company were advertising a mp3 CD player for $300 I'd go "wow! I got to get one now!"). This is the kind of statistic that's pretty hard to track unless you look at your long term marketing efforts. But they do it with billboards & poster ads already, and I have a feeling that web ads are going to realize that click-throughs are pretty rare.

I think ad polls are likely to provide much more feedback to the advertiser since there's no fear of being dragged away from the site you're trying to browse; there will be a predictable & consistent result from clicking on a "rate ad" button.

[ Parent ]
Even if it doesn't change the ads, it'd be cool (4.57 / 7) (#2)
by Speare on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 05:17:42 PM EST

I like the idea. How about in that gray area next to the ad, a little formlet that is like today's polls?

Before voting:

    <pre> vote: + ( ) ( ) - ( ) [rate this] </pre>

After voting:

    <pre> voted: + (51%) (21%) - (28%) 13% click-thru </pre>

[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
And a quick way to make a buck ;) (3.00 / 1) (#3)
by Seumas on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 05:31:43 PM EST

And so you can make a few pennies while you're at it, there should be a mechanism that requires us to actually VISIT the site in question before it allows us to vote. Heh. Hell yeah.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Marketer's wet dream? (4.57 / 7) (#5)
by bigbird on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 06:58:50 PM EST

Cool idea, spacejack. I hope it makes the front page.

Perhaps Rusty could sell our opinions on ads as added value to marketers - think of k5 as a big focus group, with rapid feedback from a reasonably diverse range of people.

The big brother aspect concerns me, though. If you can connect my preferences in advertising and products with written opinions / voting patterns on k5, you end up knowing an awful lot about me. I would be somewhat worried about what could be done with a few dozen database queries on advertising votes.


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16

Give an inch (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by duxup on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 10:08:32 PM EST

I find the idea of voting on adds fascinating too. I also share your concern regarding how far this could be taken as well. I can't see marketers simply taking the voting data without wanting more information, demographic, regional, and such information. Much could probably be gleaned from many people's posts or diary submissions. I find the possibility of encouraging such activity scary.

[ Parent ]
Ads? What ads? (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by MeanGene on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:20:58 PM EST

Courtesy of junkbuster, I see no ads - only the blue and the grey strips at the top. I sincerely hope k5's financing is not baced on the "view" and "clicks."

But if there're too many "junkbusters" like me and OSDN decides to pull the plug, I'd gladly send rusty a few bucks in lieu of all this ad-based mental pollution.

If there's one thing I don't want to spend my time and brain cells on - it's rating and analyzing ads.

It almost certainly is based on views. (none / 0) (#25)
by mahlen on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 12:54:38 AM EST

Every Web ad service I've ever heard of (in fact, just about any ad service in any medium) is based on CPM, meaning cost per thousand impressions. OSDN is surely just counting up the ads that are pulled from their server and paying K5 based on that. So yes, Junkbuster does in fact prevent rusty and the crew from getting paid for that page.

Rusty, if you're listening, correct me if I'm mistaken.


"I'd like to see a nature film where an eagle swoops down and pulls a fish out of a lake, and then maybe he's flying along, low to the ground, and the fish pulls a worm out of the ground. Now that's a documentary."
--"Deep Thoughts", by "Jack Handy"

[ Parent ]
How many people filter the ads? (3.60 / 5) (#7)
by untrusted user on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:21:17 PM EST

I would have guessed that among technically adept people, the majority just filters away all ads and doesn't care about them at all. The comments on this and the other story seem to imply otherwise. Can anyone confirm this (from the server logs, maybe) or even explain why?

I don't (none / 0) (#12)
by spacejack on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:49:33 PM EST

Because I prefer to see how these websites are all operating. I acknowledge that advertising may turn out to be the only sustainable revenue stream on the web in the long run.

If a site has too many ads, or the ads are too annoying, I won't go there. Otherwise, I'm simply curious to see all the tricks these companies and their marketers are trying.

i.e., The web is a dish best served raw. :)

[ Parent ]
I don't. I do. (none / 0) (#20)
by Tr3534 on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 12:03:37 AM EST

Ads... those annoying animated gifs. One reason i use w3m unless Absolutely nessessary.

Sigmentation Fault: Post Dumped.
[ Parent ]
Filtering Ads (none / 0) (#29)
by DaveP37 on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 11:21:22 AM EST

the majority just filters away all ads and doesn't care about them at all

I filter ads for one major reason. They slow the loading of the page. While loading a page, I'm continually seeing long delays while waiting for a response from k5ads.osdn.com. And because the HTML used for including the ad images and tables has width="100%" rather than a fixed width, the table can't render until all the images have actually been downloaded.

Oh well, another server to add to my hosts file with a CNAME

[ Parent ]
Internet Junkbuster (none / 0) (#32)
by PresJPolk on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 02:07:08 PM EST

Blocking advertising is a pretty popular thing, I suspect.

Back before the shutdown, Rusty even called for discussion of ad-blocking methods, so that people could have a choice of whether they wanted to see ads.

[ Parent ]
OSDN won't do that. (4.33 / 3) (#8)
by perdida on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:23:59 PM EST

I think it is a good idea too, but OSDN is not going to say to its advertiser pool, "Hey, here, put your ad on this site and the users will vote it up or down."

If a site gets voted down does it get its money back?

You would need a slew of websites with ad ratings, and marketers to sell ad space to advertisers who don't mind advertising in an environment where they could get modded down. (free idea to anyone who wants to start these)

The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
Are you sure? (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by spacejack on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:33:26 PM EST

From Rusty's original post: K5 has the right to veto any individual ad, for any reason, so if you do see one that you think is overly obnoxious, let us know. It led me to believe there was the possibility of implementing some kind of community veto or vote feature. Of course, only those on the inside will know for sure, and what the limitations would be.

[ Parent ]
Impractical (4.50 / 2) (#14)
by rusty on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 09:34:37 PM EST

Yes, in theory I can veto any ad. But I think the unspoken assumption is that I ought to have a good (technical) reason for it. As someone else pointed out, our leverage is pretty minimal right now in the world of online breadwinning. We basically can either play by the stablished rules, or get sent to the showers. And I made a decision that developing new and exciting internet money-making models was really not what I'm interested in doing.

So, while I like your idea, personally, I don't imagine that advertisers would see it your way. They think a little... funny sometimes. If we ever get to the point where we get to dictate the terms, I have all kinds of interesting ideas we could try. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

ah well (none / 0) (#16)
by spacejack on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 10:30:51 PM EST

Perhaps the idea will resurface elsewhere. There are some interesting issues that arise out of it that are fun to bat around. Maybe I should have written the article in a more general sense.

[ Parent ]
unfortunately you just cant work that way (3.50 / 4) (#9)
by rebelcool on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:32:22 PM EST

people dont vote for ads on tv, or ads going up on billboards. Who really *wants* ads? Not many. As a site operator, I understand how money is a necessary evil to running a site. So far i've kept The Machine ad free, and hopefully it'll remain that way (join up there, i need more test subjects!)

Anyways, the ads arent really distracting. I dont even notice them on here for more than a second.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

A fairly intuitive idea (4.33 / 6) (#11)
by skim123 on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 07:36:27 PM EST

Why not just have Rusty/OSDN tailor the ads to the click through percentages? I'd assume that's what they'd do. If eMusic.com banners gets clicked 0.1% of the time and all other banners are clicked 2% of the time, I'd wager that the eMusic.com banners would get taken down.

Rather than requiring Rusty to create a new feature to k5 to allow for "ad voting," why not just have everyone vote with their click throughs? If you like an ad a lot (relative to others) click it. Plain and simple.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Not the editor's choice (none / 0) (#26)
by Sunir on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 02:53:11 AM EST

It's not an editorial decision to pull an ad for low response. Ad space is bought by the advertiser to use. If the advertiser is told its ad is not succesful, then the advertiser can pull the ad.

The editor doesn't (and shouldn't) care. It's not their job to sell the products; it's their job to sell the site. Consequently, no matter how many clickthroughs eMusic got, they would happily display eMusic ads as often as eMusic paid for.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

But it would happen indirectly (none / 0) (#33)
by skim123 on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 03:00:46 PM EST

The editor doesn't (and shouldn't) care. It's not their job to sell the products; it's their job to sell the site. Consequently, no matter how many clickthroughs eMusic got, they would happily display eMusic ads as often as eMusic paid for

Granted, but the days of Internet sites blindly throwing away money is over. If Rusty said, "Hey eMusic, your banners are having terrible performance on k5," they'd either drop the ads, change them, or foolishly continue to lose money and, eventually, go out of business.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
ad vetoing (3.75 / 4) (#13)
by perdida on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 08:37:43 PM EST

I wonder what the stats are on how often an ad is actually veto'd in agreements like this. Would an ad co. enter into the agreement if the veto were frequently practiced, thus making it that much harder for advertisers?

I suppose advertisers are currently slavering at the door of the growing healthy K5. However, a site which is not such a cherry to be plucked may need to consider more openness to advertisers. the dominant market model has been you pay, you get display.. however, i think establishing an alternative model here advertisers self-select for that kind of a system would be good, because users would get more control and adversisers would get quicker and more accurate feedback.

The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
Alternative strategy: fetch ads and hide them (4.00 / 3) (#17)
by tftp on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 11:19:21 PM EST

I understand the need to have a revenue. Web sites do not come cheap - they need h/w, s/w and bandwidth, plus some daily maintenance. It would be unreasonable to expect all that to come out of thin air. So some sort of a deal must exist - either to sell page space or to sell the soul...

In any case, here we are. Ads are here, neatly referred to in HTML source to be fetched by our browsers. Some people with fast connection (most people at work, some people at home) can afford to download those images and therefore contribute to survival of the site.

There is a little problem, however. Ads are intrusive, abusive and otherwise annoying. I have my own set of worst ads, other people would point at other ads. This is the second most valid reason to block ads. (The third one is the user tracking.)

So is there any way to download ads when you are on a fast connection and at the same time to spare you from the pain of that blinking horror? I think it is possible.

I assume most people use Web browser to read K5. Of course, real men just telnet into port 80, but I digress :-) The browser is free to render the page in any way it pleases. This means that the browser can download and not show the image. I do not know how [un]ethical that might be - any comments on that?

There is a patch for Netscape to stop animated GIFs. You also can press Esc (or "Stop") and animation stops too. But if you use Mozilla then you can easily modify the renderer to hide some images. Then both birds will be ... no, I like birds ... anyway, you achieve both goals - financing K5 and sparing your eyes - with as little as fraction of your T3 connection at work.

Accounts? (none / 0) (#19)
by spacejack on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 11:59:25 PM EST

Maybe for those who'd like to pay subscription instead of seeing ads, their account could be registered as "ad-free". So when they login, the ads would disappear (I wonder if the k5 staff already have this.. :D

[ Parent ]
Re: Accounts? (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by tftp on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 12:18:56 AM EST

Yes, I believe K5 staff already knows about that option (it was discussed in previous article, this thread).

[ Parent ]
CSS on a newer browser (5.00 / 3) (#22)
by bigbird on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 12:34:29 AM EST

Use CSS on Mozilla. I noticed the following while looking into CSS at the w3.org: The CSS Anarchist's Cookbook.

If you follow one of the links, it refers to a page on user-defined stylesheets for Mozilla. This page has more info on the subject.

Basically, make a file called userContent.css, place it in the chrome subdirectory (one or two levels down within .mozilla for Linux) . Put the following in the file to remove ALL images of the same size as a typical banner ad (the article warns of collateral damage):

IMG[height="60"][width="468"], IMG[height="60px"][width="468px"]
{display: none !important;}
Some level of user defined stylesheet support is also supposed to be available on IE 5 and newer. I will likely have to look it up to implement at work one day.

The best part about using CSS instead of Junkbuster is that the ad still downloads, and Rusty still gets money tp run the site. I end up with an attractive white box. Which can likely be changed, but I am too lazy to look into it at this point.


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

It works! (none / 0) (#24)
by tftp on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 12:52:04 AM EST

Thanks! I did that (at work, where I have T1+ speed) and indeed it works just fine. I see a white rectangle. This is a good, quick solution for Mozilla users. Netscape (and maybe IE) users would want a hack implemented in JunkBuster - which would fetch the image without passing it back to the browser.

[ Parent ]
yuck (3.80 / 5) (#18)
by speek on Sat Jan 20, 2001 at 11:22:09 PM EST

The ads are bad enough just as they are. Let's not make them a topic of conversation too. Jeez, when I predicted the downfall of K5 due to the ads, I had no idea it was going to be immediate. I'm changing my sig now. Hopefully, we can band together and get rid of the ads.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

This is the last thing I want to do. (4.40 / 5) (#23)
by theR on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 12:39:39 AM EST

The last thing I want to do is vote for advertisements. While I am not a fan of the ads, there are plenty of ways to get around them or just plain ignore them. I think it is wrong to put the onus of trying to make every single person happy about the ads on rusty or anyone else involved in the site.

We have the power already and we should just exercise that power without making it harder on someone like rusty who is doing this in his spare time away from his fulltime job and other responsibilities. There are plenty of options. These include, but are probably not limited to, leaving kuro5hin, using ad filters/blockers, and ignoring the ads.

In my opinion, something like voting for or against the ads would serve the advertisers just as well or better than it would serve us, anyhow. They would get a fairly accurate count of not just click through, but how many people actually viewed the ad. I do not know why anyone would really want to spend time voting on ads when there are much better things to be doing here on k5.

Ads break Netscape. (3.33 / 3) (#27)
by i on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 02:56:45 AM EST

Netscape® Communicator 4.75 on SunOS 5.6 if Javascript is on. Note that Javascript is necessary for stylesheets to work with this parody of a browser.

Please fix it.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

This could be very profitable (4.00 / 5) (#28)
by Sunir on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 02:59:55 AM EST

An advertiser's goal is not to be aesthetically pleasing, but to first get your attention, and second, be remembered. In other words, in order to work, you don't have to like the ad, you just have to remember it. Eventually, you will likely forget the stigma and remember only to association.

Therefore, having a large argument over whether or not to kill a particular ad would probably make the advertiser very happy. At the very minimum, the ads will be noticed. Even the ads that don't get voted on will be noticed as scrutinizing the ad bar will become important to some people.

I don't think this strategy will have its intended effect.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

More ads == more personal attention? (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by roystgnr on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 11:47:16 AM EST

It sounds good in theory: more ads means Rusty doesn't have to work three jobs to pay rent means he has more time to devote to kuro5hin.

In practice, I remember Slashdot before it got banner ads; Rob used to post (and of course read) comments regularly back then. Now it's demonstrably true that many of the Slashdot authors don't even read each other's stories.

I'm still in favor of the ads, on the theories that "people who create cool things like scoop and kuro5hin should have lots of money" and "people who really hate ads can block them easily". But Rusty already devotes an admirable amount of time to kuro5hin, and I don't expect a sudden increase.

Rob Malda's non-responses (5.00 / 2) (#35)
by roblimo on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 06:37:41 PM EST

The only reason Rob Malda has stopped responding to most comments and emails is overwhelming volume. Go add up the total number of reader-posted comments on Slashdot in the average week.

Then add another 500+ emails per day.

Remember, Slashdot does over one million pageviews on the average weekday, too, which is a heck of a lot more than K5.

Now pretend to be Rob. Scream "ARRRRGGGHHH!!!" loudly. :)

Sure, I remember Slashdot when it was a tight little club (I'm user # 357) and all the regular posters knew each other and Rob was an active participant in the dialogue. I also watched the Slashdot SNR change with scale.

If you tell me Slashdot hasn't scaled as well as a lot of us would have liked, I would not argue with you.

But then I think how much worse it would have been if Rob and Jeff had kept trying to run the site by themselves as a side thing. I don't think it would have lasted past the end of 1999. After the Andover buy, when they finally had another full-time person (me) to pitch in, they managed to take their first days off in *over two years*!

I don't think many people realize just how much work and time it takes to deal with a large, rambunctious, highly vocal online community until they've been on the back (working) end of something like Slashdot or K5 or any of the other big high-feedback sites.

Selling ads and dealing with advertisers is another, totally separate, huge pain in the ass. Why in hell do you think I work for OSDN instead of running my own website(s)? I could build a hell of a lot of traffic by covering Washington DC tech regulatory activities and tech-oriented politics, and would have no trouble finding backers for a venture like this; I get unsolicited offers all the time. But then I'd have to deal with advertisers and the business side of the thing instead of focusing on reporting and editing, which are the areas I prefer.

The whole thing with OSDN is that it has experienced staff to deal with ad sales, collections, and the rest of the crud that neither coders like Rusty nor writers like me enjoy. In essence, we have both decided to "hire" the OSDN suits to do the work that doesn't interest us so that we can do our thing without being bothered by any more crap than necessary.

Rusty and I spent a *lot* of time talking before the OSDN deal, and a lot of thought went into making it as fair and mutually beneficial as possible, and how we could intrude in K5's affairs as little as possible while still being able to come up with a healthy revenue stream that would give both Rusty and Inoshiro "eating money" without their having to set up a sales staff and go through all that BS.

The reality is that most people have to eat one way or another, and very few of us get to do exactly what we want every minute of the day and still earn enough to get by. There are always compromises. In the case of K5, the ads seemed like a good compromise all around.

But even though the ads help support K5, they don't help answer the "But will it scale?" question. All they do is make it possible for Rusty to spend more time on K5, which means he'll be able to handle a higher volume of input than he can now, assuming the site keeps growing (which I strongly suspect it will).

Sooner or later, if K5's popularity increases... I'd say to about 4X or 5X its current level... Rusty will start getting overwhelmed, just as Rob Malda started getting overwhelmed in early 1999, which is when he started to slowly withdraw from Slashdot commenting. At that time, Slashdot was doing about 4X as many pageviews as K5 is doing now.

And once K5 starts to "max out," another site of some sort will spring up, run by someone we'll call "ColonelRustoleum" and that site will be where lots of former K5 and /. users go to bitch about how "those other sites" have gotten so big and impersonal that they aren't fun any more.

On that note, I think I will stop typing and pour myself another drink. It has been a long week.

Robin 'roblimo' Miller

[ Parent ]
Yes, except... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by rusty on Tue Jan 23, 2001 at 06:48:50 PM EST

I'd rather spend my time figuring out how to scale. Forewarned is forearmed, to some extent, and the life and times of Slashdot have been a good lesson for us. I'd prefer to figure out how to scale better, instead of rolling over for the next punk-ass hotshot who wants to do better. But time will certainly tell.

I think one of the tricks is going to be allowing more small-group organization. Basically, I don't think 50K people can be a coherent community, in a setting like this. But 5,000 people can definitely be, and 10 groups of 5,000 can probably interact usefully. There's a great essay about network value and organization around somewhere, that's got me thinking about this again.

Anyway, all the rest, about hiring OSDN to deal with the income issue, that's all right on.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Rob (none / 0) (#41)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 02:40:05 AM EST

You seem to be remembering a different Slashdot than I am. I'm user #597 there, and I never remember CmdrTaco posting frequently at all. There'd be the occasional post by him in the comments, but they were few and far between (Hemos and sengan [what happened to him anyway?] did post fairly regularly, but not CmdrTaco).

Plus he was never helpful even then in his email responses. Mostly they were "leave me alone." Once when I asked him why The Glorious MEEPT!!'s posts were starting out at a default -1 (since the karma system docs Rob had recently posted indicated that 0 was the lowest possible default score for a user) he told me it was a "bug in the system" that he would "look into." I found out shortly later that it was the result of the now-infamous "bitchslap" feature put into Slash by which admins could make a user's posts all start out at -1. So basically he lied and said it wasn't intentional when it was in fact quite intentional. I don't take kindly to people of that sort, so ever since Rob has been classified as an imbecile in my book.

[ Parent ]

How/When do the ads generate revenue? (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by AzTex on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 11:52:01 AM EST

I'm curious, does K5 or OSDN make money every time an ad is loaded by a browser? Or do they not make money until someone actually clicks on an ad?

solipsism: I'm always here. But you sometimes go away.
** AzTex **

Not sure if advertisers would go for this (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by josh_staiger on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 05:46:00 PM EST

This sounds like a wonderful idea from *our* point of view. I would definitely be all for it.

However, I wouldn't be so sure about what advertisers would think of the idea. It is a fairly well known fact that the most annoying ads tend to be the most effective.

Although we may not like the epileptic "buy now!" type, they certainly do.

A system like this may reduce advertisers willingness to pay Rusty the $$$ that he wants and needs. It's a counterpoint to consider.

Why not go by highest rating? (3.00 / 5) (#36)
by Anonymous 6522 on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 07:10:03 PM EST

I think that there should be some way for us to choose what ads show up here, and I do agree that voting on them like stories will not work. Here's my idea for an ad voting system:

It would be sort of like the story voting system, with a short text discription of each ad on the pending ad page, and the actual ad on the page where you vote. Each week the two highest rated ads will be displayed on the top and bottom each page, and the scores will be reset to 0 for all ads. This means that if an one ad has a score of -7 another has a score of 5 and a third is -60, the ad with -7 and the ad with 5 will go up on the page for the next week.

I'm sure this would be acceptable for all involved.

simple add blocker for these (4.00 / 2) (#37)
by savaget on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 05:23:59 PM EST

Just add the following line to your HOSTS file: k5ads.osdn.com

to block the ads.


Personally I don't mind these ads, as they are

unobtrusive and do pay for this great site.

Don't like ads? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by chuqui on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 04:25:02 PM EST

If you don't like having ads on a web site, how much would you pay to make them go away?

If rusty added a feature where you could pay, oh, $5/year through kagi and his system would not show the ads, would you do it?

Someone has to pay for all of this -- something the folks runing junkbuster and other add-deleters ought to remember. What you're doing by not supporting the ads on the site is simple: telling Rusty that not only does he have to write the thing and run the thing, but pay for the thing as well.

Gee, what a deal.

When I did my latest community site, I overtly made it non-commercial -- if you want to put some money into it, I have a list of a number of causes that could really use your money. I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to pay to run the joint without ads or contributions, and more interested in people's ideas than money.

But some days, I think people begin to think the little network fairies come through people's houses at night and sprinkle magic bandwidth dust on their computers and give them free hookups to the network. If they do, they forgot my house.... (grin)

you may not like ads, but if they pay for (or help pay for) the system, it's not in your self-interest to circumvent them. that's how places like this end up on other places like this with people asking "nayone know what happened to.... I always liked it, and then it disappeared...."

-- Chuq Von Rospach, Internet Gnome <http://www.chuqui.com> <kuro@chuqui.com> "The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging"
Zedo (none / 0) (#40)
by DJ Noha on Tue Feb 06, 2001 at 06:09:23 PM EST

A company called Zedo has developed something they call the "adRemote", which is basically a javascript frame around the ad that lets you vote on it, pick what kind of ads you want to see, etc. I'm not sure what sites it might be on right now, but it's a pretty cool concept.

Dealing with the ads | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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