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How to Manage Advertising on K5?

By Arkady in News
Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 05:48:48 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

Advertising support seems to be the most common form of media income these days. Even magazines and newspapers (and cable TV), all of which do charge subscription fees, are designed to depend on advertising revenue. I'd like to propose a mechanism by which web sites can support advertising-based and subscription-based models at the same time.


Rusty has finally decided to start looking at advertising systems for K5. Since my first contact with Rusty was my asking how to write up an article I wanted to post to Kuro5hin about an alternative to ad systems, I think it's time I wrap up that bit of writing and post it here. The big issue in how to write this is that the article itself comes off as advertising for a project with which I'm already involved (though it's not really a business ), so keep that in mind. I'm not writing from an entirely objective perspective. ;-)

Aside from the simple fact that advertisements generally detract from the aesthetic design of a web site, they build a dependency upon the advertiser. It has long been known that "traditional" media such as TV and newspapers allow their advertisers to exert a massive influence over their content. It is possible that this threat is unavoidable in any ad-supported venture, since the income for the producers is so dependant upon advertisers' good will. This doesn't mean that the advertisers will actually exercise this influence, just that the threat is there. And, as has been pointed out repeatedly by the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the mere fact that the threat exists has often lead producers to censor themselves rather than run the risk that an advertiser will be offended.

Another important consideration with advertising support on a web site is, as Rusty mentioned obliquely, the potential for abuse of the readers privacy by the advertisers, as in the recent exposure of DoubleClick's information gathering practices.

While I think we can all agree that society should protect its members from exploitation of their personal information, and could do so by regarding that information as their property (heck, under current law, the originator of a work (and can we not consider our credit or net usage histories as a work?) owns copyright by default ...), the most effective way to prevent exploitation is in keeping your data out of the hands of potential exploiters.

With that goal in mind, we are forming a consumer cooperative which will, on behalf of its members, purchase ad free access to popular web sites at rates competitive to current advertising. The coop will maintain a system similar to DoubleClick's, whereby the decision to display an ad (rather than which ad to display) will be made by our servers when a member accesses a participating site. As a consumer coop, the operation will be wholly owned by its users and therefore will have its privacy policies set by them. No usage information on a user will be kept except what is necessary to bill them for their use. That should be extremely minimal, since most sites with whom we've discussed this prefer a yearly flat-rate fee, rather than a per-view fee, so the user's actual usage is irrelevant.

By our estimation, a site receiving standard ad rates makes between one and five dollars a year from showing ads to a user (assuming 2-5 page views/day for a year). Adding in the cost of maintaining the system, we still expect it to cost the user around $50/year to subscribe to the 10-20 sites they read most. This is well within reason for the vast majority of Net users.

I have written a prototype of the system and put up a site describing how I think it should work. Since K5 is now looking at advertising systems, I've added a page for K5 to the survey system, if you are interested in giving your opinion on whether K5 should use it and how much the fees should be. I would appreciate all of your thoughts, both here in the K5 comments section and on the survey for itself.

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Related Links
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Display: Sort:
How to Manage Advertising on K5? | 41 comments (41 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
intresting idea, very intresting, a... (none / 0) (#5)
by SgtPepper on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 03:37:22 PM EST

SgtPepper voted 1 on this story.

intresting idea, very intresting, and i'll do some more thought and a better reply after ( if ) this story gets posted. But my initial reaction is people aren't going to pay more to not see ads then they are to get net access period.

Well, okay idea, but I don't think ... (none / 0) (#8)
by feline on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 03:58:33 PM EST

feline voted 1 on this story.

Well, okay idea, but I don't think this is really the right way to go. I'd say that k5 would be better suited with a free opt-out ad system.

I really have no problem with ads, I deal with them everywhere I go, but I don't want to have to pay fifty bucks to get rid of them if I want.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'

Re: Well, okay idea, but I don't think ... (none / 0) (#9)
by Arkady on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 05:55:09 PM EST

The idea is that we'd pay K5 not to see the ads, since we want K5 to have enough money to operate. If we opt-out or use JunkBuster, K5 isn't gettting any money. If we want K5 to stay around _and_ we don't want to see ads on it, it seems we should pony up some $ (or pounds or lira; the $ is the only currency symbol on my keyboard ... ;-).

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Funky. As long as the fees don't ge... (none / 0) (#3)
by Pelorat on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 04:19:20 PM EST

Pelorat voted 1 on this story.

Funky. As long as the fees don't get stupid-outrageous, it might be a workable thing...

An interesting idea, but getting pe... (none / 0) (#6)
by hooty on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 04:27:28 PM EST

hooty voted 1 on this story.

An interesting idea, but getting people to pay would be very difficult. The average shmoe would rather be somewhat censored than pay a dime.

Re: An interesting idea, but getting pe... (none / 0) (#10)
by Arkady on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 05:57:59 PM EST

This certainly seems to be true (see, for example, the <a href=http://www.afi-coop.org/cgi-bin/survey/results.pl?survey=sluggy">14% in favor from our survey of Sluggy Freelance's readers). Since the system allows for both ad-viewing and subscribing readerships, as long as enough readers are subscribing to offset the costs of the dual system, though, K5 comes out ahead.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
I'm always willing to consider othe... (none / 0) (#1)
by rusty on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 04:37:22 PM EST

rusty voted 1 on this story.

I'm always willing to consider other sources of revenue. I think having the option to subscribe *or* have free access with ads is a good thing, and I'd be glad to sign K5 up for this if people want me to.

____
Not the real rusty

Re: I'm always willing to consider othe... (none / 0) (#23)
by skim123 on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 02:01:39 AM EST

Don't know about anyone else but paying for something on the Internet??? That just seems so fundamentally off.

As a society I think we have become accustomed to ads in a way. Some friends of mine won't let me fast-forward past the previews when we rent a movie. Why the hell would you want to watch an ad when you don't have to? I assume it is just because they are accustomed to ads... they help break up lengthy material and let us all continue with our 15-minute long attention spans.

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


[ Parent ]
A very well done article (we need m... (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by Rasputin on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 04:42:08 PM EST

Rasputin voted 1 on this story.

A very well done article (we need more of these...yes I know that means I should do one too ;)

Having said that, I disagree with the general proposal. Firstly, I suspect the vast majority of people will deal with ads, rather than pay a fee. As well, there will continue to be a free alternative to both (JunkBuster and friends).

I haven't seen a good/likeable solution to the problem of income streams for media sources, and I'm honestly not yet convinced there is one. Until there is an answer, I think Rusty is correct in using advertising, even though it is, IMHO, really just a short term solution.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

Re: A very well done article (we need m... (none / 0) (#11)
by Arkady on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 06:05:24 PM EST

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing your article ;-)

It seems that a significant majority would definitely rather see the ads. When we surveyed the readership of Sluggy Freelance, we saw 14% interested in paying a subscription fee. The thing is, if Sluggy actually got subscription fees from 14% of their readers, they'd be getting more money than they'd get from showing the ads _and_ they wouldn't be showing ads to folks who don't want to see them. Since Rusty hasn't got an ad price posted yet, I've no way of telling if it would work with the same %s for K5.

If people use JunkBuster, K5 doesn't get any money at all though, of course, they're not seeing ads. To me, it's a way to support sites I like and at the same time not have to see ads and the site can still show ads to folks who aren't interested in putting in their own money.

-robin


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: A very well done article (we need m... (none / 0) (#20)
by PresJPolk on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 11:07:10 PM EST

Don't write an article, unless you're feeling particularly thick skinned that day. :-)

[ Parent ]
worth talking about ... (none / 0) (#2)
by ramses0 on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 05:12:32 PM EST

ramses0 voted 1 on this story.

worth talking about
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

screw advertising. i downloaded gu... (2.50 / 2) (#4)
by pope nihil on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 05:25:41 PM EST

pope nihil voted 1 on this story.

screw advertising. i downloaded guidescope today. if i want to buy something, i'll look it up goddamnit. i don't want it crammed down my throat. in fact, i go the extra mile, and put annoying advertisers on a personal DO-NOT-SUPPORT list.

I voted.

Guidescope (none / 0) (#41)
by rajivvarma on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 07:59:26 PM EST

Hello:

I have just begun to use Guidscope and it works excellent! I recommend this program for anyone who wants to block web ads.
Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

[ Parent ]
Interesting concept, but.... (2.00 / 1) (#12)
by Wil Mahan on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 06:51:04 PM EST

My initial reaction to a system that would allow ad-free browsing was positive. It would be nice to support a site like K5 while eschewing those annoying banners.

However, I'm not convinced that such a solution could be implemented fairly. Even without buying a subscription, I could easily set up Junkbuster to block ads from this site (as described in an earlier story). I would therefore be paying the fee not to avoid the ads, but to support the site. In that case, why not bypass this system and allow those who choose to block ads do so?

Further, if K5 adopted a system such as AFI, would it become illegal or immoral to block ads without paying for the subcription? After all, such actions would constitute enjoying the benefits of a subscription without paying the money.

Ultimately, I think a better solution is to allow people to make their own decisions about how to support a site, rather than purchasing the "right" to not view banner ads.

Re: Interesting concept, but.... (1.00 / 1) (#13)
by feline on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 07:03:28 PM EST

"Ultimately, I think a better solution is to allow people to make their own decisions about how to support a site, rather than purchasing the "right" to not view banner ads."

t-shirts and coffee-mugs sounds like the way to world domination to me
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'
[ Parent ]

Rusty! I'd buy a mug and a T-shirt! (none / 0) (#33)
by susanc on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 12:30:33 PM EST

I'd love to!

Really though, you should try merchandise - the Kuro5hin logo is cool enough and it would advertise You now, wouldn't it...



[ Parent ]

Re: Interesting concept, but.... (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by Arkady on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 07:09:29 PM EST

That's an interesting ethical question but I don't see how it's different from the question of whether to block ads on a site that doesn't offer an ad-free subscription.

While Rusty has said he doesn't mind folks using JunkBuster on K5, most sites with ads would really prefer that you didn't use it. By using JunkBuster, you prevent the producer's from getting any compensation (well, financial compensation) from your use of their site. Though I've never heard of a case testing this, it does strike me that there's at least an argument in favor of interpreting that as theft. I'm not saying that's definitely true, mind; just that I think there's a reasonable argument for it.

The way I see it, AFI basically sets up a simple mechanism for users to support the site. If you wanted to just use JunkBuster and send K5 a check, that'd be basically the same thing but you and K5 would have to deal with it yourselves. We think it'd be more efficient, and better able to grow into a common practice, if it were managed by a company owned by its users (else how could you trust it?).

Even if K5 were to implement AFI's system, I doubt Rusty would change his mind about JunkBuster. And AFI's existence would change nothing about the legal situation, since it adds nothing actually new (there are already subscription funded sites). Either using JunkBuster on a site without permission is theft or it's not, but the existence of mixed-funding web sites won't change that.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting concept, but.... (none / 0) (#22)
by Inoshiro on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 11:27:06 PM EST

Actually, we're hoping to make it so that IJB is not required if you don't want adds on K5. Basically, non-logged in people will probably see ads, but people with accounts must OPT-IN before they see any kinds of advertisements. And once they do, they get to choose what kinds of ads they see.

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting concept, but.... (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by rusty on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 07:11:55 PM EST

Here's how I see it:

Some people don't want ads, and can't or won't pay to support a site they like. As far as I'm concerned, that's fine. It's neither immoral, illegal, or offensive in my view, it's just a choice. If I really felt that strongly about it, I would come up with some draconian security scheme that would ensure I never served a page that wasn't bought & paid for by the user. Obviously I'm not going to do that. These people tend to run junkbuster, or a similar proxy or blocking setup.

Some people will accept advertising, just because they don't care, or because they know their page views generate money for a site they like, and they're happy supporting the site that way.

Some people don't want ads, but either want to support sites they like, or have a personal ethic that says that blocking ads is wrong if they're not replacing the lost funding in some other way (Bruce Perens has made this argument. I don't personally share the viewpoint, but I don't think his opinion is "wrong". Seems like a matter of choice to me). For them a subscription service would be ideal.

I would also like to provide an opt-out mechanism for page ads, so that users who can't or won't run junkbuster themselves, but are unhappy with advertising, can opt-out on at least this site, themselves. I feel like if you have an account, and you contribute regularly, and moderate stories, you're working for the site, and it doesn't morally or ethically behoove you to get us more money through page hits. Basically, I feel like active users provide far more value to the site than the piddling few cents a page that ads would provide, and it's worth much more to me to keep active users happy, than to squeeze every penny I can out of ads. Imagine 20% of the registered users fit this category. If they can opt-out of ads, they'll stay here instead of going to another discussion site instead (I'm told we're not the only one! ;-)). They'll write stories, and comments, and keep the content fresh every day, and tell all their friends. That gets more users, more page views, and ultimately will at least replace the funding lost because they opted out.

The point being, the valuable thing here isn't my rambling, or the pretty colors. Its the people, and I feel like anything I can do to keep the most people happy is, in the long term, the best thing for the site, both ethically and financially.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

One other point, that I forgot (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by rusty on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 07:15:34 PM EST

About purchasing the "right" not to see ads:

I don't see a subscription system as that at all. You have the right not to see ads-- it's granted to you by your technical know-how. I'm not over here doling out rights! Whenever someone tells you they're in *that* business, run, fast, and don't look back.

I see a subscription system as an easy way to financially support a site you like, in lieu of seeing ads. As described above, it's one alternative of several, which would, I think, fit some people's needs.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: One other point, that I forgot (none / 0) (#17)
by Arkady on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 07:35:38 PM EST

> I'm not over here doling out rights! Whenever someone tells you
> they're in *that* business, run, fast, and don't look back.

I _like_ they way you put that. Are you absolutely certain that you didn't major in Communications after all and are just telling us you only considered it to cover it up and retain your cred? ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting concept, but.... (none / 0) (#21)
by Bradley on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 11:10:00 PM EST

I personally have no objections to ads. If they support the site I'm viewing, then thats fine. I tend to ignore them, simply because most of them don't interest me. I pay for net access per meg downloaded, and I don't mind doing this, which I why I don't use junkbuster.

What I do have a problem with are sites that put the ad in a frame at the top with a 10 second refresh time, or have animated gifs with 50-100K frames, or java ads that freeze the browser until java starts up. If I look at one page, then I should get one ad. I don't even mind small animated gifs, as long as they don't move so fast that they attract my eyes away from the text. (Yes, I know that's the job of an advert, but I'm sure you all know what I mean)

[ Parent ]
Text ads? (none / 0) (#36)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 03:10:52 PM EST

Do any advertising companies offer text ads, like Google's? I find these much less annonying than graphical ads, and they use a lot less bandwidth. They don't slow down page loading either. As people start blocking out graphic ads (either using software or by ignoring them), there may be a need for this.

[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting concept, but.... (none / 0) (#19)
by PresJPolk on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 11:04:41 PM EST

I don't think it'd be "immoral" to block out the ads.

Would Rusty get paid for each view? I doubt it. Such advertising schemes these days, for sites on the scale of kuro5hin.org, pay every time someone follows an ad link, not just for someone downloading the banner.

I never, ever, ever click on the ads. I don't even see them even without junkbuster, since I browse with images off anyway.

So, running a proxy costs Rusty nothing anyway.

[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting concept, but.... (none / 0) (#35)
by dlc on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 01:37:54 PM EST

    I could easily set up Junkbuster to block ads from this site

So block the ads with JunkBuster. That is immaterial -- the ad will still get served (JunkBuster will eat it), the advertiser will have gotten their impression (the ad got sent out), and K5 will get the credit for having served the ad. We all win. And, like someone already mentioned, since there is no way you're going to actually click on a banner ad anyway, no one loses (at least no more than they would have anyway).

darren


(darren)
[ Parent ]

Re: Interesting concept, but.... (none / 0) (#37)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 10:08:20 PM EST

That is immaterial -- the ad will still get served (JunkBuster will eat it), the advertiser will have gotten their impression ...

That's not quite how IJB works. Junkbuster eats the HTTP request before the ad server gets it, returning either nothing or a blank image depending on configuration, and thus no image is loaded. Almost all ad servers depend on the image load to do accounting rather than relying on page load statistics, and therefore the ad provider is completely unaware of the impression that was never made.

Nonetheless, I have no qualms whatsoever about the use of bandwidth I pay for. If I don't want bytes coming from e.g. DoubleClick or AdFu or wherever, I don't see any reason I should request them from the image provider. Some (an oft-cited opinion from Bruce Perens, for example) may see that as theft of services. I see it the other way, ads which I don't explicitly load are theft of my bandwidth. As soon as they hit my wire, they're my bytes and I'll do with them as I please, thank you. I feel I have the right to filter ads, porn, Barney the Dinosaur, John "Lyricist for the Dead" Perry "Lyricist for the Dead" Barlow, or whatever other offensive bits might cross my copper.

[ Parent ]

Banner madness (none / 0) (#18)
by noek on Thu Jun 08, 2000 at 08:33:19 PM EST

First off i want to say that i think it would be good if regular readers / users of a non-profit site like K5 would contribute with some kind of system.

Today i read an article explaining why banner advertising is not working. This guy states most users do not even notice banners anymore. Like advertising on a bus, it just passes by. People who have used the web regulary for the last six months (like i suspect from K5 readers) are not going to click on a banner, so why display it to them?

My opinion is that i won't really mind if some good brandname ads appear on K5. As long as they are not animated or annoying.

Re: Banner madness (none / 0) (#25)
by rusty on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 02:30:49 AM EST

Um, we're actually not non-profit. We just have no income. There's a small but crucial difference. :-)

To quote Sub-Pop records: "What part of we have no money don't you understand?"

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

my mistake (none / 0) (#27)
by noek on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 05:50:09 AM EST

I really thought you did this for fun only. Well it doesn't matter really.

[ Parent ]
Re: my mistake (none / 0) (#34)
by rusty on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 01:09:23 PM EST

Well, I do do it for fun only, but officially, in the eyes of the law, K5 Inc. is a for-profit company. Someday maybe it'll be my job, but for now, I have other employment that pays the bills. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
When push comes to shove... (none / 0) (#24)
by skim123 on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 02:04:20 AM EST

I wonder how many folks would actually send a check into Rusty. Two? Three? Five? Very few, I'd wager... personally I've become very accustomed to Internet == free services, as I suspect many others have as well.

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


Pay per view? (none / 0) (#26)
by Fyndalf on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 03:32:09 AM EST

By our estimation, a site receiving standard ad rates makes between one and five dollars a year from showing ads to a user (assuming 2-5 page views/day for a year).

You get paid per page view!? Whoa! Which ad thingy does that?



Sponsored Links (none / 0) (#28)
by Fish on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 06:52:48 AM EST

I for one would rather have sponsored links, rather than dynamically-loaded banner advertising.

Reasons:

1. They'er quicker to load
2. They are more likely to be of interest to the readership (e.g. QuestionExchange) 3. They are unobtrusive
4. Google has shown that they can work

I think advertisers would rather pay money knowing that there's a static link on the page for a month compared to $.01 per '000 page impressions (or whatever) - the statistics are rather appalling for click-throughs anyway, under 1% or something (again I haven't checked my figures here, but....)

Fish

Stop The Conspiracy Theories, I Am Hattig's Wife

Okay, My thoughts are here, destroy them if you li (none / 0) (#29)
by SgtPepper on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 08:21:55 AM EST

50$/year might not sound like a lot, but remember, this is almost the cost of registering a domain name and people thing /that's/ too high. Alot of people simply do not want to have to pay for something that they think should get for free. Personally I think the AFI is a good idea, but i think it would work better if the /sites/ ran it. I also don't see why the AFI is needed, it's a good idea, but would it not work better if the actual sites were doing this?
For example, K5 gets ads, PersonA ( for the sake of this disussion ) does not want ads.
He emails rusty, rusty tells him that's fine but you need to send me some money man. So PersonA sends him $50 - $100, he gets a new security level ( FTSOA lets say it's 5 ) that allows him to choose in his Interface Perfs to "block ads", this is good FOR LIFE. That seems like another viable solution. Of course the more I think about it the more AFI makes sense for the more "mainstream" internet.

Ah well, just my thoughts.

Thought provoking, but here's how I see it... (none / 0) (#30)
by Alhazred on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 10:15:42 AM EST

Why should I PAY A FEE to get rid of something I never wanted in the first place? Are advertisers now the "New Mafia", "Hey you there, Joe Palooka. Ya know me 'n Tommy was thinkin it would be a shame if someone used up all your bandwidth. Watcha say you gives us a little insurance..."

I say fooey on that crap. I already pay for Internet access, and as part of that I expect control over what bits get to come across my line. I see no reason to have to pay for the PRIVILEDGE of not being advertised to. After all, the advertisers are trying to sell me a product. If they want access to me they can damn well pay me to view their ads. I don't see Rusty offering to send me any of the money he'll get from the ads, yet its my reading them as well as his providing them that is the value.

In other words what I'm saying is that the audience has value, and when and if they ever realize that it will be the content providers and advertisers paying US to look at their stuff.

So I guess that you basically have it all backwards IMHO. I am certainly not going to pay not to see stuff I don't want to see. I might pay to see stuff I DO want to see, but I already do that and having to pay subscription fees to 47 different web sites is not manageable. I think the role that is missing on the net is CONTENT AGGREGATOR. Someone who goes out and pays people to produce content and charges for it. I mean not just certain specialized kinds, because a web site publisher could do that, I mean something more like the "book of the month club" that seeks out certain types of content providers and supports them by selling subscription packages. Maybe thats the ultimate role of an AOL.

I'll tell you this much, it will be the role with the greatest power, and to those who believe in "net democracy" I would say, "watch out!" It will certainly be a role that is just as much a tool of those in power as the current TV broadcasting system is, unless we find some new paradigms. Arkady is experimenting with a new idea, I like that! :o)
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
Re: Right on. (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 11:35:21 AM EST

I think that many more people would be willing to contribute yearly memberships to a coop that paid sites like kuro5hin to stay ad free. In other words, people join the coop and every quarter get to vote on sites that they think are high quality enough to merit payment and then the coop contacts the site and offers payment competitive to banner ads to publish with no advertisements.

I would think of it sort of like the public radio of the internet.

Not to mention all the problems with implementation.... How does AFI intend to follow me all over, to my work, to my home, to the library. What happens if I install my anti-ad cookie at the library. Once I use all their computers, everyone surfing at the library gets ads zonked. Not to mention it would likely only be a matter of time measurable in micro-seconds before logins and passwords for AFI started showing up on usenet or on this or that weblog.

I say, pay people to produce content, that makes much more sense.



[ Parent ]
Re: Right on. (none / 0) (#38)
by Alhazred on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 02:01:15 PM EST

Yep, yep. I agree. Of course the "coop" would also have to have a way to identify members.

I do have some thoughts on how that would work though. Log in to the Coop, which puts up a page with links to all the participating sites. When you go to one of those it pops up in another window. That window can check its caller using some javascript and go fetch back an authorization from the coop page (which is still loaded). I know the scripting for this works, and in fact you can do even slicker stuff, though its out of the scope of this discussion.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
Let me play devil's advocate for a moment... (none / 0) (#32)
by Anonymous Zero on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 11:46:53 AM EST

I'm not throwing down the coop module but let me play devil's advocate for a minute:

The coop system adds more headaches for whoever has to manage this site (rusty). Whenever you have paying subscribers you have to deal with customer support: lost passwords, invalid credit cards, the check is in the mail, my password isn't working, and so on. Sure AFI is supposed to manage that for you, but you know people are going to be emailing webmaster@.... whenver they have a problem because that's what people do.

From AFI's tech docs it says they will serve your ads for you. So (if I understand this scenerio correctly) the advertising agent (Burst Media) would send the site manager their ads, then the site manager sends those ads to AFI, and AFI then delivers those ads when users hit the web site to users that are not paying subscribers. Does AFI have a complete ad management system in place? Can AFI deliver rich media ads? Will Burst Media allow AFI to serve your ads for you?

This is an interesting model and would be more interesting if the ad networks like Burst Media would managed the user subscriptions at their end so that they take care of all the dirty work and the site manager just gets a check in the mail.

I didn't fill out the AFI survey because I don't think it asked the right questions. It was asking "How much would pay?" and my response is I wouldn't pay to have ads dissappear.

Lots of ads all over the web page (like Tom's Hardware Guide) is a bit much but one ad at the top of the page is really not a big deal so just sign up with Burst Media and keep it simple. No matter what you do to your web site some people will always bitch and you can't please them anyway. Keep it simple and they have less to bitch about.

Re: Let me play devil's advocate for a moment... (none / 0) (#39)
by eries on Sat Jun 17, 2000 at 08:05:04 PM EST

From AFI's tech docs it says they will serve your ads for you. So (if I understand this scenerio correctly) the advertising agent (Burst Media) would send the site manager their ads, then the site manager sends those ads to AFI, and AFI then delivers those ads when users hit the web site to users that are not paying subscribers. Does AFI have a complete ad management system in place? Can AFI deliver rich media ads? Will Burst Media allow AFI to serve your ads for you?

You could pretty easily set up an account with the coop that would redirect your ad to the appropriate ad server. You just tell the coop what HTML you would normally use to display an ad, and if a non-member shows up, you print out that HTML.
Promoting open-source OO code reuse on the web: the Enzyme open-source project
[ Parent ]

Re: Let me play devil's advocate for a moment... (none / 0) (#40)
by Arkady on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:17:31 AM EST

Actually, I think the doc you're talking about had this note on it:

Now that the prototype is online, this brief description is probably not very relevant anymore.

;-)

The way the AFI prototype works is that the web site calls the AFI server to authenticate users, who are being identified by a cookie assigned by the coop's server, and then the web server either gives them ad or no-ad HTML. It's a bit simpler this way and can be more easily evolved into a more secure system.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
How to Manage Advertising on K5? | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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