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Advertising at TGL

14 posts in this topic

Posted

What are your feelings on having advertising at this site?

I've had advertisers contact me at various times, asking me to put up specific links or adverts; it's also possible to include some limited google adwords, like you see on many sites. On the one hand, a few adverts would help pay for the site and towards its development, especially if members make a point of clicking on a few adverts every so often; on the other, adverts can be pretty annoying, although it should/might be possible to have adverts for guests only. Perhaps there's a balance to be struck between the aims of the site, which don't really include facilitating people being advertised to, and the reality that it has to be paid for.

What do you think?

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Posted

At other discussion boards, ads in between posts of threads are turned on for guests, and some boards turn them off only for certain users who donate.

The google ads are nice, because they're probably the least intrusive of all advertisements. I don't even notice them half of the time I use gmail.

But if it's financially possible I would refrain from going down that road.

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Posted

If it helps us out, and brings better and girthier things, then I don't think it's a big deal. Like Cam said, google ads aren't bad. It kinda depends on where it is on the site. I wouldn't put ads on the manuscripts section for example, but ads on the forum, somewhere at the bottom or somewhere at the top would be ok. Some forums have them stuck in the middle, inside of threads, and that's really annoying.

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Posted

Let me give a specific example. An advertising firm wants me to put a link in one of the essays to an insurance firm. In my essay on the mind/body problem, they'd amend one line to say "Although it seems clear enough what we mean by a body-- we see it, we understand it, we take out life insurance for the day it gives up on us-- we have some kind of general concept of the body..." The underlined "life insurance" links to some company offering insurance. In return, they pay an annual fee that would fund the new software for the site. Presumably I'll get other similar offers in due course. What do you think?

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Posted

:lol:

It kind of cheapens the entire essay, but I thought that was pretty funny lol.

I don't think it's a big deal if it's going to fund the new software for the site. That would more than pay off IMO. I'd do it.

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Posted

It kind of cheapens the entire essay...

Yeah, that's kinda the point. Does it cheapen the site irrevocably or significantly in some way if we start accepting advertising to fund it, or is it okay to just laugh at it and click on a few links if that's what helps support it, like pretty much every other site?

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Posted

Most definitely the latter, Hugo. To be honest, I have wondered why TGL hasn't picked up advertising a long time ago, get it together man, we're behind the times!

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Posted

It kind of cheapens the entire essay...

Yeah, that's kinda the point. Does it cheapen the site irrevocably or significantly in some way if we start accepting advertising to fund it, or is it okay to just laugh at it and click on a few links if that's what helps support it, like pretty much every other site?

We are none of us n

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Posted

I think it depends on what you agree to advertise and whether it fits with the idealism of the site. A life insurance company isn't something I would be particularly bothered about. If it was ads for McDonalds, lots of scantily clad women or diet pills, then I think it would be more obnoxious, but that is based entirely on my own value system. ;)

Since we already live in a capitalist system, and running a site such as this does cost quite a bit of money, you can't help the fact that you either need member's contributions or advertising to keep running it.

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Posted

Let me give a specific example. An advertising firm wants me to put a link in one of the essays to an insurance firm. In my essay on the mind/body problem, they'd amend one line to say "Although it seems clear enough what we mean by a body-- we see it, we understand it, we take out life insurance for the day it gives up on us-- we have some kind of general concept of the body..." The underlined "life insurance" links to some company offering insurance. In return, they pay an annual fee that would fund the new software for the site. Presumably I'll get other similar offers in due course. What do you think?

No objection here to the principle of advertising in, say, google ads at the side of the page, but I would be concerned if such links were added into the text of a post without the author's consent. It might create an incorrect impression of endorsement.

Also, although that one example may be funny in its own, the joke might wear off if such links occurred frequently. Posts already carry links put there by the author and popup links to glossary terms. It gets frustrating or confusing if there's advertising in there too.

Nevertheless, I realise that the site has to be paid for. Do you know how this insurance company found the essay and why they decided it was worthy of a slice of their advertising budget?

Finally, if I become a subscriber to the site, is that just a way of making regular donations, or are there benefits in terms of access or something? (If that is all explained somewhere on the site, just point me there, ta)

p

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Posted

Thanks for the comments. There's no question of inserting links without consent. The specific one mentioned above is an essay by me.

Posts already carry links put there by the author and popup links to glossary terms. It gets frustrating or confusing if there's advertising in there too.

This is one of my concerns. I suppose it would be important to have the advertising links display differently, so they stand out from normal links.

Do you know how this insurance company found the essay and why they decided it was worthy of a slice of their advertising budget?

No, I have no idea why an essay on the philosophy of mind would be worth buying advertising space on. This essay gets a fair number of hits but presumably by people interested in the philosophy of mind, not insurance. Perhaps it's a question of link placement on particular sites in order to improve search rankings elsewhere.

Finally, if I become a subscriber to the site, is that just a way of making regular donations, or are there benefits in terms of access or something?

If you're interested, this is something we could discuss separately. Currently, a subscription is just a way of making a regular (monthly) donation. I've considered adding "extra" features in order to make a subscription worthwhile but I'm not sure what we could offer, over and above what everyone else gets, or if a two-tier membership is in keeping with the site aims. Restricting access to content based on membership or subscription would impact upon the likelihood of people joining, I think, but I'd be grateful for some discussion of this.

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Posted

Follow your heart, Hugo. From what I've read here at TGL, in particular your own posts in the political section, I believe you know the score, and you know what are the benefits and compromises of such action. What I really wanted to say, however, was how much I sincerely admired your openness here; of how you have breached this topic to faceless strangers, and have asked these unknowns to air their own opinion. I wonder how many others, if they ran and funded their own site, would be so willing and so open to hear out ideas and suggestions. On a personal level, I'm running along with Stummel's thinking, and I kinda feel you will do what's best for TGL.

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Posted

At other discussion boards, ads in between posts of threads are turned on for guests, and some boards turn them off only for certain users who donate.

The google ads are nice, because they're probably the least intrusive of all advertisements. I don't even notice them half of the time I use gmail.

But if it's financially possible I would refrain from going down that road.

This. If we ever have to go down this road, I'd opt to ape these other websites Cam has mentioned - if you're not looking, the ads are not really there. It is not very intrusive and nothing that would cheapen what we're doing here. As to that "life insurance" pitch, wow. Not sure what study or research they've done that suggests that is actually profitable to do. Either way, I dislike those type of advertisements - it does cheapen the essay to have this line thrown in just to appease some life insurance company. I'd hate to see the many essays in the Manuscripts littered with this sort of stuff. But, again, the world we live in dictates how we go from here. However, I agree with Cam that we should hold put as long as we can.

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Posted

found this thread when searching for something else

also me thinks is no issue, provided the earnings justfy the trouble, I d suggest to test adverts and again after one year or so evaluate performance and reconsider

At other discussion boards, ads in between posts of threads are turned on for guests, and some boards turn them off only for certain users who donate.

The google ads are nice, because they're probably the least intrusive of all advertisements. I don't even notice them half of the time I use gmail.

But if it's financially possible I would refrain from going down that road.

This. If we ever have to go down this road, I'd opt to ape these other websites Cam has mentioned - if you're not looking, the ads are not really there. It is not very intrusive and nothing that would cheapen what we're doing here. As to that "life insurance" pitch, wow. Not sure what study or research they've done that suggests that is actually profitable to do. Either way, I dislike those type of advertisements - it does cheapen the essay to have this line thrown in just to appease some life insurance company. I'd hate to see the many essays in the Manuscripts littered with this sort of stuff. But, again, the world we live in dictates how we go from here. However, I agree with Cam that we should hold put as long as we can.

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