It's been with great interest that I've been gauging the reaction to the takeover ads that are appearing here. I guess this will be a talking point here for a few days, so I won't try to cover the whole thing in one mouthful (though this update is so long it looks like I did). First, just to be clear, there is another new intrusive ad unit that will appear as of today -- this will represent the completion of this process, so while its appearance is probably no more welcome, that will be the end of this (I don't want anyone to think that a new ad unit is going to be added every day).
As was discussed in the forums yesterday, the deal with the takeover ad is that the most any one user should be able to encounter it is once per 24 hour period. This works via a cookie, and as far as I've been able to tell, this has worked as promised. I've had one report from someone with a technical difficulty, please let me know if you are having one yourself (if you do, please include as much pertinent system info as you can). The deal with these other ads, which will be of the pop-up variety, is that no one should receive more than a single one per visit, and none of them will do any of that annoying open a new window when you try to close it dealie.
As I alluded to yesterday, these are not moves that have been made lightly, they are meant to ensure the survival of this site, which if I may be brutally frank has been losing money for over two years now (since the dot-bomb). I resisted pop-up type ads as being greedy when they were worth a king's ransom back when the site was in the black. I resisted them during the dark days of the past couple of years as not worth bothering everyone with if they still weren't allowing the bills to be paid. Now that a middle ground is achievable here, it seemed like it was the way to go. I fought hard to lay down parameters that will keep the frequency of these reasonable, and made everyone involved crazy by standing my ground to not allow for the possibility that these frequencies could increase for the foreseeable future. I can only hope that the end effect is indeed reasonable for most of you, and that, as I said yesterday, you find these trade-offs acceptable.
Finally, at the risk of the longest OotB EVAR (and I didn't even get to the new e-mail worm), I have seen the hue and cry for a system that allows users to pay for a site with no such ads... I will do a little investigating and report to you what the near-term possibilities are in this regard. There's also been more stirring from supporters of the idea of a PayPal donation link. Breaking my (eerie to some) silence on this topic, I guess the time to consider that will be after the dust settles from all this (it wouldn't seem fair to do that first and then hit you with the new ads).
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