Out of the Blue

It's no secret that online advertising revenue has declined over the course of the past several months, several websites have gone out of business, and most of the rest of us continue to scramble to recoup lost income. It's also probably pretty obvious that we have always tried to be as unobtrusive with ads as possible to date, and those two situations ran into a headlong collision last night. This happened when we started running some ad script for a DVD offer that was one of those Flash dealies that I assumed would "just" be one of those noisy, animated embedded ads you see more of these days. As it turns out, it was a bit more: A semi-transparent overlay that sat atop the news page until dismissed, which, in a further twist, had a confusing enough label on the close button that some folks were having trouble getting rid of it at all. When I saw the ad, I thought that people would understand its intrusiveness--after all, as stated above, these are tough times for websites, and we've often had responses from readers about the state of the web saying if more ads were required, so be it. Well, we quickly were flooded with complaints about the situation, obviously fuelled by the multimedia-ness of the ad, but also probably partly my fault, since I was so quick to quash the couple of previous times pop-up ads occurred here (since they were without our knowledge).

I am concerned with the nature of some of the complaints about the ad. There were a couple of themes that came up repeatedly in the feedback: there were comments that expressed the hope that this isn't a new trend, and others saying how long the complainant had been a reader of the site, but if the intrusive ad went on much longer this would change. Now, the close button problem is a different issue, but aside from that, I just want to make the case for being more tolerant of occasions like this in the future... we are not looking at adding more conspicuous advertising out of greed, or we could have done so during the heyday of dot-commery and cleaned up... we are looking at making the site viable to continue to survive. If it really is just a die hard (no pun intended) fact that such ads are going to drive readers away, we are in a real bind, but I guess the reason I'm rambling on here is the hope that explaining all this will make any inconvenience from intrusive ads (whether we start running this one again, or others in the future, or if we just plaster the site with banners and buttons) more palatable by pointing out that they may well be necessary to keep bringing you all the carnage that's fit to post.

If we get a version of the ad with a fixed button, I'll put it online so people who missed it last night can see what I'm talking about, and see where this goes from there. However that turns out, in any event, the ad was not permanent, so if it comes back online, even if you hate it perhaps you can show it a little patience for the time it's here... it should be a great help to us, and any patience and understanding you can spare are greatly appreciated. By the way (sorry for going on so long here), not all the responses were negative, and so I want to also express appreciation to those who expressed understanding about the situation, as well as those who have always tried to support our advertisers by checking out their ads.

Link of the Day: 2fort5 Recreational Project Version 2.0.
Play of the Day: The Seinfeld LAST Episode Generator. Thanks SecretAgentMan.
Story of the Day: Faxed Ads Cost Hooters $12 Million (ABC). Thanks Jamie Fullerton.
Weird Science: Experimental U.S. Pigs Turned Into Sausages (Reuters). Thanks [MP] Wolverine [MP].

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223 Replies. 12 pages. Viewing page 1.
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223.
 
No subject
Aug 2, 2001, 07:54
No subject Aug 2, 2001, 07:54
Aug 2, 2001, 07:54
 
Put on as many ads as ya want d00d. I have been reading Blues since I got my first pentium, and the content has always been excellent, the news on time, great access to all patches, tech info etc.

For all those people who bitch about ads, maybe Blue should just chuck a $20 dollar subscription on the site. I know I'd be willing to pay it. Whether he gets the money to float his FREE service to all you gormless twits who object by ads or by subscription, I will still keep bluesnews as my default page, and read it at least twice a day, as I have done for the past 5 years.

222.
 
Re: Targeted ads
Aug 1, 2001, 21:52
anon@24.203
Re: Targeted ads Aug 1, 2001, 21:52
Aug 1, 2001, 21:52
anon@24.203
 
Okay, well, no problem with the ads but is it possible to request that the Coleman confidential one be taken out, I really can't stand it anymore to see that troll jerking himself around. Please! I am begging you! On my knees! Ask UGO to take it out!
221.
 
Re: Targeted ads
Aug 1, 2001, 12:26
anon@142.59
Re: Targeted ads Aug 1, 2001, 12:26
Aug 1, 2001, 12:26
anon@142.59
 
I've read through most of the topics up to this point, and this is the guy I agree with most. Over the last while, I've clicked on banners, and they were always for games or game-related products. Most gamers don't give a rat's ass about digital cameras, the "Gary Coleman underground" (What the HELL is this?!?) or what kind of great special they can get on a trip to Cancun. Keep the ads to games, gaming hardware, and (if you're not in on the taking of preorders yourself) places where one can buy games. And if there's a game getting a whole truckload of coverage in an area (such as Max Payne), get some ads for that game running up there.

I'm pretty sure I have an account here somewhere, but damned if I can find the password right now.

Mark Borle
http://www.markborle.com
220.
 
Re: wow
Aug 1, 2001, 09:58
anon@208.190
Re: wow Aug 1, 2001, 09:58
Aug 1, 2001, 09:58
anon@208.190
 
I agree it's the most intrusive ad I've ever seen too. The person who made it should be shot... He's probably pleased with how clever he is when in truth I can't imagine that less than 95% of all people who see it hate it.

rK - you're nuts if you think a subscription service would work. Readership would drop to about 2% of what it is now and you all would become a bunch of elitists...

I would support a PayPal deal though, where readers could donate money on their own initiative to help out Blue. I'd have bought a shirt already if there was something more business casual, can't really wear t-shirts much these days.

Go Blue!

Sneak
219.
 
Re: Membership
Aug 1, 2001, 08:32
anon@195.188
Re: Membership Aug 1, 2001, 08:32
Aug 1, 2001, 08:32
anon@195.188
 
Blue's News has always been THE resource for anyone with even a passing interest in games. It's an internet institution. If it folds I'll be a lot less likely to log on for any reason in the future. Pay for access? If need be. But there are alternatives. What about getting hosted by a real-world organisation like bbc.co.uk or even (gasp!) Microsoft. These companies aren't going anywhere and they will gain big kudos from being associated such a popular site. They won't get any revenue directly but it will sure as hell drive traffic to their site...The future of banner advertising as a source of income is limited. A company with any smarts will use advertising as a means of raising their profile not their profit margin.
218.
 
Re: UGO
Aug 1, 2001, 07:13
Re: UGO Aug 1, 2001, 07:13
Aug 1, 2001, 07:13
217.
 
UGO
Jul 31, 2001, 20:36
Nimh
 
UGO Jul 31, 2001, 20:36
Jul 31, 2001, 20:36
 Nimh
 

I've read all sorts of articles on UGO screwing the hell out of websites and "asking" them if they'd go a couple months with out pay?!?! This is all a bunch of crap. All of the UGO member sites need to create a co-op. Just get together and talk. What's tightening the screws on you guys is UGO's bottom line, not your viewer base. DUMP THEM, create a co-op and live a better life. Shit, I live in NYC call me up and I'll gladly start getting the paper work ready. UGO is like a fricken publisher for digital information?!? Come on guys, with a little elbow grease you could leave them totally behind.

Avatar 8716
216.
 
it sucks but...
Jul 31, 2001, 10:18
it sucks but... Jul 31, 2001, 10:18
Jul 31, 2001, 10:18
 
Okay when I saw this ad for the first time I was disgusted BUT I was disgusted at the person who came up with the ad, not at Blue/Blue's News. Blue's News is a top quality website and if this kind of ad shows up I'll trust that it needed to happen to keep Blue fed and sheltered. I love this site so you can do whatever it takes to keep it going

215.
 
subscription
Jul 31, 2001, 06:40
anon@134.226
subscription Jul 31, 2001, 06:40
Jul 31, 2001, 06:40
anon@134.226
 
All I'll say is this.

I've been reading blues' for a long time. It's my homepage. If there were some subscription option which meant that the news got emailed to you a half hour before it appeared on the site, and it cost maybe $25-$35 per year, I'd probably pay for that.

I really hate ads, I don't click on them coz I'm interested in them... I usually do it out of thanks for a great site.

Just my .02 Euros.
214.
 
wow
Jul 30, 2001, 23:55
anon@128.2
wow Jul 30, 2001, 23:55
Jul 30, 2001, 23:55
anon@128.2
 
OMG that is probably the most intrusive ad I've ever seen online. I hate it. It completely obscures the top part of the page and can't be closed 'til it finishes its animation. I've put up with pop-ups and pop-unders since I know that sites need them to stay alive...but I just might have to find another news source if I have no way to prevent page-jacking like that.

Again, I recommend checking www.arstechnica.com for their subscription service...I think getting even $2/month/reader would be an incredible help in at least getting rid of the pop-up-flash crap. PLEASE consider it. And make it payable through PayPal ;).

-rK
213.
 
I think I'd rather have pop-ups
Jul 30, 2001, 22:13
anon@216.125
I think I'd rather have pop-ups Jul 30, 2001, 22:13
Jul 30, 2001, 22:13
anon@216.125
 
The ad is intrusive, annoying and more irritating than any message board troll. Please give me pop ups that I can regard or disregard as neccessary. At least I can kill them without having to sit through them.
212.
 
Membership
Jul 30, 2001, 22:10
Membership Jul 30, 2001, 22:10
Jul 30, 2001, 22:10
 
Okay, Blue and the rest of the 'staff' have made no comment on the BN subscription or paid membership discussion so I'll just add this and give it a rest.

Obviously a serious study must be made prior to rolling out a subscription service. While tossing around numbers like $5.00/month sounds great it may be true that a lower $ amount would yield a much higher rate of acceptance and therefore higher receipts (albeit at a lower margin, kind of like the grocery stores sales model).

I know how traditional businesses work not new economy ones. For example, I have no idea how places like Fileplanet exist. How do they pay for all that bandwidth? Are they partnered with the publishers?

Now, I'd be curious to see what it would cost to get my BN ad free as well as preferential (sp?) treatment on the ftp server when that hot new demo (Doom III test) comes along.


Snappy2Stroke

This comment was edited on Jul 30, 22:12.
-TPFKAS2S
Avatar 10139
211.
 
Re: I must admit...
Jul 30, 2001, 21:33
anon@159.91
Re: I must admit... Jul 30, 2001, 21:33
Jul 30, 2001, 21:33
anon@159.91
 

Woohoo! It's back! And for all us dipshits who don't have the right plugin, there's no getting rid of it. Here's to hoping the top of the page never contains any important news

Better living through technology.
210.
 
I must admit...
Jul 30, 2001, 21:28
I must admit... Jul 30, 2001, 21:28
Jul 30, 2001, 21:28
 
Hm, I haven't noticed any Flash "Die Hard" ads. But then again, I use w3m (http://ei5nazha.yz.yamagata-u.ac.jp/~aito/w3m/eng/), so I never see anything but "[advertisement]" or "click here!". Eh, works for me.


209.
 
ads
Jul 30, 2001, 21:01
anon@66.24
ads Jul 30, 2001, 21:01
Jul 30, 2001, 21:01
anon@66.24
 
i really dont see what the big deal is. I first saw it, thought it was kinda cool. goes away by itself, doesn't bother me. my 2 cents.

adam
troy, ny
208.
 
it's baaaaaaaaaacccckkkkkk....
Jul 30, 2001, 20:08
anon@12.13
it's baaaaaaaaaacccckkkkkk.... Jul 30, 2001, 20:08
Jul 30, 2001, 20:08
anon@12.13
 
God all mighty, the Die Hard ad's back. and it's still overwriting content.

Is that the only ad they have? I think it's a nice ad but I don't want to look at it anymore. Do they have some other nice ones that can be put in rotation with it?

Blue, I hope you bringing in about $12,000 a month for that thing.
207.
 
pop ups
Jul 30, 2001, 16:29
pop ups Jul 30, 2001, 16:29
Jul 30, 2001, 16:29
 
I don't see what the fuss against pop up ads is about. I love pop up ads because I can kill them automatically, gimme more of them Blue! My guess is power users who can figure out how to use Pop Up Killer aren't likely to be swayed by ads anyway although I gotta admit since the X10 stuff started appearing on the NY Times page I sure as heck know about it now -- but I'll never be buying one nor will I suddenly go mad and start participating in that online gaming schtick either. This integrated flash stuff OTOH, that sucks, I aint about to disable java or Flash just to kill some ads off.
-jonathan (j.c.f.)
206.
 
Re: What th-
Jul 30, 2001, 15:40
Re: What th- Jul 30, 2001, 15:40
Jul 30, 2001, 15:40
 
But this whole ad skirmish might not last much longer anyhow..ads do change...

Speaking of which, a possible pair of links of the day here?

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6688554.html
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6700236.html?tag=mn_hd

...perhaps too touchy right now.

-Devster

Use your head, don't lose it - Don't feed the trolls!
Boycott Belligerent Boycotters!
Avatar 1066
205.
 
What th-
Jul 30, 2001, 13:00
What th- Jul 30, 2001, 13:00
Jul 30, 2001, 13:00
 
As far as the PC Gamer suggestion, I don't think that Blue would need $30 as far as a 'special subscription' area. Not that he would turn it down, mind you ;), I wouldn't...Hell, even a buck from every subscriber adds up.

But this whole ad skirmish might not last much longer anyhow..ads do change...

204.
 
OK thats it
Jul 30, 2001, 12:22
OK thats it Jul 30, 2001, 12:22
Jul 30, 2001, 12:22
 
ok for all of you people out there who are to, nevermind that im going to be nice, for you people out there who say they would rather go with pcgamer if BN went to the same price a year you would be stupid for going to pcgamer.. think about it, same price you get one monthly the other daily, magazines pile up, you get stuck with temp files, not only that BN has been here from the beginning everyone knows how hard he works to be there for the people(his people?? anyone thinking CULT?? why not give him at least the benefit of a doubt that you will never see another one, plus whats 10 F*(#ING seconds anyway...

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