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.
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].