[theforum] text ads (was: Donation Wall - last chance to comment)

Sabrina Dent, Apperception sabrina.dent at appercept.co.uk
Sat Aug 16 22:23:29 CDT 2003

Responding to comments from several people on this topic, below:

> On Behalf Of Isaac Forman
> Imagine 4 text-ads, maybe rotating around the various 
> subsites, or a couple on a page at a given time, allocated to 
> 4 sponsors. These sponsors can run a variety of text-ads (a 
> publishing company promoting 1 book some week, and another 
> book the next) in their 'spots'. Any text-ads would have to 
> be reviewed by our team before going live.
> That's just how I've considered it in the past. I'd rather 
> have support from larger companies in this form so that 
> people are seeing 4 strong names rather than random companies 
> promoting products.

OK. I understand the protective logic, but I don't like the model. I
don't know how many people on theforum have experience of actually
trying to solicit advertising from specific companies, but I'd love to
hear from anyone else who does.

My own experience says that the above is not a workable model. It is
*way* too high-maintenance for the advertiser, it's too labour intensive
for us in terms of soliciting. Also, I'd prefer one text ad position on
the home page only.

I would prefer:

* One rotating text ad slot (just on the home page?).
* Text ads be open to all buyers.
* No indication of sponsorship or endorsement of said ads.
* Rejection of inappropriate ads
* Rotation of back-up donate and evolters ads when there are no sold

To me, this opens a potentially money-making venture to *all* of the
community. I am not worried about an influx of inappropriate ads from
outside the community, either; advertisers are not stupid, evolt is
niche, and we're not a good market for diet pills. In any case, we would
reject inappropriate ads prior to them going into the rotation.

It's easy, there's no risk, there's no soliciting, and after approval,
there's no admin.

$10 per 10,000 impressions will cover the cost of a server if we sell 2
a week. If we don't and have no ads to rotate in a given period, we
default to "join evolters.org" "donate to evolt.org" and "your ad here"
and pimp that money-making spot.

Judah didn't like this idea when I first suggested it:

> On Behalf Of Judah McAuley

> > And, I think that selling text ads to whomever would like 
> to purchase 
> > them, barring inappropriate content, is actually as impartial as we 
> > can be. Plus, it would be more inclusive for the community 
> since you 
> > don't have to hit a certain donation level to qualify.
> I don't think the impartiality is a good idea at all.  There are all 
> sorts of companies that I don't particularly want to 
> advertise on Evolt. 
> Sure, we say we aren't endorsing them, but I'd prefer to give 
> exposure 
> to companies/individuals that don't suck.  I like the idea of 
> text ads 
> on the site (I actually click on some of them over at 
> metafilter), but I 
> think we ought to be selective about which ads we accept.  Make them 
> work for it dammit!

I do not want to make potential advertisers "work for it" -- it should
be as easy as possible for them to advertise on evolt. If the ad is
ofensive, we can reject it, but I don't see a danger in opening ads to

And, if you read the Metafilter text ad page, *anyone* can submit an ad:


Basically, that's the model I think evolt.org should adopt.

Seb isn't keen on any of this:

> On Behalf Of Seb Potter

> Could somebody please explain to me how it is that we're discussing 
> companies buying advertising on evolt?
> As far as I am aware, the only discussion of adverts we've 
> ever had was 
> along the lines of "wouldn't it be nice to alloaw evolters 
> members to buy 
> text ads on the evolters site?"
> I would like to make my position really, really clear on this.
> No paid-for ads on evolt, or sponsorship of evolt. Now or ever.

I used to feel this way. I no longer do. If it's OK to charge for
evolters.org, then I don't think I have a problem with charging for text
ads. I don't think one text ad on metafilter diminishes their
credibility and I don't think it will damage evolt's, either.

> If companies want to donate, fine, but they don't get anything for it 
> whatsoever, except equal billing on the donations wall with 
> every other donor.

Now THAT I totally agree with. I am way on the Trading Ads for Donations
is Evil bandwagon. I do not like the idea that people have to reach some
donation level to qualify (it's not inclusive) and it opens a *huge* can
of worms in terms of acceptable ads. If it's not tied to donations, we
can reject inappropriate ads and refund the money. I do not, however,
want to be offending donors and potentially sending their money back.

Of all the text-ad issues, this is the most critical to me.

I'm sure I missed some critical commentary, but those are the issues as
I see them.

Sabrina Dent

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