[theforum] Re: google adwords: next step

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Mon May 10 19:22:01 CDT 2004

s t e f <evolt at nota-bene.org> wrote:
> <quote who='William Anderson' when='10/05/04 16:34'>
>> I'd do neither until we consider the more salient point - will we use
>> google ads in the new layout?  I don't see the point in adding
>> skyscrapers to beo, then taking them away again in a new layout
>> design. It's good that we have the adsense account now, but ...

i don't know, the point i see is that adding the google ads is perhaps a
five minute copy-and-paste job, per page affected.  there is little if
anything to debate regarding design decisions, personal tastes, opinions, or
aesthetics.  and so there is little opportunity for lengthy/endless delays
in the design phase.  now, a redesign (*any* redesign, of *any* site) has
all of those things that can easily slow their launch, and more frequently
than not, do.

my point is that the point of going forward with ad words now, is that we
can set a relatively short rollout schedule for ad words, and *meet* a
deadline of, say, a day or three.  while i don't know how far along the new
layout project is, or how long its final deployment may take, i'm guessing
we could be generating some ad revenue in the interim.  so why wait?

it should be fairly trivial to incorporate the ads into the new layout as
well, right?  but perhaps that's just the programmer in me speaking.  i'm no
graphics guru or art director... :-)

>> Anyhoo, feel free to ignore me and have a vote on it though :))  It's
>> implementable at any rate, so I'm just making a suggestion, not
>> completely vetoing the idea if the rest of content/theforum decides
>> it's a good call.

all in favor of ignoring William and voting anyway, vote: Yes :-)

if the vote to vote prevails, then we'll vote.  if it fails, we'll wait...
er wait -- if we vote to *not* vote than can we ever really vote again, with
a clear conscience?  perhaps we should only vote to delay voting -- that
way, if the vote does pass we can still vote ...just at a delayed later
date --eeehh, right?

> I think the pace of things is a bit slow regarding redesign, so I'd
> vote to put the skyscrapers in the current design and think about
> integrating it in the next as well.

i'll put that down as one vote from stef ..to vote.  no wait, he's voting to
*skip* the vote and get right to implementing ads.  i vote for that, too.
that's two votes to skip one vote and go ahead with action.  can i get a
"hell, yes!" ?

>  From my last few months as a somewhat active person at evolt, I feel
> that there's a lot of lethargy because of a lack of identified tasks
> and a need for individual persons to answer for said tasks and to
> define deadlines and the rest.
> What do you think, people?

it sounds a lot like the WWWAC list (the World Wide Web Artist's
Consortium -  www.wwwac.org), another
"non-profit-org-built-on-a-mailing-list" community which i tend to haunt.
WWWAC has deeper problems than evolt, however.  they have evolved around a
similar community base: a mix of different types of web developers, grouped
roughly into programmer, designer and marketer camps.

and WWWAC's problems are similar in that, beyond list traffic, there is
little active "involvement" from the membership, many of whom are either
disillusioned, displaced and most of whom are now either un-, or under-,
employed.  much of the list traffic centers around job posts, rumors of
who's hiring, and bemoaning the overseas outsourcing trend.  it can be tough
these days to try to volunteer any of your time to anything, especially in
this industry, even if it's a Really Good Cause.

evolt is lucky, however.  WWWAC has a dues-paying membership, some
semi-regular real-world meetings (SIG's, when they actually meet), and has
sponsored local conferences, with paid speakers, job fairs and (mostly)
"networking events" (think: beervolt).  but when apathy runs high, the
members get pissed about where their dues are going, how much is spent on
beer, etc.  their one Real Benefit, health insurance for self employed tech
freelancers, became moot a while back when the group providing it,
www.workingtoday.org, opened up their enrollment to anyone at all living in
the area, regardless of affiliations such as WWWAC membership.

so i'm glad that evolt is merely "loosely organized", and can quietly tread
water during these "quiet times" since the bubble burst, without losing it's
credibility.  some on the WWWAC list consistently and stubbornly maintain
that trying to become a "real organization" has weakened the community,
rather than strengthening it, and suggested that the list should return to
being just that, a vibrant and active list.  i'm not suggesting that evolt
"downsize" or anything, but it's good to remember one's strengths.

i don't know if more evolt administrative lists (or fewer) is the answer,
just as i don't know whether more (or fewer) of us *administrators* will
help evolt be a more "active" org, but i feel in my gut that anyone who
steps up should be allowed to take on some responsibility and, the more
transparency, the better.  the more we can offer to the average evolt
"customer" (that vast majority of web workers who're merely scanning theList
messages each day) the better.  the votes, the politics, the job titles and
all the associated red tape seem counter-productive to me, somehow.  though
i admit i have no ready alternative to suggest, and some things do seem to
*beg* for paperwork and procedures, IMO, the less bureaucracy, the better.

so i dunno if a "program manager" per se, would help (seems there may be too
many titles and unfilled positions already), but it does seem to me that the
motivated hero outperforms the committee any day, so maybe if we call them
"random champions" and recruit them from theList, rather than from among
ourselves here in theForum (as much as i love us to death :-)), then i could
get behind the "program manager" concept a bit better :-)

anyway, end-of-rant for me, for now.  need to go home to wife and kid and
kid-on-the-way now :-)


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