New ads coming to MeFi (yes, for users, but only on the front page, and hideable) September 30, 2010 7:49 PM   Subscribe

New ads from The Deck will start showing up on front pages tomorrow, but don't worry, you can turn them off.

I'm moving away from Federated Media, which I was using in the past to show ads to non-members and then on the front pages to members (which often spawned MetaTalk threads). The new ads will be front-page only and shown to all, similar to the FM small ads.

I wanted to give fair warning and explain a bit about them before they go up. There will be no more giant skyscraper ads on the site, but we will be showing tasteful small ads on the front pages (only) of most subsites. They will look something like this, just above the sidebar.

If you notice, there's a link that says hide and clicking it will make them go away in a single click on that browser (it's browser based, not user-profile based). You can only bring them back if you log out and back in on that computer (which destroys the cookie to hide ads).

The ad markets are constantly changing and ad revenue has gone down a bit with the recent financial clusterfuck recession, and I was looking for ways to replace some of the lost revenue with non-offensive ads. I have ethical problems with most advertising and I see The Deck Network's ads on many popular design blogs and actually find them pretty dang useful and often times pretty (for ads). I didn't want to venture into "conversational" advertising that borders and strays too far into my comfort zone of keeping editorial content completely separate from advertising.

Anyway, I wanted to give some ample warning, let everyone know there is a way out, and know that it will help support the site going forward in a way I think is pretty tastefully done. People using AdBlock probably won't even know the difference since surely they won't even see the ads anyway, but I wanted to give a heads up.

This will start sometime tomorrow and stay around at least for a few months during a probationary period after which we'll figure out if they should stick around.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 7:49 PM (118 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you for the heads up. Hopefully this means ad revenue will pick up.
posted by zarq at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2010


Should we start a pool on when the first question about "hey, what's up with the new ads?" gets posted to the gray? I'll take 10am.

I'll never see them, but I hope they do their job. Thanks for the explanation.
posted by phunniemee at 7:53 PM on September 30, 2010


Your attitude to advertising has always been well thought out and considerate. In that spirit, I say thanks for the warning and no problems here.
posted by meech at 7:54 PM on September 30, 2010 [57 favorites]


What meech said.
posted by josher71 at 7:57 PM on September 30, 2010


I don't know why, but I want to buy something called Major Tom now.
posted by Think_Long at 7:58 PM on September 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


2 minutes 23 seconds is my pyramid time slot
posted by clavdivs at 8:08 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll take the slot around 12:42 Central Daylight time.
posted by deezil at 8:14 PM on September 30, 2010


Will the ads move or blink? Or are they just static images?
posted by stoneweaver at 8:19 PM on September 30, 2010


Just static images.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2010


mathowie: "I'm moving away from Federated Media, which I was using in the past to show ads to non-members and then on the front pages to members (which often spawned MetaTalk threads). The new ads will be front-page only and shown to all, similar to the FM small ads."

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the new placement design, but how will moving from "ads everywhere (logged out) + front page ads only (logged in)" to "front page ads only (everyone)" help to increase ad revenue? It sounds like a net reduction in ad space.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2010


Thanks for the heads-up. It also served as a reminder to put metafilter.com on Adblock's excluded list, something I've been meaning to do for a while, but never seemed to remember to.
posted by bonehead at 8:29 PM on September 30, 2010


To extend on Rhaomi's question: Matt, I thought that a lot of your eyeballs (and presumably ad views) came from Google searches of old AskMe threads. Won't the front-page-only demographic skew towards, i dunno, lurkers?
posted by misterbrandt at 8:30 PM on September 30, 2010


No line dancing cowboy sillhouettes? Those really get me clapping and swaying.
posted by longsleeves at 8:33 PM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Matt, I thought that a lot of your eyeballs came from Google searches

You can buy them cheaper on the black market. Just sayin'.

I know a guy.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:37 PM on September 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


We do get a lot of ad views and revenue from Google ads in the archives, yeah. We have also gotten some from FM ads, though my understanding is that we're basically getting a better deal in terms of gross compensation with the new setup than with the old even with less total ad space in the mix.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:41 PM on September 30, 2010


That is to say, the FM -> Deck move is independent of the google ad archive stuff; the latter remains unchanged.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:43 PM on September 30, 2010


Yeah, the archives are served well by Google text ads. The giant flashing skyscraper ads on non-member thread pages weren't making much money, especially given how much ugly they added and moving to a tasteful small front page ad was more lucrative and lets me sleep at night knowing there are no flash videos playing in ads or requests that I endorse some product or something.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:49 PM on September 30, 2010


Quick question: if we click the disable link, is does that have a negative effect on your ad revenue? I mean, the answer is probably obviously yes, but I'd like to know. I do enjoy this place and it's lack of ads, but in the end, I mostly enjoy having this place.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:00 PM on September 30, 2010


Ok.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:26 PM on September 30, 2010


If you dislike ads but still want to support the site, Matt could always set up a Paypal tip jar. After only four weeks of wrestling with their draconian collections policies, the liberated contributions of Mefites like you should offset the wasted mod-hours just enough to secure purchase of a fun-size Snickers bar for pb. (Just in time for Halloween!)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:57 PM on September 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is the biggest outrage since Aussie Top Modelgate.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:36 PM on September 30, 2010


but how will moving from "ads everywhere (logged out) + front page ads only (logged in)" to "front page ads only (everyone)" help to increase ad revenue? It sounds like a net reduction in ad space.

if i remember correctly, the deck curates which sites runs its ads and what kind of ads they take and the sites get to choose which kinds of ads they run, so the deck gets to charge advertisers more and pays sites more for the lone ad than would happen on other ad networks. it's basically better targeted ads + better quality eyeballs > semi-targeted ads + lots of eyeballs.
posted by lia at 10:46 PM on September 30, 2010


if we click the disable link, is does that have a negative effect on your ad revenue?

Not super directly. If everyone did it, then yeah, the impressions reported would probably be half of what I estimated, but some percentage (even up to say half of all members) turned it off, it wouldn't have a horrible effect on revenue. If they bug you, turn them off, it's ok.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:00 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you dislike ads but still want to support the site, Matt could always set up a Paypal tip jar...

I thought that's what sockpuppets were for, ultimately.
posted by davejay at 11:01 PM on September 30, 2010


Is it a good idea to click on the ads once in awhile to help out with revenue, or is just seeing them visually on our screen enough?
posted by amyms at 11:19 PM on September 30, 2010


If they bug you, turn them off, it's ok.

Finally a site owner who doesn't call me a thief for disabling ads. Thank you!
posted by DreamerFi at 11:25 PM on September 30, 2010


Is it a good idea to click on the ads once in awhile to help out with revenue, or is just seeing them visually on our screen enough?

Clicking certainly leads to money being made, but you shouldn't click ads you aren't interested in with the intention of bilking the advertiser. The Deck actually has pretty nice ads, I never click ads but I once clicked on one of theirs at Daring Fireball completely naturally. It was a strange experience.
posted by floam at 11:30 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


omg, we are adorable! Will turning off the ads hurt our MetaFilter? What about clicking them? Can we click them for you, Matt? Next we'll be asking if we can favorite them. I love you people!
posted by iamkimiam at 12:07 AM on October 1, 2010 [24 favorites]


Clicking certainly leads to money being made, but you shouldn't click ads you aren't interested in with the intention of bilking the advertiser.

Oh, I hadn't thought of it as bilking the advertiser. If I click on their ad, I am volunteering to pay attention to their message, which is basically what they're asking of their audience, whether I ultimately give them my business or not. Is that wrong? (I'm totally open to hearing a different interpretation).
posted by amyms at 12:11 AM on October 1, 2010


Hey matt,

Do u have any plans to make metafilter less dependent on ad revenue, and more dependent on something that may be more stable?

As to what that would be, i have no idea...just wondering if there is an alternative to advertising in the internets.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:52 AM on October 1, 2010


Oh, I hadn't thought of it as bilking the advertiser. If I click on their ad, I am volunteering to pay attention to their message, which is basically what they're asking of their audience, whether I ultimately give them my business or not. Is that wrong? (I'm totally open to hearing a different interpretation).

If you're just clicking on them because you like Metafilter or whatever site the ad is hosted on and you don't care about the ad at all, then yeah you're bilking the advertiser (IMHO). Certainly, you're not required to give them your business once you click on the ad, but it's not really ethical to click on ads unless you have at least some interest in what is being advertised. If you don't plan to at least skim the landing page (the page the ad points to), you're not paying attention to their message, you're just clicking to run up their bill.

It's kind of like calling an 800 number, where the owner of the number pays for the calls. If you call because you might have some potential interest in speaking to whoever is on the other end of the line, that's cool. If you call because you want to run up their bill and/or because you want to support the phone company, that's not so cool.
posted by zachlipton at 2:30 AM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


That was a great explanation, zachlipton.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:47 AM on October 1, 2010


but it's not really ethical to click on ads unless you have at least some interest in what is being advertised

Wha?

This is like saying it's "not really ethical" to watch an ad on TV for something you have no interest in. The advertisers are paying to put up a message to attract people to their product. If you don't click (for whatever reason) you don't get the message and no one will ever know if you could become interested in the product or not.

I'm not sure how ethics comes into it. You could equally argue it's not "ethical" for people to try and encourage me to click on a link that I have no interest in by using fancy graphics and compelling copy.
posted by chavenet at 2:49 AM on October 1, 2010


I think the idea is that advertisers have to pay extra for actual clicks in addition to the initial fee for the ad simply appearing on the page. TV adverts cost £x for their 2 week (or whatever) run, however many people actually watch them or not. Website ads cost £x for their 2 week run plus (y * £z) where y is the number of actual clickthroughs and £z is the cost they pay per clickthrough.

Thus watching or not watching a TV ad has no effect on the cost to the advertiser. Clicking a website ad can cost the advertiser more money than if you had seen it but not clicked.

However I am no expert and I don't know if this is how the MeFi ads actually work.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:31 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't get an ad! Where's my ad, Matt?!
posted by thinkpiece at 3:59 AM on October 1, 2010


I've often thought that one way that we as Mefi users could help the site financially would be to try to take over the search results for every question imaginable. We are essentially unpaid freelance employees here, so why not do some focused work?

Basically, any time you google something and a Yahoo answer comes up, that question should be asked and answered on AskMe as well. With a bit of restraint we could get some of these questions answered here thoroughly and thoughtfully. Hell, we could work in teams to plan out questions and answers before they're even posted.

In my mind it works because there really isn't an overt change in AskMe - more questions, maybe, but there are always more questions anyway. This way we're just targeting certain demographics of people who are out there searching for answers.

Eventually our efforts should help push AskMe answers up the search results page even further.
posted by davey_darling at 4:59 AM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


My favorite thing about this is that the random times when I'd browse non-logged in, Federated Media stuff was always the slowest to load. And no posts would load until it did.
posted by inigo2 at 5:06 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Basically, any time you google something and a Yahoo answer comes up, that question should be asked and answered on AskMe as well.

OP: i put my penis on my dogs head when she ws alseep, is that beastility? m i goin to hell

A: You know, OP, I was a similar situation once, where I was in a strange place and didn't know what to do. I'd been living with my boyfriend at the time, and he owed me two months of back rent. The spark was going out of our relationship, but it didn't quite seem right to end a five-year relationship without some greater cause than "not feeling it." Plus, we'd been talking about setting up a small business together (selling Fabergé eggs over eBay). This business had been my dream for about seven years, and he was the only SO I'd found who seemed supportive of it. I wasn't sure what to do.
Eventually, I brought up this problem to my therapist, and she suggested that the root of my concern wasn't what was right for me, but how I would be perceived by others. I realized she was right -- I was secretly terrified that my family would think I was a failure if I abandoned my business plans, and that everyone would assume I was a "non-starter" in my love life.
Once I realized this, I saw what I had to do: I told my boyfriend he needed to move out, and that he could pay me back his share of the rent whenever he was able. He wasn't happy about this, but within a month or two, I started feeling like my life was going back on track. Now, I have a small Fabergé egg business (check my profile if you're interested!) and my now-ex-boyfriend is married to a wonderful partner who loves him, and who's way more appropriate to him than I would have been.
OP, the point of my story is: don't worry if you're perceived a certain way; the important thing is how you feel about what you did, and how you move forward from here. Please feel free to follow up with any more information you think might be relevant.

OP: shes a beagle, a prety beagle
posted by Greg Nog at 5:17 AM on October 1, 2010 [34 favorites]


OP: i put my penis on my dogs head when she ws alseep, is that beastility? m i goin to hell

DTMFA
posted by Think_Long at 5:50 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do u have any plans to make metafilter less dependent on ad revenue, and more dependent on something that may be more stable?

Pray tell, what business model, is more stable than online ads on the Internet? Lots of folks are eager to know!
posted by gen at 6:14 AM on October 1, 2010


Really, the Google ads that show between the questions and the answers are way more annoying. We just don't care because we don't see them when logged in.
posted by smackfu at 6:31 AM on October 1, 2010


OP: i put my penis on my dogs head when she ws alseep, is that beastility? m i goin to hell

Print out this thread and show it to her.
posted by chinston at 6:32 AM on October 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


I love when I read something like davey_darling's paragraph and I can't tell if he's being Swiftian or not.


> Next we'll be asking if we can favorite them.

The preferred nomenclature is "Like."

You have removed this ad. Why didn't you like it?
  • Uninteresting
  • Misleading
  • Offensive
  • Repetitive
  • Other
Sincerely,

Mark "That Film is a Damn Lie!" Zuckerberg
posted by cjorgensen at 6:58 AM on October 1, 2010


Can you make sure most of the ads are MineCraft-related?
posted by Mister_A at 7:25 AM on October 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Implement a 16-bit ALU using this one weird trick!
posted by zamboni at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Best places to find diamond ore! Discovered by a mom!
posted by lholladay at 7:45 AM on October 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


[animated gif of Creeper dancing and then exploding and then unexploding and dancing, in a seesaw loop]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:54 AM on October 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pray tell, what business model, is more stable than online ads on the Internet?

Well, selling drugs, prostitution, and murder for hire are favorites that have been around for a while, and they seem to do a pretty brisk trade.

I'm not saying we should switch over to it, but you know, it might be worth looking into diversifying.
posted by quin at 7:57 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now how will I know where to buy a spycam to watch my neighbor undress protect my home?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 AM on October 1, 2010


if only AskMe could tell me about that one weird old trick....
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do u have any plans to make metafilter less dependent on ad revenue, and more dependent on something that may be more stable?

Hey look!

TechCrunch has been bought by AOL for between $25 and $60 million!
posted by R. Mutt at 8:27 AM on October 1, 2010


I took a look at The Deck page, and saw that they're already on a lot of sites that I like, but I'd never noticed them.

So, uh, yeah, cool — they'll be on another site I like and I'll likely never notice them. Luckily, I'm not very influential, so I'm not undercutting The Deck by much.
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 AM on October 1, 2010


Do u have any plans to make metafilter less dependent on ad revenue, and more dependent on something that may be more stable?


I thought this is why we have MetaFilter Premium® and CabalNet™ PlatinumPlus®?
posted by slogger at 9:33 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is no CabalNet™.
posted by slogger at 9:34 AM on October 1, 2010


Now I see it! Fancy! *hits the "hide" option and thanks mathowie for that*
posted by heyho at 9:36 AM on October 1, 2010


I just my first ad and it's for Parsons Design School. Classy! Sans serif!
posted by maryr at 9:46 AM on October 1, 2010


*edited for typo

I just got my first ad and it's for Parsons Design School. Classy! Sans serif!
posted by maryr at 9:47 AM on October 1, 2010


*edited for typo

I just got my first ad and it's for Parsons Design School. Classy! Sans serif!


hey, that's my alma mater! Anyway, I was just coming in here to be supportive as well. I always hear about the deck through 37signals and daringfireball but the only time I seem to notice the ads is when its for my favorite application*

Anyway, Matt, this is by far a teeny tiny price to pay for the wonderfulness that is Metafilter, and you are being great about it. I hope this works out.

* omnifocus
posted by Brainy at 9:57 AM on October 1, 2010


I wonder if there's an option to turn off the image part of the ad but leave the text ad. I'd be fine with leaving the text below the image, but the image itself is kind of jarring. Just a thought.
posted by barnone at 10:23 AM on October 1, 2010


I can turn off the ads with a clear conscience, because every year I toss a fiver into mathowie's hat on my MeFi-versary. (And every year I lose the damn email address and have to ask the mods where to send the money, so maybe it's actually a wash ... how much mod time does $5 buy?) I swear I keep asking them to put "How to donate" in the FAQs, but either our mods are exceedingly principled or I'm the only dingbat who has trouble with this.
posted by Quietgal at 10:25 AM on October 1, 2010


Just saw them in place for the first time and they surprised me, even though I know they were coming. I'll leave them be for the moment and see if I get used to them, but current feeling suggests they'll get hidden pretty soon.
posted by knapah at 10:38 AM on October 1, 2010


Next: Indulgences
posted by waraw at 10:40 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's The Deck's Jim Coudal talking with John Gruber about how their advertising works. It's not really based on click-throughs as other systems are.
posted by mikepop at 10:44 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


zachlipton's comment has gotten me thinking. Advertisers run analytics on the effectiveness of their ads, right? Like, they measure what percentage of clickthroughs from a certain ad result in the desired conversion (maybe a sale, maybe a signup or something else).

I would assume that not only do ads have varying conversion rates, but the sites ads are hosted on do too. If we click on ads on Metafilter with little or no intention of buying anything, then are we actually hurting Metafilter's ability to sell itself as a great venue for advertising?

Is this process automated? Like, if I sign up as an advertiser with Deck or FM, does my conversion data make it back to those providers?
posted by roll truck roll at 10:53 AM on October 1, 2010


I just got my first ad and it's for Parsons Design School.

What, the New one or the Good one?

(Take that, ad wizards!)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:15 AM on October 1, 2010


Errr...no idea, now it's an ad for Mohawk Envelopes, which are fun to imagine.
posted by maryr at 11:27 AM on October 1, 2010


let it be own that today is the first day I've disabled ad-block for a site.

Let there me much rejoicing.
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 AM on October 1, 2010


. . . .huzzah. . . .
posted by Think_Long at 11:53 AM on October 1, 2010


I have also allowed these ads to meet my retinas. They're friends now.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:55 AM on October 1, 2010


This are my ADS! I made them! They're my friends!
posted by The Whelk at 12:14 PM on October 1, 2010


I checked out this sponsor just to learn where the source of anxiety might be.

... and I don't get it. Has MeFi been completely ad-free when not logged in? If not, why is "The Deck" potentially objectionable that this would demand public cautions, explanations, and the like?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:22 PM on October 1, 2010


Is this process automated? Like, if I sign up as an advertiser with Deck or FM, does my conversion data make it back to those providers?

All the data that people can collect, they do collect, unless they loudly announce otherwise (and even then). Typically ad networks have trouble getting good conversion data back from the people buying the ads, but enough is known / estimated about this to make it a definite factor when you choose your ad network. IMO this is a good reason to hide the ads if you don't want them; fewer impressions for the same amount of clicks will make Mefi's click-through rate look higher (easier to track and hence more trustworthy than conversion).
posted by doteatop at 12:25 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has MeFi been completely ad-free when not logged in?

It's been almost completely ad-free when you are logged in, and when ads are shown, there is often complaints. That is why this post exists.
posted by smackfu at 12:29 PM on October 1, 2010


I got my first ad, a group of women in a circle masturbating. Cool.
posted by found missing at 12:30 PM on October 1, 2010


Or, maybe that wasn't an ad.
posted by found missing at 12:32 PM on October 1, 2010


Next: Indulgences I'd like to point out that this comes a full 5 months after I wrote the Pope and suggested they bring these back.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:32 PM on October 1, 2010



Basically, any time you google something and a Yahoo answer comes up, that question should be asked and answered on AskMe as well. With a bit of restraint we could get some of these questions answered here thoroughly and thoughtfully. Hell, we could work in teams to plan out questions and answers before they're even posted.

Does Lady Gaga like energy drinks or have any asbestos related conditions, and does Justin Bieber have any favorite cute cat pictures or SLR cameras or pregnancy tests?

I'm really curious.
posted by longsleeves at 12:39 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sigh. I guess everyone's looking for a little extra cash these days.
posted by maryr at 12:39 PM on October 1, 2010


zachlipton's comment has gotten me thinking. Advertisers run analytics on the effectiveness of their ads, right? Like, they measure what percentage of clickthroughs from a certain ad result in the desired conversion (maybe a sale, maybe a signup or something else).

I would assume that not only do ads have varying conversion rates, but the sites ads are hosted on do too. If we click on ads on Metafilter with little or no intention of buying anything, then are we actually hurting Metafilter's ability to sell itself as a great venue for advertising?

Is this process automated? Like, if I sign up as an advertiser with Deck or FM, does my conversion data make it back to those providers?


I work in digital analytics on the agency side, analyzing the impact of digital ads (whether display, search, itv, or otherwise). The answer to your question, roll truck roll, is that it depends. A good, organized advertiser will be able to take a look at all of the touchpoints that someone saw before clicking on an ad and converting.

Take a look at the clickthrough link for the Omnifocus ad http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnifocus/?via=thedeck . The ?via=thedeck portion enables omnifocus to segment out those who clicked on a 'thedeck' ad and look at what they did on the site, whether purchase a product, browse for information, or otherwise.

Another methodology is to use floodlight tags from DoubleClick (Google's) ad serving system. These javascript tags will match cookies/ip addresses of someone who saw an ad and later converted and will let you compare multiple publisher partners in terms of clickthrough and conversion efficiencies. This automates the process in terms of data collection. There are other methodologies as well, but that's the gist of it.

Sometimes ads are just placed there for branding purposes, though, i.e. to get the message out about a new product. In that case someone clicking on an ad is only an incidental goal, it's not something an advertiser will focus on, the metrics of success will focus on the total number of unique people the ad reached, and other metrics like that.

That's the ideal situation, though. There needs to be someone assigned to both think about this stuff beforehand as well as look at the data afterwards and make optimizations. Sometimes an advertiser, for lack of knowing better, will just assume high clickthrough = awesome low clickthrough = not awesome. I've been in numerous situations where my clients will say 'clickthrough was high - awesome' even if the backend conversion data was low. Conversely if the clickthrough rate is low I've had clients complain, even if all of those who clicked through ultimately converted (more qualified traffic.)

So, in summary, sometimes its matters, but in some situations, it doesn't.
posted by jourman2 at 1:00 PM on October 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


WTF Matt?! I pay my 25 bucks a month like everyone else, what the hell is up with all these ads?
posted by nomadicink at 1:03 PM on October 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can turn off the ads with a clear conscience, because every year I toss a fiver into mathowie's hat on my MeFi-versary.

That's a nice idea. Thanks for the suggestion.
posted by zarq at 1:24 PM on October 1, 2010


These ads are fine. In fact, I clicked through one of them to take a look at a product that looked cool. Ended up looking at a pretty interesting demo.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:31 PM on October 1, 2010


♪♫♪♫ Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo Bee Doooooo, Doin' the NoScript Daaaaaaaance... ♪♫♪♫
posted by Gator at 1:32 PM on October 1, 2010


Sigh. I guess everyone's looking for a little extra cash these days.

Well, we're looking to recover a bit of the revenue we've seen dry up as, presumably, a late-breaking ramification of the economy going to shit. So not so much "extra" cash as "not bleeding as much cash" in this case. That's the cash that keeps the lights on here and our little crew paid; we have enough moderator to go around for our current needs but that's about all, and in the long term its either get things stabilized a bit or look at what metafilter can't pay for anymore.

In an ideal world we wouldn't run ads anywhere on the site at all. This is not that world: the money has to come from somewhere. As much as I love this place, working here is a full-time job (some days a cushy one, some days a There Goes My Evening, Thanks A Bunch Internet one) and while I admire Matt's long mostly uncompensated solo haul through the early years of the site I don't really see a return to that state of affairs as being tenable.

We know nobody actively likes ads. There's a pretty rich and easy to use toolset for folks to block web ads in general, which is good news; but we've provided the native opt-out on the site as well because we know not everybody is going to be up to speed on that stuff and so if you just don't want to see them you can with a click. But as a general thing, ads are what keep this place functioning, and we appreciate people rolling with that as best they can; for our part, we're trying to keep the ads that do run from being obnoxious or invasive to the best of our ability.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:37 PM on October 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


We know nobody actively likes ads.

I like ads and these new ones that have started appearing on Mefi are looking quite nice, making me much more agreeable to paying a bit of attention to them.

The ad on the Village Voice site that took over my screen and started playing video with the sound defaulting to on? I FUCKING HATE THAT AD and any business that runs that type of shit does not encourage me to come back.
posted by nomadicink at 1:42 PM on October 1, 2010


The provider name rang a bell for me, and sure enough, they provide for A List Apart. So Matt's in good company. Whitelisting your ads, matt.
posted by boo_radley at 2:42 PM on October 1, 2010


I'm Jim from the Deck, we're pretty careful about which ads we accept, we don't sell on cost-per-thousand, or cost-per-click or cost-per-conversion. Advertisers can basically take a month-long slot with us which equals 3% of all the impressions across all the sites and services in the network. If it works for them they renew. If it doesn't they don't.

We try to keep it simple and show truly relevant ads to a big, curious, influential audience in a non-obtrusive way. For the right advertisers it can be very powerful. We're glad to be on MeFi. As individuals we've been regular readers here for a long time.
posted by coudal at 2:51 PM on October 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


The Deck is spiffy. They don't take just any ad, as coudal says, and they don't run those ads just anywhere. It's actually a pretty A-list list and I'm actually delighted to see MeFi on it. Kottke and Ze Frank are neighbours I can live with.

My other thing about Deck ads is that I like them. They generally advertise things I want or am interested in. I am happy with this arrangement and hope it's fruitful for Matt. I like our site and our mods and I would like to keep them.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:19 PM on October 1, 2010


Is there some way to turn the Deck ads *back on* if you've previously turned them off using the little link on the front page? I don't see any way to do so (perhaps this could be made a Preferences setting?).
posted by killdevil at 3:42 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there some way to turn the Deck ads *back on* if you've previously turned them off using the little link on the front page?

Sure, just log out and back in. Or if your're a cookie do-it-yourselfer you can remove the HIDE_DECK cookie.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:46 PM on October 1, 2010


We know nobody actively likes ads.

Anything that benefits both Coudal and Metafilter is a win-win situation as far as I'm concerned!
posted by grapesaresour at 5:57 PM on October 1, 2010


Okay, okay: we know that very few people, all else being equal, would prefer ads to no ads as a purely aesthetic choice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:02 PM on October 1, 2010


These ads are highly tolerable, IMO. Non-animated, non-ugly, simple text.

I've left them on to see how I feel about them, and I find that I am reading them more than I would regular ads with variable fonts and shouty eye-grabbing images -- I'm reading them exactly because I don't have to defensively avert my eyes.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:54 PM on October 1, 2010


Okay, okay: we know that very few people, all else being equal, would prefer ads to no ads as a purely aesthetic choice.

Way to make the Martians feel welcome cortex. You just cost us warp drives, spaceship skiing and six handed aliens with multiple sex organs. How do you sleep at night?!
posted by nomadicink at 6:59 PM on October 1, 2010


Just a word about clicking on ads with the idea of helping a site out...

Where there are pay-per-click ads, sites can get banned and not get paid money they were owed if they even get found encouraging people to click ads. The likes of Google are on the lookout for things they consider click-fraud, so you should be careful about clicking on anything for any reason other than being actually interested in what's being advertised, as it could hurt the site you wanted to help.

The ads we're talking about in this thread are non pay-per-click anyway though.
posted by philipy at 7:00 PM on October 1, 2010


Just a word about clicking on ads with the idea of helping a site out...

Yeah, I'm sorry I mentioned it, especially as it seems to be a moot point in this particular case, which is good to know.
posted by amyms at 7:53 PM on October 1, 2010


The ad I saw reminded me that Layer Tennis was underway. It's more fun live, and I caught it at layer 4, so the ads actually made me happy. Not an epic match like the one with mathowie's commentary, but awesome in its own way.
posted by donnagirl at 9:47 PM on October 1, 2010


I turned the ads off because it seemed like they messed up the layout on Safari for the iPad. Also, I don't like ads.
posted by Ritchie at 12:28 AM on October 2, 2010


Perhaps it has something to do with having the Professional White Background on, but I can't read most of the text on the ads on the front page of AskMe because it's dark grey on dark green. Just wanted to let you know (it's actually more attention-grabbing than if the text were readable). Not sure who fixes that, you or The Deck.
posted by misskaz at 5:54 AM on October 2, 2010


they messed up the layout on Safari for the iPad.

I noticed this too. What happens is that the body of text doesn't show in its normal position. The sidebar shows first, then the text of the page.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:56 AM on October 2, 2010


Though it seems to work correctly now.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:00 AM on October 2, 2010


thanks misskaz, they should look better on the plain text theme now.

I noticed the iPad layout problem on Ask shortly after they went out and fixed it up. If you notice the wonky layout again, just refresh the page. Everything should be set on the iPad now.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:57 AM on October 2, 2010


Im using iPad/Safari with the white themes, no layout issues here.

Plus, I stopped in to tell Matt that as ads go, these are unobtrusive and easy to get past if you're not interested in them. Good balance of respecting your readers and generating income, IMHO.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 9:08 AM on October 2, 2010


Good call Matt, probably the only advertising I've ever felt that I consented to rather than had thrust upon me. I've actually clicked on a couple.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:54 AM on October 2, 2010


I just came in here to say I think it is really funny that the front page ad for the School of Visual Arts is broken.
posted by at the crossroads at 4:08 PM on October 2, 2010


So I have this very stupid friend, who is also a MeFite. How would he whitelist these ads in Adblock, if he wanted to give Metafilter the maximum possible revenue-generating opportunities.

I'm Jim from the Deck ... posted by coudal


You made my MeFi t-shirt! You are awesome!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:44 PM on October 2, 2010


Horace, your friend could locate the AdBlock icon, typically found in the status bar on the right, while the browser window is open to Metafilter.com. If your friend does not see a status bar at the bottom of the browser window, they can click View and then Status Bar to make it appear. The AdBlock icon is a little red stop-sign. Your friend should right-click it, then select "Disable on metafilter.com". The AdBlock icon will turn green to indicate revenue-generating opportunities have commenced. Your friend should repeat this process for any subsites they typically read for maximum effect.
posted by donnagirl at 7:25 PM on October 2, 2010


Can someone send me an iPad so I can see how the ads look?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:24 PM on October 2, 2010




This is good - I always felt a little guilty for using MetaFilter with no marginal cost to me. I will happily rent out a small portion of my awareness to these tasteful ads in return for continued MeFi goodness.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:02 AM on October 3, 2010


I've been aware of The Deck since it launched, but until now I doubt I regularly read any site that used it outside of an RSS reader. I gotta say, the ads have almost always been either for products I use, or something that makes me say "that could be useful".
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:18 AM on October 4, 2010


50 notebooks, each with a different state on the front!
posted by smackfu at 8:21 AM on October 4, 2010


smackfu: "50 notebooks, each with a different state on the front"

I like Field Notes notebooks a lot. I ordered a few packs about a month ago, and now I can't think without one in my pocket.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:55 AM on October 4, 2010


Oh yeah, good notebooks. Rather gimmicky sales tactics.
posted by smackfu at 1:19 PM on October 4, 2010


They don't take just any ad, as coudal says, and they don't run those ads just anywhere.

I vaguely remember them running a survey (think I heard about it from Daring Fireball), and one of the questions was essentially, "Who should be showing our ads, that isn't?" I totally pimped Metafilter there, seemed like a good fit. I'm sure plenty of people thought so before I did.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:03 AM on October 9, 2010


Huh. Did all of the ads just break for anyone else?
posted by roll truck roll at 3:59 PM on October 15, 2010


So far so good with these ads. They are tasteful, and often useful. If Matt could double his revenue with two or more of these ads per page that would be fine by me. I want him to get rich off of this site.
posted by caddis at 8:46 AM on October 19, 2010


I have ethical problems with most advertising ... I didn't want to venture into "conversational" advertising that borders and strays too far into my comfort zone of keeping editorial content completely separate from advertising. Anyway, I wanted to ... let everyone know there is a way out....

By the way, how cool is that? Matt, you truly are too kind. This reminds me of a landlord I had, who, when our water heater broke and could not be fixed over the weekend, suggested that we check into a hotel for the weekend and take it off of next month's rent.
posted by caddis at 9:03 AM on October 19, 2010


« Older Favorite limit   |   upside-down Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments