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Announcement: Cre8asiteForums Will Be Placing Ads


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:32 PM

Attention Cre8asiteforums Community:

Greetings from the Moderators and Administrators of Cre8asite Forums.

Since the first incarnation of Cre8asite Forums in September 1998 through today, our forums have been run on a modest budget, previously funded primarily by member donations and affiliate revenue generated by a sister site (which is no longer in operation). One of the primary reasons we have been able to stay afloat for so long with so little is due, in large part, to the immense wealth of knowledge and technical expertise donated by our talented pool of moderators and technical administrators.

Like any organization, we have day-to-day operating expenses and a vision for our future growth -- both of which require funding beyond our current revenue stream.

While it's taken us many years to achieve our current library of threads, membership numbers, traffic, respect and reputation of a world-class website development forum, we believe the time has come to seriously monetize Cre8asite.

We've tossed around the idea of charging a membership fee to help support the forums, but collectively decided that the wealth of knowledge, provided by all our contributing members and moderation team, should not be shielded by a gate that requires a cover charge to pass through.

Our past efforts in marketing Amazon.com products through an affiliate channel have produced limited success and because we no longer have the technical resources required to support this channel, we've recently abandoned it.

As a result of many months of behind-the-scenes discussions, starting today, we've decided to implement an advertising revenue model, which will feature, among other things, relevant Google advertisements, sponsored listings, direct advertiser links and graphical ads.

Experimenting and Phasing In

We feel its very important that you know we are going slowly and will be experimenting with placement. We will be taking your feedback as well as tracking click thrus and page views, so we can have a history for future potential advertisers.

We will be experimenting with the ad placements and limiting the number of ads, so that we can maximize clickthroughs and minimize banner blindness. We also invite you to give us your constructive comments on how we can improve our advertising campaign. Our goal is strike a reasonable balance between maximizing our advertising revenue and avoiding ad overload.

New

Non-Members who visit the forums will now see a blue default skin with Google AdSense ads at the top and bottom of the forums.

Once someone joins, however, they are encouraged to pick the skin they like (we have several colors and layouts), and members will only find Google AdSense text ads at the bottom of the forums. The ones at the top are removed from view.

This is our first test.

The second phase has already begun. This is where we will be placing text ads, graphical ads and affiliate ads in the new template pages where content goes, such as articles and interviews.

We will be experimenting for the next several months on where things will go, what we will accept and ways to prevent ad overload and banner blindness.

Your Opinions Count, Your Support Valued



From the entire Cre8asite Forums Team, thanks for your generous, continued support.

Example:

Not Logged In. AdSense at the top and bottom of forums. Blue Default (not the orange).

http://www.cre8asite...non-members.gif' class='imgleft' alt='User posted image' />

Members Only, Logged In. Google AdSense at the bottom only.

http://www.cre8asite...se-everyone.gif' class='imgleft' alt='User posted image' />

Although technically feasible, we do not think we will be putting additional or topic oriented Google Ads inside threads themselves, or in our RSS feed.

Edited by cre8pc, 04 January 2006 - 01:52 PM.


#2 cre8pc

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:48 PM

Also, note that examples are for the new Blue Default. If you presently use another skin, you are likely not seeing any ads yet, as they haven't been added to all the skins yet.

(So, you're not going crazy, honest.)

#3 Wit

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:49 PM

Cool

#4 manager

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

Hi All

Just to wish you every success with the ads, I donít see why you shouldnít get something back for all your hard work and dedication to these forums !


TreV

#5 eKstreme

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 02:01 PM

Sounds like a lot of thought has gone into this. Good luck with it!

#6 Nadir

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 02:53 PM

Looks good to me, I totally agree with the decision if it helps maintaining the life of this wonderful site! :)


..........I promise to click on your ads ;-) ..........

#7 manager

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 02:56 PM

Hello,

Will there be animated ads on the site ?

Just curious :)

TreV

#8 BillSlawski

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:36 PM

I'm not sure at this point about animated ads.

I think that we probably won't. :)

#9 bwelford

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:46 PM

Phew! That's a relief. :)

#10 Wit

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:24 PM

Maybe as an incentive for people to join and get rid of them hehe...

#11 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:27 PM

I like animated ads! makes things really :bounce: . Just kidding :rofl:

#12 JohnMu

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:32 PM

Since I usually don't click on ads except when I'm really desperate - is there any way for me to donate directly? If so -- how much would be an appropriate amount? Perhaps something like a voluntary paid membership :)

#13 meriweather

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:36 PM

(So, you're not going crazy, honest.)

Why thank you cre8pc, nobody ever said it just like that before. :)

I think it's a wonderful idea, ditto to all the nice things said previously, and best of the best in this new endeavor.

James

#14 Robert_Paulson

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:01 PM

I'm on board with the others who believe that seeing ads is a very small price to pay for having access to smart people and good information.

#15 cre8pc

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:27 PM

No animated, spinning, blinking thingys.

Cute and fun as they may be, ha ha.

We really want to find a way to do this with some class and strong awareness for our readers and posters :)

#16 projectphp

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 08:04 PM

Ok, the ads are now live. Any comments welcomed...

#17 Nadir

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 08:17 PM

I really like the ads, they are visible without being disturbing, I have cre8 Blues Traditional and the ads colors just fit right with the skin.

#18 projectphp

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 08:24 PM

Thanks Nadir! Glad it worked out!

#19 praveen

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:56 PM

not a problem with the ads. :)

as long as they dont come in the way :)

#20 meriweather

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 12:53 AM

LOL - :)

I just saw your post about the ads being live projectphp. It's now 11:48PM my time, and the post was made at 07:04 PM. I've had a browser open to, and been back and forth with one thread or another all evening, and I never saw them till I read your post.

Guess that about says it all, at least for me.

#21 Nadir

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:15 AM

Yes, unless you scroll down your page to the very end or click on the buttons on the bottom for example "Reply", you cannot miss them!
But that's right, if you don't scroll down your page to the bottom... It's just the beginning, hope the comments will be useful for the team.

#22 kensplace

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:18 AM

Cool, I dont mind ads at all, in fact, they often prove to be useful, as I often spot things I would never have found otherwise :)

#23 whitemark

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:20 AM

The ads are too invisible.

#24 projectphp

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 07:31 AM

Hehehe. True! We are experimenting a wee bit, and the current placement is far from ideal. However, we don't really want the ads getting too annoying. We want to keep them below the fold, and after the important stuff, i.e. the posts. We may put them above the bottom reply buttons etc, but we are still deciding.

Of course, for non-registered members, they get the ads front and centre (hint hint a good reason to register :)).

#25 JohnMu

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:53 AM

I'd put the ads right after the original post, before all the replies - that's where you start reading on a thread (at least I do). But I'm sure you've played with the same settings before using them here :)

#26 Black_Phoenix

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:51 AM

The ads do look very subtle, on the liquid skin I think they would look better centered :huh:

The placement at the top (under the buttons) would look ok as well, possibly it would make them more noticable.

bp

#27 Wit

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:43 AM

I'd put the ads right after the original post, before all the replies...

AAAARRRGHHH! You're kidding, right?

#28 Respree

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:57 AM

For those of you who run advertising sites also from those who don't, we'd appreciate your feedback and thoughts on ad placement and things we might be able to do to maximize our ad revenue (suggestions on color, box/nobox, blending, format, Adsense blindness, etc).

As Kim says, we're currently testing the waters, trying to find the optimal balance between good click through rates and unobtrusive presentation.

Your thoughts?

Edited by Respree, 05 January 2006 - 06:35 PM.


#29 projectphp

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:29 PM

Well, ads now centered :(

#30 Tim

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:58 PM

Since I usually don't click on ads except when I'm really desperate - is there any way for me to donate directly? If so -- how much would be an appropriate amount? Perhaps something like a voluntary paid membership :(

View Post


There sure is! I believe we used to have a page about donations, but I can't find it now - it may have been lost somewhere. I'll bring it up with the others and let you know.

#31 kensplace

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 06:28 PM

I found fairly decent results with the ad link units, and they take up very little space, but everyones mileage is different with ads.

One bit of feedback, not really about ad placement, but about how to maybe get the most correctly targetted ads.

I have been experimenting with it, but as I have also done loads of changes on site, I cant say for sure how much it affected earnings. But they make it available to everyone, and I cant see it hurting things.

Quick overview of section targetting.

The (<!--) HTML comments in the examples below are the way to tell google what parts of the page to target or ignore when deciding what ads to serve.

other stuff, like navigation outside the real content
.
<!-- google_ad_section_start -->  
your content that you actually want google to base its ads upon would be here. 
<!-- google_ad_section_start --> 
.
more stuff outside the content, navigation, standard forum text etc.
.

To force it to ignore a section of content you can use

<!-- google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) --> 
some content you want ignored, could be inserted automatically if 
certain keywords appear in a thread or if a thread contains a certain post that
throws ads way of topic.
<!-- google_ad_section_end-->

Edited by kensplace, 05 January 2006 - 06:31 PM.


#32 projectphp

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 06:34 PM

Hey Ken, nice call!

I looked at that, but to be honest, I want to avoid mucking around too much in IPB's own code. Hacking a forum leads to a LOT more work maintaining the thing, and the only way to add that sort of code is to hack the PHP directly in many cases (like to ignore certain posts etc).

Also, I tested the ads for about three weeks before the thing went live, and I gotta say, the ads have been pretty much spot on so far targetting wise. The seven wonders one in particular was great, as it showed ads for the various locations (Macchu picchu for example).

IMHO, so far the targetting has been pretty good, and I can't really find any code worth ignoring!

#33 Respree

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 03:59 PM

Since I usually don't click on ads except when I'm really desperate - is there any way for me to donate directly? If so -- how much would be an appropriate amount? Perhaps something like a voluntary paid membership :)

View Post


Thanks for your offer, softplus. If you or any other members wish to make a donation to support Cre8asite, a new link has just been put up on our Advertise link, located in the top navigation.

Posted Image

How much would be an appropriate amount? That is entirely up to you, based on your budget and the value you believe you've received here. :)

Thanks for your support.



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