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BRFCS

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Site adverts


Gav

Question

Afternoon Mods,

The adverts on the site seem to have gone bonkers over the last 48hrs, click the forum link, immediate advert you need to read/click before access.

I understand the need to support the site, but is this the new normal?

Thanks

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6 minutes ago, Stuart said:

You have decided or you would have switched them off and asked for donations.

Sorry for the immediate reply - the notification intrusively popped up!

Oh crikey. Maybe that’s how you’re seeing it, but I disagree. 

I think taking donations is disingenuous. Nobody knows how many donations you receive, nobody knows who has donated and if they’re getting any special treatment, nobody knows how many donations are needed. So I stopped the donation offering for the site. 

The adverts have always paid the bulk of the site expenses. They where previously smaller and less intrusive. Google have changed them, They’re now bigger. We can’t control them, sadly. So we’re kind of stuck to them. 

Without bringing back donations - which I don’t agree with - the ONLY option I can think up (so far) is to allow an advert free subscription service. 

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4 hours ago, Stuart said:

If you go onto a site to consume content or to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s work then fair’s fair.

On forums, the users are also the content creators so it isn’t the same. Unless we were all shareholders.

Such a shame the internet has turned into an ad- or subscription-driven place when it’s origins were far more altruistic. Like most things I guess.

Playing DA here:

You ARE enjoying the fruits fruits of someone else's labour.

That is the UNPAID labour of the techies (without whom there would be no BRFCS at all), the admin (ditto), and the mods (without whom the site wouldn't be kept a relatively civil experience- a major USP compared to other fansites).

Users create content, fair enough. So do users of all social media platforms. The only ones I know of that don't use the same ad structure as BRFCS are Facebook, Twitter, and the like; ie: they have much bigger pockets than us.

Re: donations there are 2 problems:

1. Some posters being more equal than others, ie: potential favouritism towards those who do donate.

2. Everyone begins with good intentions, but after donating their first tenner, they won't donate again without a subscription service (only then becausethey'veforgotten about it, being quick to cancel it as soon as they notice). A lesson learned very harshly in my time with Rovers Trust.

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1 hour ago, J*B said:

Oh crikey. Maybe that’s how you’re seeing it, but I disagree. 

I think taking donations is disingenuous. Nobody knows how many donations you receive, nobody knows who has donated and if they’re getting any special treatment, nobody knows how many donations are needed. So I stopped the donation offering for the site. 

The adverts have always paid the bulk of the site expenses. They where previously smaller and less intrusive. Google have changed them, They’re now bigger. We can’t control them, sadly. So we’re kind of stuck to them. 

Without bringing back donations - which I don’t agree with - the ONLY option I can think up (so far) is to allow an advert free subscription service. 

Like I said it’s your call.

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29 minutes ago, Mike E said:

Playing DA here:

You ARE enjoying the fruits fruits of someone else's labour.

That is the UNPAID labour of the techies (without whom there would be no BRFCS at all), the admin (ditto), and the mods (without whom the site wouldn't be kept a relatively civil experience- a major USP compared to other fansites).

But those unpaid volunteers know this going in, and if you charge customers to use a site then surely you should pay those people who help run it.

But it then becomes a very different concept.

By the way, one person’s civility is another’s censorship so it may be somewhat unique but it might not be a selling point for everyone. You could moderate a Facebook group.

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8 minutes ago, Stuart said:

But those unpaid volunteers know this going in, and if you charge customers to use a site then surely you should pay those people who help run it.

But it then becomes a very different concept.

By the way, one person’s civility is another’s censorship so it may be somewhat unique but it might not be a selling point for everyone. You could moderate a Facebook group.

Not quite my point.

You said that a content-based site is enjoying the fruits of its users labour, when it's arguably the opposite; users enjoy the fruits of the techies, admin, mods' labour.

I'd describe it as relatively symbiotic.

Re: the specific issue of ads. It's a choice between a site with ads (however they are delivered is out of our hands), a subscription-based site, or no site.

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I've been looking at this since we noticed it the other week and it's entirely normal for an advertising network to switch up the way they display adverts, it happens all the time. It's also entirely normal for these changes to roll out gradually, which is why you see them on some sites, not others. There's a whole industry of people who look at the effect of changes to websites. My current client for example is a well know ecommerce site & they measure the effect of each change they make to checkout and if they see a negative effect they it gets removed. Imagine the amount of money involved for Google if they see a 0.1% downturn in ad clicks because of a change ... anyway, I digress.

In terms of what the ads pay for, it's not the content, or the techies either for that matter, it's the server we host on, the software the site uses, the bandwidth the site uses, the storage the site uses the list goes on, and it's not free.

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Posted (edited)

Can I ask, have you renewed your security certificates gents? 

I’ve seen ads in the past swamping user access due to expired certification. 

Apologies for sticking my nose in.

Edited by Gav
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49 minutes ago, Gav said:

Can I ask, have you renewed your security certificates gents? 

I’ve seen ads in the past swamping user access due to expired certification. 

Apologies for sticking my nose in.

Thanks for the heads up...techies on it 👍🏻
@StubbsUK is I believe actively wrestling with Google...😳

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Looks like these ads are mutating. There now appears to be a time delay before the X appears.

I get how this makes money for the site. Advertisers speculating to accumulate but do people really click on these ads to buy stuff?

Even those defending them on here just see them as a nuisance to be tolerated.

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3 hours ago, Gav said:

Can I ask, have you renewed your security certificates gents? 

I’ve seen ads in the past swamping user access due to expired certification. 

Apologies for sticking my nose in.

We renewed the certs on Saturday, I missed the entire first half doing it 😞

These new ads are nothing to do with that though, they're something Google is pushing.

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53 minutes ago, Stuart said:

Even those defending them on here just see them as a nuisance to be tolerated.

As opposed to what? Those massive ad fans out there. Desperately searching for ad heavy sites to satisfy their craving.

C'mon Stuart, you're beginning to sound like it's your first time on the internet. 

There's barely a corner left that isn't tainted by capitalism in some form.

Pretty much every site has ads on them of varying degrees, even if it's just advertising itself. 

A friend of mine told me some sites bombard people with tons of adverts just to watch like a 5 min video clip. They're pretty easy to bypass though.........my friend's told me. 

If they bug you and detract from use of the site, that's fair enough, you're entitled to feel that way.

Let's not pretend something new and outlandish has happened though. It's all fairly standard stuff. 

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Just now, Silas said:

As opposed to what? Those massive ad fans out there. Desperately searching for ad heavy sites to satisfy their craving.

C'mon Stuart, you're beginning to sound like it's your first time on the internet. 

There's barely a corner left that isn't tainted by capitalism in some form.

Pretty much every site has ads on them of varying degrees, even if it's just advertising itself. 

A friend of mine told me some sites bombard people with tons of adverts just to watch like a 5 min video clip. They're pretty easy to bypass though.........my friend's told me. 

If they bug you and detract from use of the site, that's fair enough, you're entitled to feel that way.

Let's not pretend something new and outlandish has happened though. It's all fairly standard stuff. 

Thanks for taking that sentence out of the context by removing the preceding one.

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2 minutes ago, Stuart said:

Thanks for taking that sentence out of the context by removing the preceding one.

Sorry if you feel I've misrepresented you, not my intention, just found that last line a bit odd. 

In terms of your preceding sentence,  who the hell knows who clicks on them. I never had and never will. But someone out there must. Companies wouldn't be chucking money at it if it doesn't produce some results. 🤷‍♂️

I also wonder why I still get emails from African princes with financial transfer issues. I rack my brain pondering who out there walking the planet at the moment thinks - "Hey, I bet this could be a good opportunity!" 

But they must be out there. People aren't wasting their time still sending them just for lols. 

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On 07/03/2021 at 20:11, Stuart said:

Advertisers speculating to accumulate but do people really click on these ads to buy stuff?

Google AdSense also pays per thousand ad impressions (views), I believe.

An ad-based revenue stream keeps the use of the website free of charge to everybody that uses it, and the ad revenues pay for the running costs of the website. Ads can be a pain for users, as seen here. There is actually a danger about relying on the ad model from a technical point of view, but I'd rather not divulge, and it would probably never occur.

The benefactor model, e.g. donations, can be unreliable. You might get a nice one-off donation, and maybe some sporadic minor donations, but it's not a regular stream to rely upon. It might work for some, but I don't think it is sustainable. I'm aware of one particular donor in times gone by that was given special dispensation on here, which I think is out of order. There was always a fear of losing that stream of income, which I suspect was more heavily relied upon back then, so I think there can be practical side-effects of relying on donations; namely, the influence they have over the website, and the elevation that they expect.

An alternative revenue model is freemium. There are zero adverts for all users. The basic (free) tier gives basic use of the website/service. A premium (paid) tier gives full use of the website and all its features. When I say "basic", that would mean losing much of the stuff taken for granted right now in order to encourage users to help fund the site through a premium subscription. As an example, £1 per month could give you access to the podcasts, allow you to post as much as you like, allow you to start new threads, access the non-football forums (although that's probably a punishment), and so on.

There are probably a lot more to the running costs than people realise. The forum software is top of the range. It isn't cheap to renew the licence, and free alternatives are quite nasty in comparison. The servers used require a bit of oomph. We're not talking about a £5 hosting package with GoDaddy, for example. There are also accountants to pay for. And who knows what other administrative costs.

Anyway, that's just how it is. Benefactors come and go. Technical ways of generating revenue change, particularly as Google tightens its grip on everybody's reliance upon them. I think there is something to freemium if ads are becoming a real issue on the web. Freemium still allows everybody to use the website for free in some capacity, and a small premium charge should give the website the income it needs. I don't know. Just my thoughts.

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5 hours ago, Meesh said:

Google AdSense also pays per thousand ad impressions (views), I believe.

An ad-based revenue stream keeps the use of the website free of charge to everybody that uses it, and the ad revenues pay for the running costs of the website. Ads can be a pain for users, as seen here. There is actually a danger about relying on the ad model from a technical point of view, but I'd rather not divulge, and it would probably never occur.

The benefactor model, e.g. donations, can be unreliable. You might get a nice one-off donation, and maybe some sporadic minor donations, but it's not a regular stream to rely upon. It might work for some, but I don't think it is sustainable. I'm aware of one particular donor in times gone by that was given special dispensation on here, which I think is out of order. There was always a fear of losing that stream of income, which I suspect was more heavily relied upon back then, so I think there can be practical side-effects of relying on donations; namely, the influence they have over the website, and the elevation that they expect.

An alternative revenue model is freemium. There are zero adverts for all users. The basic (free) tier gives basic use of the website/service. A premium (paid) tier gives full use of the website and all its features. When I say "basic", that would mean losing much of the stuff taken for granted right now in order to encourage users to help fund the site through a premium subscription. As an example, £1 per month could give you access to the podcasts, allow you to post as much as you like, allow you to start new threads, access the non-football forums (although that's probably a punishment), and so on.

There are probably a lot more to the running costs than people realise. The forum software is top of the range. It isn't cheap to renew the licence, and free alternatives are quite nasty in comparison. The servers used require a bit of oomph. We're not talking about a £5 hosting package with GoDaddy, for example. There are also accountants to pay for. And who knows what other administrative costs.

Anyway, that's just how it is. Benefactors come and go. Technical ways of generating revenue change, particularly as Google tightens its grip on everybody's reliance upon them. I think there is something to freemium if ads are becoming a real issue on the web. Freemium still allows everybody to use the website for free in some capacity, and a small premium charge should give the website the income it needs. I don't know. Just my thoughts.

How did you hack into our last board meeting ? 😁 This virtually reads like the minutes...😆

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Yeah noticed these ads and did wonder but this is Google wide, tons of sites have the same ads appearing centre screen when you first visit a site. Slightly annoying but for an additional click and slightly longer before you can view the content, it makes more sense than a subscription-based model or freemium. In my opinion.

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On 11/03/2021 at 15:04, Meesh said:

Google AdSense also pays per thousand ad impressions (views), I believe.

An ad-based revenue stream keeps the use of the website free of charge to everybody that uses it, and the ad revenues pay for the running costs of the website. Ads can be a pain for users, as seen here. There is actually a danger about relying on the ad model from a technical point of view, but I'd rather not divulge, and it would probably never occur.

The benefactor model, e.g. donations, can be unreliable. You might get a nice one-off donation, and maybe some sporadic minor donations, but it's not a regular stream to rely upon. It might work for some, but I don't think it is sustainable. I'm aware of one particular donor in times gone by that was given special dispensation on here, which I think is out of order. There was always a fear of losing that stream of income, which I suspect was more heavily relied upon back then, so I think there can be practical side-effects of relying on donations; namely, the influence they have over the website, and the elevation that they expect.

An alternative revenue model is freemium. There are zero adverts for all users. The basic (free) tier gives basic use of the website/service. A premium (paid) tier gives full use of the website and all its features. When I say "basic", that would mean losing much of the stuff taken for granted right now in order to encourage users to help fund the site through a premium subscription. As an example, £1 per month could give you access to the podcasts, allow you to post as much as you like, allow you to start new threads, access the non-football forums (although that's probably a punishment), and so on.

There are probably a lot more to the running costs than people realise. The forum software is top of the range. It isn't cheap to renew the licence, and free alternatives are quite nasty in comparison. The servers used require a bit of oomph. We're not talking about a £5 hosting package with GoDaddy, for example. There are also accountants to pay for. And who knows what other administrative costs.

Anyway, that's just how it is. Benefactors come and go. Technical ways of generating revenue change, particularly as Google tightens its grip on everybody's reliance upon them. I think there is something to freemium if ads are becoming a real issue on the web. Freemium still allows everybody to use the website for free in some capacity, and a small premium charge should give the website the income it needs. I don't know. Just my thoughts.

Belated thanks for the reply. That wasn’t my question though. I know the attraction for the site, even though it takes away from the user experience, it was more that I cannot fathom clicking on any of these ads and giving someone any payment details. So much malware, spam and viruses out there.

It would be interesting to know how many BRFCS users have bought anything by using the ads.

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14 minutes ago, Stuart said:

Belated thanks for the reply. That wasn’t my question though. I know the attraction for the site, even though it takes away from the user experience, it was more that I cannot fathom clicking on any of these ads and giving someone any payment details. So much malware, spam and viruses out there.

It would be interesting to know how many BRFCS users have bought anything by using the ads.

I suspect it is adjacent to zero. 

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25 minutes ago, Stuart said:

It would be interesting to know how many BRFCS users have bought anything by using the ads.

I don't have the stats specifically for brfcs, but industry wide the click through rate for all and types is only 1.91% (sounds tiny, but that's 1.91% of 30 billion impressions). For some sites .45% is considered good.

The quality of the ads you are shown depends on what they know about you, so if you're like me and use ad/tracking blockers then the stuff you get shown is pretty much random. (Facebook was convinced for weeks that I needed a mini digger) even then though, your ads your shown might not be very accurate.

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17 minutes ago, StubbsUK said:

I don't have the stats specifically for brfcs, but industry wide the click through rate for all and types is only 1.91% (sounds tiny, but that's 1.91% of 30 billion impressions). For some sites .45% is considered good.

The quality of the ads you are shown depends on what they know about you, so if you're like me and use ad/tracking blockers then the stuff you get shown is pretty much random. (Facebook was convinced for weeks that I needed a mini digger) even then though, your ads your shown might not be very accurate.

Who *doesn’t* want a mini digger though…😉

 

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I mostly access the message board forum on an iphone using safari.

If I visit the topic listings and click on one, the browser text goes blurred and hangs. My guess is that safari is trying to load the advert but stalling.

I then have to refresh the page and try again. So 3 actions to read one post. And it doesn't even present me with the advert. About one times in 10 it does work and I do get the advert.

It's done it since the ad thing changed and I have to say it's starting to annoy me.

I thought I'd raise this in case others are seeing it and/or you were not aware of the issue.

 

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1 minute ago, toogs said:

I mostly access the message board forum on an iphone using safari.

If I visit the topic listings and click on one, the browser text goes blurred and hangs. My guess is that safari is trying to load the advert but stalling.

I then have to refresh the page and try again. So 3 actions to read one post. And it doesn't even present me with the advert. About one times in 10 it does work and I do get the advert.

It's done it since the ad thing changed and I have to say it's starting to annoy me.

I thought I'd raise this in case others are seeing it and/or you were not aware of the issue.

 

@StubbsUK

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3 minutes ago, toogs said:

I mostly access the message board forum on an iphone using safari.

If I visit the topic listings and click on one, the browser text goes blurred and hangs. My guess is that safari is trying to load the advert but stalling.

I then have to refresh the page and try again. So 3 actions to read one post. And it doesn't even present me with the advert. About one times in 10 it does work and I do get the advert.

It's done it since the ad thing changed and I have to say it's starting to annoy me.

I thought I'd raise this in case others are seeing it and/or you were not aware of the issue.

 

Please could you do us a favour & try it using Chrome on your iPhone & report back on here ? 

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