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Boss-Hog
03-03-2010, 02:29 PM
All,

GIK and I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful experience RedsZone has provided for nearly ten years (in April we'll celebrate our 10th birthday). This site would not exist without the many types of contributions from its members, and for that, we thank you!

For a decade we have attempted to facilitate the best possible environment for Reds' fans to congregate and enjoy the team we all love and follow. In doing so we have asked the community (around this time each year) to assist us with donations to keep the site up and running for another season. A big thank you to all who have donated in the past. It was and is greatly appreciated.

Moving forward we are not continuing the spring donation drive. We were never completely comfortable knowing that a very small minority of members were, in the end, providing the opportunity for others to enjoy the site. The advantage, however, was we were able to remain ad-free for ten years. Quite an accomplishment, we think!

To ensure RedsZone's sustainability we embark on a new format: the addition of advertising and the reintroduction of annual subscriptions.

To those who are dissatisfied with advertisements being placed within the forums of RedsZone, you have the ability to disable them. This is where subscriptions now come into play. Subscriptions now are the defacto "donation" at a set cost of $30 for one year. By selecting an annual subscription to the site, you can enjoy RedsZone without in-forum advertising. Users will be able to subscribe using the Paid Subscriptions link (http://www.redszone.com/forums/payments.php) within their User CP or by clicking the link adjecent to the advertisements. Ads will remain for all other visitors in the hope that this additional revenue will help us provide the best quality experience possible for all 'Zoners.

Thank you again for being part of this community over the past decade. If you have any questions, please post them here. We look forward to providing the premier destination for Reds' fans.

GIK and Boss-Hog

Click to Subscribe (http://www.redszone.com/forums/payments.php)

Boss-Hog
03-03-2010, 04:12 PM
In case you're wondering, we're still working out the kinks, but we're close, so expect ads to be implemented in the very near future.

Razor Shines
03-03-2010, 04:57 PM
Cool, do whatever you gotta do to keep it up and running. I don't mind ads, but I'll probably do the subscription.

reds1869
03-03-2010, 06:10 PM
Thanks for telling us. I think this is a very good idea to keep the best site around going.

Edit: And my subscription has been taken care of. This is the easiest subscription decision I've ever made...can't live with out my RZ fix.

bubbachunk
03-03-2010, 07:26 PM
What about the fact that many of us do not want the ads and want to support but cannot even post in the ORG? I know ORG members cant post in the sun deck etc. Big deal, the quality is nowhere even near comparable and I have to pay the same as the ORG posters who get more? I am not complaining about what it takes to get in the ORG or anything like that don't get me wrong, but I believe there should be two different membership amounts based on what access you have.

dougdirt
03-03-2010, 07:28 PM
Glad you mentioned it. I will turn off my ad blocker for the site and be sure to click some ads every now and again to boost the CTR, which will boost the money (I have dealt with Google Ads in the past and that is how they used to work).

GIK
03-03-2010, 07:32 PM
bc- Thank you for your feedback. It is appreciated. The goal of moving away from donations and to an ad-based format is to try and treat all users similarly. Ads are placed in both forums. To make ORG posters pay more is not the right message, in my opinion. One forum is not worth more than the other. The purpose of including subscriptions is to give all members the opportunity to remove the in-forum advertising regardless of whether they post in the ORG or Sun Deck.

RBA
03-03-2010, 07:52 PM
About 8 years overdue. I like the move. Good job.

Bob Borkowski
03-03-2010, 09:00 PM
I see this as a major turning-point in the history of RedsZone.

Seems like this thread should be a sticky on ORG and Sun Deck main forums for greater exposure.

Raisor
03-03-2010, 09:49 PM
I paids my monies, so should you.

Ed Otten
03-03-2010, 10:12 PM
I've got no problem with the ads, and really enjoy the site even though I rarely post. I've enjoyed reading the discussions of others for years, and think that ads are a fair income method.

I do have one suggestion, though. The vertical banner ad running along the left side of the page really throws off the look and design of the page. Given that the flow of the forum is left to right (reading), it's prominent presence on the left side of the page is really distracting, and really goes against the grain in terms of most advertising placement (in my experience).

Just a thought.

Ed Otten

westofyou
03-03-2010, 10:28 PM
I've got no problem with the ads, and really enjoy the site even though I rarely post. I've enjoyed reading the discussions of others for years, and think that ads are a fair income method.

I do have one suggestion, though. The vertical banner ad running along the left side of the page really throws off the look and design of the page. Given that the flow of the forum is left to right (reading), it's prominent presence on the left side of the page is really distracting, and really goes against the grain in terms of most advertising placement (in my experience).

Just a thought.

Ed OttenAs a UI guy I have to agree, eyes go left to right, it hurts the eyes to break the return left visually. On the right I'd still see the ads and they would blend easier into the page layout.

GIK
03-03-2010, 10:37 PM
Thanks, Ed and woy. I am sure we will make tweaks as the days go by and your comment/suggestion is appreciated.

nate
03-03-2010, 10:50 PM
As a UI guy I have to agree, eyes go left to right, it hurts the eyes to break the return left visually. On the right I'd still see the ads and they would blend easier into the page layout.

Thirded.

Boss-Hog
03-03-2010, 11:04 PM
I see this as a major turning-point in the history of RedsZone.

Seems like this thread should be a sticky on ORG and Sun Deck main forums for greater exposure.
Agreed, but I wanted to give everyone a chance to respond.

Blitz Dorsey
03-03-2010, 11:44 PM
I like it. I believe I suggested Google ads for this site a couple years ago. No one wants ads on a site, but I have found the Google ads to not be too annoying. I run a website and we use them and our customers do not complain. (Now, the Info Links that we have are a completely different story -- people hate 'em.)

This is a good step for RedsZone IMO.

savafan
03-04-2010, 01:38 AM
If the ads don't make enough revenue, I'd recommend looking into the amazon.com associates program. Most of us here have probably shopped on amazon.com at one point or another: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

frenetic wave
03-04-2010, 01:54 AM
I'm getting a subscription for myself and for my nephew Willem who posts here. This is the greatest idea, friends. I'm glad I can finally contribute to the wellness and prosperity of a great website like Redszone.com. Boss-Hog, you have my vote for website owner of the year!!!

venicereds
03-04-2010, 03:24 AM
I just lurk, rather than posting, but a tip from a fellow webmaster...the ads will be clicked on more if they blend more into the design...You can track sets of ads separately to see for yourself, but I bet you'll earn more from the horizontal ads that blend into the posts section. I'd actually put a border around them to make them look more like posts.

Redsfaithful
03-04-2010, 05:36 AM
I'd also look into CPM networks in addition to Adsense. You've probably considered that already, but just in case.

GAC
03-04-2010, 05:37 AM
Boss and GIK....

You guys have done a fantastic job with the creation of, and maintenance, of this forum. A majority of us, who have been longstanding members since it's inception, will all attest to that as we've watched this forum grow and grow.

And with growth comes the requirement of needing better technology to handle that "workload" (server, bandwidth, etc). So who is suppose to pay for that? It should be a no-brainer that those who are taking advantage of the service should. And not just a minority, or those willing go fork over a donation.

Do I personally like ads? No. But it's not that big of a deal to me. Besides - you've been more then democratic by giving me the option of turning them off by paying a yearly subscription fee of $30. An option I have chosen to do. And it's an option I took not just because I don't want to see the ads, but because I am more then happy to do my part in helping to keep costs down, and keep this site up and running.

$30 a year? For me, that's pocket change for what I am getting in return from this forum, and I'm more then glad to pay it.

Thanks again to the administrators and moderators for all you do.

On a different note..... I noticed that an earlier poster stated that ORG members can post on the Sundeck. That's not true is it? Was that changed?

Boss-Hog
03-04-2010, 07:49 AM
I noticed that an earlier poster stated that ORG members can post on the Sundeck. That's not true is it? Was that changed?

I thought he said they can't post there, but either way, that policy has not changed.

RedsBaron
03-04-2010, 08:01 AM
I have absolutely no problem with the ads. As always, Boss and GIK are doing a great job. :thumbup:

TeamCasey
03-04-2010, 08:23 AM
Not bad except the ones that split a thread. I think I've read the whole thread when I haven't. Habit change on my part. :)

They would seem more natural to the right margin.

Nice job, guys. It makes sense considering the growth of the board over the years.

919191
03-04-2010, 08:51 AM
Will the ads be family friendly?

GIK
03-04-2010, 09:03 AM
91- That's the intent. We're still figuring a lot of this out, so if you see anything questionable, please bear that in mind. You can also send me a PM with the content of the ad, which will help me investigate these concerns.

GIK
03-04-2010, 09:09 AM
I forgot to mention this earlier, but we now have a PO Box for those not interested in using PayPal for a subscription.

Just know that it will take longer for your subscription to go into effect as we wait on the mail, bank, etc.

PM me for details.

mbgrayson
03-04-2010, 09:41 AM
I forgot to mention this earlier, but we now have a PO Box for those not interested in using PayPal for a subscription.

Just know that it will take longer for your subscription to go into effect as we wait on the mail, bank, etc.

PM me for details.

I went ahead and paid through PayPal. Thanks for keeping this great site going.

One thing to nit-pick about. By default, PayPal set up a recurring payment for my RedsZone subscription. I personally hate this type of thing because over time I lose track of all the automatic billings that get scheduled to take place. I am sure by next March I would forget to expect the $30 fee to come out of my account. I prefer to have to make a decision every year to click a few buttons and manually renew. Just my 2 cents worth...

Ga_Red
03-04-2010, 12:37 PM
how about a 3 yr subscription and/or lifetime subscriptions?

Boss-Hog
03-04-2010, 12:37 PM
I went ahead and paid through PayPal. Thanks for keeping this great site going.

One thing to nit-pick about. By default, PayPal set up a recurring payment for my RedsZone subscription. I personally hate this type of thing because over time I lose track of all the automatic billings that get scheduled to take place. I am sure by next March I would forget to expect the $30 fee to come out of my account. I prefer to have to make a decision every year to click a few buttons and manually renew. Just my 2 cents worth...
We can specify whether it's recurring or not. Would the majority prefer it not automatically recur?

Boss-Hog
03-04-2010, 12:56 PM
how about a 3 yr subscription and/or lifetime subscriptions?
I'll have to talk with GIK about this but I think those are too long term for us right now. We want to see how the ads work and whether or not the subscriptions and ad revenue will be enough to pay our expenses.

Thanks for the idea(s).

Boss-Hog
03-04-2010, 12:57 PM
Also, based on user input, I have move the ads from the left to the right side.

BoydsOfSummer
03-04-2010, 01:14 PM
I'm so used to them everywhere else, I barely noticed them. If we click on them now and again does it help?

TRF
03-04-2010, 01:57 PM
Well. Its about time. I really hope you guys make much more than is needed to keep the site running. You both deserve it.

Part of the Adsense agreement is that the owners of the site can't ask you to click on the ads iirc, which is probably why we haven't seen a post from the owners requesting we do this. And since all content on this site becomes their defacto property, I certainly would never suggest that anyone do that either. I think i will pony up for a subscription at the end of this month though. every little bit helps.


BTW have you considered styling the ads to fit in better with the redszone theme?

TeamCasey
03-04-2010, 02:49 PM
Ooooooh. They are better on the right.

Less disruptive to the brain or something. Maybe I'm just used to them over there from reading Facebook.

Thumbs up.

Eric_the_Red
03-04-2010, 03:03 PM
I would be in favor of the year at a time, instead of the recurring subscription.

westofyou
03-04-2010, 03:14 PM
Ooooooh. They are better on the right.

Less disruptive to the brain or something. Maybe I'm just used to them over there from reading Facebook.



The brain is a hard thing to retrain, betetr to go with standards in design, they are standards after all for a reason.

Note: I don't get the ads here at work, they are blocked. Maybe you could come up with some alternate content that points people to payment options if the ad content is blocked otherwise I get white space.

reds44
03-04-2010, 03:21 PM
Moving the adds to the right made them a lot less painful, for me at least.

bucksfan2
03-04-2010, 03:37 PM
The adds drove me nuts so I bought a subscription. In hindsight I probably should have donated in the past, but I never did.

For me $30 really is pittance for the daily enjoyment I get from RZ. I hope the adds work, but I like the site much more without the adds.

Ed Otten
03-04-2010, 04:19 PM
Thanks for putting the ads on the right side. It makes a huge difference.

Ed

frenetic wave
03-04-2010, 11:27 PM
Boss and GIK....

You guys have done a fantastic job with the creation of, and maintenance, of this forum. A majority of us, who have been longstanding members since it's inception, will all attest to that as we've watched this forum grow and grow.

And with growth comes the requirement of needing better technology to handle that "workload" (server, bandwidth, etc). So who is suppose to pay for that? It should be a no-brainer that those who are taking advantage of the service should. And not just a minority, or those willing go fork over a donation.

Do I personally like ads? No. But it's not that big of a deal to me. Besides - you've been more then democratic by giving me the option of turning them off by paying a yearly subscription fee of $30. An option I have chosen to do. And it's an option I took not just because I don't want to see the ads, but because I am more then happy to do my part in helping to keep costs down, and keep this site up and running.

$30 a year? For me, that's pocket change for what I am getting in return from this forum, and I'm more then glad to pay it.

Thanks again to the administrators and moderators for all you do.

On a different note..... I noticed that an earlier poster stated that ORG members can post on the Sundeck. That's not true is it? Was that changed?

I agree 100%! I have not been here long but I too am super grateful for what Boss and GUK have done with this website. And yes, obviously, the people who should pay are the people who visit the site, NOT a small minority. And I'm the same, I actually prefer to see ads and don't mind, but I feel it's only right to subscribe. Maybe not everyone feels that way, but I do. It is just what is right, to help support this community.

And I don't think Org members can post in the Sun Deck, but maybe Boss-Hog can answer that better!

TC81190
03-05-2010, 07:25 PM
The ads are not that intrusive. Could I suggest moving the banner ones in thread, though, to either at the top of the first post, or the bottom of the last post? Other forums I have frequented seem to implement them like that, and I think that's the best way for them to fit in.

Degenerate39
03-05-2010, 08:35 PM
Can we get the other ads below the quick reply?

smith288
03-06-2010, 07:35 AM
Might I suggest using Google AdManager as a means to facilitating your ad slots? Its a seperate system meant to allow for more control and will allow you to sell those slots to the highest bidder or through partnerships you can setup yourself. And when those partnerships expire or run it's course, the admanager will then default to google adsense or even an affiliate partner (like Commission Junction, AdBright etc etc)

You can then sell certain placements to local I can even imagine A&E windows buying space if you can get them on the horn and sell them the space. It would make for more revenue generation utilizing those ad slots.

Just a thought.

reds44
03-07-2010, 02:40 PM
Any reason the odds moved back to the left?

GIK
03-07-2010, 04:45 PM
Think of this as Spring Training for the site as well. :) We will be testing multiple locations (LH v RH, etc) and need larger sample sizes from each before we lock in.

Chip R
03-07-2010, 05:58 PM
how about a 3 yr subscription and/or lifetime subscriptions?

We can give you a lifetime subscription. Only thing is, it's for RFS' lifetime. ;)

frenetic wave
03-07-2010, 08:59 PM
I think the ads are great no matter what side they are on. You guys are really providing a awesome site and you won't see me complain because I know you guys are making all the right moves!

pedro
03-07-2010, 10:24 PM
I vote for right side. Please.

WMR
03-07-2010, 10:26 PM
Right side is much, much better.

Raisor
03-07-2010, 10:50 PM
We can give you a lifetime subscription. Only thing is, it's for RFS' lifetime. ;)

He'll outlive all of us. Heaven won't take him, and hell's afraid he'll take over.

smith288
03-08-2010, 03:56 PM
He'll outlive all of us. Heaven won't take him, and hell's afraid he'll take over.
Nice +1

BRM
03-08-2010, 11:52 PM
Right side is much, much better.

Agreed.

pedro
03-11-2010, 02:13 AM
I would like to vote for ads on the right again please.

Boss-Hog
03-11-2010, 07:52 AM
I would like to vote for ads on the right again please.
I'll defer to GIK on this one.

GIK
03-11-2010, 09:11 AM
I would like to vote for ads on the right again please.

We're gathering a large enough sample for comparison and will move the ads back to the RH soon. The purpose of the ads is to replace our annual donation-drive. We need to make sure they are effective enough to complete that task.

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

westofyou
03-11-2010, 10:23 AM
I would like to vote for ads on the right again please.
Yep, user testing says right is right

Eric_the_Red
03-11-2010, 10:29 AM
Any more thought on a non-recurring $30 to be ad-free?

GIK
03-11-2010, 10:53 AM
FYI- Subscriptions were changed to non-recurring a few days ago.

Jack Burton
03-11-2010, 05:52 PM
If you insist on having them, right side is the way to go. Also, try to refrain from putting them under the first post in the thread, bad look.

RedsManRick
03-14-2010, 03:43 PM
Just another vote to keep them on the right side and between the posts and the quick reply. They should get plenty of views there without being annoyingly in the way.

GIK
03-26-2010, 04:40 PM
All-

The vertical Google Ads will be moving shortly back to the left-hand side. They will more than likely remain there permanently. After compiling a stable sample, their placement is significantly more effective in that location.

Expect a more detailed post regarding ads, subscriptions, etc within the next week or so.

Thank you.

westofyou
03-26-2010, 05:09 PM
My bet is that the ads are so annoying on the left that more people paid to remove them.

GIK
03-26-2010, 05:26 PM
That's not the case. We've had little interest in subscriptions. The CTR on the left is much higher. Since we're moving to this format, it's a necessity to move them back.

jmcclain19
03-26-2010, 07:00 PM
If people don't like the ads - there is a simple fix - pony up the cash. Putting them in the highest profile spot is fine GIK & Boss. Do whatever you guys have to do to keep the site afloat.

westofyou
03-26-2010, 10:25 PM
If people don't like the ads - there is a simple fix - pony up the cash. Putting them in the highest profile spot is fine GIK & Boss. Do whatever you guys have to do to keep the site afloat.

Agreed, I'm just making a UI observation. I spend all day talking about this stuff, I can't avoid it.

Either way the ads will eventually blend to all of our eyes, left or right. we are highly adaptable beings.

smith288
03-30-2010, 03:46 PM
Typically, website visitors read left to right like a book. And since its more obtrusive on the left (obviously through the complaints it showing there) it will also gain more clicks as certain items in that ad will appeal. So it makes sense to me you would move them there. Mo money

I still recommend Google Ad manager. I implemented it on our Kidslinked.com (http://www.kidslinked.com) website and its so much better to control for partnerships and affiliates.

frenetic wave
03-31-2010, 03:07 AM
I don't get why someone would complain about the ads on the left side- hey, that's where BOSS wants them and it's where they should be. End of story. If it's a big enough of a deal then pay the money to support this site. I know many here have and will continue to do so. It's a great site with great people talkin about a great team. #1 Reds site on the web.

westofyou
03-31-2010, 10:27 AM
I don't get why someone would complain about the ads on the left side- hey, that's where BOSS wants them and it's where they should be. End of story. If it's a big enough of a deal then pay the money to support this site. I know many here have and will continue to do so. It's a great site with great people talkin about a great team. #1 Reds site on the web.

Lord knows we wouldn't want anyone to have an opinion here on RZ except about baseball eh?

dfs
03-31-2010, 02:39 PM
I just want to say +1 to the decision to put the ads in this way.

The intrusion is teeny-tiny. Hope the ads are helping pay for the electrons.

frenetic wave
04-04-2010, 08:32 PM
Lord knows we wouldn't want anyone to have an opinion here on RZ except about baseball eh?

Sorry west, I just get so enthusiastic sometimes, especially when we're talking about Boss and the great work he does for this site. I didn't mean to accuse anyone, just showing my appreciation for the #1 Reds site and the #1 Reds fans and #1 Reds webmaster in the web!

Cyclone792
04-07-2010, 10:38 PM
Good call on the ads - this should have been done awhile ago.

Also, just an FYI, and I'm not sure if anybody else has this problem ... But I've been pretty much unable to navigate the site on my Droid since the ads were installed. If I try to click on any link on the right half of the page (such as page numbers in a thread), I end up getting directed over to Amazon. It seems as though the link to the Amazon ad is somehow active over half the screen.

Nevertheless, this isn't a big deal for me since I don't really use the phone's browser all that much. But I'm wondering if anybody else has had similar problems with smartphones and if there might be an easy fix.

GIK
04-07-2010, 11:25 PM
Thanks, Cyclone, for the heads-up. We may just need to minimize or relocate the amazon referral ad.

Cyclone792
04-08-2010, 07:32 AM
Not a problem, GIK. Let me know if you want me to test anything out on the Droid if you guys do make changes.

GIK
04-08-2010, 07:57 PM
How about now?

Cyclone792
04-09-2010, 07:08 AM
Just tried it out again ... the issue on the right half of the screen is largely gone, but now it appears to have relocated to the bottom half of the screen. There does seem to be some improvement, though, because I can navigate the site somewhat now whereas before it was very difficult. It's definitely the Amazon ad, not any of the others.

I'm wondering if this is a Droid issue or an all around smartphone issue - do any iphone or Blackberry users have this issue? One thing's for sure, please don't remove any ads on my account due to this.

Razor Shines
04-25-2010, 04:14 AM
Tried it on my Pre and Hero and didn't have any of the problems you were describing with either one. Could be a Droid issue I guess.

Razor Shines
04-26-2010, 08:35 PM
Which browser are you using, Cyclone? I tried it again on my Hero using the Opera mini browser and it responded exactly as you described.

Cyclone792
04-26-2010, 08:45 PM
Thanks for checking, Razor. I'm still just using the default browser as I don't use it enough to be worried about checking different browsers.

I have noticed that since GIK moved the ad, I can at least move around the site in a functional manner now. The Post Reply feature at the top of the threads works, and the page links at the top of the threads also work (the buttons/links under the thread get tied up in the ad link).

RedsManRick
04-27-2010, 06:58 PM
I've had some problem with the Amazon ad on my iphone using both Safari and Opera-Mini, but nothing critical. I thought vBulletin had a mobile version? (I have no clue how that all works)

smith288
04-30-2010, 06:40 PM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/archive/index.php

mobile

Boss-Hog
04-30-2010, 07:15 PM
http://m.redszone.com should also work

RBA
04-30-2010, 08:12 PM
Tried the mobile version using Palm Pre; but when I click on ORG, I get the archives.

jmcclain19
05-01-2010, 06:55 PM
Tried the mobile version using Palm Pre; but when I click on ORG, I get the archives.

The Mobile version is the archive version. It's really for browsing only. It sorts all the threads in each forum by ID# rather than date of last post in that thread. You just have to go to the last page to see the most recent stuff.

bubbachunk
11-10-2010, 09:25 PM
Are these new giant ads here to stay? Does the donation reduce the size at least?

They are currently taking up half the screen and are very ugly. I do not have a problem paying for the forums within reason but these new ads just kill the readability of the forum.

Boss-Hog
11-10-2010, 09:52 PM
Subscribing/donating does not reduce the ad size - it completely eliminates them. Today's changes were more or less due to a lack of revenue that the previous style / subscription system generated over a long period of time. We depend on this revenue to 1). pay all expenses associated with the site and 2). collect a nominal profit for the time and energy we've spent over the past 10 and a half years to keep the site up and running.

We are still going to be tweaking the ad setup until we find the combination that is most profitable, so definitely expect further changes to what you currently see. We would love to hear from users any ways that we can have advertisements but keep them as unintrusive to you as possible. We are able to customize the ads pretty heavily, so please provide your input if you have any suggestions.

If you have any questions or feedback, please post them here or PM GIK and I. If you would like to subscribe to remove all ads, please click here (http://www.redszone.com/forums/payments.php).


Are these new giant ads here to stay? Does the donation reduce the size at least?

They are currently taking up half the screen and are very ugly. I do not have a problem paying for the forums within reason but these new ads just kill the readability of the forum.

westofyou
11-10-2010, 10:35 PM
My work network blocks em.

However at home they are a nightmare in the world of ad placement

Boss-Hog
11-10-2010, 10:46 PM
My work network blocks em.

However at home they are a nightmare in the world of ad placement
Point taken...if you have any ideas/suggestions as far as size, placement, etc., I'm all ears. I've read several articles that state the places we currently have them have proven to be among the most effective.

kaldaniels
11-11-2010, 01:32 AM
Disclaimer...as of this moment I am a RZ Moocher.

But my question is what is the end game of the recent ad layout switch? Are you hoping more ads get clicked on with the recent changes which equals more $?

Do you see what posters click/purchase from the ads listed?

757690
11-11-2010, 02:50 AM
I have no problem with the ads. Considering they are keeping the best site on the internet free for everyone, it's well worth it.

I hope you guys make more than a nominal profit from all this. You deserve it. :)

Boss-Hog
11-11-2010, 07:54 AM
Disclaimer...as of this moment I am a RZ Moocher.

But my question is what is the end game of the recent ad layout switch? Are you hoping more ads get clicked on with the recent changes which equals more $?

Do you see what posters click/purchase from the ads listed?
Yes, per my above post, we're hoping the changes generate more revenue than the previous ad setup. We can tell which advertisement slots generate the most clicks/purchases but we can not tell which users click on them/make purchases.

Jack Burton
11-11-2010, 01:55 PM
My work network blocks em.

However at home they are a nightmare in the world of ad placement

I agree, it's not a good look.

Boss-Hog
11-11-2010, 02:31 PM
I respect that opinion but we need more details than this. What is it that doesn't look good: the type of ads you see, ad size, ad placement, ad frequency, ad colors, all of the above?


I agree, it's not a good look.

bounty37h
11-11-2010, 03:15 PM
I started a thread about it this morning that was locked and sent me here. The ad's ar etoo choppy in relation to the content. Block ad centered, Redszone bar, block ad, first post, block ad, rest of posts; it breaks up the posting too much, no flow.

Brutus
11-11-2010, 03:17 PM
I respect that opinion but we need more details than this. What is it that doesn't look good: the type of ads you see, ad size, ad placement, ad frequency, ad colors, all of the above?

In my opinion, it's two things:

1) The height of the ads leaves too much white space on the left and right of the ads and because of the placement at the top and after the first post in each thread, it makes it worse.

2) The height and having a second such ad after the first post make it for an annoyance, though certainly your goal of strategic placement would seemingly pay off with this alignment.

I have no problems with whatever you decide, as I completely understand your position. There's also nothing wrong with making a bit of a profit, given the time and effort in building this site. Even if it didn't take much of your time & resources, there's still nothing wrong with it.

But yeah, I would concur with others that that placement, while it's effective, is a bit overshadowed by the large ads with all the extra white space.

bounty37h
11-11-2010, 03:48 PM
Also, I am not tech savvy enough to know if the ad's make a difference, but the site has been painfully slow for me today, even slower then Reds.com usually is.

Boss-Hog
11-11-2010, 03:59 PM
Thanks for your input. We will probably allow the current set up to run for a week or so in order to establish a baseline that can be used to compare against future changes. While I've mentioned the need to increase revenue that the site brings in, I want to emphasize that the layout does not take priority over the user experience. Please be patient and we will certainly consider all feedback that is provided.

frenetic wave
11-11-2010, 07:50 PM
I think the ads are perfect as is. You guys deserve to receive compensation for the great work! :beerme:

DannyB
11-11-2010, 10:41 PM
I think if the ad was as wide as the page but about half the height it would be a little easier to look at.

Jack Burton
11-12-2010, 11:49 AM
I think if the ad was as wide as the page but about half the height it would be a little easier to look at.

That's a pretty good idea. I would suggest keeping the thread posts together as well, currently you have an ad on top of the thread and then another one after the first post. Really looks awkward.

defender
11-12-2010, 02:29 PM
After a while, I did not even notice the adds. I am sure the same thing will happen with this layout.

redsfandan
11-12-2010, 06:24 PM
Right now when I load RedsZone it looks like this:


RedsZone logo, and then a whole bunch of white space to the right.
The links at the top of the page (About Us, Chat, User CP, FAQ, Community, etc.)
White space, then a big square ad in the center of the page, then more white space.

Would it be possible to make it look like this instead?:


Ad, RedsZone logo, then another ad. (Each ad would be slightly smaller than the logo.)
The links at the top of the page (About Us, Chat, User CP, FAQ, Community, etc.
All of the forums that follow.

Boss-Hog
11-12-2010, 06:25 PM
Right now when I load RedsZone it looks like this:


RedsZone logo, and then a whole bunch of white space to the right.
The links at the top of the page (About Us, Chat, User CP, FAQ, Community, etc.)
White space, then a big square ad in the center of the page, then more white space.

Would it be possible to make it look like this instead?:


Ad, RedsZone logo, then another ad. (Each ad would be slightly smaller than the logo.)
The links at the top of the page (About Us, Chat, User CP, FAQ, Community, etc.
All of the forums that follow.
Yes, almost any design idea is possible. I don't think that would be particularly effective based on what I've read on ad layout, but to answer your question, it could be done.

fearofpopvol1
11-13-2010, 06:51 PM
To be honest, I think the issue is the cost of the subscription. Not that $30 a year is super unreasonable to remove the ads, but for a lot of people with their situations right now it is.

Have you thought about keeping the ads to an annoying level for those that don't subscribe, but for those that pay, drop the price? And hope to make up the difference in volume? At least on an interim basis? I think you might find more success that way. I think a lot more people would be willing to pay at $10 a year than $30.

Or maybe do price points. If you don't pay anything, you get the worst of the big ads. If you pay x amount, it's not as bad as those that pay nothing and then if you pay x amount, you get no ads.

Boss-Hog
11-13-2010, 07:06 PM
That is an option as well...thanks for the feedback. It would of course mean we would have to issue prorated refunds to existing subscribers if we decide to do that, but it's something to consider. Thanks again.

paintmered
11-14-2010, 02:38 PM
How much money do you need, Boss? You may have more luck by coming out and saying, "This site costs $1200 (or whatever it is) annually to operate. We currently have $X raised."

I could have contributed much more than I have over the years if the financials were a bit more transparent.

Boss-Hog
11-14-2010, 02:57 PM
Paint,

Thanks for the offer but that model is definitely not one that GIK and I want to go back to. In short, it's not fair for a tiny portion of the site to subsidize the costs for everyone. People are still free to donate but going back to that model as the primary way to pay the bills is not something we are going to do.


How much money do you need, Boss? You may have more luck by coming out and saying, "This site costs $1200 (or whatever it is) annually to operate. We currently have $X raised."

I could have contributed much more than I have over the years if the financials were a bit more transparent.

fearofpopvol1
11-14-2010, 04:22 PM
That is an option as well...thanks for the feedback. It would of course mean we would have to issue prorated refunds to existing subscribers if we decide to do that, but it's something to consider. Thanks again.

That's true, but you could offer to just extend the membership longer for those that would have paid more and I think most people would be receptive of that.

RedsManRick
11-14-2010, 08:11 PM
For those suggesting alternative layouts, consider that the most "effective" ads tend to be those which are most disruptive to the consumption of content, almost by definition. Ask them to be less intrusive is essentially asking them to be less effective.

I don't see the ads, but it does sound like perhaps there's an opportunity to put 2 or 3 ads side by side rather than a single center justified one without taking up any additional real estate. Perhaps that would increase overall click rate?

redsfandan
11-15-2010, 07:26 AM
For those suggesting alternative layouts, consider that the most "effective" ads tend to be those which are most disruptive to the consumption of content, almost by definition. Ask them to be less intrusive is essentially asking them to be less effective.

Except that intrusive ads are the bane of the internet. If they result in members visiting the site less often then that would limit how effective the ads would be. People spending less time on the site would result in the ads getting less hits. The decision has already been made to go with ads. And it's not like RedsZone has the floating ads that everyone loves. But, imo, it's a matter of finding a balance between finding the right layout that includes the ads so RedsZone can be self-supporting and worth the time and energy put into it and not having the ads be too intrusive (and detract from the site).

I don't see the ads, but it does sound like perhaps there's an opportunity to put 2 or 3 ads side by side rather than a single center justified one without taking up any additional real estate. Perhaps that would increase overall click rate?
Log out sometime and take a look around. I think finding just the right way to do things can be tricky. Taking advantage of the white space that's already on the site would help though. I already mentioned the white space at the top of the page next to the RedsZone logo. Heck, while I'm writing this post there's white space that's to the left of this box that could be used.

Anyway, I'm just throwing my $.02 out there. Hopefully it doesn't take too long to find the right setup but good luck with it.

Boss-Hog
11-15-2010, 10:52 AM
Our goal is not to be as intrusive as possible; however, while the old ad layout may have been user friendly, it did not generate nearly enough revenue. I appreciate the input you and everyone has provided so far, but as I mentioned, the header area to the left and/or right of the forum logo is not an effective place to place an ad based on everything I've read on the subject. We need to find a happy medium between layouts that do not detract from the user experience and layouts that produce sufficient revenue for the site. That's going to take some time to experiment to find which ads are the most effective without being overly intrusive.


Except that intrusive ads are the bane of the internet. If they result in members visiting the site less often then that would limit how effective the ads would be. People spending less time on the site would result in the ads getting less hits. The decision has already been made to go with ads. And it's not like RedsZone has the floating ads that everyone loves. But, imo, it's a matter of finding a balance between finding the right layout that includes the ads so RedsZone can be self-supporting and worth the time and energy put into it and not having the ads be too intrusive (and detract from the site).

Log out sometime and take a look around. I think finding just the right way to do things can be tricky. Taking advantage of the white space that's already on the site would help though. I already mentioned the white space at the top of the page next to the RedsZone logo. Heck, while I'm writing this post there's white space that's to the left of this box that could be used.

Anyway, I'm just throwing my $.02 out there. Hopefully it doesn't take too long to find the right setup but good luck with it.

kaldaniels
11-15-2010, 03:05 PM
Do you get revenue on an ad click....or does there have to be a transaction.?

Boss-Hog
11-15-2010, 04:40 PM
We receive revenue based on a number of factors, including number of ad impressions and clicks.


Do you get revenue on an ad click....or does there have to be a transaction.?

Sea Ray
11-17-2010, 03:03 PM
I do consider these ads intrusive but it's a minor inconvenience. It's a hassle to have to hit a down button or whatever immediately, everytime you load a page but I understand the need to pay the bills. If these ads bring in more revenue then I would understand why it has to be that way

WMR
11-17-2010, 06:23 PM
I click on the RZ ones to be allowed every now and then to help out the site...

I'm just amazed in this day and age of internet browsers that anyone allows intrusive ads or pop-ups to muck up their internet experience.

Boss-Hog
11-19-2010, 06:27 PM
I have changed the 'after first post' ad type from a medium rectangle to a leaderboard (banner). The other two ad placements are unchanged. To me, this type of ad works much better with the existing site layout, so we'll see how this change affects revenue.

mth123
11-20-2010, 10:05 AM
I have changed the 'after first post' ad type from a medium rectangle to a leaderboard (banner). The other two ad placements are unchanged. To me, this type of ad works much better with the existing site layout, so we'll see how this change affects revenue.

Boss, I think this is a bunch of whining by people. I'm here for the content of the site and when a thread is good I'm scrolling down the page as I read anyway. The ads don't intrude on that one bit. If this were a sight where we come to see videos or look at pictures it might be different, but we're mainly reading and posting. The ads don't pop-up and don't lock up my computer so they really don't interfere. They don't effect posting at all and navigating around an ad to read is no different than doing so in a magazine or newspaper.

People, if you hate it that much, then make it stop with a donation. I don't see the need to make such a fuss. As far as I'm concerned, if it brings in more cash, make 'em bigger and uglier.

frenetic wave
11-29-2010, 07:37 AM
Boss, I think this is a bunch of whining by people. I'm here for the content of the site and when a thread is good I'm scrolling down the page as I read anyway. The ads don't intrude on that one bit. If this were a sight where we come to see videos or look at pictures it might be different, but we're mainly reading and posting. The ads don't pop-up and don't lock up my computer so they really don't interfere. They don't effect posting at all and navigating around an ad to read is no different than doing so in a magazine or newspaper.

People, if you hate it that much, then make it stop with a donation. I don't see the need to make such a fuss. As far as I'm concerned, if it brings in more cash, make 'em bigger and uglier.

Glad someone said it! Can't agree more! :beerme:

TRF
11-30-2010, 05:34 PM
I thought RZ needed ads years ago. I know how hard you tried to keep from going in this direction, but it was the right move. I do prefer the ads inline with the contens as opposed to along the left or right hand side, too easily ignored. I don't think a banner ad at the top would hurt, and in fact while it would be the least visited ad, it would fill some blank space.

I'd also consider lowering the membership to $10. $30 is a lot these days for a lot of people. I wish I had money to subscribe, but 2 kids in college and one in dance school, well a second job may be forthcoming. If by lowering the cost to a more palatable $10 brings 4 times as many subscribers, you come out ahead. Just a thought.

GIK
04-17-2012, 05:20 PM
FYI, the subscription special of $10 off (http://www.redszone.com/forums/announcement.php?f=31&a=27) is running through 4/23/2012.

Thanks!

LoganBuck
12-06-2012, 01:45 PM
Just had a youtube type video ad for Philadelphia cream cheese pop up in the ORG Offseason rumor/NFD Thread. It started playing automatically, with sound. Is this a new type of ad for this site?

Boss-Hog
12-06-2012, 02:24 PM
Just had a youtube type video ad for Philadelphia cream cheese pop up in the ORG Offseason rumor/NFD Thread. It started playing automatically, with sound. Is this a new type of ad for this site?
No, we haven't made any recent changes to our Adsense set up. Any changes would have come from Google's end.

LoganBuck
12-06-2012, 03:02 PM
No, we haven't made any recent changes to our Adsense set up. Any changes would have come from Google's end.

I didn't figure you guys did anything. It didn't popup on the screen, but the adbox just started playing this Philadelphia cream cheese video. I find it amusing that the content on that page was about the Phillies, and an ad for Cream Cheese showed up.

Boss-Hog
12-06-2012, 04:07 PM
I didn't figure you guys did anything. It didn't popup on the screen, but the adbox just started playing this Philadelphia cream cheese video. I find it amusing that the content on that page was about the Phillies, and an ad for Cream Cheese showed up.
LOL...that's content-driven advertising for you. :)

gilpdawg
12-07-2012, 04:15 AM
At least it wasn't Philly Blunts. :-)

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