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Paid Advertising to Support WS: Discuss


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#31 E Bien

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:54 PM

I tend to think anyone sufficiently web-savvy to find their way to the Wormwood Society main site or discussion forum is probably also sufficiently media-savvy to understand the difference between site content and rotating banner or sidebar ads.

Virtually every other "new media" outlet and online forum I visit that's dedicated to a narrow special interest sells advertising, and in my opinion it can be a great equalizer since rotating ads are typically one- or two-sizes fit all, and big guys as well as mom & pop operations can easily afford them. They're cost effective for small garage entrepreneurs and other specialty firms to reach a highly targeted audience, and so long as they're vetted with sufficient care as to reject out-and-out scammers, I personally don't see the harm, even if "questionable" brands like LTV or Pernod choose to help sponsor the site through advertising. Heck, if Overstock.com gets a smokin' deal on a cargo container's worth of absinthe fountains and chooses to advertise them here, they might even get a click-through from me. :cheers:

#32 Brian Robinson

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:51 PM

I'm of the mindset that any advertising would be funnelled through the Advisory Board to make sure whomever it is passes muster. We don't want to cheapen the value of our site.
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#33 Little G

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:05 PM

As far as the "donating" versus "subscription"....

I personally don't mind "donating" to a site, and don't expect anything in return (except maybe a Thank You), since it IS a donation. I really do not care at all for the "subscription" service. I know PayPal allows you to do that, but personally, it makes me feel as though I am obligating myself to support the site with future subscription renewals. Not to mention if I should happen to forget I had signed up for the subscription, then end up getting charged again even if I didn't wish to renew just because I forgot to cancel.

I think a lot of people feel the same way about this. A simple "PayPal Donate" button placed as a banner ad, or even as a header, footer, or even sidebar (and something as simple as an actual simple, unelaborate "Thank You" acknowledgement from the site owners in response) is all it would take to make me feel good and think seriously about donating. A donation to me, is just that, a gift. It's a heartfelt gift that i'm giving to express my thanks to the site owners for providing the community for me to participate in, and a way for me to tell them I truly appreciate them and all their hard work. It's not something that's required, it doesn't get me special status or privileges, it just shows that I appreciate all of you, and enjoy the community you have created.

Being a donation also lets people give what they can afford, or what they "feel" they can give or want to give, rather than a set amount like subscription services do. There's no pressure there, if you want to give a dollar, give a dollar. If you want to give a hundred, give a hundred. It's whatever the donating party wants.

That being said, I would like to add that I truly enjoy this site, and although i'm not wealthy, i'm willing to donate a small modest amount to help.

So, where's that "DONATE" button, eh?

Thanks again, one and all!

Gordon..........


Edit note: Forgot the following:

As far as "paid advertising" (as though my opinion matters) - Maybe on the main page, but I personally detest adverts and banners on forums and in posts. They are a nuisance and often create issues with page loads depending on how graphic intense they are and the speed and capabilities of the viewers computer and internet connection.

Maybe if there was a way the user can turn the ads off?

Ok... i'll hush now...

But i'm STILL looking for that "DONATE" button! *grin*

Edited by Little G, 18 January 2010 - 05:17 PM.

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#34 Wild Bill Turkey

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:28 PM

I'm most curious about the coexistence of the recommended vendor's list (hereafter called RVL) and the advertisers.

Say for example a vendor like Alandia, who is not listed as "recommended" currently, but is also clearly not a scam-site and has a good track record as a reliable vendor. So- they could advertise here but NOT be on the RVL, right? Mike at Alandia might actually be willing to accept that, since he knows the WS's issues with his site, and he also knows the value of reaching the WS readership.

Would other vendors caught in this grey area be as flexible? Or would the RVL go away completely in favor of a vendor-listing area filled only with paid advertising by approved vendors*? Would this then preclude Alandia from advertising because they were not up to the standards which govern the RVL?

*I suggest this might be an option to running rotating banner ads on forum pages. A big, easy-to-find button on the top of the page that leads to vendor-listings, which would be like the yellow pages, all ads listed all the time, so the reader can simply click to this page and shop for a vendor.
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#35 Ron

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:36 PM

As I understood Gwydion's original post on this, it sounds like the RVL would disappear in favor of advertisements. I do love your suggestion of a paid vendor page, directed from a simple link at the top of each forum page, which would show all ads all the time. Although, depending on how many ads, that may become impossibly large.
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#36 Little G

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:51 PM

Just a suggestion:

On one of my forum sites, I have set up a section called "Merchant's Mall". Basically it's a place for participating member and recommended merchants to post member deals and specials, etc, without actually running advertisements on my site.

The only prerequisites are, they must be merchant members of the site, they must actively participate in discussions and not just be here to sell, and they must reciprocate with a prominently displayed link or banner to my/your site/forum on their own site to help promote my/your site in return.

No money is exchanged (paid advertising), no feeling obligated to talk nice just because they are sponsors, and it benefits both the merchant AND the member by their participation and resulting building of credibility by being readily available and accessible to your members. It also helps to spread the word about your own site through reciprocal linking.

Ok, i'm hushing agaiin....

Gordon.......
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#37 Gruene Fee

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:05 PM

I consider the "Paid Subscription" options to be a substitute for a "Donate Now" button, and I like it that way. While I have yet to purchase a paid subscription, I can say that Ron's diamond brings a shred of envy that much matches my verte every time I see it, and I do plan on doing something about it in the near future-- oh, eff it. There's no time like the present. =)

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#38 Nonmouse

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:15 PM

So, where's that "DONATE" button, eh?


Right here.

(Another thing that maybe could be made a bit easier to find...)
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#39 Little G

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:20 PM

Thank you, Nonmouse... I never saw that before!
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#40 Ron

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:32 PM

I can say that Ron's diamond brings a shred of envy that much matches my verte every time I see it, and I do plan on doing something about it in the near future-- oh, eff it. There's no time like the present. =)

Hahaha. I think it resembles the diamonds from the mines in the DuckTales Nintendo game.
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#41 jcbphd

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:21 PM

So, where's that "DONATE" button, eh?

Right here.
(Another thing that maybe could be made a bit easier to find...)


I'm in favor of that! Also, I see more benefit to allowing paid advertising, with some limits (board reviews potential ad buyers, non-intrusive ads, not cost-prohibitive, etc.), than reasons not to go this direction. The bottom line in my mind is that running this site is not free, and Gwydion needs $ to keep it going. Ads, and donations, can provide the funds he needs to keep this running. That is a good thing in my book.
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#42 Little G

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:23 PM

Hmm... maybe start a donation thread with easy access to that link?

I couldn't find it on the main page even after going to the link above.

Anyhow, my donation is made. Hope it helps even though it isn't much.
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#43 Joe Legate

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:08 PM

A little is worth much more than you know. :worshippy:

#44 peridot

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 10:29 PM

I can say that Ron's diamond brings a shred of envy that much matches my verte every time I see it...

Having the emblem that shows that you're a subscriber might encourage others to chip in, and I'd be cool with displaying it, but only if all subscribers got the same emblem and left it at that. It's awesome that Ron can chip in that much and I don't begrudge him that at all. However, I don't want anyone comparing my contribution to his. I'd rather people just know we're both doing what we can.

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#45 Little G

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:48 AM

A little is worth much more than you know. :worshippy:



Thank you, Joe...

and your gesture of appreciation is worth much more to me than you know! :cheers:

Gordon...........
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#46 Mat B.

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 04:04 AM

Gwydion had posted a donation thread once that I’d seek out to link - but I need to rush off to school for the morning. So we’ve had one before, mostly to make members aware of the subscription option, and to thank those in the community who do help the cause.

The “Merchants mall” idea is neat, G.

The link towards the donation button is great, and I do think most people neglect to search around the main page. I’d support a more up-front and easily seen donate button on the main page; something small and subtle, but easily viewable. Heck, we may even get a non-member or two floating around the main page to drop a nickel in the kitty ;)
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#47 Ron

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 09:23 AM

However, I don't want anyone comparing my contribution to his. I'd rather people just know we're both doing what we can.

This isn't at you Peridot, but I feel like it should be expressed to everyone that this isn't a competition at all. At all! I'm very fortunate in my current existence, which allows me to chip in. I think the folks who know me know that very well. And, I know that there's a good possibility I won't always be fortunate, which is why I do what I can, when I can. Others chip in according to their ways and means as well, which, in my opinion, displays the exact same sentiment and commitment to our organization. We do what we can. Nothing more, nothing less.

I know Peridot has previous brought up the issue of some members appearing to be more than others, as in Brian's Review Editor position when considered against other reviewers. I'm definitely not anything more than anyone else here, except maybe Absomphe's friend Paul. If there were a generic donator badge, I would be cool with that. I only display the badge to remind others that donation is an option, in case folks hadn't known it previously (as appears to be the case).

I’d support a more up-front and easily seen donate button on the main page

I think many people don't even know we have a main site, and many who do know of it's existence rarely frequent it! I'm thinking the forum pages is the best place to put a button, in addition to the main page.
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#48 Brian Robinson

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 09:38 AM

Peridot, I know you're extremely sensitive about recognition and classism etc., but to be realistic, I don't think anyone would judge you for giving more or less than someone else on the forum. Especially given the fact that so few people actually have a subscription.
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#49 peridot

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:51 PM

Yeah, I know I'm really weird about that sort of shit. It comes from being educated but working a crap job. Enjoying expensive hobbies, but not being able to afford them. Wanting to do things that make an impact and not having the resources to do so. And people that I meet generally assuming that being a metal musician means I'm either stupid or emotionally stunted, or both. If it's ever obnoxious just tell me I'm being paranoid and I should get over it. :)

Honestly, I never thought too much about it until I joined forums where there are lots of subscribing members, and those who don't subscribe are treated like crap or mostly ignored. Not by the people running the forums, but by the membership. I'll see the founder say, "As a registered member, regardless of whether or not you make a donation, you have the right to complain if something isn't working correctly or if the server is really slow," yet the members will be saying, "You don't get to complain until you chip in!!!!" Of course that's not happening now but who knows, if in three years there are a whole lot more people doing so, it could become a pissing contest thing.

It's not something I feel really strongly about, though.

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#50 Gruene Fee

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:52 PM

... patiently awaiting my measely silver pontarlier icon ... :paperbag3:
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#51 Mat B.

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:12 PM

It comes from being educated but working a crap job.

I know that feeling well peridot. I think many do. Especially my fiancee who texted me on my way to class today to let me know that the part-time job she works screening people for state-compensation started today with screening a man who is addicted to child pornograpghy and makes more money off the state for his 'addiction' than her and I combined right now. Lovely...

I don't think people round here would scoff at a subscriber versus non-subscriber though. Hell they've tolorated me for years! :devil:
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#52 Joe Legate

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:12 PM

... yet the members will be saying, "You don't get to complain until you chip in!!!!" Of course that's not happening now but who knows, if in three years there are a whole lot more people doing so, it could become a pissing contest thing.

As long as Gwydion allows this Advisory Board to swing a little weight, it simply isn't going to happen. Our mission is education, not providing a social service. Should that ever happen (and I know it won't), I'll have a lot more free time to do a lot of other things.

And people that I meet generally assuming that being a metal musician means I'm either stupid or emotionally stunted, or both.

And being a theatre geek from Montana means I'm either Gay or I ride a horse to the scene shop. I have no patience for stereotypes or prejudice.

#53 Ron

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:32 PM

a man who is addicted to child pornograpghy and makes more money off the state for his 'addiction' than her and I combined

Ugh. Call me the bad guy, but I've got a 50¢ remedy for folks like that. Unless the price for ammo has changed recently.
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#54 CurtisG

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:57 PM

I'm either Gay or I ride a horse to the scene shop.

Well around here you can get away with both....just dont sing show tunes while in the saddle :heart:
I dont have strong opinions on how adverts would be handled, as long as the vendors pass some sort of standard. Connecting forum members looking to buy with forum members who are also "sellers" is a worthy goal.
I realize that some (possibly producers/distillers) may want to be known only as "members" so unfortunate drunken posts dont end up reflecting badly on their brand.
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#55 peridot

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 03:08 PM

In a way, wouldn't it be pretty cool to see ads here for brands that are actually good? At crap sites and all over the internet you see so many ads for Absinth Original and KOS.

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#56 CurtisG

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 03:33 PM

No shady stuff will get past the collective power of the Hive Mind Bullshit Detectors
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#57 Joe Legate

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 03:41 PM

Can you imagine the outcry if a shitty czechsinthe ad went up on WS? :laf:

#58 peridot

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 03:43 PM

It could be up for fifteen minutes and screenshots would be posted on fifty czechsinth websites.

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#59 E Bien

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 04:27 PM

And being a theatre geek from Montana means I'm either Gay or I ride a horse to the scene shop.


Right, next Christmas it's leather chaps for you ... that should cover it either way! :twitchsmile:

#60 Attack Accountant

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:33 PM

And being a theatre geek from Montana means I'm either Gay or I ride a horse to the scene shop. I have no patience for stereotypes or prejudice.

Dang, Joe. I can't believe you gave away both your secrets in one post! :devil:
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