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=][= ADVERTISING EXPERIMENTS ONGOING =][=


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One of our current lines of effort is developing a better plan for long-term sustainment of the site - generating funds to pay for site hosting, maintenance, and all of the capabilities that the site provides.

 

While we discuss our options, you'll see some experimentation going on to determine how to do things if we decide to allow advertising. For example, at the time that I'm posting this you can see a really old avatar of mine (from the ezBoard days) below the site header.

 

image.thumb.png.50fdd638795caed6df48469986dba122.png

 

It's the grimacing face in the red box right below the orange bar, just about smack dab in the middle of the image. This is not permanent and you're likely to see that image or others move around as we see what works/doesn't work, what dimensions we might use, etc. For now, clicking on that image will take you to my profile (no, you don't need to click it if you don't want to). I'm just playing around with placement right now.

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Have to say, that old avatar of yours with the so meaningful -][- in the middle of the screen and following me to every page I took was creepy as :cuss the first time I saw it :woot:

Edited by Iron Father Ferrum
Don't dodge the swear filter
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I'm sure everyone is tired of seeing "my" face everywhere they go so I changed the image to something a bit more generic and of dimensions that we would be more likely to choose (if we choose to do this). I also changed the link so that no one has to visit my boring profile - now clicking the link will bring you to this discussion.

 

There will be a larger discussion about how advertising might fit into the site, as well as the basic fundraising issue. That will come later, though, after we've had time to experiment and see what different options look like as far as suitability and your user experience.

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On 9/25/2022 at 8:23 PM, Joe said:

In the event that people can apply to advertise on B&C, I would hope that a blacklist of inappropriate partners would be maintained to prevent them from doing so - SpikeyBits, The Miniatures Page, Bell of Lost Souls, etc.

BOLS and Spi- no, can't say their name without my throat filling with bile, pointy parts I can totally see getting blacklisted but what's wrong with TMP? Aren't they just a website for older guys to talk about miniatures of all systems and to catalogue releases?

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Some things to keep in mind:

  • We haven't decided to do advertising - we're just experimenting right now.
  • As we experiment, the locations of the advertisements will change periodically - this is to see how they look/feel in all of the option areas. Once we've gone through all of the locations and everyone has gotten a feel for the realm of the possible, we'll discuss what works/doesn't work (and your input will be solicited).
  • Advertisements, if done, will only be an augmentation to our usual donations and will work in conjunction with them. This means that members that donate to the site, perhaps at/above a certain amount, won't see advertisements.
  • If we choose to incorporate advertising, there will be a manual vetting process. You won't see ads based on web-based analytics, and you certainly won't see advertising for anything that isn't related to the WH40K hobby or general tabletop miniature wargaming. Nor will you see dating sites, political ads, etc. Basically, anyone wanting to advertise will have to request to advertise and the mods/admins will make sure that they are relevant to our hobby and consistent with our site rules.
  • Advertisement locations will be fair to the advertisers - this means that they'll be given fair visibility. After all, they'll be paying their hard-earned money to advertise so we want to make it worth their while.
  • The staff is exploring a range of options for raising funds for the site, with advertising being just one of those options. As I stated above, donations will remain our primary form of fundraising. We're also looking at merchandise (e.g., dice), but merchandise has historically given us far too little return on investment, so it's just a nice-to-have (and who doesn't want dice, t-shirts, stickers, etc. with the B&C logo?).
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If B&C ever became a 501(c3), I could donate as a tax deduction and have my employer match that. Don’t know what that takes, but I’ve always considered this community as a non-profit org that benefits a specific (online) community. 
 

on topic, advertising will push me to donate again. 

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Yes, the site is currently funded by donations. We haven't needed them for the last few years because of a very sizeable donation that we received, but we will need to resume fundraising in the near future.

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2 hours ago, Evil Eye said:

BOLS and Spi- no, can't say their name without my throat filling with bile, pointy parts I can totally see getting blacklisted but what's wrong with TMP? Aren't they just a website for older guys to talk about miniatures of all systems and to catalogue releases?

Biggest issue with TMP is it's largely turned into a safe haven for racism, sexism, homophobia and so forth in recent years - it doesn't really help that the owner is a bit of a weirdo in all the worst ways, and has gone on very public tirades against other prominent members of the community (such as TooFatLardies) when they've called him out on it. A lot of the reasonable, hobby-minded members of the community that used to exist on there migrated over to Lead Adventure a long time ago.

From a more professional stand-point; I used to work for a company that dealt with TMP as an advertiser. We paid roughly £140ish a quarter to them to keep our banners and images on the website which they simply didn't do - this came to light after we did a pretty basic Google Analytics check to see where our customers were coming from and how much they were spending (around £5 a month total). As a result, we decided to cut ties with TMP and they got very, very nasty with us when we explained why we weren't willing to give them hundreds of pounds a year for little return.

So... yeah. It's not a great community, and the owner is just plain despicable. It is a great place to go if you want to look at some web design that hasn't changed for decades, though.

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3 hours ago, Joe said:

*Snip*

Hmmm. Oh dear, not great then. I won't lie I always take accusations of 'isms with a grain of salt (in this day and age especially it seems all too easy to be declared an un-person for an innocuous statement that was considered small potatoes last Friday but has since been declared heresy by the Ordo Malaffectus, perhaps better known as r/Sigmarxism- bleurch!) but getting mad at the Too Fat Lardies? That's out of line.

......

Though that does give me an idea as an amusing system for testing ad-rotation systems should we got through with this; some "fake" adverts (for a variety of non-existent products, including Lelith's dating profile, Nazdreg's Dakka Inshoorantz, Imperial Fist-approved moustache wax, some suspiciously purple-hued girl's OnlyThralls etc) to cycle through, both as a means of making sure the system works and also to give everyone a laugh. Either that or a Thought for the Day.

Edited by Captain Idaho
Reference to removed post removed
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We're playing with different dimensions now, trying to find which dimensions provide a good compromise between PC users (not having too much height) and mobile users (not being too square. We're going to add more as we get more images done.

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I understand the need. However, this is probably the only hobby arena I dont get adverts. Have you ever thought of a subscription model? Couple of $/£ a month, rather then block donations.

Id be happy to auto sub a few £ pcm. (this is where someone tells me this exists....).

 

Conscriptboris

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11 hours ago, conscriptboris said:

I understand the need. However, this is probably the only hobby arena I dont get adverts. Have you ever thought of a subscription model? Couple of $/£ a month, rather then block donations.

Id be happy to auto sub a few £ pcm. (this is where someone tells me this exists....).

+1, I wondered a few times if B&C could set up a Patreon to generate a monthly income, even if the membership tiers are relatively low value (i.e. £1 or £2). Seems like it would be simple enough to meet the funding costs given the size of the user base. That said I guess Patreon take a cut of whatever is received so it might be preferable to do it directly.

But yeah; I could certainly spare a few £ a month for a B&C sub and that would add up across a year to more than I could afford to give in a single go at an annual donation drive.

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12 hours ago, conscriptboris said:

I understand the need. However, this is probably the only hobby arena I dont get adverts. Have you ever thought of a subscription model? Couple of $/£ a month, rather then block donations.

Willing donations are OK, but if you put any part of the Forum behind a paywall, it will die out immediately.

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Agreed on not a subscription model - I've donated in the past to things like the B&C when I have been able to but there have been times where I wouldnt have been able to do this either and the cost of living is biting for many at the moment.

 

Personally the imposition of, some hopefully considered and well placed/not too obtrusive, ads that allows everyone to keep the same access seems a good/fair balance for the community vs some people missing out.


Also - I love @Evil Eye's suggestion of spoof ads!

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