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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Advertisments on TORn - Need some feedback
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calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 5:15pm

Post #1 of 86 (425 views)
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Advertisments on TORn - Need some feedback Can't Post

Hi All,

As one of the owners of TheOneRing.net, I wanted to write briefly about the increase in ads on TheOneRing.net. Our goal at TORn is to keep the experience here as non-commercial as possible, and any time we start making adjustments, I feel it is important and critical to inform our family (you!)

TheOneRing.net is a very expensive place to run - we get a lot of traffic. That is a good thing and only helps the community. The unfortunate part about big traffic is operating costs. Server equipment, hosting, bandwidth, etc.

To help alleviate the financial strain of running TORn, we've started experimenting with new ads. For example, you'll notice placed some Google Adwords into the site. You'll notice these below the left navigation, and below the large banner on the main site.

While those additions do help, I am in the process of looking at adding similar advertisements to the message board community.

I hope you will share your thoughts and concerns about this topic, as I guarantee that we will consider all when making decisions.

In addition, if you do comment on this thread, please provide us with some information so we can make some informed decisions. Please tell us this information, if you know it:

1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc)
2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc)
3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc)
4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site?
5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway?

And one last thing - This post is NOT a request for financial help for the site. TORn is, and will always be, a free and open resource to all fans. We aren't doing badly, but we want to plan for the future when traffic will increase even more.

The Mysterious Calisuri



Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 22 2008, 5:32pm

Post #2 of 86 (161 views)
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Not a problem [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have a problem with the advertisements. When I read your post, I had to go back to the homepage, to see the ads. Since they come from Google, they are related to LOTR, so that isn't a problem.
What I hate in ads are those pop-ups, jumping right in front of your face trying to read something. Or moving ads next to text you want to read (my newswebsite uses that, so annoying).

Now answering your questions:
1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc): Windows XP
2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc): Internet Explorer, only don't ask which version
3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc): 1024x768
4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site? : That depend on the ads, travelling to New Zealand or other books/movies etc. No problem. Money-lending, sex-things etc., no way.
5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway? : as already said, I had to go back to see the ads, so not offended or anything recently.

And now that I have the chance: Thanks for this site. I love being here, spending almost to much time here, but I love it!!!


calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 5:41pm

Post #3 of 86 (149 views)
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Thanks Rosie! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Rosie - Thanks for responding so quickly.

And I can assure you that we will never post any type of offensive (viagra, etc) ads on the site. I'm trying to see if the community is okay with 'related' ads for things like other fantasy topics, video games, etc.

Thanks for the wonderful compliments about TORn - we do our best and glad you are enjoying it!


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 22 2008, 6:06pm

Post #4 of 86 (159 views)
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As far as I am concerned [In reply to] Can't Post

I have no problem with ads, as long as they are about nice things (though I doubt anyway you'd ever agree to any advertisement that could be offensive) and unobtrusive. The ones from Sideshow e.g. are nice - and not only because they're LotR-related. Pop-ups I find rather annoying, particularly the ones not to be blocked by the pop-up-blocker, or these flashing in bright colours and rapidly changing. It is distracting from reading and sometimes hard on the eyes. But as long as they are like the ones now used, I don't mind in any way. Particularly if they help to maintain this wonderful site - I love the design as much as the general tone here. And I find it very nice to ask for our opinion at all; it is your site, and you could simply do it, after all. Thank you!


As for the technical dates:

1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc)
Mac OS X 10.5.3.

2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc)
Safari 3.1.1

3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc)
1280X800

4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site?
No, as long as they fit in, as I said above.

5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway?
Most certainly not!

Hope that helps!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


greendragon
Sr. Staff


Jun 22 2008, 6:07pm

Post #5 of 86 (157 views)
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seems fine to me... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm afraid I can't answer the questions you pose re screen, etc. - I'm not at my usual computer right now and I have no idea what my specs are! The google ads don't worry me and I'm all in favour of TORn supporting itself. However, if possible I think it would be better if the majority of the ads were related in some way, eg about movies or literature, or travel in NZ, or fantasy - the link can be tenous but I'd rather not see too many 'dating sites' advertised on TORn. (What are you trying to say? Do you think we geeks all need dating sites??) Tongue So nothing too obtrusive and related at least in SOME way to Tolkien would be great.

That's probably too vague to be helpful. Sorry! But as I say, in general, I'm all for TORn making money and covering expensives. Thanks, oh power-that-is! Smile

'There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of my fridge...'

'You never know what will happen next, when once you get mixed up with TORnsibs and their friends.'


calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 6:32pm

Post #6 of 86 (142 views)
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Thanks Peredhil [In reply to] Can't Post

Yea - we will never do those pop-ups or pop-under type things

The Mysterious Calisuri



calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 6:33pm

Post #7 of 86 (147 views)
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Cool! Sounds good to me! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

The Mysterious Calisuri



Finduilas101
Rivendell


Jun 22 2008, 6:34pm

Post #8 of 86 (141 views)
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Fair enough... [In reply to] Can't Post

As long as the ads are kind of out-of-the-way, you know, along the side or something instead of huge and in-your-face. In answer to your questions...


1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc)
Windows Vista

2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc)
Internet Explorer, the latest version I guess...

3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc)
1024x800

4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site?
Yes. It's kind of dumb to be looking at Hobbit speculation news and all of the sudden to have a Pepto-Bismol or something like that flashing at you.

Have there been any ads recently that have irked you in some way?
Nope!

Saruman, Gandalf the Grey rides to Isenguard...NO LONGER SEEKING YOUR COUNCIL!!!


Morthoron
Gondor


Jun 22 2008, 6:47pm

Post #9 of 86 (142 views)
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Thank you for asking... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc)
Windows XP (I despise Vista)

2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc)
Internet Explorer

3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc)
1024x800

4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site?
As long as they are unobtrusive and are not pop-ups, particularly the ones that force you to close them or do some type of action (surveys, etc.).

5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway?
None really (although I think Lord of the Rings Online is an insipid game).

I fully understand your need for advertising dollars, and as I stated previously, as long as the ads are unobtrusive, not pop-ups, and do not force me into unwanted actions, I have no concerns. Understatement in advertising...now there's a paradox....or would that be a conundrum?

THE EARL OF SANDWICH: "Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"
JOHN WILKES: That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."
John Wilkes (1727-1797)


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 22 2008, 7:05pm

Post #10 of 86 (168 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't mind the ads you have now, although I think Adblock may be blocking some. I was having trouble loading pages a few days ago and the bottom of my browser window was reading, "Loading (some ad)" I hope that doesn't happen often.

What I do have some wariness about is being clear when the content of the site is motivated by a relationship with an advertiser. What I mean is, when I first started visiting TORn in summer 2002 (and I visited the home page multiple times a day for a long, long time), I felt that every 'heads up' you gave about a new LOTR product was motivated entirely by your desire to let fans know about that product. You were 'passing the word'. That may have been the case. That may still be the case.

But in the last year or two, I've also begun to wonder if a 'heads up' about a new product was the result of an agreement TORn has worked out with the corporate enterprise set to make money off that product. When Ellen DeGeneres makes a fuss about a product on her show, she's not passing the word on something she's found and really likes. She's made arrangements with the company to showcase the product in an alternative fashion to an regular stand alone ad. I understand this is happening when I see it (because it's pretty obvious.. not because they are 100% upfront with it). But I'm not sure if this is happening at TORn. As I said, it may not be. But it seems useful for you to know that I wonder. I've been made wary by the many forms of viral marketing attempted online.

I don't actually have a problem with this sort of arrangement as long as it's made really clear - whether it's a front page article or a forum post. I want to know if the motivation for an article or post is capitalist or editorial.


1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc)
Windows XP
2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc)
Firefox - don't know what version. Tell me how to find out and I'll let you know.
3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc)
1280 x 1024
4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site?
Not if it keeps the site going.
5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway?
Well, not really, I guess. To be honest, all this focus on the 'Shadow' figures of LOTR from Sideshow seems so 'male' to me. I get tired of looking at them. But that's pretty petty.




magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Nienna
Rohan


Jun 22 2008, 7:16pm

Post #11 of 86 (135 views)
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No problem [In reply to] Can't Post

I have no problems with this - and thank you for asking first. The answers you required:
1. Your operating system - Windows XP
2. Your browser and version number - Internet Explorer 6
3. Your screen resolution - 1024x768
4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site? No
5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway? N0 (never noticed them!)


leo
Rohan


Jun 22 2008, 7:22pm

Post #12 of 86 (175 views)
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I say we should sell TORn... [In reply to] Can't Post

... to fandom.com. www.fandom.com/theonering kinda has a ring to it, doesn't it? ;-)

Now for some good answers and suggestions:

1. Windows XP

2. IE 7

3. I dunno, let me check... *clickerdeclickclick* 1024x768

4. Not really, I pay very little attention to the ads. But I would start to notice them if they became very flashy or colory I guess. Or made sounds. That would annoy me. I guess it is very hard having only LOTR/Tolkien-related ads, but maybe it is a possibility to only use ads in a certain 'genre'. Movie- and book-related for instance. Or toy-related. Just a suggestion...

5. Nope.


(This post was edited by leo on Jun 22 2008, 7:23pm)


calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 7:24pm

Post #13 of 86 (167 views)
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In the interest of full disclosure... [In reply to] Can't Post

When you see products promoted in our news it is usually because they directly relate to our audience.

In the case of Sideshow Collectibles, we try only to report on their LOTR specific products. The postings are useful for two purposes:
1. They inform any Tolkien collector of a new piece (primary)
2. They provide TORn with an affiliate commission should the visitor purchase something on the Sideshow website (secondary)

And for full disclosure, I am a full-time employee of Sideshow Collectibles - a job I got because of my work on TORn. So I guess my posts on Sideshow can be a bit biased because I'm super excited when they make LOTR collectibles. My wanting to share them with the community is mainly out of 'geeking' out.

As for Weta Collectibles, we do have an affiliate relationship with them as well. Since they are not producing LOTR products, I don't think we report very much on their products unless it is something vaguely related to our fantasy audience. I would expect however to see more Weta Collectible postings as they pick up the Hobbit license in a few years.

The Mysterious Calisuri



calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 7:25pm

Post #14 of 86 (164 views)
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And speaking of Affiliate Relationships... [In reply to] Can't Post

Our affiliate relationships account for approx 60-70% of the regular site income - so they are critical to our success. That is why you'll see more Sideshow, Weta, Amazon types ads more often than others.

The Mysterious Calisuri



calisuri
PTB

Jun 22 2008, 7:26pm

Post #15 of 86 (157 views)
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HAHAH [In reply to] Can't Post

haha - too funny Leo!


leo
Rohan


Jun 22 2008, 7:27pm

Post #16 of 86 (148 views)
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I always though this was a very nice way... [In reply to] Can't Post

... of making money (of course we should not end up in a situation where 80% of the news on the frontpage is affiliate-related, but I doubt that'll happen. Maybe there are more affiliate ways of generating income? Amazon.com covers a lot obviously, but maybe there are some niches left...


leo
Rohan


Jun 22 2008, 7:28pm

Post #17 of 86 (151 views)
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It never hurts to help! [In reply to] Can't Post

You can stop pummeling me now... ;-)


maegwen
Sr. Staff


Jun 22 2008, 7:31pm

Post #18 of 86 (153 views)
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ouch [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't you get pummeled enough yesterday?


leo
Rohan


Jun 22 2008, 7:34pm

Post #19 of 86 (138 views)
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Do we need to bring this up /all/ the time? ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, we got pummeled. And it was a much deserved pummeling, kudos to the Russians!


diedye
Grey Havens


Jun 22 2008, 7:50pm

Post #20 of 86 (148 views)
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:( .... [In reply to] Can't Post

... you're really intent on killing my computer, aren't you?

*whimper*

Actually, I don't mind for the most part, but it's when the ads are highly graphic or made with Flash that causes a problem and either kicks me out of my browser or freezes my computer (there were whole chunks of time where I had to turn off my images just so I could view the page, or it wouldn't load completely)... but if they're just normal gifs, then it shouldn't be a problem.

Just one question, though... why the heck do you still have a spider trap on the front page?! Did Ungoliant sneak over from the Old Torn page and infect the new one, too?

R.I.P.





diedye
Grey Havens


Jun 22 2008, 7:53pm

Post #21 of 86 (143 views)
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Some answers... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Computer won't take it.

2. Won't work without #1.

3. *ARGH!* MY EYES! MY EYES!

*grumble grumble* Just what I need... to see Ezpeleta in large-scale format.

*WHAP!*

R.I.P.





Magpie
Immortal


Jun 22 2008, 8:08pm

Post #22 of 86 (131 views)
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I hope I was able to be clear about what I was asking for [In reply to] Can't Post

Which was just that content that appears to be news that is driven by a marketing agreement make that clear. If it looks like news, I expect the content to be driven by what the writer and the editor determine to be important. If it is driven by by marketing, I expect it to be driven by what the marketer determines to be important. As a graphic designer, I work for marketers. There's nothing wrong with marketing. As a consumer, I just want to know what drives the content so I can take that into consideration.

If you're writing something that is driven by what you think is important, then you bring to that all you are... including an employee and fan of Sideshow. I'm interested in what you know and think. If you're writing something that is driven by an agreement worked out with Sideshow, then they are going to have a say in content. The focus is shifted and, as long as that's made clear, I have no problem with it.

I have no problem with marketing - just a desire to see (in the world as a whole) a clear labeling of what is marketing content (if any) and what is editorial content. The ads are clearly ads so there's no possibility of confusion there.




magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 22 2008, 8:11pm

Post #23 of 86 (122 views)
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No problem [In reply to] Can't Post

Needing sources of income is inevitable, and you've all done an amazing job of maintaining the site with as little ads as you have!

1. Your operating system: Mac OS 10.4.11

2. Your browser and version number: Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.14

3. Your screen resolution: 1024 x 768

4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site? No, as long as they're tastefully done, and preferably genre-related.

5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway? None that I've seen!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 22 2008, 8:24pm

Post #24 of 86 (119 views)
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I trust you [In reply to] Can't Post

not to let them get intrusive! I don't have a problem with the banners at the top of the page. I don't know if Firefox is blocking any others?

1. Your operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc) - Windows XP
2. Your browser and version number (Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3, etc) - Firefox 2.something - I mean to upgrade to 3 soonish.
3. Your screen resolution (1024x800, 800x600, etc) - 1024x768
4. Do you mind seeing non-Tolkien related ads on the site? - no
5. Have there been any ads recently that irked in you in anyway? - no


Figwit Still Lives!



Calling for a Figwit cameo in The Hobbit since May 2008


L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


Jun 22 2008, 8:27pm

Post #25 of 86 (124 views)
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Blinded by our greed, we'll take the 9 FREE RINGTONES!!! without question./ [In reply to] Can't Post

But seriously: (1)WinXP, (2) Firefox 2, w/AdBlock Plus (3) 1280x1024, (4) No problem if it's within reason, (5) No.



Far he journeyed in that ship, even into the starless voids; but most often was he seen at morning or at evening, glimmering in sunrise or sunset, as he came back to Valinor from voyages beyond the confines of the world.

More pictures here.

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