20 May 2007, 15:52 by mark hoekstra

from now on, no more ads!

Well… in the past I’ve been experimenting with ads, to no avail (I’ve also put that in my about-page) but lately I’ve gotten more irritated about ads, the ‘ad-revenue business’ and everything around it… It just stinks.

With this site going up and up on traffic and links etcetera, you don’t want to know how many inquiries I get for hooking up to some ad-program and I always tell those people the same. This is a personal site and just as I wouldn’t want to put all kinds of stickers of companies and products I don’t like on to my car, I’m not willing to put those on to my site too… (I don’t even have a car, but still…).

But somehow, some of these guys from these services are really persistent, keep on mailing, and to make it a little easier for myself, from now on, I want to simply put them through to this blogpost ^_^ Oh, and I guess I already pissed some of those guys off a little too much or it’s just a coincedence, but the amount of spam per day in my inbox is growing at an enormous rate at the moment… (now think about the probability for two seconds, no matter if it’s truly the case, that one of these ad-revenue-guys put me on a spamlist, isn’t it strange that (imho at least) it seems quite probable?...) ^_^

Anyway, my 2 cents about the ad-business and ads on the internet in general…

Not long ago, I visited a site from a PC I just installed. And on this particular site, a full-screen pop-up flash ad opened, with sound! Now, somehow, naive as I am maybe, I thought “this can’t be true” so I mailed them and asked if something went wrong. As a response I got back from one of the editors “don’t you have a pop-up blocker then?” ... Well, I was too lost for words with that response and I didn’t react to it, but it got me thinking… I mean, this site installed this on purpose but on the other hand expects that the crowd they have has got pop-up blockers? What kind of crap is that?

Now ad-guys always talk in click-through rates and such. The latest inquiry I got had to do with text-link-ads and such… You know, those highly irritating bogus hyperlinks. So, for instance, every time I would use the word ‘computer’ it would automagically get hyperlinked and when you click it, it would bring you to some webshop where you can buy computers! I mean, how dumb is that? But of course, these guys claim success because 2% (or whatever) clicks on these! Yeah well, that’s the same logic a spammer uses… “Every time I send out one gazillion messages, there are ten people buying!”

So, somehow, when you bring this down, all these sites with ads somehow want to draw a crowd of 2/3/4/5 percent morons who click on ads…

For a long time, the only ads I’ve been running were a couple of text-only adsense google-ads. Now those are somehow sort of widely accepted, but still. Every time I logged in to my adsense account I got the feeling I got into spammers-HQ. “Optimize!” “set goals!” “you’re not reaching your goals!”... geez… this is worse than some multi-level marketing scheme and this is about my own site! Soooo… there were two ways to go… or optimize the heck out of these ads, but where does that stop? Well, look around and you’ll see where that goes, try to surf around without a pop-up blocker for a change, if you really want to make a buck that way, you have to change your site into some commercial christmas-tree where ads take the top spots on the screen (cause that way you get the highest click-through-rate!) and the content, in my case, the only reason I’m doing this, would be subordinate to the ads…

Simply put, if I would go this way, I end up optimizing my site for morons (and there by probably totally forgetting who my real crowd is…). Now of course, it’s hard to criticize something that works and ads work, no doubt about that, but I simply refuse to optimize my site for morons.

Well, the other way, of course, is to simply remove all the ads and yesterday, after doubting about this for quite some time, I did just that. So, no more logins of creepy ad-schemes with click-through-rates and stuff like that.

Do I miss out on money now? Yes, those few adsense ads I had brought in a couple of hundred bucks a year* (and I never used it for hosting or something else useful, I always ended up buying something crappy with it, it’s jinxed! ^_^). But I also miss out on money because I don’t have a URL tattooed on my forehead.

Somehow I find it incredible that running ads, especially on blogs, is the defacto standard, why don’t these people drive cars full of stickers? I’m sure there are companies willing to pay a few cents for that too… especially when you would make it a double deal including a tattoo on your forehead!

Next to that, a lot of the (imho) really decent companies out there don’t seem to run ad-programs, so even though I (that’s me and my little company) am petite compared to them, I’d rather look that way than having to put up with all this spam-crap, no matter what others make with that.

No, but seriously, there are other ways to make money, also with a site and I’m burning 100+GB a month right now, so somehow I should know… Well, if I fail to raise enough for my hosting, I stick to what I said earlier. I’d rather be flipping burgers for a few bucks than to run ads. You guys would buy a burger from me, wouldn’t you? ^_^

* because I never optimized a thing, I had the worst click-through-rate possible. I had to run 500.000+ pageviews to raise a $100+... you do the math…

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  1. Han @ 20 May 2007, 19:11 :

    “and I never used it for hosting or something else useful, I always ended up buying something crappy with it, it’s jinxed! _

    LOL I wonder who spends their earnings on hosting!?


    my opinions/reasons.

    Dont get me started on sponsored posts though GRRR!

  2. ocke @ 20 May 2007, 23:16 :

    Those text-link-ads are horrible! The worst around. I always move my cursor over the text that I read, and every time those DUMB pop-ups jump up. Good thing you don’t do ads. Although I have to say I have never seen one on your site. Where were they? Guess I am ad resistant ;-)

  3. markie @ 21 May 2007, 01:33 :

    >Where were they?

    Hahahaha, well, there weren’t that many left after all. I have been experimenting though with a top banner for a while and such… ah well, that’s all history now!

    Oh, the ones left were under the logorama (which isn’t a blogroll after all).

    There are more changes coming up and without the ads, I can solely concentrate on the content and such.

    I guess it’s my mission to show (well, at least to myself) you can have a fairly high-traffic site (without all the usual ad-stuff) and also have an income through stuff you do on your site, just not through these frikkin’ spammers! :-)

    But who knows, maybe I am flipping burgers anytime soon… ;-)

  4. emil @ 21 May 2007, 17:09 :

    Well if you think about it, you could put the money you would have earnt onto the price of the iPod CF adapters.. I’m sure people wouldn’t mind paying a dollar or ten extra :-)

  5. Julian @ 21 May 2007, 18:17 :

    As long as you don’t start at McDonalds I’d totally drive over to the Netherlands and buy a Burger from you.

    Other than that.. never used any of those ads for my personal site (which is my only website, too) so I can’t judge them. They annoy me, so why annoy others by putting ads on the page. Glad to see that other people still think the same.

  6. Fubiz @ 21 May 2007, 21:06 :

    Nice story

  7. opensource101 @ 22 May 2007, 00:58 :

    That’s funny. I’ll buy a hamburger from ya to help the cause.

  8. teknokracy @ 23 May 2007, 09:05 :

    You didn’t make any money because
    all of us that visit your site are smart enough not to click on ads ;)
    By the way, your security text thing is UN-readable.

  9. markie @ 23 May 2007, 09:51 :

    > all of us that visit your site are smart enough not to click on ads ;)

    Even though I got some smart visitors, I hardly doubt that. The ads got clicked and when I would’ve put them in your face I reckon I would’ve got similar click-through rates as others.

    >By the way, your security text thing is UN-readable.

    yeah well, I’m sorry about that but at this point this is the only solution. When I would remove it, all of a sudden my comments are full of ads and we don’t want that, now do we? ;-) I will look into other solutions though…

  10. Derick @ 23 May 2007, 18:08 :

    Here in America advertising can be found on a number of cars. Some kids even pay money for stickers with company logos for their cars. I think they want to look like race car drivers or something.

    Kinda like the people who cover themselves in fashion lables.


  11. Ceristimo @ 25 May 2007, 11:14 :

    Maybe use some kind of registration? So you’ll only need the securitytext once, when registering.
    After that it’s just a matter of logging in to comment.

    On the other hand, that could result in less reactions, because it’s now quite easy to comment on an article. When you need to register, people who are just passing by will probably not leave a comment anymore, because it’s to much of a hassle.
    It has pros and cons …Good luck finding a solution ;)

    P.S. I don’t have any troubles reading the securitytext, but maybe people who are colorblind will…A lightgrey background with darkgrey letters is probably invisible for someone who has trouble seeing slight changes in contrast.

  12. Marco @ 26 May 2007, 04:38 :

    “Somehow I find it incredible that running ads, especially on blogs, is the defacto standard”

    Just to add to that— I have never and will never have ads on my website. They annoy the fuck out of me and I don’t want to do that to my visitors. I don’t pay for my hosting (yay work) and even if I did, I’d have that server for my e-mail and such anyway.

    Btw wth, captcha? AAaargh!

  13. Julius B. Thyssen @ 10 July 2007, 16:09 :

    Finally, someone I can relate to, regarding ads. Hear hear. ;-)

    Did you know Tweakers.net obligates you to see their ads? You’d think I’m joking, but I’m not:

  14. markie @ 10 July 2007, 21:42 :

    >Did you know Tweakers.net obligates you to see their ads?

    Hahahaha, I read the thread. Oh my, if it’s really true what this guy is saying that they counterblock people who block their ads, well, imho, they got it all wrong…

    But, I think, and I truly hope for the sake of that site, that he is bragging. If not, they for sure are gonna do more harm (to themselves) than it would do them good, but if it’s really true, they will find that out the hard way. What’s next, he’s gonna call you a pirate? :-)

  15. Julius B. Thyssen @ 11 July 2007, 17:17 :

    I’ve been called an “anarchist” before (somewhere else), for not accepting to view banners in a forum, so “pirate” is rather soft, even ;-)

    And yes, it’s entirely true. My access to http://*tweakers.net* is 100% blocked for access from my home IP-address.

As mentioned in the Message from Mark's family this site has been made static. This means that it will be no longer possible to comment on his ideas and projects, but that we all can continue to cherish his creativity.

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