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Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:04:00 MDT Print View

Anyone else see these?

What's going on?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:05:34 MDT Print View

I clicked on the link (after posting the question myself!) for info, and got the following:

"In our forums, you'll see contextual links to purchase gear from third parties. These links are served by GearBuyer.com, and when you purchase gear via these links, we receive commissions on the sale. We do our best to develop algorithms that help you match forum discussions with shopping links that are related to those discussions, and to help you find the gear at the best prices.

Because traffic to the forums, which remains a public service by Backpacking Light, requires significant amounts of bandwidth, buying bandwidth represents our single biggest expense at BPL. So when you buy gear, that really helps us keep the forums public, and free.

Thank you for supporting BPL!"

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:09:13 MDT Print View

I haven't seen these ads yet.

Is there one, by chance, from Ruger or Smith & Wesson? ;)

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:15:53 MDT Print View

I saw them pop up an hour or so ago. Most of the time they're not even relevant to the post at hand. Case in point, it thinks we're talking about "Smith Forum" sunglasses. Not about the BPL forum and a Smith and Wesson firearm. I was hoping a membership would take care of this but from the posters above even the MLIFE guys have problem.

Edited by cobberman on 09/21/2011 17:17:36 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
hmmmm. on 09/21/2011 17:15:56 MDT Print View

hmmmmm.

seems like the Forums are most of the actual, updated "content" of BPL.

it is generated by forum users, not by BPL staff or contributors.

and now they have ads inserted.

one more inexorable step downward.

hmmmm.

p.s. however, i am stoked that i can easily and quickly buy some great "OREGON PRODUCTS" because the thread mentioned that state. i have really wanted to get some OREGON PRODUCTS, and now i can.

Edited by DaveT on 09/21/2011 17:20:58 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:27:07 MDT Print View

I think they're at least relatively small, they don't blink, and they're almost unobtrusive. I guess it's either the ads or subscription only.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Re: Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:30:42 MDT Print View

If they are necessary to keep BPL forums afloat I'd rather see banner ads at the top or right of the webpage. Having them in a thread view is annoying.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 17:32:02 MDT Print View

I understand a business has to do what it must to stay viable, but... Frowny Face at ads.

Can I now buy sexy lingere from these ads on BPL?

Edited by T.L. on 09/21/2011 17:34:01 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
BPL Ads on 09/21/2011 18:10:42 MDT Print View

Please keep your comments coming, and offer suggestions.

Public forum traffic eats up vast amounts of bandwidth that not even subscriptions can support - thanks for your patience as we try to work through a model to help alleviate some of these costs.

I'm not married to how these ads are displayed - this is just a soft launch to see how it all works out.

Lots of options (banners, blinking, etc. etc.) but our original goals, based on early feedback about adverts, are:

1. Provide context to the ads rather than random banners; and
2. Provide meaningful value to you (identifying sales and price competition).
3. Be reasonably unobtrusive.

As for a "step downward", I'd rather think that privatizing the forums would be that step rather than offering an ad model that (a) preserves existing subscription prices and (b) keeps them open to the public.

Again, thanks for your patience and feedback.

Best,
Ryan

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Ads inbetween Forum Posts on 09/21/2011 18:13:33 MDT Print View

Maybe have ads for lightweight backpacking equipment?

It's good when the ad doesn't take long to download

I hate ads at yaho.com or whatever that download a bunch of stuff from some website that takes a long time to download or displays a message that a site isn't found or McAfee warns me are dangerous

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: BPL Ads on 09/21/2011 18:16:37 MDT Print View

I've always loved the clean, easy to read format of BPL forums. Any way to display the ads that don't obstruct posts would be great. Off to the side, on top of the page, bottom.... Anywhere but in-between posts.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: BPL Ads on 09/21/2011 18:28:50 MDT Print View

If we are going to have them to stay here I would prefer to have them at the very top or very bottom. But agree that in between posts is most annoying. How about no ads for Mlifers?

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: BPL Ads on 09/21/2011 18:35:59 MDT Print View

@BPL: No real issue if it means survival of the website and affordable access. IMO put the ads to the side instead of in the thread.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Ads? on 09/21/2011 18:49:44 MDT Print View

Eh.

BPL is an informed and educated community, that was originally a big draw for me to this forum. Educational and instructional. I think everyone of us here has the ability and knowledge to make informed buying decisions on our own without needing assistance from third party popup ads being interjected within discussions. If someone here is looking for a particular gear item or the best price, the members here have always done a great job of freely providing the "service" that advertisement banners passively attempt to do. This is a mobile world, people are connected and current at all times, there are no secrets or untapped resources on the web, advertisements will not be a service to the contributing membership, especially when even my 3 year old daughter can log on and Google search. If ads are necessary to sustain BPL forum bandwidth then so be it I suppose, but I too can't help but scratch my head and say "Really?". I realize this is just a test, so take my knee jerk reaction with some measure of grace and Ill do the same.

In all honesty, what BPL could use is more Jordan, just saying.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Ads? on 09/21/2011 18:59:04 MDT Print View

Beautiful Eugene +1

Where have you been Ryan?

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: BPL Ads on 09/21/2011 19:02:47 MDT Print View

Oh no. Do not want.

One of my favorite things about BPL as a website is how aesthetically comfortable - really minimal - the pages are. No visual noise like these text ads that I have to try to read around.

I had absolutely no problem with the way in which ads were used to support the podcasts (which I really miss). Visually appealing, small sponsorship emblems, by sponsors like Kahtoola, and what, the Labrador tourism bureau? I thought those were great. I know it takes time to court individual advertisers, but a site like BPL should be able to get quite a good CPM.

If these text ads have to stay, and if the primary reason they have to stay is all the non-member traffic that BPL's excellent SEO sends its way, then please only make them appear for non-members. This kind of advertising is a nuisance, but being able to get rid of it by buying a membership may both help free-loaders pay for their own visits and turn more of them into members.

But really, I just prefer well-designed adds like those used with the podcasts.

Edit: I'll add a positive along with the negative. I love the recent articles I've seen. Bumped up to 3 a week, too. That's great! This kind of content and the... lightweight... format are what make BPL special.

Edited by dsmontgomery on 09/21/2011 19:16:17 MDT.

noneur business
(that_one_dude) - F
Bandwidth on 09/21/2011 19:08:06 MDT Print View

You should really investigate the bandwidth issues. I suspect that this roll your own forum software is not particularly efficient. I would stop hosting pictures or use something like amazon to host media.

I have no problem with ads but would prefer them not to be in thread but rather to the sides/top/bottom.

Edit: avatars should have more size restrictions

Edited by that_one_dude on 09/21/2011 19:17:06 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
hmmmm. on 09/21/2011 19:26:01 MDT Print View

"More Jordan"
"Where have you been Ryan?"


Yes, it's interesting that the only two times I recall seeing anything from the BPL leader in months and months is during the threads on "why not be a member?" (i.e. dollars) and "what's up with the ads?" (i.e. dollars).

Hmmmmm.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: hmmmm. on 09/21/2011 19:51:05 MDT Print View

Hmmm is right!

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: hmmmm. on 09/21/2011 19:52:13 MDT Print View

It is one of the reasons I let my membership lapse (after 4 years).