Sep 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm #1279624
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Anyone else see these?
What's going on?Sep 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm #1781770
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!"Sep 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm #1781772
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
I haven't seen these ads yet.
Is there one, by chance, from Ruger or Smith & Wesson? ;)Sep 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #1781777
@cobbermanLocale: Northern Colorado
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #1781778
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.
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm #1781785
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm #1781787
@cobbermanLocale: Northern Colorado
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm #1781789
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?Sep 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm #1781796
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
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.
RyanSep 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm #1781798
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
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 dangerousSep 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm #1781801
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm #1781807
– -K.T.- –Participant
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?Sep 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm #1781813
@harry-nLocale: Western US
@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.Sep 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm #1781819
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm #1781827
– -K.T.- –Participant
Beautiful Eugene +1
Where have you been Ryan?Sep 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm #1781828
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
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.Sep 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm #1781832
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 restrictionsSep 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm #1781839
"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.Sep 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm #1781856
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Hmmm is right!Sep 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm #1781858
It is one of the reasons I let my membership lapse (after 4 years).Sep 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm #1781861
as long as there are not gun advertisements, I don't care where you put the advertisements.
Another thread on "What should I carry" and I am done.Sep 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm #1781900
@cwayman1Locale: East Tennessee, US
Yeah, this definitely caught me by surprise!
"… ads attempt to stay relevant to the thread material…"
– There's an ad for Newton shoes under a post by John Donewar, aka Newton
"…ads only appear for non-members"
-I never really thought of that as an option. Could be a good call
"…ads on the top/sides/bottoms and not between the thread posts"
-Agreed. I would say to put the ads, if absolutely necessary, on the left-hand side. As an example, I think that the ads on Hendrik's 'Hiking in Finland' page are well-placed, unobtrusive, and fairly tasteful (i.e. NO flashing pictures, moving pieces, etc.). They almost just blend into the rest of the site. Placing them in between the posts distracts from the natural flow of online conversation.
"..if I see one more thread about 'what should I carry'…"
-How does this differ from seeing three threads in a row that all basically say "Which lightweight tarp should I choose?" or "Help me decide which frameless, Dyneema-X 2000-3000ci., under 16.5oz. backpack to buy!" ? Im not trying to instigate, I promise, but this just seems to happen with a lot of other subjects as well.
EDIT TO ADD that I find it SLIGHTLY humorous that the guy who posted a request for tighter restrictions on avatar size is sporting the LARGEST avatar in this thread =)Sep 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm #1781906
I'd rather pay $30 a year than have ads, but that's just me. Maybe ads will generate more revenue than raising membership price. As said before, if ads mean the survival of BPL, then so be it.Sep 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm #1781908
Clint, yea its a bit funny. I had just taken the picture and uploaded it because I was curious about avatar size. After noting how big it was I edited my post to mention it. Hopefully they take note as it might be a common problem.Sep 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm #1781930
@maethrosLocale: Mid South
Non-members – Keep the ads in between posts. Hell, make them even bigger.
Members – Give the option to turn ads on and off, as well as placement (in-between posts, right side, bottom, etc.)
How many lines of ads can a post trigger? Lets find out.
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