Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A New Experiment...

... or, "Hey Ya Bastard, What's With The Ads? (Part 2)"

So, if you came by earlier today (or yesterday, or last week, or whenever...) to take a look at my new "Support Your Local Filmmaker" post, you probably noticed that I've been messing around with the site lay-out a bit this morning.

As you probably know, I'm a big fan of a few online comic strips, such as Something*Positive and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal... over the years, as I've visited those sites and laughed at their twisted humor, I've also been impressed by the ads on them... they're contextual. They don't stand out as being inconsistent with the interests of the audience that visits the site. In fact, I found myself clicking on the banners more often than not.

When I clicked the "Your Ad Could be Here" link below these ads, I started to understand why. The company that provides these sites' ads, Project Wonderful, has a completely different model than Google's Adsense program... rather than reading keywords on a page and automatically displaying ads from Google's "pool" of advertisers (have you noticed how many "cruise ads" have popped up since I added those slide shows from Trish and my Alaska cruise?), Project Wonderful matches advertisers with "publishers" through an "auction" system - the process isn't automated, but personal.

There's a lot to like about Project Wonderful's system - I really like the human element; advertisers have to take a look at my site, understand the content of my posts, and decide if you - my readers - would respond to whatever it is they're pitching. I also like the auction-style pricing structure; the advertisers bid against each other for the top position on my site. They get to determine what the top-spot on my blog is worth (though I can set a minimum bid price to start them off).

Perhaps the best part of this system is the level of control it gives me as the "publisher -" I don't have much control at all with Google's Adsense program; I can block ads from particular advertisers, or from up to five advertising sectors... but that's it. Those cruise ads I mentioned earlier? I know most of you don't care to find out how inexpensive a cruise to Italy is... you might want to see the photos from Trish and my cruise, but that's it.

With Project Wonderful, I approve each and every ad that gets displayed on the site. If someone wants to advertise something I don't think you care about, I don't approve it - it's that easy. More to the point, I get to approve ads for things I care about - and I think you should know about. So, if a local theatre company or film company wants to advertise on the blog - I'm approving that straight-away. An editor who wants to advertise his services for reel-making? It's up there. "Male enhancement" and "search engine optimization?" No way. I've got the control.

Look, like I said in my earlier post about adding advertising to the blog, I have no illusions that I'm going to get rich off of these little ads... I'm throwing them up there for a little supplemental income, and to test various advertising models for Animus Cross and Dex Dixon. If project wonderful lets me get a few pennies AND give people I want to support a platform to advertise their goods and services... well, I call that a win-win.

And hey, like the box says, your ad could be at the top of my blog, for just a few cents a day. I get to say yay or nay (and if you're a reader, I'll probably say "yay.") Want to play around with it? Visit Project Wonderful and see how easy it is to set up an ad; then, click the "Your Ad Could Be Here" link at the top of the page and bid on an ad spot. It's cheap, and if I can drive more clicks over to your web site... well, I'm happy to do it.

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