Community Advertisements on SL/ Discussion


Ahh one more question, is it posible to advertise sites such as It isn't go related but isn't a commercial thing and might interest people here. I know that there're a lot of other sites that may interest but what if there were a couple of "humanitarian" sites which would share the chances of appearing (have an equal chance altogether to a single go ad)? Reuven

Arno: No. Go-related sites only for the same reason that off-topic pages have no place here, even if of interest to many readers.

Number of appearances

(Sebastian:) I think you should keep the right to decide the probabilities for certain ads to appear. E.g., you may want to give more space to a publisher who just published several new books than to one who only advertises stuff that is already known or generally of lesser interest to the community.


Morten I cannot see why not, although, as you say, they are already on each page...

Morten I would view them as being part of the same 'advertiser' and hence they would have to share the exposure with the 'main' site. E.g. a 'banner' for TheDanStudyRoom would be seen as equivalent as the current KGS banner, and both would get half the current showings (assuming there are 2 banners for the KGS advertiser). We allow up to 5 'banners' per 'advertiser' However, see below regarding 'ownership' - basically, get wms to agree to it and I will upload it as a banner for KGS....

  • Can sponsors to events such as the next turnie on kgs advertise the event (with a small note for the sponsor?)?

Morten Yes, why not. But again, if they are made available on e.g. IGS, I would add the banner to the IGS advertiser. However, e.g. the 2005 European Go Congress I would view as a new advertiser. We can make banners 'time-limited' without any problems. Again, see my comment regarding 'ownership'.

  • Can say, if the baduk-tv channel allows subscription from other countries, also advertise it?

Morten Yes, of course. Even if they only allow subscription from Korea, they can still advertise. For that matter, banners do not need to be in English (pages can be other languages, too)

  • Can somebody create advertisements to services which one doesn't run/ has any official connection with?

Morten We do not actually verify that those who send us ads are 'legitimate' and responsible for the 'service' they send ads for, but I would not knowingly upload an ad or banner from someone who I knew was not connected to the 'service'. So far, we've known the people involved, but if I were in doubt, I would find a way to check.

  • Is it possible to create a "random page" or a certain "lively" discussion page to be displayed as an advertisement or something of that kind? (Keeping the chances to that of a single ad)

Morten A banner on SL for SL? Why not? But there is already the random page link on the left, and most deshis probably use the RecentChanges. Did I understand what you meant?

Yes :) Reuven


Taken from MetaDiscussion - before the community ads were introduced.

2004-11-27 Community advertisements

Arno: SL is a service to the Go community at large and a very popular one at that (ca 800.000 page views per month). I thought that maybe other Go projects could benefit from this, if I would allow advertisements on SL. The way it would work is this: other Go sites (web pages, game servers, ...) can submit an image advertisement to me. The site/service has to be related to Go. It may be of commercial nature (e.g. I think that programmers, book writers etc. should be encouraged). I won't take any money for these advertisements. The advertisements will be placed in the yellow bar, below the "Referenced by" links, above the partner sites link ("vertical" ads so to speak). One rule would be that no animations are allowed, as I find that too distracting. What do you think about it?

Stefan: How difficult is it to add a switch to UserPreferences to indicate whether or not you want to see these? Personally I have no objection to the idea and a switch would allow those against to keep their SL experience ad-free.

Bob Myers: Public service advertising is a laudable idea, but why not try to make money as well to defray costs of running SL? Remember the only "cost" to the viewer is a few milliseconds of brain processing as he detects the presence of the ad, and in some cases the ad will be for something the viewer is interested in and therefore actually add value to his SL experience. So IMO there is no reason not to advertise. There are a number of alternatives, including of course Google AdSense, but there are also other companies who will take care of the ad choice, placement, billing, and payment for you.

Bill: Why not get some cash to defray costs? Or even to make some money? You richly deserve it. :-)

OTOH, if you are not going to make money, I would rather let the advertisers have their own pages (like KGS has now) than have them be a constant annoyance.

Arno: I am not interested in making money with SL. Taking money for a community website like SL is a slippery slope. I only consider free community advertisements. And I would add an option to preferences to be able to switch it off. I do think that having a page on SL is not the same.

Hu: Are there any out of pocket expenses that these ads could offset?

Arno: costs of running SL are server hardware and net bandwidth. I have paid these costs the last 3 years and I intend to do so as long as my financial situation permits. But as I said, this is not what this advertisement idea is about.

axd: Welcome to the beginning of the end. I'm curious to see how all those people that hammered on the wikiness of this site will now react to the introduction of ads. Providing user options to get rid of ads will not work in the long term, as the next step will be to say "ok, but we do need ads to keep SL alive so we will have to introduce ads that cannot be avoided". Otherwise those shark people submitting ads will not care any more if they know their ads will not get viewed anyway. It's simple. If Arno invests effort in ads, I'm convinced he will make sure everybody sees those ads, why would he otherwise put effort in supporting those ads, knowing that a user option can get rid of these? And if the vertical bar gets too small, what then? How will Arno decide which site gets ad space? Monopolise more screen space for the exclusive use of ads, that's next. And its guaranteed, once ads get their way in, Arno will find his time increasingly devoted to dealing with it: I base my assumption on the fact that the forces driving people to get ads placed are far stronger and will reach what they want in the end, disregarding any other type of effort to counter them. Money is a very powerful driving force, by far stronger than a whole wiki community. Or else, how about providing pages for those people that want to advertise? Let them fill those pages with their ads. I understand Arno's financial arguments (although, if I'm right, something tells me that SL is not the only site he is taking care of), and I have no immediate solution for that. What about using a kind of subscription service that allows to create a user account, which we have for free today? SL would always be fully accessible, but only paying subscribers could make changes. (And bye bye to all those wiki vandals.) I'm talking of small amounts - let's say between 5-50 EUR/USD - payable via PayPal? for example, plus a page clearly explaining what happens with the money, why it is needed, how it is used (never seen this kind of page before...); and the more subscribers, the less to pay, I (naively?) suppose. I always have to laugh about all those sites that claim freedom, access to a wealth of information, all for free? Those days are over, or will come to an end; all those sites will sooner or later face a slow but certain death.

Arno: ??? please read my first and second message above. I do not intend to make money. I intend to give some of the attention to other Go projects out there by allowing the to advertise on SL for free. Should I ever need money for running this site I will try donations first, before taking money for ads.

Bill: Arno, this is not to argue with you, but what is wrong with having people put ads on their own pages? If that's too inaccessible, why not have a page listing promotional pages, so people can link to them? Or how about a separate page for ads? I have seen several sites do that on their Links page. The link to that page could be on the yellow bar. Thanks. :-)

Arno: the nice thing about ads is that they are unrelated to the content of the page. Even if I look at e.g. nuclear tesuji I could trip over an ad for e.g. [ext] Jan van Rongen's page. Furthermore, I don't think that content of pages (i.e. the text of wiki pages itself) should contain ads. I don't think that one should mix content and ads. See also: advertising on sl.

unkx80: Whether money is made from advertisements is one thing, but I agree with Bill that if advertisements are accepted, it is probably best to put all advertisements on a separate locked page rather than on the yellow bar. For pages like this with many links on the "Referenced by" links, visibility of the advertisements would be seriously affected because one must scroll down to see the advertisement. And no, I would not want to have more screen estate space used for the yellow bar, neither do I want to see the number of "Referenced by" links reduced.

Arno: I think that many pages on SL require scrolling. So I do not intend to reduce the "reference by" links, or increase the space the yellow bar uses. Ads could be up to 125px in width. On my computer the yellow bar has 144px width right now. I agree that the visibility of the ads might be affected sometimes. So what? With that many page views per month enough people will still see the ad.

Maybe a picture says more than 1000 words: here is a mockup of how it could look like: [ext]

(Sebastian:) Go for it! It will liven up this place, which currently has few pictures aside from diagrams. You could even put intra-wiki ads there, e.g. for the newly expanded beginner exercises or when someone WMEd a page. Wouldn't this be a nice sign of appreciation for the editor's effort? Wikipedia has a "featured article" on their front page each day.

Bill: Thanks, Arno, for the mockup. :-) It reinforces my feeling that I would rather see such an ad on its own page, such as the KGS logo on the KGS page, or on a page devoted to ads.

Alex Weldon: I'm all for this idea. Slippery slope arguments don't hold, since Arno has already said that only Go-related ads are permitted and that he isn't taking money for them. I don't see how anything bad could come of that. As for visibility issues, etc... anyone getting free advertising should have the sense not to look a gift-horse in the mouth. Furthermore, since the yellow bar space is unused to begin with, ads will not take away from the SL experience in any way. I suppose you could argue that negative space is important in any design (I'm studying design and desktop publishing myself, so I'd agree with you) and ads might make the page a bit cluttered, but I don't think that's a strong enough reason, given the advantages free advertising would give to the Go community. Little, independent Go publishers and equipment providers are what keep Go alive in the west; they should be supported.

rubilia: Ads can support anything just as far as, consequently, the viewers do. I, for one, rather keep it separated: (i) to support maintainers directly, where suitable, and (ii) to have information access in a self-determined way (no, I am not keen on watching advertisement each time I look up something at SL). Apparently, others don't mind, though. Hence, Arno's intention to make it optional sounds good to me.

Tom: I don't feel very strongly about this issue, but I would prefer not to have advertisements on non-advertising pages as the default setting. I would find them a bit irritating and distracting. I understand that I could log on, as I have from my home machine, but it would be a pain to do that each time I visited from my work machine. If the default were to have no advertising, then that would be fine by me, but I suspect that few would opt to have the adverts.

On the other hand, if advertising were ever needed to defray the costs of running SL, I would have no problem with that.

Arno: so let's see: pro (or indifferent): 4 people, con: 5 people (some indifferent as well). One of which is strictly against it. Where does this leave us? Sounds like: rather not try this idea?

DJ: I cast my vote to even the score... I wouldn't mind to have this kind of (let's call it) advertising at Arno's conditions (go-related, no money, yellow bar, etc.).
I trust Arno enough to think that he will select carefully what to put and what not to put; moreover, if he feels the need to have this kind of communication I can go along with him: we ought to be very grateful for what he does.
On the other hand I'd rather dread a situation where SL be accessible only by paying something, as in axd proposal above...
Ah, another thing: I thought that go players had a high enough concentration capacity not to be distracted so easily... ;-)

Bob McGuigan: In principle I'm not against having advertisements of the sort Arno has described. However, if they appear on the left, in the yellow bar, I'm afraid SL might be asking for an increase in vandalism from people who dislike one or more of the ads.

AshleyF: I think that advertising on SL is a great idea. It would raise awareness of little-known Go resources out there and would encourage further development of them. Mainstream commercial advertising wouldn’t bother me at all, but more interesting would be to see the small lesser-known commercial ideas get promotion - lowering the barier to getting such things off the ground. The very best would be to see promotion of all the non-commercial resources out there that, like SL itself, people have poured volunteer energy into. I personally get pleasure knowing that GoSuite is used by several hundred people. I don’t do it for money but having users is what keeps it going. Other examples could include Charles Matthew’s [ext] articles, Bob MyersIgoWalker, etc. SL could help promote a whole healthy ecosystem of valuable free/non-free Go resources.

rubilia: What I am concerned about is all about the way of information flow, and the attention ads aim at, rather than about their actual content. Attention is a scarce human resource. As long as the writer keeps a reasonable standpoint, everything you mention can already be dealt with in dedicated SL pages. If there's a need to provide easier access to those informations, what about creating an "advertising" path? The decision what and what not to pay attention to should be left to the SL users as far as feasible, which clearly would not be the case with yellow bar ads that couldn't be disabled. (I agree that SL with obligative ads still would be better than no SL at all - even though, to my view, then there should be a way to disable ads by explicit payments to the site owners. However, as Arno points out, finances are not the issue here.)

Morten: I believe that the intention is to provide a service to other Go-community web services, as is already done today with the 'partner sites' which have, AFAIK, never been remarked upon. (Admittedly, they are 'hidden' at the bottom of the page.)

If the 'ads' take some attention away from the 'main content' on the page, then that is because the ads are as interesting as or even more interesting than the page itself and they deserve attention.

rubilia: That sounds logical, but isn't quite true. For an obvious counterexample, just imagine a random nonsense text box with rainbow-colored flashing background, which surely would take part of the attention away from the actual page content. Unfortunately, humans can judge whether or not any information is worth attention, only when already having payed some, and the initial incentives to do so are far from being a suitable criterion about "deserving" it. (still simplified, of course) - Your draft below feels good to me, though.

A suggestion: Include an 'ad' on the left side, and below it a 'See other Community Ads' link which will link to the page 'Community Ads'. This page is locked and consists of a set of graphics uploaded by the SL admins, after 'screening' and upon request.

The actual ad the users will see on the left will be a random selection from this group of ads.

Users can select not to see the ad, but the link ("See other community ads.") will always be there.

Of course, the savvy advertiser should also create a suitable page on SL (which can, of course, be contributed to by users), but that is another issue...

DrStraw: Morten's response is the best recommendation so far. Until I read it I was undecided. Now I cast my vote behind it if this approach is used.

Cheyenne: Add another vote for Morten's idea.

Hu: I think this discussion got started on the wrong foot, unfortunately (easy enough to do). Try recasting it, but call them "public service announcements" (PSA), and it becomes clearer. I would be in favor of discreet (non-intrusive) PSAs, under some conditions. Then the next question becomes: what constitutes a PSA and how is it decided?

axd: and how do you decide who will get screen space, once the demand is bigger than the available space?

DrStraw Everyone who qualifies gets an equal chance of being randomly selected each time a page is generated. In the long run all get equal time.

Arno: DrStraw is right. About "who": in the beginning Morten and I will decide, if the work gets too much we involve SL librarians, etc. etc.

axd: OK - what I wanted to say was: are those people up to the task to decide, once the amount of works goes up; and if responsibilities get shared among more people, isn't there a risk that some librarian might use his/her privilege to promote one ad before another. The random selection seems to be the fairest - although a sequential one (rotate amongst all PSA) instead might be better.

One advantage of PSA is that at least there is a means to channel/bundle/group/control this kind of information, rather than letting advertisers spray the existence of yet another Go application around on as many more or less relevant pages as possible; and also that there is a more uniform way of keeping informed about new developments. But again, I'm not sure if all this rhymes with "wiki" philosophy.

Community Advertisements on SL/ Discussion last edited by PJTraill on August 20, 2018 - 11:40
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