TWCL Forum Index TWCL
Forums for The Webcomic List
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Asking readers not to block your ads
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> Webcomic Gubbins
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
rocketpig



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
Spencey wrote:
When I surf the web at work, I have no choice but to view sites with adblocker on - my employer does this centrally and it would be a violaton of the Internet use policy for me to remove it. I'm sure there must be other people in the same position.

Interesting! I hadn't heard of that. I wonder how common a practice that is.


Pretty common, especially in larger corporations. It's a good policy and you can't fault people for having ad blockers at work.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rocketpig



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
Ah, this makes me think of the earlier comment where someone said they didn't care about a reader who isn't getting them any money. I don't know if such a thing exists, because even if they aren't buying anything, and aren't tripping ad counters, they're probably still going to, for instance, have their browsing activity tracked to or from your site by Google some time or other, and will consequently bump up your searchability, in theory, by a tiny tiny amount, in time leading to more hits, from people who aren't blocking the ads or are buying things, etc.


It's not that I don't care about them, I just don't think they're doing me any favors by visiting my free site, which was implied by another poster. Every visitor has an impact on the site but if it's a one-and-done click once a week with ad blockers enabled and no link sharing ever, the effect is so minimal that it doesn't really matter.

We're the ones doing the work here. We're the ones pouring over bristol paper and sitting in front of computer monitors for way too many hours a week. We're the ones who forego a social life to do this work. WE'RE the ones doing the readers a favor, not the other way around, especially if the end product is a quality comic. That's my point. Politely asking viewers to not be a dick and not to block a revenue stream for all our hard work isn't overstepping the creator/reader relationship in the slightest bit. I've done it on my other sites and the results have been positive every time. Most people simply don't think about it and once you bring it to their attention, they may unblock your site. Problem solved.

I find the notion that the reader is doing the creator a favor just by showing up, no matter what they do with the site/content, a very strange stance to have. I'm not advocating being rude to your viewership and I do appreciate that they come by to check out my stuff but a little give-and-take makes the experience better for everyone if you ask for it appropriately. Many will be willing to comply and those who don't, well, screw 'em, honestly. It's not like I think we should hunt them down and yell at them but the more you can minimize ad blockers without turning into a tyrant, the better.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SuitCase



Joined: 14 Jun 2010
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear! Zoe seems very upset. But as her post was free of substance, I can't respond to it.

wendyw wrote:
All four of those kinds of people exist on the net in large amounts and people vary on how they see these issues depending on what it is that's being posted, where it's being posted and who posted it in the first place.

There is no prevalent single view of copyright on the internet and there never has been. The internet is inconsistent, fractured and varied. You can't go against the grain on the internet on these issues, because the internet doesn't have a grain.
Oh, absolutely. There are definitely people out there with strong moral positions on attribution and copyright that will respond positively to an artist's request regarding distribution, ads, whatever. I would be cautious not to lose your sense of perspective, though - as smbhax suggests, the largest group of any site's visitors is likely to not have the same interest in content rights. I would imagine on a site like this, you're in a bubble where most people will say "I would never be upset by a request to unblock ads", but most people here are creators or close enough to creators to have a skewed perspective.

There is still a predominant grain to run against, and it is "all content is free". Most people on the internet will be repulsed if they click a Google link and see a paywall, and get annoyed by suggestions that they should pay for anything that they can get elsewhere for free. (See: News Corp's recent attempts to do subscription news.) You have to be inventive, and come up with value propositions that appeal to a portion of your audience rather than assuming you can get a dollar out of everyone.

I don't understand how this isn't obvious to a webcomic artist, because the webcomic model is a concept that embraces this idea. Put the content up for nothing, and do your best to monetise by various other means. Ads are just one way.

rocketpig wrote:
It's not that I don't care about them, I just don't think they're doing me any favors by visiting my free site, which was implied by another poster. Every visitor has an impact on the site but if it's a one-and-done click once a week with ad blockers enabled and no link sharing ever, the effect is so minimal that it doesn't really matter.
What if they decide to buy something from your store?
What if they fill out your survey?
What if they share the comic to a friend?
What if they post a link to the comic on their blog or Twitter feed?
What if they send you an email pointing out an error in your content or website that you are then able to fix?
What if they donate to you?
What if they draw fanart?
What if they are inspired to visit you at a convention?

It's incredibly shortsighted to think that a visitor to your site is worth whatever CPM rate you're getting. As it's not at all expensive to support even tens of thousands of readers without ad revenue to offset the server costs, you should be forward-thinking enough to see the value inherent in a reader that blocks ads. Respect their choice and they're more likely to take care of you in another way.
_________________

Bittersweet Candy Bowl, a comic of love, drama and cats.
Updates 3 times a week!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
rocketpig



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SuitCase wrote:

rocketpig wrote:
It's not that I don't care about them, I just don't think they're doing me any favors by visiting my free site, which was implied by another poster. Every visitor has an impact on the site but if it's a one-and-done click once a week with ad blockers enabled and no link sharing ever, the effect is so minimal that it doesn't really matter.
What if they decide to buy something from your store?
What if they fill out your survey?
What if they share the comic to a friend?
What if they post a link to the comic on their blog or Twitter feed?
What if they send you an email pointing out an error in your content or website that you are then able to fix?
What if they donate to you?
What if they draw fanart?
What if they are inspired to visit you at a convention?

It's incredibly shortsighted to think that a visitor to your site is worth whatever CPM rate you're getting. As it's not at all expensive to support even tens of thousands of readers without ad revenue to offset the server costs, you should be forward-thinking enough to see the value inherent in a reader that blocks ads. Respect their choice and they're more likely to take care of you in another way.


If they're interested enough in my work to give me money or visit me in a booth, they're not going to be so offended by a polite request to whitelist my site that they leave the site forever.

This is a two-way street. I'm giving them something for free and asking for very little in return. If they're so block-headed that they get pissy when I politely ask that my site be whitelisted from adblockers, I'd put the odds that they will not give me a nickel of their money under *any* circumstances at approximately 99.999999999999999% (rounded for accuracy).

People who buy your stuff or visit you at a con obviously appreciate the hard work you're putting into the comic. If they appreciate your work, they're not going to throw a fit over a small request (not demand) that they do not use ad blockers while viewing your site.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Max Vaehling



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 392
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a real ad blocker, but I use Noscript when I'm surfing so I won't get bothered by flashy, blinky, noisy features, and of course to protect my computer from the dangerous stuff. By default, it also blocks things I'd rather not be protected from - ads, for example. I don't mind ads as long as they're quiet and stay in their layout corner, but I'd have to clear them with Noscript for every site, and I don't like them that much. So unless it's a site I consider advertising on myself, I keep the default on.

I make it a point to allow for others what I allow for myself, so if you don't want to see ads on my site, feel free to not see them. It's not like I'm losing millions in revenue. More like cents, since PW's page views don't differ that much from my stat program's, and PW's revenues are only indirectly connected to page views anyway.

I have more of an issue with Noscript blocking my Flattr button. I want that to be as visible as possible! But I wouldn't go so far as to ask my readers to adjust their privacy settings so I can show them more ways of making me money. Let's face it, even the friendliest request with sugar on top will come across as whining, singling out wrongdoers, complaining, shouting, policing or some other sort of negativity to some people, especially people who are intent on protecting their surf experience. The friendliest reply then would be "what I allow on my computer is none of your business". Me, I just don't want to be That Guy.
_________________

Webcomics - Blog - Twitter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Siabur



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 682
Location: Fairview, Capitol City of Rimminion next to the diner and while things go on around us.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use adblockers. Mostly for use on commercial sites that over use flash, also use a flash blocker. As for ads on comic sights, as long as they're not interfereing with the comic, I won't apply the blocker. I understand the needs for advertising, I don't use it, don't care for it personally. Do what you have to do to run your site and do what you have to do to view it. Like anything in the world, how a person asks that adblockers not be used, will be a bigger determining factor than making the request its self.
_________________
Genuine Draft Updates 7 Days A Week. So Go Read it!

Twitter Me
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Darc



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 474
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It never occurred to me to ask readers to please not block ads. Partially because I don't use an ad blocker myself (just never thought of it) and partially because the ads are not my main revenue source. The money I make from the PW ad goes right back into my advertising budget. It doesn't go towards making merch or paying for hosting.

Viewing my site with an ad blocker on isn't a big deal for me because I have another revenue stream in place. If the ads are your only form of income, then I could see how the blockers could be a concern.

(And yes, I'm sure my 'Become a Supporter' ad is also blocked by most ad blockers. Since I occasionally mention the Supporters area in news post and on the blog, usually when an issue ends, I'm still not concerned. I see the key as having a few different options for income and to promote those various options in many ways.)

Is it rude to ask people to not use blockers on your site? Maybe. It depends on your view of things. Hell, I don't badger my readers to join the Supporters area and I even ask my Supporters to not do so to other readers, yet I occasionally run across people who claim what I'm doing is rude. The true fact is, you are never going to make everyone happy. Never. You could be the nicest person around, bend yourself backwards, and run yourself ragged until you're little more than a smudge on the ground and still someone would find some fault with what you do. It may be a reader, it may be a fellow comic creator, but someone will be unhappy.

So, go with what works for you. Just understand that, no matter what, there will be some flack and you're just going to have to accept it.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rocketpig



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darc wrote:
The true fact is, you are never going to make everyone happy. Never. You could be the nicest person around, bend yourself backwards, and run yourself ragged until you're little more than a smudge on the ground and still someone would find some fault with what you do. It may be a reader, it may be a fellow comic creator, but someone will be unhappy.


Exactly. You can never please everyone. All you can do is try to make your money and be nice enough about it to not piss off the casual reader.

If someone is really going to get that upset over a request to not use an adblocker, I really question just how valuable that reader is in the first place. Chances are, any little "slip-up", real or not, could irritate that person into leaving if their precious sensibilities are upset over something so utterly minor.

In my experience, the average person just ignores the request or realizes that they don't need to adblock that particular site. Either way, a normal person isn't going to get huffy about it, especially if they're a regular reader who visits the site often and appreciates that creator's work.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SuitCase



Joined: 14 Jun 2010
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I block ads, would be annoyed at "turn off your blocker" nags, and I use a lot of my disposable income to buy webcomic merchandise from sites I like and subscribe to services I'm interested in.
_________________

Bittersweet Candy Bowl, a comic of love, drama and cats.
Updates 3 times a week!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2949
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rocketpig wrote:
This is a two-way street. I'm giving them something for free and asking for very little in return.

This is an interesting point on its own; I guess I tend to think that both author and reader *are* asking a lot: the reader is asking that the author make a consistent, quality, easily accessible webcomic, and the author is asking that the reader continue to come back week after week--rather than spending their time reading other comics or--God forbid--doing something else with their life besides the Internet. Neither of those is a little thing, really.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2949
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Max Vaehling wrote:
But I wouldn't go so far as to ask my readers to adjust their privacy settings so I can show them more ways of making me money. Let's face it, even the friendliest request with sugar on top will come across as whining, singling out wrongdoers, complaining, shouting, policing or some other sort of negativity to some people, especially people who are intent on protecting their surf experience. The friendliest reply then would be "what I allow on my computer is none of your business". Me, I just don't want to be That Guy.

Yeah, that was kind of what I was thinking. I got that vibe--somehow--from the two requests I talked about at the start of the thread. Maybe if they hadn't spent so many words trying to explain how expensive it is to run a web site and how this should be the reader's problem... I dunno.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2949
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darc wrote:
(And yes, I'm sure my 'Become a Supporter' ad is also blocked by most ad blockers. Since I occasionally mention the Supporters area in news post and on the blog, usually when an issue ends, I'm still not concerned. I see the key as having a few different options for income and to promote those various options in many ways.)

Is it rude to ask people to not use blockers on your site? Maybe. It depends on your view of things. Hell, I don't badger my readers to join the Supporters area and I even ask my Supporters to not do so to other readers, yet I occasionally run across people who claim what I'm doing is rude. The true fact is, you are never going to make everyone happy. Never. You could be the nicest person around, bend yourself backwards, and run yourself ragged until you're little more than a smudge on the ground and still someone would find some fault with what you do. It may be a reader, it may be a fellow comic creator, but someone will be unhappy.

For what it's worth, my simple proxy-based blocker, while it does block your TWCL forum sig, does not block the leaderboard supporter.php leaderboard you have under your comic page! (Although it took me a while to find it, since for some reason I thought it would be in the upper right corner.) That's pretty much all just based on filename, though.

And the way you handle your supporter thing doesn't strike me as rude at all. I guess maybe because it's not asking me to change my behavior just to read the comic: it's saying that *if* I did this extra thing, I'd get even more than I'm getting now.

On the other hand, it seems harder to phrase "a don't block my ads" request that positively, since the equation is more like *if* I the reader change my behavior, the author will no longer consider me a cursed sponger--which apparently they do currently.

And then I cry in my Brawndo.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rocketpig



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
rocketpig wrote:
This is a two-way street. I'm giving them something for free and asking for very little in return.

This is an interesting point on its own; I guess I tend to think that both author and reader *are* asking a lot: the reader is asking that the author make a consistent, quality, easily accessible webcomic, and the author is asking that the reader continue to come back week after week--rather than spending their time reading other comics or--God forbid--doing something else with their life besides the Internet. Neither of those is a little thing, really.


True, maybe "very little" is understating it a bit. What I'm really driving at is SuitCase's point that the readers are somehow blessing us with their presence. I don't buy into that line of thinking. I work hard to make a quality product and I don't believe people are doing me a favor just by showing up. It's not that I don't appreciate them reading the book, I just feel I have something that is worth reading and it takes me a lot of time every week to produce that product.

If that person ad blocks my site, doesn't buy anything from me, and doesn't share the book with their friends, I can't say I really give a damn about that reader. I work too hard to care about the people who want to freeload. It's not as if I'm going to kick them off my site or anything (which would be nearly impossible anyway) but I'm not going to put much thought into making them happy, either.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Darc



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 474
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
For what it's worth, my simple proxy-based blocker, while it does block your TWCL forum sig, does not block the leaderboard supporter.php leaderboard you have under your comic page! (Although it took me a while to find it, since for some reason I thought it would be in the upper right corner.) That's pretty much all just based on filename, though.


Really? Neat. Yeah, it's php so the issue number, page number, and number of pages ahead will automatically update when the Supporters side updates. (It used to be in the upper right corner, but once we added the SpiderForest banner, the top of the site looked too crowded between that, the PW ad, and the title block. So the PW ad got knocked to the sidebar which knocked the Support ad down. So no, you're not going crazy. I've just been mucking with the site again. Laughing )

And thanks. I keep trying to balance between being able to bring enough income in to keep the comic running and not pressuring my readers to do anything. I don't want to make someone feel obligated to support or buy something. Especially not to get the whole story. Yeah, it hurts things like book sales, but it doesn't make the readers or myself feel uncomfortable.

smbhax.com wrote:
On the other hand, it seems harder to phrase "a don't block my ads" request that positively, since the equation is more like *if* I the reader change my behavior, the author will no longer consider me a cursed sponger--which apparently they do currently.


Thinking about it, yeah, I can see how it comes across as rude. Thinking your readers are mooches or dumber than a box of buttered bricks is one thing. Saying something that lets them know you think that is another. There's probably a way to approach it properly, but I'll be damned if I can figure it out.

Calmly explaining the financial situation behind the request - and actually couching it as a request - may help, but even then that can backfire. Especially if you've never shared info about what's happening behind the scenes or the financial side of running the comic before. The sudden change in your behavior can confuse some of your readers and make them suspicious.

I still say you should do what feels right for you. You will gather an audience that agrees with your methods over time. It may be a small audience, but it'll be there. Unfortunately, you will often offend many in the process of finding what works.

I guess the way I see it, in the end, the reader has the power to decide whether or not they want to visit a site, just read the comic through an RSS feed to avoid such notices (if possible), or drop the comic altogether.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SuitCase



Joined: 14 Jun 2010
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it demonstrates laziness and ignorance. It's saying "I decided you need to be paying me two cents a month by viewing ads, so please change your behaviour to suit my decision."

Even if it's couched in politeness. Even if it's left with "hey but it's your choice". It's petty. And uninventive. There are so many other things you can do with your time, many of them ways to monetise those people not looking at (or clicking on) ads.
_________________

Bittersweet Candy Bowl, a comic of love, drama and cats.
Updates 3 times a week!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> Webcomic Gubbins All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 3 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Hosted by Fluent
The Webcomics List is operated and owned by Ash Young. Syndicate the comic updates.