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Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by iwog, 31 Aug 2007.

  1. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    Now, Mattt, you've been a member of this forum since...when? 2001? I'd expect this from an internet troll, but really, let's put this in perspective.

    You've seen this forum go from pretty much nothing to what it is, and you keep coming back. Obviously, we're doing something that keeps you interested, and we've (so far) managed to not stop you from wanting to visit again.

    I appreciate that change may be frightening and that you've seen other places go down the drain quality wise, but I would hope that by this long, you'd learn to trust us a bit that we're keeping quality in mind. I mean, honestly, not EVERY change is worthy of a long missive on how we're selling out for fatter pay raises or how we love the community less simply because an ad changes from how you saw them done before.

    Of course, there's always the one conspiracy theorist swearing we've just sold the site to worldwide marketing...maybe you're it this time. Oddly, I'd have expected a little more rationale than rant from someone who's walked with us for so long.
     
  2. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    In what way is usability at all diminished? I'd like to understand your perspective

    I'm the guy in charge of this area of our business so I'm happy to respond to any specific questions below
     
  3. Mattt

    Mattt Member

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    First RTT thanks for clearing that up.

    "Now, Mattt, you've been a member of this forum since...when? 2001? I'd expect this from an internet troll, but really, let's put this in perspective."

    Da Dego I have being stating resonable opinions and asking resonable questions. hardly fair to be compared to a troll.

    "I appreciate that change may be frightening and that you've seen other places go down the drain quality wise"

    Frightening. hardly. Its just a website after all. annoying that another place may go down like the others. yes.

    "I mean, honestly, not EVERY change is worthy of a long missive on how we're selling out for fatter pay raises or how we love the community less simply because an ad changes from how you saw them done before. "

    It was RTT's original un edited post that put me along those lines .
    when things like "wouldn’t you like a pay rise even if you are living perfectly comfortably?" *don't have an exact quote for that* are said what sort of conclusion do you think people will jump to?

    "Of course, there's always the one conspiracy theorist swearing we've just sold the site to worldwide marketing...maybe you're it this time. Oddly, I'd have expected a little more rationale than rant from someone who's walked with us for so long."

    I would have expected a more reasonable response then this from someone who is on the bit-tech staff and meant to be a piller of our community! unlike RTT's posts i have had the distinct impression that you have been trying to bait me into a reflex reaction to prove your point.
     
  4. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey New Member

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    i think the only people who will actually notice any difference are those who are occasionally on dial up... or own an internet or wifi phone. When trying to go onto bit-tech on my phone ive now given up... the old site was much quicker but times change and i have to deal with this. So i just crack open the laptop and use that instead.
    The front page i wouldnt have noticed and in my opinion i like the styling :)

    Bit-tech is doing something.... and for the most part it works for most people..

    i like the new way that the forsale forum looks.. but i dont like the rest of the design.. but thats personal opinion and might differ from someone elses...

    put simply.. get over it.. without ads.. bit-tech wouldnt be here.

    *bows*
     
  5. FIBRE+

    FIBRE+ Active Member

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    It is tastefully done, but it's a bit too in your face...

    I think it's a bit too integrated into the main content, there's not enough separation, which I think is the issue for most people. I fell it removes some of the Bit-Tech identity

    Why not add a thick purple border around the outside of the main content? :)
     
  6. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Trust me: we don't get pay rises ;)

    While I personally preferred the look of the MOH takeover, I don't really mind this one. It looks good, provides bit with more money and is relevant to the community. The important phrase there is that it provides bit with more money. The extra cash from advertising doesn't go straight into anybodies pockets - it goes into the company, allowing us to grow and expand and do more things. If putting up an advert is the difference between getting Bit-tech to go to E3 next year or leaving us sat on our arses, then I'd put up the advert.

    Then again, I'm not in the sales office so what do I know? That area is kept entirely seperate from the editorial office and the two are never allowed to overlap. Hiren is only allowed down here to deliver the mail or to drink some of our special hot chocolate nothing else.

    What should be important to readers is that Bit-tech remains a reliable, honest, relevant and available source of information as well as being a thriving community. By keeping our offices seperate, posting occasional full-page adverts and encouraging discussion like this (instead of banning anyone who objects, such as may happen on other sites) we do that.

    We're not going down the tube, so don't worry.
     
  7. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    *cue fat barstard joke*

    I thought he came down to Jamies cakes?
     
  8. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    My apologies, Mattt. I was a bit frustrated at the fact that, whilst posting rather logical reasoning, you went ahead back onto the whole salaries concept a few minutes later, not even bothering to incorporate my reply into your next post. It sounded more like you are determined to ask whether we're going downhill and why we're doing this when we don't need the money, instead of listening to the replies that were in place for your perusal.

    What I *didn't* see at the time was RTT's original un-edited post, and actually still don't know what it contained. I'll assume THAT is why you brought up the salary comment, which makes my own response a touch un-justified.

    Anyhow, I'm not trying to have a go - but please keep in mind, it's hard to hear that we are always "selling out" with every change when I think the track record speaks the opposite. In some ways, I wish we were the kind of corporate giant that didn't get hurt to hear it (or things that could be construed as), but I suppose if it were that way we would be exactly what you're outlining.
     
  9. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    Incidentally, for anyone getting their knickers in a twist over this, it's a 24-hour blitz. This design comes down tomorrow. There will be others and we will take your feedback into consideration
     
  10. RTT

    RTT #parp

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    :read: :p
     
  11. will.

    will. A motorbike of jealousy!

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    Can you make one that flashes randomly through R G B at 30 FPS and plays girls aloud really really loud... I just want to read subsequent the hissy fits. They are entertaining.
     
  12. Hugo

    Hugo Ex-TrustedReviews Staff

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    Well, that's not entirely true: if Bit-Tech didn't go down the tubes no-one could view the site and complain about our advertising.
     
  13. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    No no, the internet isn't a toob - it's a series of trucks. Don't be so absurd.
     
  14. Mother-Goose

    Mother-Goose 5 o'clock somewhere

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    Ok, well as usability is some what subjective I'll just list the points I thought were a bit iffy:

    Due to the colour of the advert and the borders the front page appears to have lost it's structure, it looks as if everything is slightly suspended ad-hoc on the page, thus disrupting the users mental model, even though everything is exactly where it was before I had to find the buttons again, quite bizarre and took me by surprise. This definitely wasn't the effect of the MoH-A one.

    The affordance of the buttons also seems to have disappeared due to "suspension in thin air" of the buttons.

    Just my two cents on it but you asked so I provided:clap:
     
  15. evilgreenie

    evilgreenie Standby for Main Engine Burn

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    Sorry - I don't understand the economics of blocking bit-tech ads. Isn't your ad revenue by click-thru? As I'm never to likely click-thru what is the loss to bit-tech of me ad-blocking? I personally hate flash ads with a vengeance as it makes it really hard to read the site, so I block them.
     
  16. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    Not always. Without going into too much detail, even "per click" sales (which most advertising isn't) require a certain number of views. Otherwise, they make statistics buggy. For instance, say we have a million readers, but a third of them block ads. Now, when a company approaches us and says "You are the biggest in your field, and we'd like to advertise with you, but we want to see some numbers..." Which do we show them? The actual number of people looking at the site, or the number of people looking at the site with ads?

    Blocking ads has a negative impact across the board. It makes our site look smaller than it is to advertisers, so they're less likely to care about us. Worse, we're the biggest modding site in the world, so that shrink means that the modding community and DIY community looks smaller, too. That means companies will be less likely to sponsor things like mod projects because they see that modding isn't that popular, at least by the numbers.

    Ad blocking has a ripple effect well beyond just our little niche in the universe, though I will not lie and pretend there is no self-preservation aspect to it. Ads provide "free" content to you, be it on our site or others. When you block the ads to hurt the advertisers who make annoying designs, you really hurt the sites that carry the ads and not the advertisers themselves. A lot more feedback comes from people like Mother_Gooser, who says "Hey, here's what I think of them." Then we can go to the advertisers and say "Our readers would much prefer ads based on this, or that, or the other."

    Let's be honest, whether Bit-tech and other sites are here or not, Intel will still sell chips, Viewsonic will still sell monitors and Scan will still be the best UK spot to buy hardware. These things don't change. So by blocking ads, all you do is prove that internet advertising isn't the most useful way to go about things, so companies stop spending on it altogether. Instead, they'll devote more money to things like TV ads, which are more expensive, thus raising retail prices up.

    It all is tied together in a very convoluted and complex economic circle - and by blocking ads, you throw that out of balance. The payback may not be today, but in a year or two when 1/4 of the sites you loved to read can't stay afloat and your retail prices have increased to pay for different, more expensive methods of advertising (and you'll have to buy things since companies won't sponsor the mods anymore because it seems too niche), you'll see it.

    It's business, and it would be great if we could detach it all and just say we run on hearts, flowers, puppies, kittens and love - but that business also provides a lot of benefit when I can have huge industry players ASKING to offer competitions to our modders, Joe can get gaming companies to give away to our members, and guys at Scan give our members bonuses and price discounts.

    I'll go more into this in an upcoming column I've been working on, but I hope this helps to understand why it's really not as victimless as it seems.
     
  17. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    I would dispute that OUR flash ads make the site hard to read, but you are entitled to your opinion. The precise details of our commercial activities are naturally confidential but, unlike the majority of sites, I can tell you that our revenue is not solely CPC (cost per click, which is what you're referring to). As such, we need people to look at banners, and certainly also click any they are interested in. I can tell you there were a TON of you interested in the EA MoH:A offer of a free Prima Guide if you order the game online.

    While I agree there is zero value in "zap the monkey" or "download 100,000 smilies" banners, you'll note that we don't run any of those on bit-tech. Nor do we run annoying in-text advertising (IntelliTXT and the like) unlike others. We work very hard with partners to produce relevant banners that aren't super annoying (you'll note the abscence of audio etc) but still get the job done.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 17 Sep 2007
  18. evilgreenie

    evilgreenie Standby for Main Engine Burn

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    Wow - thanks for the info! That explains a lot..

    As an aside, having allowed bit-tech in ad-block, your site designers must be heart-broken.. Some of those ads are really ugly. You have a nice clean hi-res site and some of these ads are spamming what looks like low-res text down the borders - in the forum pages in particular.

    Perhaps we should have a favourite ad and ugliest ad poll. The Seasonic side-banner has good colours, sharp graphics and subtle annimation, but the PC Power & Cooling forum banner is the wrong size (overlaps the navigation tabs), and the text looks badly rescaled.. ughh

    EDIT: bah- the forum banners are the correct size - my Imagezoom firefox plug-in was corrupting the image size. LOL another firefox plug-in to blame....
     
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2007
  19. RTT

    RTT #parp

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    Yeah, it's a massively mistaken notion that banners are pay-per-click :) Any site that has any significant amount of traffic will be "CPM", meaning companies book a certain number of impressions (views) and pay a flat rate per 1000 views they book :)
     
  20. Hugo

    Hugo Ex-TrustedReviews Staff

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    Or just say "oh well you average x views per week so we'll have a weeks advertising for £x" and have done.

    Its like TV advertising, companies don't pay per view, they pay for a certain amount of slots based on the likely viewership.
     

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