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One month on...

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by brumgrunt, 8 Feb 2012.

  1. 3lusive

    3lusive Minimodder

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    Excellent post. I agree completely that bittech should look for other forms of revenue generation, because the intrusive/annoying/misleading adds are exactly why I run adblock for almost every website I visit.
     
  2. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    There are already concerns about the state of the community in recent times on the forums here and I can say with near certainty that if bit-tech started charging for avatar changes the community would be harmed by it.

    Charging for avatar changes makes it something that very few people just do on a whim.
    Just think of it: No more arbitrary christmas avatars, no more owl avatars, no more patrick/sparta avatars, no more relix avatars.

    That's not to say that I think charging for avatars would single-handedly ruin the community - But it's one of those little things that I think people would look back on and say bitterly that "It was better when we could change avatars any time for fun.. Remember that one thread where we all changed to relix/owls for a laugh?".
    Changes like that have ripple effects and I'm not convinced it would be a beneficial direction for the site in the long-term.

    Additionally, I just want to make my stance on advertisements clear; for fear of being (non-maliciously) misconstrued:
    I don't have a problem with ads on a site that I want to support whatsoever as long as those ads aren't obnoxious (ie; as long as they don't have audio, flash video, popups or other idiotic tricks) and aren't a drain on my connection or performance - But don't expect me to click on them. Ads are to be seen for mindshare, not for interaction.

    I'm far from being an expert on these matters - But couldn't Dennis/Bit-Tech find an ad partner who pays for viewed ads instead of clicked ads? Or is that no longer the done thing online?
    How many people really click on ads? I'd be eager to see the results of the recent survey.
     
  3. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    We all know Bit has to have adverts to balance the books. It is trying to find a balance between revenue and and not annoying the users. Zurechial is correct, adverts that use cheap tricks are the annoying ones. Personally I hate video adds as I find them distracting but that's the way adverts are going these days.
     
  4. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    We do, it's just we've not found anything that can match advertising. I'm not really keen on the idea of charging for avatar changes etc, and nor do I want to charge for the content itself (which is expensive to put together). But there are precious few ways for a website to bring in the revenue needed to do what we do.

    S
     
  5. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    Point accepted and acknowledged. However, the flip side - and I'm playing devil's advocate here - is that those ads tend to work. I'm not much of a fan of them myself, but with so many people blocking or ignoring 'traditional' ads, something, somewhere has to give. All suggestions, of course, appreciated.

    S
     
  6. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    I don't personally want to see us charging for basic forum features.

    We try all sorts of advertising options, including viewed and clicked ads. Helpfully (for the site), lots of people support advertising on the site, which allows us to keep doing what we're doing!

    S
     
  7. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    I did chuckle when I saw that ad pop up, I must admit. Oddly, the click rate on it wasn't bad, though!
     
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  8. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    Just to be clear: When I say not to expect me to click on the ads it's meant more as an acknowledgement of the fact that I'm not in that habit, as I've said before; rather than an outright refusal to do so.

    These responses make a big difference, Simon.
     
  9. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    I appreciate that. It does remain a balancing act that, I suspect, nobody will ever be fully happy with. But we keep trying!
     
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  10. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    I do understand it's a balancing act. But for those of us on capped connections (mine is 10GB) AdBlock means the difference between being able to browse and not being able to. What about a voluntary donation ability? If I leave ads up, I blow my cap out halfway through the month. With them off, we scrape through. I'd love to support you more, but what scheme you have now actually hurts me. I'd give money when I could to keep you afloat. I'm sure others would as well. A paid ad-free version? I'm sure there's some way to sort this.
     
  11. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    Sadly, voluntary donations very rarely work. I do appreciate capped connections - I spend half my time on a 3GB-capped USB dongle - although I don't think the ads on the site chew too much of that. But I appreciate the point you're making.

    The problem is, without the ads, you don't have a site - this one, or many others - to read int he first place.

    A paid ad-free version is an interesting idea. But how many, when it came to the crunch, would pay for it?

    I do appreciate the feedback a lot. Please do keep it coming.

    Simon
     
  12. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    Well, the fact that we've seen real change since you've arrived means that I for one am willing to say your arrival was a good thing. I'm glad we're moving closer to the things that made Bit great, while being able to look ahead to what's next.
     
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  13. urobulos

    urobulos Minimodder

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    Some random(ish) suggestions:

    - not sure whether this is realistic in terms of resources, but maybe some video reviews or at least a youtube channel; don't need it for most stuff; I don't want to be staring at videos of someone running CPU and GPU benchmarks really, but could be a nice feature for case reviews and modding content; only do it if it adds to the content rather than replacing your current writing

    - podcast, podcast, podcast, podcast; pretty please; it looks like the people left at bit-tech do have something interesting to say, especially as the site does feel more lively

    - re ads; I recently added bit-tech to whitelist on adblock, but I just don't register the existence of adds. In the very rare cases I browse internet and I can't remove ads, I never register them anyway, unless they are the animated, window spamming, noisy type; if I get surprised like that I make a point of avoiding that brand as much as possible; no helpful comments how to make it work really

    - maybe it's not a fair comparison, but quite a few sites seem to release more reviews than you do, even if they are not always up to the same quality. I know you are limited by review samples and that your US competitors review a lot of stuff which is never released in UK. But even taking that into account, I feel there could be more hardware reviewed. I guess at the end of the day it's a money issue.

    Generally I visit bit-tech more often and usually find an article or two worth reading, especially when compared to last year.
     
  14. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Multimodder

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    I'm not sure if you have addressed the podcast point, Simon.

    Could you clarify whether they will be brought back?
     
  15. kelmannen

    kelmannen What's a Dremel?

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    please please PLEASE remove the fullscreen ad! Bit-tech is no longer whitelisted in my ff... no ads for me now, i can take ads as they keep you running. but ABUSING me in the face like THAT, RAPING my screen? byebye ads! and almost bt to...!
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2012
  16. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    A few points here. I've heard the complains about the full screen ad, and they've been noticed. I've been told that it was only supposed to run once at most for each user, but an error meant it kept reoccurring.

    The podcast? I just can't commit to it at the moment. Likewise, it's not being ruled out, and we've got plenty to say. It's just we're still a way from having things quite as settled as I'd like, and I need to sort that first.

    Reviews: it's been a quieter week for reviews, but mainly because we've got a massive test of a thus-far embargoed release coming, which we're pouring everything into. We are quite choosy, and will continue to be so. Do expect more reviews in due course, though, as we gradually introduce some of the new writers that we've found.

    Simon
     
  17. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Multimodder

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    I have disabled ad blocker and not had an occurrence tonight, so good!

    The podcast.. things not quite settled? Does that mean certain staff are not happy with new things?

    A cheesecake will fix all.
     
  18. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    No turbulence behind the scenes, no. Just very busy, and working out various bits of logistics, plus we're gradually bringing a few new writers in, following our ad on the front of the site.

    The podcast is just tricky, even with Skype. But I am hearing the continual request for it!

    Cheesecake? I'm still on a diet. Sob.
     
  19. greypilgers

    greypilgers What's a Dremel?

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    Basically Bit-Tech, or the people behind it at Dennis, don't give a toss what their readers opinions are, as this record is so old now Noah was the first person to comment on it.

    Honestly, the approach given by your advertising department almost resembles abuse! We post that your advertising methods are intrusive and detract from the enjoyment of the site, and Christ, countless people openly confess to adblocking your site, and yet rather than use the carrot approach instead you quite happily pick up the great heavy stick of FULL SCREEN ADVERTISING and beat us about the browser with that instead.

    We kinda feel like the abused spouse, who just gets hit harder every time we complain.

    Clearly whoever is in charge (and since we never, ever get any response from Bit-Tech that doesn't resemble either 'we didn't know about the advert' or 'we are listening and feeding your views back, honestly!', or the complete and insulting blanking from Dennis themselves), is NOT listening, so please explain to me why we should give a damn about the same old promises being fed to us now, Simon?

    Perhaps if you didn't try and force nonsensical or pointless adverts down our throats and actually prevent us from seeing the content on your site, you might find that fewer people adblock bit-tech and you get a higher QUALITY of clicks on reasoned and efficient adverts.

    Strong words, yes, but everything you've said on this has been said before by Bit-Tech staff over and over again, and yet the advertising methods on BT clearly have got worse and more intrusive over time. As I say, why should we believe anything that is said now? Perhaps its time for someone in Dennis' advertising department to move on, and someone with fresh ideas to be given a chance. Blanket bombing is counter-productive now.
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2012
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  20. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt What's a Dremel?

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    Firstly, I'm not feeding you promises. I think, and feel free to tell me if you think this is wrong, I've been open, and answered all questions honestly since I came to the site.

    My position, for clarity, is this. The site needs advertising. It's because it has advertising that we can do what we do. In exchange for the advertising, the content is available to you all, free of charge. It's not a radical trade-off, granted, but it's still a trade-off.

    I don't think too many people have problems with that bit, though. The problems are some of the advertising platforms being used.

    Again, with a dose of devil's advocate, and in the spirit of openness, advertising approaches have to change to have any impact (using AdBlock stops the site bringing in money, although I'd never challenge anyone's right to use it. But ad formats inevitably adapt to it in the market in general). I've tried to see this argument from both sides, and that is one side of the debate.

    To your direct point: some of the advertising has been over-intrusive. I don't think anyone, our ad team included, was a fan of the full screen eBay ad, not least the error that led to it running time and time again. I share your frustration, and I've had an apology from the ads side for the fact that it ended up running so many times.

    What do we do next? Well, the content will remain free. That's the first thing. To fund that, we have to keep looking for ad formats that work for you, and work for advertisers. We'll keep trying things with that in mind, but - and I can't convince you these aren't hollow words, I appreciate that - this is something that's being taken really very seriously within Dennis. I try and see the ad team at least once a week, and it's always high on the agenda.

    Not perfect answers, I suspect, but honest ones.

    S
     
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