Quick note: I’m experimenting with showing ads on the blog. In my time with scientopia, I dumped a frankly ridiculous amount of money into keeping things online – it ended up coming to around $4K/year. Obviously, this site is a lot cheaper, since I only need to support the one blog, but still, I’d like to get to the point where it’s self-supporting.

If the ads are annoying, let me know. I’m trying to strike a compromise. I’d like to get some money coming in to cover hosting costs, but I don’t want to degrade the experience of my readers. The way I’ve set it up, the ads shouldn’t have popups, and they shouldn’t have any interactive animations. If you see anything like that, please let me know as soon as possible, and I’ll do my best to get it fixed. At the moment, the visual appearance of the ads is less than idea, but I’ll be tweaking it until it’s reasonable. (For now, things are still in process with Google, so all you see is a big yellowish box as a placeholder; as soon as someone at Google gets around to approving it, that should be replaced by ads.

If ads are offensive, again, let me know. I don’t want to be giving exposure to blatantly offensive rubbish.

If ads are pseudoscience or that sort of thing, I don’t care. I believe that the people who read this blog are intelligent enough to realize what a sham that crap is, and I have no problem taking money from them – every cent they waste buying ads on my blog is a cent that they’re not using for something a lot worse!

12 thoughts on “Administrivia

  1. mlhaufe

    A suggested reading section in the sidebar and/or inline might be nice as well with links to Amazon or similar. That may throw a few bucks your way; plus your readers are more likely to buy those items vs. a generic ad.

    1. Anzel

      I like this option–if you had some good math/comp sci books that you’d recommend, I’d give them a consideration.

      Also, what about PayPal or some other donation link? I’ve gotten years of good reading from your blog, and I’d be happy to toss a $20 your way as a way of saying thanks.

  2. Oskar

    This was the ad I got when checking out this post:

    I don’t mind ads at all. In fact, I think it would be great if this blog were to become self-supporting, and I agree with you that it would be a delicious irony if people selling pseudo-scientific nonsense unwittingly were the ones paying to run this site.

    But this ad is a bit much. First off all, it’s a weird size, so it messes with the layout of the site. More importantly, it seems to be advertising some skeezy asian wife buying service, which is pretty gross. It also seems demeaning to women, something which this blog has – to your great credit – taken a significant stand against.

    I don’t know if you have any ability to regulate this stuff or choose which kinds of ads appear on the site (I’m guessing not, but I’ve never run a website), but since you asked if anyone found any of the ads offensive, I guess I’m raising my hand here. Again, I have no problem with having ads on the site, just this particular one.

    1. markcc Post author

      I agree – that is entirely unacceptable, and I’m frankly shocked that Google agreed to place it. If I can’t turn off ads like that, I’ll just completely kill the entire advertising thing. I will *not* have shit like that appearing on my blog.

    2. markcc Post author

      I think I’ve got that one blocked – the google UI for blocking ads isn’t exactly friendly. If you see it again, and you can find the URL of the ad, it’s easier to block with that than with a screenshot.

      1. Ian

        Personally I hate ads, but I understand why people need them in some circumstances.

        Maybe there’d be a way to put a “report this ad” button on, capturing the URL, so you can semi-automate the blocking?

        1. markcc Post author

          I’m not a big fan of ads either, which is why I waited this long to set them up. Sadly, I think it’s the least-awful option.

          WRT setting up a “report ad” button: I don’t know of any easy way to do that. The way that the ads get placed asynchronously makes it difficult to programmatically capture the ad URL. It’s certainly something that I could figure out how to do, given enough time, but I’d much rather spend that time actually writing for the blog.

  3. Dave W.

    My main concern is ads that overrun while browsing on my phone, since it’s really hard to get rid of those. Fortunately, I don’t see ads on this site from my phone at this time.

    1. markcc Post author

      That’s deliberate: the mobile view of the blog is barely readable as is; adding ads, it’s a disaster. So I’ve got it turned out there.

      I’m putting up the ads as a way to support the blog, not a way to make a lot of money. I’d rather not get any money from the ads than make reading the block suck.


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