Ad Issue

angry-nerdJust wanted to say quickly that if you’re having the site freeze up on you on occasion right now, I’m aware of the issue and have tracked it down to a certain ad network’s ads being the culprit.

I now have my ad people on it and they are attempting to track down which network within their network is serving the offending ads.  It’s actually surprisingly difficult and time consuming to track down such things, but the issue *should* be resolved within a day or so, with that particular network being banned from TIFO once identified.

Sorry for the inconvenience. It has been driving me crazy too. 🙂

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  • There’s an easy way around this self-imposed problem.

    Don’t have ads!

    Most sane people block them anyway, so they’re never seen, and the newest ad-blocker I installed recently actually blocks them before they are even served, so really does eliminate their thieving load.

    And there’s no truth in the propaganda that by blocking them we are depriving some poor soul of revenue – since we ignore anything that arrives via any unsolicited source anyway, be that by a web page, our snailmail box, or our phones.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Hugh: “Don’t have ads!” So simple! 😉 But the truth is that even one day without ads and TIFO would go in the hole for that month. Pretty much whatever money comes in gets put right back into the site in the form of more content. As you might expect, heavily researched articles are extremely time consuming to produce, meaning they cost boatloads more than what most sites pay for articles. In fact, I have one friend who owns a very popular site that pays about 1/8th of what I do per article. But to get top quality, accurate edutainment articles, that’s just what it costs. I’ve tried going with cheaper authors for TIFO’s style content, but it never works. (Nor should it. People deserve to get paid a fair price for their skill, time, and effort.)

      “And there’s no truth in the propaganda that by blocking them we are depriving some poor soul of revenue…” Most ads are CPM-based, whether you ignore them or not, the website gets paid. The important thing there is that they load. It pays for articles; it pays for an extra layer of fact checking; it pays for editing; it pays for audio work; it pays for a bagillion tedious and tiny jobs involved in keeping a popular site running; and it pays for hosting, which is very expensive when you’re running a site that gets about four and a half million page views per month and on any given day might see a huge spike in traffic which the hosting has to handle without bringing the site down. This all costs a shocking amount of money, and it takes an amazing amount of eyeballs just to earn $1 off of ads. So please don’t take away your eyeballs if you like this site. 🙂

      Bottom line, thankfully (for you ad-blockers too), most sane people DO NOT block ads. Because no ads = no TIFO, or really most any other site out there that isn’t behind a pay-wall or selling you something. I mean, if you just hate TIFO and the internet, by all means attempt to get everyone to install ad-blocker.

      Of course, if people would like to pay to view, I’ll happily get rid of all ads for them, and if enough pay to be able to cover TIFO’s monthly bills, for everyone. I hate ads as much as you do; perhaps even more as I have to both deal with their displaying and actually managing them on the back end, which is far more annoying I can tell you. Like right now having to track down an ad network serving ads in a way they aren’t supposed to, instead of spending my time producing more great content. The pay to subscribe way is much better there as more hours of work are then spent producing content people like instead of messing with ads.

      If I had only 5,000 or so people willing to pay to subscribe monthly for less than the price of a cup of coffee, I could make TIFO ad-free. It would be awesome. But from asking around with similar article-based sites to mine that have tried something like this, even with my 3 million-ish monthly viewers, there’s very little chance I could get anywhere close to 5,000 people willing to pay that cheaper than coffee price every month unless I wanted to erect a pay-wall or something, which, no. Never going to happen.

      This type of “pay even though you could get it for free” model does work somewhat for some extremely popular YouTube channels, presumably because great YouTube channels are somewhat more rare than great article-based sites. Although even then, most YouTubers still run ads beyond what YouTube would serve anyway. Good videos are even more expensive to produce than good articles, which is partially why the ad-model often doesn’t work as a sole form of revenue for many popular YouTube channels. They need both.

      That said, I have been considering launching some sort of paid subscription option anyway for those who just don’t want to look at ads. As long as they subscribe, those subscribers would see no ads on TIFO. I imagine few would do it, but nice to have the option available I think for those who want it. And if it worked out really well, I could reduce the number of ads on TIFO for everyone and/or possibly get more content produced daily for people to enjoy. Something I’ve been mulling over.