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message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike | 15 comments The paid commercial ads on GoodReads seem to be getting out of hand. It was bad enough when they appeared at the lower right side of the profile and other pages, but now they seem to have been elevated to the top of the profile page, above the Friends listing. I understand that GR needs income to survive, but let's not turn this into a sleazy infomercial.


message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 433 comments FireFox and Adblock Plus

http://adblockplus.org/en/


message 3: by Petra X (new)

Petra X (PetraX) | 5937 comments GreenBrowser and block by url or keyword. Until I got Chrome I didn't even know there were ads on GR. I don't mind the text ads though.


message 4: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (Ravenskya) The text adds dont bother me, but the big ones trigger my spyware blocking software to get angry. I have to tell it to hush every time I refresh


message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) | 5097 comments The placement of the ads don't bother me either, although I do prefer them to be at the bottom of the page. What irritates me is when they sit OVER the book information pop-up box, so that you can't read the book description.


message 6: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 1928 comments Becky wrote: "What irritates me is when they sit OVER the book information pop-up box, so that you can't read the book description."

Yeah, that happens to me a lot in Chrome. :(


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Yes, The only times the ads bother me is when they cover book descriptions or any other information making it impossible to read what's there.


JG (The Introverted Reader) | 541 comments I agree with Becky. I've had them sit right over my shelf/review box before and that's really frustrating!

I've learned to ignore them the rest of the time though. Just please don't bring back the underwear ads...


message 9: by Mike (new)

Mike | 15 comments Jon wrote: "FireFox and Adblock Plus

Thanks Jon! I installed FireFox & ADblock and both are very nice. No more ads on GoodReads!!!



message 10: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 433 comments Mike wrote: "Jon wrote: "FireFox and Adblock Plus

Thanks Jon! I installed FireFox & ADblock and both are very nice. No more ads on GoodReads!!!
"


Glad you liked it and glad I could help. :)


message 11: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
What irritates me is when they sit OVER the book information pop-up box, so that you can't read the book description

I *think* we fixed that issue. Please post screenshots if you see it again!


message 12: by Paula (new)

Paula (Paulaan) | 571 comments While I understand the need for adverts and generally quite happy with the ones being display on good reads, I found it disturbing to open up a page and to see a ad for Pablo the drug mule - with some ones hand up the rear of the dog and blood smeared. While I m not a prude I dont come to good reads to see pictures like that.


message 13: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Paula - that doesn't sound good. Please send us a screenshot and the url you get if you click on it.


message 14: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) It's an advert for talktofrank.com - drug awareness. I saw it a couple of hours ago too.


message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula (Paulaan) | 571 comments Otis - It seems to appear on the book detail page.

Inbetween the Other Editions label and the Popular Shelves label

here is an example

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70....

Thanks


message 16: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Thanks Paula! But unfortunately the ads rotate, and are even sometimes targeted at women vs men, so I didn't see it. Grabbing a screenshot is the best way to help us find it.


message 17: by Fiona (new)


message 18: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) | 5097 comments Otis wrote: "I *think* we fixed that issue. Please post screenshots if you see it again!"

Thanks for that Otis! I haven't seen it lately, so I think its fixed. :)


message 19: by Stephen (last edited Jan 24, 2009 03:16PM) (new)

Stephen Theaker (Rolnikov) | 40 comments I've been seeing it this evening - extremely unpleasant. I much preferred it when the ads were just pictures of pretty girls!

Otis, it's part of a British drugs awareness campaign, so perhaps it isn't visible to American users of the site?


JG (The Introverted Reader) | 541 comments You could be right. I'm on here a lot and I've never seen that, and I know I would have noticed that disgusting picture!


message 21: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Yes we just started running a different ad network internationally. I'll have them block it asap. Thanks Fiona!


message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) Tools like ad-block cost goodreads money, and unless you like the idea of us shutting down someday, you shouldn't use ad-blocking programs, and should discourage your friends from using them also.



message 23: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
False. Tools like AdBlock keep GR from earning as much money. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

And given how many ads which are completely offensive pop up around here on a regular basis, I will continue to use AdBlock. And feel not one whit of guilt about it either.


message 24: by Mike (new)

Mike | 15 comments rivka wrote: "False. Tools like AdBlock keep GR from earning as much money. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

AND...that's assuming that people would actually visit the ad sites...how many people do you suppose think to themselves..."Yea! There's a completely obnoxious ad cluttering up my screen. I think I'll go spend some money there!"




message 25: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 1928 comments Mike wrote: how many people do you suppose think to themselves..."Yea! There's a completely obnoxious ad cluttering up my screen. I think I'll go spend some money there!"

Enough to keep websites like Goodreads afloat, I hope. Given that I like using Goodreads for free and all.


message 26: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 433 comments The only reason I started using Adblock was because of offensive in-your-face ads at other sites (previous to my joining GoodReads). I prefer not to be harassed for someone else's profit, so I just opt out of all ads. I know it might hurt GoodReads ability to stay afloat, but I would never follow those ads anyway so it's a waste of both our time and bandwidth.


message 27: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) | 405 comments I have Adblock, but after reading Rivka's response, I disabled it for GoodReads. So far, I haven't noticed any more ads showing up than there were before.


message 28: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 433 comments Sandi wrote: "I have Adblock, but after reading Rivka's response, I disabled it for GoodReads. So far, I haven't noticed any more ads showing up than there were before."

As an experiment, I will disable Adblock for GoodReads.com this week (upon Sandi's recommendation).




JG (The Introverted Reader) | 541 comments Cait wrote: "Enough to keep websites like Goodreads afloat, I hope. Given that I like using Goodreads for free and all."

Well-said, Cait. The ads on here are not generally very intrusive/offensive, and whenever one does get a little crazy, Otis and Co. are very quick to get rid of it to keep us happy. It does seem like all of a sudden there's been a lot of "Oh, just install Adblock" showing up on these threads. If I were an advertiser, that would scare me off a little. Maybe the people who use it can just refrain from talking about it as much? Or use personal messages instead of such public forums? I do want to keep GR free, and I know that the staff have bills to pay. :-)



message 30: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) The ads that used to be on here didn't work when I clicked on them. I did see a rather horrible flashing ad the other day, one of those scammy ones telling me I'd won something and started flashing green and white very quickly which was a bit disturbing.


message 31: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
Maybe the people who use it can just refrain from talking about it as much?

I for one (deliberately) did not mention it until the guilt card was played. Others who have mentioned it have done so in response to ads that were not removed quickly enough (from their perspective) and/or really offensive ones, like the bloody dog.

FYI, if you simply ignore the ads rather than use a blocker, GR isn't making much off you either. Generally speaking, advertisers pay for hits more than for placement.

Regardless, I use GR's clickthroughs to order books from Amazon and elsewhere. They're making at least as much off me as the average non-AdBlock user.

Also, I seriously doubt the average advertiser is reading these fora . . .


message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Generally speaking, advertisers pay for hits more than for placement.

use GR's clickthroughs to order books from Amazon and elsewhere.



True! Good points.


message 33: by Mike (new)

Mike | 15 comments rivka wrote: Regardless, I use GR's clickthroughs to order books from Amazon and elsewhere. They're making at least as much off me as the average non-AdBlock user.

Honestly, I understand the need to support GR, and certainly want them to thrive. It just seemed that the ads were getting excessively loud and numerous. I don't really mind the text ads though. I also use the click-throughs to Amazon and other sites, and have bought many books that way.

Just a thought - would it reasonable for GR to accept only text ads and maybe set up a 'Donate to GR' link via PayPal (for example) to compensate?



message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) Many of our ad campaigns are paid on a cpm basis, which means they pay for you to see that ad, whether or not you actually read at it or not, they pay.

In addition to that, because showing ads that are appealing to the user are in our best interest, and the only way we can know if they are appealing is by tracking views and clicks, we don't track views if you have ads blocked and don't see the ads. So by blocking ads, you basically giving up your 'vote' that the ads are good are good and bad, and in doing so, making the overall quality of ads (from your perspective) worse.


It's very unfortunate that the majority of people using ad blockers (generally highly educated and tech savvy) are the exact people that marketers want to target and are paying us the most for.

Similarly, if we were to allow people to pay not to see ads, then the advertisers would be losing the exact people they want to advertise to most.

Also, we do try and sell ads to publishers with relevant book related ads about awesome new books coming out. When selling if we don't have a lot of ad inventory, its a much tougher sell, and by blocking ads, you're limiting our inventory.

If the ads are offensive/ugly/whatever please let us know, people are paying for you to see those things, and they want to get the best value for their money and so to we.


Honestly we would love to survive on affiliate revenue alone from partners like amazon, b&n, and half.com, but they simply don't pay very much.



Sorry for the big rant, but we're not exactly running big splash ads, popup, pop unders, home page take overs, little annoying boxes that float around, corner tears, or "plugin installers". We could make a lot more money if we did run all those offensive types of ads, but we hate them, and believe that you guys would to. I don't think seeing a shampoo ad, an ad with Ty Pennington selling himself for Tide dishwasher detergent, and a spot for maytag washers and dryers every once in a while is a lot to ask.


JG (The Introverted Reader) | 541 comments Thanks for explaining, MICHAEL. I had no idea how any of that really worked. I think you guys do a great job walking that fine line between making money and scaring off/annoying users.


message 36: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 433 comments I've survived my first day of ads on GoodReads with no surprises. I haven't seen anything that compelled me to click yet though. :)

And I always click through to Amazon from GoodReads when I want to purchase a book.

Thanks, Michael, for your sage explanation.


message 37: by WK (new)

WK | 31 comments I would never call educating a rant! Thanks for taking the time to explain.




message 38: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) However, I don't want to see it being yet another shopfront for Amazon although since GR gets its images from there, in reality it probably already is.

We do also have affiliate programs with half.com, barnes and noble, alibris, powells, and a handful of other sites.

Since we do get our images from amazon, we're contractually obligated to include their affiliate link (Thats why you can't remove amazon on: http://www.goodreads.com/user/edit#bo...).


Compared with other companies I've worked for, Otis is doing an excellent job (in my opinion) of balancing business needs with the needs/wants of our users, and I trust he will continue to do so, but please be sure to keep letting us know how we're doing, because it's the community that makes goodreads great!


message 39: by Nick (new)

Nick Black (dankamongmen) | 30 comments Set up a donate link

indeed! i have no problems with ads being served (being largely a text-only links2 user who's never deigned to install flash, i'm not going to see them in any case), but i'd like to donate.

tell you what: i pledge $100 to goodreads. go set this shit up and i'll be able to make good on it. and thanks for the fun site! =)


message 40: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
I would be quite happy to donate through a donate link as well.


message 41: by Jen (new)

Jen | 34 comments Me three. Probably not $100 at this point, but this site is definitely worth millions to me.


message 42: by Barbara (last edited Jan 29, 2009 07:26PM) (new)

Barbara | 79 comments Michael, thanks for the information about the ads. They are not a problem for me at all except for the occasional moving or animated ones.


message 43: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany | 244 comments I would donate money to Goodreads! Ooh, ooh! *raises hand wildly* I would donate!

Even if you still have the ads ... I figure you guys are so amazing, and this site is a godsend... I'd have no problem giving you big bucks to help keep things going.


message 44: by Paula (new)

Paula (Paulaan) | 571 comments Otis

Thanks - I have not seen the dog advert for a while now.

Paula


message 45: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 79 comments Now, there are talking ads which seems like a low blow when you are trying to concentrate. Any chance of getting rid of those?


message 46: by Barbara (last edited Feb 08, 2009 01:32PM) (new)

Barbara | 79 comments I should add that the ads don't seem to talk unless you click the play button, but they are distracting to me anyway--maybe I'm more ADD than the average person here.


message 47: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (stellar_raven) | 63 comments Barbara, are those the ads for momversation.com? If so, I'm having problems with them myself. They auto play, so that even if you don't hear the sound the video itself is still loading and playing. I usually keep Goodreads open in one FF tab, and browse my other regualar sites in other tabs. I have dsl--not the fastest in the world by any means--and when one of the ads appears on any Goodreads page I'm on, it slows down the loading of any other sites I'm trying to open. I very nearly called my isp provider to find out what the problem was until I happened to navigate away from the Goodreads page that the ad was on to another that didn't feature the ad, and everything went back to normal as far as loading times go.

I have no problems with video ads on the site, I just wish they didn't auto play.


message 48: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 79 comments I'm not sure, Jennifer, but there is a mom-like woman talking. I will check the next time I see one. That is definitely an irritating result. I have a pretty fast connection now so I didn't notice.


message 49: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (stellar_raven) | 63 comments Here's a screencap I took of my profile when the ad turned up yesterday.

Link

I must say though the last time I saw the ad was when I took the screencap yesterday. Before that it seemed like it turned up on every other page I visited.


message 50: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 79 comments Yes, that's definitely it. I haven't seen it again either.


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