Update: Good News and Touchy Subjects

Celebrity Zillions

So, first things first. The good news: The Lost Worlds of Power has a release date.

It’s later than I had hoped, but…well, I’ll explain all the lessons I’ve learned in a blog post down the line. Suffice it to say…

The Lost Worlds of Power will be released on Friday, October 31, 2014. That’s Halloween, which seems appropriate to me for many reasons. It also means you’ll have the whole weekend to read novelizations that you can spend the following week wishing you hadn’t.

Again, the ebook will be free to download. Physical copies and other updates to come, but for now, that’s the important thing: the anthology releases on October 31. Be here!

Now…well, not quite bad news. But maybe a touchy subject. And I’d like your honest feedback.

I mentioned it a while ago (back when my Breaking Bad reviews were pulling in daily visits in quadruple digits), but this blog / site / whatever the fuck it is got popular enough that it must have triggered something, somewhere.

Very soon after that I got flooded with offers for product reviews, guest posts, link networks…all kinds of stuff. Most of it, I’m sure, unsavory. So, hey, that’s an easy no.

But I also got a few invitations from ad servers. Some looked like garbage, but one seemed pretty legit. In conversation with the rep, I came to trust her enough that, on my own, I’d be willing to give it a whirl.

Having said that…I kind of want to open it up to discussion. After all, you guys are reading this page. If you suddenly stopped reading, that would make me pretty sad. That’s exactly what I don’t want to happen.

So, full disclosure: I’d be paid to host ads on the site. She told me they’d be entertainment themed, so probably TV and film-related stuff. I won’t know until I see it myself. She assured me that the ads would be non-invasive (ie: no autoplaying videos or crap like that), and I could put them wherever I want. So, probably in the sidebar.

As much as I love this site, it is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of time to keep running. I know we go through dry spells here, but even then I’m still putting out 2-3 pieces per week on average, which is more than it might sound like. And while I don’t need to get paid, I have to admit…it sure would be nice to get paid for writing the things I truly love to write.

Those are the pros.

The cons are in your hands. Let me know, and be honest about it. Personally, I don’t care about ads on the sites I visit, as long as they don’t do anything annoying. But I know others have strong feelings about them, and it’s only fair that I ask before I do anything.

There’s no commitment with the ad server; if I try this for a week and we (or I, or you) decide that it’s not working, it stops the moment I remove the code from my own site. That much is easy.

But if you know up front that this is going to be a deal-breaking, let me know. I’ll leave this open for discussion (at least) until Monday.

My intention is not to piss anybody off, or make this place less pleasant for readers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I absolutely love the collection of commenters this site has accumulated. All of them. Especially the ones who seem like they hate me.

I don’t want you going anywhere. If it comes down to keeping you or making money from the site, I’ll unquestionably choose to keep you. But if I can have both? Well, then I’m one step closer to writing creatively for a living, and if I hit that point, there’d be a hell of a lot more content coming from me.

Anyway, that’s enough outta me. The floor is yours.

16 thoughts on “Update: Good News and Touchy Subjects”

  1. Will there be spam ads for me, Rachael Ray, every day or just ads for my Spammy Award winning television shows? I don’t want this plaiceless pheasant either.

  2. I generally use an ad blocker, so they wouldn’t be intrusive for me, at least. However, would ad blockers stop you from getting your payment? I’m never sure how that works.

    1. I wrote a whole paragraph about AdBlocker and then deleted it. I really couldn’t find a balance I was comfortable with when discussing that…but I’ll try here.

      You’re correct that I wouldn’t get paid if the ad is blocked. If it displays for a visitor, I get some small amount. If a visitor clicks an ad, I get a larger amount.

      The thing is, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from using AdBlocker. The one thing that I would ask, though, is that anyone using it deactivates it at least once when (if) the ads are live, that way I can get specific feedback from folks who might not otherwise see them.

      So, yep, the choice is yours! No hard feelings to anyone who chooses to block them. If anyone is so inclined they can deactivate AdBlocker on this site (or any site) on a singular basis while still blocking ads at large, but by no means is that mandatory.

  3. Okay, let’s see if I can insert a quote this time without fucking everything up (like I did in response to your post on Junta, heh):
    And while I don’t need to get paid, I have to admit…it sure would be nice to get paid for writing the things I truly love to write.

    While I don’t personally care either way, since ad placement is literally all over the internet nowadays, perhaps there’s a better way to approach the idea of generating revenue (yes, take advice from a commercially-unsuccessful musician, heh). Since you state later that you want people to read your work, and since you do a considerable amount of writing, I imagine that you have things you’ve written outside of the scope of this site. Why not package them as a book (or even an ebook, in order to sidestep printing costs) and sell them through the site? The Lost Worlds of Power is a start, of course, but you could always expand beyond that as well. Another possibility is that you could create a subscribers section of the site.

    Perhaps it is just me, but while I don’t personally mind whether you incorporate advertising on the site, I think you should advertise *your* work, not someone else’s…but, again, this is advice from a commercially-unsuccessful musician, so ‘caveat emptor’.

    1. Great, great feedback. Thank you!

      …I’m tempted to reply but it’s almost worth a full post on its own, since you raise a lot of good points and suggestions. In fact, I’ll probably do that, because I think a lot of these things are worthy of larger discussions on their own. :)

  4. I don’t mind ads that don’t do anything aggravating, and since it sounds like you’ve already made sure that they won’t be, I don’t see a problem with you being rewarded for your efforts (I don’t see a problem with it either way, of course, but it seems like this won’t really affect anyone negatively, which is a double plus).

    1. Thanks man.

      If it turns out I was misled in any way and the ads are annoying people, I’ll definitely pull the plug on them.

  5. I actually use an ad blocker among other things. I find most advertisements and ad companies to be really invasive to my privacy, especially if they try to store tracking cookies onto my computer. However, I don’t think it’s bad to have banner ads on your blog as long as they are well placed, work safe and are either images / flash. (I hate video ads that autoplay, because they usually blast at high volume comically scaring me, or because they disturb whatever youtube video i’m playing in the background.) It’s your site though, and I think every content creator deserves a little side cash. It’s even better if you get to choose the particular ads or have control in removing one if it’s offensive / scammy. I actually don’t think it’s wrong to review products that are sent to you by companies, so long as you are transparent on the details (that you got it for free for review purposes) and that still give your honest opinion despite getting free stuff.

  6. Go for it, Phil. Ad up! I, like so many other folks it seems, use an adblocker, but for me it’s mostly about bandwidth use cos Australian internet is terrible. I have a few sites I whitelist so their ads play, and yours would be no exception. Site costs you money to put up, yeah? Domain fees or something? I’ve never run a website… so since WE are the people enjoying it, we should be able to pay at least SOME of the bill by having adblock off and doing what we’re gonna do anyway, which is visit and read the site. Simple.

  7. Hey, I don’t know if you remember me, so I don’t know how much would you care for my opinion, but if you want to hear it, then yes, I not only wouldn’t be against you getting paid for putting ads on the blog (I can’t speak for other readers, but I personally trust that you won’t be in favour of adding annoying or intrusive ads, so that’s not a matter I’m worried about) but it would actually make me a little happy to know that you are making money off of this blog, I mean, I have read a lot of your posts on this blog, and even if you express some opinion that I don’t agree with, I never found myself saying “this guy is wrong” or “this guy is speaking out of his ass”, because I never thought that you wrote something without thinking carefully about it or that you made things up, there’s also the fact that I’ve laughed a lot with most a lot of your comments, like the ALFs reviews, and even back at your youtube channel.
    Overall what i’m saying is, If there’s someone that deserves to make money out of this, is you, and with the amount of people that make money with ads that are completely unoriginal and boring, it will really make me happy to know that there are some guys that really deserve the money they get out of ads.
    Again I’m really sorry if this comment just seems like nonsensical and unreadable shit because of horrible grammar, because as I said English is not actually my first language, but if I can make it simpler for the sake of screwing less things up: Yes, put ads, I don’t think there are a lot of people that could say that you don’t deserve the money.

  8. Real short and easy answer from me – as long as they’re not video ads that cause my browser to crash like another site you might be familiar with started having recently (ahem), and as long as they’re not “pop-over” ads, i’m good. Go for it. :)

  9. I say give it a try. you’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that they won’t suck, and there doesn’t seem to be a huge commitment, so if we go for a few weeks, and it turns out that they’re awful, you’ll probably hear from readers, and are free to take them down. Sounds win-win to me.

  10. I think non-invasive is the key. On one hand, ads are the natural way to support the internet. On the other hand, some sites (e.g. YouTube) incorporate the shittiest ads in the most annoying ways possible. So if you have some control over the latter, the former wins out. With the amount of effort and love you pour into this site, I certainly wouldn’t begrudge you doing it. I would do the same.

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