I was offered some advertising revenue in exchange for five subdomains, which would point to advertisements for various services or products. Advertising on this site has always been a sore subject for me. I just don’t like it, I don’t want it, and I don’t want to subject my audience to it, however small or large a group you are. However, I’ve been trying to manuever Fringe slowly toward marketability on the web so that I am no longer coming up short on the hosting and bandwidth costs. As I’ve added features (the Fringecast being the major one of late), I have noticed a jump in usage. Eventually, if trends continue, this will result in a necessary increase in server space and bandwidth alottment.
As you may or may not know, I placed text link advertisements on the sidebar three months ago. Partially as an experiment to see how they would affect the user experience (I’m a user as well, so I considered myself a valid participant in the project) and to see if I might turn it into a sustainable source of site income. As advertising goes, it’s pretty subtle, not at all in your face or annoying, nor is it tricky. I have to give the advertiser points for not stipulating special placement or promotion requirements other than asking they be placed on the majority of pages on Fringe. This I was able to do quite easily, and the result has been a not unpleasant experience.
So when I was given this new advertising offer, which included doubling last quarter’s total bounty, I was most certainly tempted.
However, a little research drummed up two recent cases of this exact advertising model, which resulted in both sites getting hammered by the blogosphere (or parts anyway) regarding the ethics of said model, as well as Google manually removing the sites in question from its index. Without getting into the specifics of why it’s a slim shady methodology or the “how does this benefit the world?” style ponderings, the simple fact is, it does not meet my criteria for being an honest form of advertising, and though I was seriously tempted to go with it, I decided in the end not to agree to the new advertising scheme.
The nice thing is I will continue to host the old ads for at least another quarter, which will be a nice stipend for site costs. Fringecast has successfully driven up my traffic as hoped, though the increased bandwidth is something that will have to be addressed at some point. I’m confident that when the time comes to realign our current status, Fringe will have some potentially cool merch (“Moichendizing! Moichendizing!”) with which to tantalize your senses (and your wallet).
Without tooting my own horn, this has been a good opportunity to revive my old reasons for keeping this site up. I love doing it, and I love entertaining people. I think Fringe has found a niche audience and will continue to be successful as long as I stick to my principles. In the end, I want to keep Fringe as pure as I can, which is why I now renew my vow not to resort to flashy advertising methods to keep the site afloat. Whether the money comes or goes is a transient issue. What’s at stake is my soul (aka, Google pagerank).
In other news, I am going to be designing the website for the Conservatory, which as most of you know is my favourite coffee hangout spot. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to create the web look and feel of the site, and am excited to work with AJ and the rest of the brew crew without having to make my own lattes. And I can legitimately write off my expenditures there now. Living the dream, baby.
New masthead, new Fringe tagline, and a new month. It’s the simple things. See ya tomorrow.