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September 01, 2009

Oh Yeah, the Ads

I didn't mention this because it sort of happened all at once. Adding the code, I mean. I've been talking with Intermakets (the ad server) for months.

A reader named Charlie volunteered to help with the site and suddenly poof the ads were up, one by one. I didn't expect him to work as fast as he did.

Apparently someone asked, in the ONT site, if the site had been sold. No. I wish. I just finally got on the stick with the ads. It was either that or move in with George Soros as his "happiness consultant."

Another reader objected to how distracting the ads are. Well, I apologize for that, but this is particularly bad time for web advertising. It's never paid much and in the current downturn it pays even less. Java-enabled ads sell a bit better and pay a bit more, so... well, look, I really can't afford to turn away any money. Pretty much your donations are the only income I've had for months (a couple of BlogAds here and there, but they don't pay a lot) and, well, I need to eat and stuff.

And, as I've been saying for a while, try to tone down the language a few notches.* I don't know if you've noticed but I've only cursed four times on the main page in four months, and one of them, yesterday, was quoting David Brooks dropping the f-bomb. (Later in the day even Hot Air let the f-bomb run in the article -- different rule for a direct quote.)

And please do watch over-the-line stuff, please. Excessively sexual stuff (I've gotten some complaints about the ONT becoming a bit too racy lately) and all the usual stuff I get annoyed with.

Liberal sites get away with this and advertisers don't think twice. The rules, as ever, are a little different for conservatives.

Right now I don't really know what "the rules" are myself. There is no set rule that I can't say x or can't write y, but I've been told that advertisers don't like it much. So I'm trying to be judicious about it, not completely ruling it out but also using profanity and sexual allusions sparingly. I think I'm going to wind up having to just make up more words like "pooter" and "squeakhole" which are technically non-profane but actually kinda worse than the words they're replacing.

Russ suggested just using the RANDOM CITY/RANDOM OBJECT OR ACT system for generating non-profane profanity. Like, um, "I just paid sixty bucks for a Tijuana Mudpie." As always, though, that sounds worse than any actual sexual act I could name.

Anyway, sorry I didn't mention it, and sorry to be Stricty McMartinet on stuff. As the ads just started I have no idea how much resistance would-be advertisers will have based on such matters. Many might completely ignore it. Others might be sticklers. Kind of will depend on the feedback I get from the ad team as they actually try to sell this site specifically to advertisers.

* As a general rule: Look, if the f-bomb is critical to a joke, use it.

But if you're just using it as an all-purpose intensifier -- does it really add anything to the sentence that a dozen other intensifiers would? Does "fucking outraged" really mean anything different than "outraged"?

Not really. I think companies run automated counts on profanities and other red-flag words, so a just reducing the number of them, and saving them for when necessary, might be enough.

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posted by Ace at 01:53 PM

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