Forums Suggestions & Problems

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Chai, May 14, 2003.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I agree. But it's not as simple as it seems. If we could do it, we would have done it.

    In fact, our recent survey revealed that many people are still not interested in helping sustain the advertising model which keeps sites like ARP free. Would removing more ads encourage people to click more or stop blocking ads? According to the survey, no.

    But I agree - a well-designed site will make the ads less obtrusive. I would certainly love to hear more suggestions although implementation will depend on the developing team. :mrgreen:

    Okay, will definitely go through it all with the team. Maybe if you are in town, we can sit down together and discuss this? :think:

    The billboard ad has to be in the content area. Everywhere else seems out of place. Yes, we have tried placing it in all sorts of places but there's just no proper place to put it except in the content area.

    Any suggestions on where it would be best placed? But please don't say after all the article content. LOL.. That will make the end of every page look like one big ad space! :haha: :haha:

    I agree. It would make better sense that way. :think:

    But would it be even better if we can switch it to "Next Page - NVIDIA"? :think:

    LOL!! As long as it is constructive, we are all ears. :thumb:

    In fact, if you have time, would it be possible to sit down with us and help us address the issues? :mrgreen:
  2. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Actually, we only have two banners in the forums. Many other sites have more than that. :think:

    In any case, revenue is generally generated not by the number of ads we actually show, but by the number of ad clicks.

    So, the win-win situation would be for visitors to support the site by clicking on the ads. In return, the website keeps the number of ads low. Why load more ads when you don't have to?? The reverse would be the vicious cycle mentioned earlier.
  3. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I don't think it's "impossible" to do it. All we need is the expertise and the desire to do it. ;)
  4. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Unfortunately, ads are a fact of life. The difference with Internet ads is that people take for granted the free nature of the Internet.

    The fact is - nothing is free. Someone has got to pay for EVERYTHING you see on the Internet. If it's not the website owner, then it's the ad agency, sponsors or subscribers.

    It's the same of everything "free" in life. Like public TV. It's free and it's full of ads. So is free radio.

    Now, we all support the freedom everyone has to turn off whatever they don't like. If I don't like TV3 because of the number of ads, well, I just refuse to watch it. But it doesn't cost TV3 anything.

    The same is NOT true of the Internet. People who block ads do so because they insist on accessing the content, even if they don't agree to the social contract between the website and the visitor. It's not about freedom of choice, it's really about the lack of integrity in some cases and ignorance in other cases, IMHO.

    Worse, people who block ads use up bandwidth and other resources which cost money. The website has to pay for bandwidth that they use, even if they block ads.

    Sorry if I get too carried away. I believe very strongly in keeping the Internet free but blocking ads is the wrong way to do it.

    TBH, compared to many websites, ARP has relatively few ads. We don't even serve pop-up or pop-under ads which would definitely boost our revenue by 3-4X. My personal conviction is that websites and their visitors have a symbiotic relationship. Instead of trying to take advantage of each other, websites and visitors should cooperate to keep the Internet free and thriving.

    But I agree - fewer ads are always better, but that can only come with higher click-through rates. Until websites can achieve a reasonable click-through rate from their visitors, it would not be reasonable for their visitors to expect any reduction in the number of ads.

    1. Which is the reason why ad companies insist on ad placements that catch your attention, like at the top of the page or in the content area.

    2. Again, this brings me back to my opinion that visitors can help ANY website reduce the number of ads and thus speed up the page loading by clicking more. More clicks = higher click-through rate => fewer ads are required => removal of ads => faster loading.

    3. TBH, I can't abide such people. It's not so much because I run ARP. I have ALWAYS supported the advertising model of the Internet right from the moment I first went online. I NEVER use any ad blocker, only a pop-up blocker (yes, I hate pop-ups too!). I click ads to support websites that I visit, especially when they write great articles.

    Does it cost money to click on an ad? Does a few banners make the content any less useful? Or is it in our nature to take and not give back? :think:

    I believe that those that block ads do not selectively turn off their ad blockers for certain sites. If they intend on blocking ads, they most likely do it for all sites they visit.

    But I do agree - ads should complement the site, not make it look like a bad collage of text and graphics. :mrgreen:

    Of course, we will need more specific suggestions. Please do consider my request to sit down with us and help us improve ARP. :beer:

    Hmm.. The reason why we moved into text ads is because we were thinking of using text ads to replace banner ads which slow page loading.

    Incidentally, there should not be that many of these text links in the forums. We limit the number of ads shown in each page and as you know, every page in the forum is really long. :think:

    That is their perogative, of course and I fully support it. In fact, I would actually salute them. If you truly disagree strongly with the policies of a certain site (like the use of pop-up banners), just don't visit the site. Blocking their ads and then accessing their content is well just as underhanded as running pop-up ads.

    Definitely. Hmm.. Why didn't you tell us this while the front end was still "under construction"??? :wall: :wall:

    But no matter.. it's never too late to evolve and change. Again, we would appreciate any further feedback you may have. But I think it would be easier and more productive to just sit together and discuss the various issues. What do you think? :think:
  5. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    LMAO! You don't understand. It's impossible because of the design point of view. That's why falcone said he will redesign one for the forum, instead of just copying from the main site. Yes, you can, but it will not look good.
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yes, you cannot just copy it over but it is possible to make it look like part of the new site design, instead of a totally separate part. ;)
  7. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    It will be almost totally separate, maybe only the colour scheme will be similar. I think I have serious problem conveying my message. I'm out of here...
  8. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    If you want an analysis, sure, why not. I'm in Penang now though, till Mid-Feb. And ads does not have to always be after the article content, I'm merely saying that ads cannot be stuck right in the middle of the content/content navigation, just as how you'll never see an ad stuck right in the middle of a two-page article in a magazine. With text wrapped around the ad, yes, it's okay, but not one where it splits the content & content nav. It disrupts the flow. Just check out that slashdot comments which grumble about the ads. People acknowledge ads are important, but it becomes an annoyance if it disrupts the user experience.

    That would obviously be better.

    I did not realize... I don't go to the main page often. Sorry..

    Impossible? No, my friend. Impossibility only comes when you prefer to stick to old techniques and old styles. From what I noticed of the main site, you have about 5 levels of tables nesting. That's where it becomes unmaintainable and hard to port over, because tables pretty much grounds you to that one static layout.

    Seriously, I don't see why not the forums cannot look the same as the main site. If proper study had been done from the start, you'll have much less problems.

    Just my two cents. No offence taken, no offence given :)
  9. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    LOL! I give up. No one can ever understand me...

    Ok, let me give my last try. As you have already noticed, due to the multiple table, it's very difficult to port over from the main site. Might as well design a new one. Yeah, it's not impossible, so you can go ahead and copy. :mrgreen:

    And don't forget that from the design point of view, the main site design may not necessarily look good for the forum, which I totally agree with falcone (I discussed with him on this before). This is definitely not the final design. We still have work to do. He told me he will design another one for the forum.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
    1 person likes this.
  10. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    Anyway,,,, ARP#1 :wave:
  11. luqman

    luqman Newbie

    some kinda of bug in ur web takes for ever to click on stuff loads and loads and loads its worst than java script :haha:
    ask someone to fix it plus i pinged u max:53ms an average was : 23ms
  12. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    What are you talking about? The Post Reply page?
  13. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    If you look carefully at the forum and the main site, there is a framework to - one header, and two column contents. So like I always encourage, ditch table-based layouts and go XHTML + CSS, as it would ease things a lot, ease of modularity, maintenance, updatability, etc. Tables restrain you. But having a modular layout makes it easier to just "copy over" the design.

    Take a look at the attached image, hopefully it gives you an idea.

    Attached Files:

  14. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Okay, let's discuss this tomorrow then. Hehe.. Still face-to-face is always better. :thumb:
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hmm.. Mid-Feb? Well, better late than never! :mrgreen:

    Just let me know when you are free to meet up. I should have moved down to PJ by then. :mrgreen:

    Ahhh.. I see what you mean now. Yeah, that's certainly the optimal method of arranging the ads. But the problem with our articles and reviews is that we place loads of large pictures. There's a large picture-to-text ratio.

    This prevents us from adopting the traditional magazine layout. Which is why we opted for the vertical design where you have paragraphs of text interspersed with pictures and well, that billboard ad. The placement of the in-content billboard ad was designed to follow the vertical format, so that it would look like part of the design, rather than just thrown in there.

    I think it would be a good idea to adopt a new more traditional layout. But that will require a properly trained pre-editor (someone to arrange the text and pictures) as well as much smaller thumbnails. We certainly cannot use the current size of 300x200 for thumbnails.

    Okay, will get the team to effect the change ASAP. Ken, not a problem, right? :wicked:

    Oh, it was actually not in the main page. Eh, I'm not sure if you even have access to the page where we were discussing about the design. My apologies if so. :wall:

    But again, it's never too late. Let's work together to improve ARP. :thumb:

    I agree with that. :beer:

    Ditto! :mrgreen:
  16. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, that I certainly agree. I mean, there's no doubt that it won't be easy to port over the current design to the forums. Even Ken had problems getting the current design up and running exactly the way Falcone envisioned it.

    Maybe we should have looked at making the design modular and easily ported over to the forums, etc.
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Actually, your ping times are good. If there's any slow loading, it has to be something else.

    Can you time how long it takes to load a page? :think:

    Also, please tell us specifically which part of the site or forums you are referring to. What loads slow? The review pages? The pictures? The forum pages? The forum post reply page? The ads?

  18. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Umm.. Just wondering - would you be interested in working for us? :shifty:
  19. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    Nope, I've told you before and I'll tell you again - I have no intentions of working for ARP, and my reasons are the same as what I've told you few months back.

    However, as an external advisory position to your site design, that's okay.

    Some relevant reading on what I've been trying to point out all these while, on why site design matters in improving your ARP site as a whole:
  20. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    LOL! Okay, no problem. :mrgreen:

    If Ken's really going to go hiking with you, then maybe you can clue him in on some of your suggestions. Otherwise, we will see you in Mid-Feb! :D

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