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Posts: 239
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I know I'm not the only one with concerns about all the ads we're seeing on this forum for big ag - a chemical for this, a chemical for that. huh? That's not permaculture. This is a big time disconnect. I've been wondering how this forum, which is fantastic, can exist without the blizzard of advertising you see on every other web site. I'm not against advertising, I realize it pays the bills. But could we not develop an "approved advertiser" list somehow and bring the advertising into alignment with not only the subject matter of this forum but also the needs of the participants? We all may actually buy some stuff if it has at least something to do with permaculture. At the very least, it should not be so much in total opposition to permaculture.
 
steward
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it is my understanding that webmasters don't have a lot of control over the ads that show up. some, but not a lot.
 
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The advertiser only makes money if you buy from them.

The ads help pay for the forum. The forum has costs for the servers, etc.

You don't have to buy the products. You can ignore the ads and let them pay for the costs of the forum.

Don't sweat it.

What I particularly love is the ads from HSUS/PETA on the meat forums here and elsewhere. If you click on them it transfers a nickel or dime from their bank to the forum. HSUS/PETA are thus supporting meat eating. Love it!
 
Mother Tree
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I'm not quite sure how the thing works, and I have ad-block set up so I don't even get to see the ads, but I'm pretty sure that they are targeted ads based on the subjects being discussed. So if we avoid starting threads on things that we don't want to see ads about (no I'm not going to list them else the ads will appear!) then with a bit of luck we won't see any ikk.
 
tel jetson
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Burra Maluca wrote:I'm not quite sure how the thing works, and I have ad-block set up so I don't even get to see the ads, but I'm pretty sure that they are targeted ads based on the subjects being discussed. So if we avoid starting threads on things that we don't want to see ads about (no I'm not going to list them else the ads will appear!) then with a bit of luck we won't see any ikk.



I think there's a reasonably good chance that companies we consider nefarious would choose to advertise here hoping to cause some attrition. seems unlikely to succeed, but some folks have more money than sense.

for myself, the ads here are unobtrusive enough that I rarely notice them.
 
master pollinator
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tel jetson wrote:
for myself, the ads here are unobtrusive enough that I rarely notice them.



I was apparently able to not see them for a very long time, my mind had made them invisible. Weird and kind of embarrassing. I guess ads don't work on me very well....

So, if we click on the ad Paul gets money? Or does he get money simply by virtue of the ads being there?

 
tel jetson
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Tyler Ludens wrote:
So, if we click on the ad Paul gets money? Or does he get money simply by virtue of the ads being there?



dunno. I would guess that just running the ads brings a very small amount of money, and getting clicks brings a very slightly less small amount of money. I think google's clever enough to see through attempts at mass clicking on ads to generate revenue.
 
pollinator
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Mr. jetson told me the same thing in another thread. Is he a secret agent for Google ?
 
Nick Garbarino
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If anyone knows of a permaculture-related forum that has ads for things that are permaculture related, please tell us about it. I would love to "take my business over there." This idea of playing games and "tricking" the big ag companies out of money by clicking on their ads is the kind of horse hockey I have no interest in whatsoever. Does anybody shoot straight anymore?
 
tel jetson
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Nick Garbarino wrote:If anyone knows of a permaculture-related forum that has ads for things that are permaculture related, please tell us about it. I would love to "take my business over there." This idea of playing games and "tricking" the big ag companies out of money by clicking on their ads is the kind of horse hockey I have no interest in whatsoever. Does anybody shoot straight anymore?



the ad I saw directly under your post:

Permaculture Education
UVM Advanced Cert Offers Online Learning in Permaculture & More.
www.UniversityofVermontOnline.com
 
steward
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What about having paid sponsors for the site? Are there enough people/ companies/ farms that would benefit from the permies audience to make it worth paying Paul for the privilege to put up an ad? At least that way the ads people see don't piss them off.

Do ads that are contrary to the site's "ethics" put people off or draw attention back away from Permies.com

In other words: Do these contrary ads hurt the cause for which the site is fighting? Or is it more like "we'll take Monsanto's ad dollars and use them to promote Open pollinated, perennial polyculture" ?

Just ignore the ad, take the money and move on? is that how it works?

 
Tyler Ludens
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Nick Garbarino wrote:If anyone knows of a permaculture-related forum that has ads for things that are permaculture related, please tell us about it. I would love to "take my business over there."



The Permaculture Research Institute website doesn't have ads for anything non-permacultural and their forums don't have any ads that I know of. But I'm unable to see ads even if they sitting there in front of me for months, apparently. So you'd better check it out yourself.

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/
 
Craig Dobbson
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I suppose the next question is:

Would you pay for access to permies if it had "appropriate" ads. Or How much would you pay?

What other ways could Permies generate income without including the ilk of the "ag" world?
 
steward
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I have been on permies since March - viewing longer - and just yesterday noticed the ad for scots turf builder at bottom of page.Thats the first time an ad registered. I guess thats how my brain works . I don't own a television , the radio in my truck doesn't work anymore , I always skip the ad on you.tube. I find humor in it , nice juxtaposition. I remember a local supermarket running an ad that said " Happy Hannukah , Ham .49cents a pound." Classic. I showed it to a few Jewish freinds , they laughed too. I guess Paul could set it up like the Libertarians and charge you to join the party. $25.00 fee to support the party that does not support taxes , only tolls.
 
steward
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Unfortunatelly, it costs money to host websites. Google ads are an easy way to get some funds. Another way would be to get permaculture sponsors, but this takes time and based on podcast #183 I don't think Paul has time to do that.

Maybe there should be a "Ad-Free" version of Permies... You pay $100 a year and you don't get the ads. It is a win-win solution!
 
Craig Dobbson
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What are the operating costs of a site like this? What out of pocket expenses are paid by the site owner/operator just to have the site up? I certainly find a great deal of value in Permies.com and would be willing to pay for the access that I have now for free. But... what would be a break-even point and how do you encourage newcomers to pay for info that they aren't sure has value to them yet? It took me a few months to see the real value here and I'm not sure I would have stuck around if I had to come up with $100 even after a free trial period. For me it's just a matter of not having any real way to pay for it. I'm just a seriously broke dude trying to get on my feet. Permies is helping me do that. But IOU's don't pay Paul's bills and I understand that. The great thing about this site is the wealth of knowledge and the constant stream of newcomers keeping it fresh and alive. I worry that setting an upfront fee might stagnate the site to some degree.

In the past I've been part of pay sites/communities where people who were unable to pay were "sponsored" by other members who could pay. There is also value in members' contributions. Adding photos, or video content could be seen as a form of payment because others are willing to pay to have access to that content. Perhaps free/low cost access would be granted to those that constantly contribute "quality content" while those who don't contribute would pay a reasonable fee for access to it?
The same could go for folks who advertise Permies.com on their own sites/blogs/vlogs. Bringing traffic to permies enriches the community and spreads the word about permaculture in general. Isn't that what it's all about... getting that message to as many people as possible?




 
Adrien Lapointe
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Craig, I totally agree with you that it would scare people away if they had to pay $100 up front. What I meant was a "Premium membership" for those that are bothered by the Google ads on the site.
 
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Those ads are done with what is called Google Adsense. IIRC it pays on both clicks and impression basis, but based upon my own Adsense account I'd guess 90-99% of payments to Paul from Adsense are based on clicks, not impressions.

A mass clicking campaign that goes on for a short time will trigger statistical red flags that something is afoot, and can result in Paul's account getting paid less or getting penalized. And, if the ad is for a product that is from a "green/sustainable/wholesome" company, don't click on it unless you're actually interested, because that company pays anywhere from pennies to dollars per click and you'd be robbing them simply to pay Paul.

As mentioned it is all done by keywords mentioned on the page. However - mentioning "sheet mulch" is just as likely to produce a result for pesticides as actually talking about pesticides.

As an Adsense publisher you can remove sites manually from showing on your site. However the sheer number of companies selling chemicals and other crap would make this very difficult to do. There are literally thousands of sites that would need to be edited, and some would be acceptable sites (like a hardware store that sells quality organic seeds side by side with pesticides, etc.).

There are a number of alternatives to Adsense, and there are some that specialize in "green" advertising. I don't have specific experience with any but they can be found pretty quickly: https://www.google.com/webhp?q=green%20sustainable%20ad%20networks. Unfortunately most appear to be poorly run. Figuring out what ad network is used by sites like Treehugger.com would be another good step (just checked and they are likely on a private network for Discovery, but you could do the same with other large "green" sites).

The trouble with these networks is they add work to Paul's load, and possibly without a ton of benefit. Pageviews are high on forums and click-throughs can vary in value, so there's lots of haggling to sell ads and manage views, etc.

Just wanted to clear up a few questions I saw in the thread. It's difficult to manage these ad networks effectively at Paul's scale which is why Adsense is so appealing. The best we can do is demonstrate to "bad guy" advertisers that they get very few clicks from this site, and when they do get clicks they never result in sales. That can eventually result in those specific advertisers pulling their ads from this specific site after they realize it doesn't convert to sales very well.
 
Is that a spider in your hair? Here, threaten it with this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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