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This thread is for discussing the new "thread boost" feature.

Paul shares his thoughts here about the feature, and why he created it:

When I would look at permaculture and homesteading magazines, I spend about 20% of my time reading the ads. I could skip over them, but I know I want to know about this stuff too. 

When we run ads on permies, most people have learned to ignore them. So people are not getting that information. And advertisers are bummed, too.

We created a forum a long time ago called "blatant advertising" - so when people post to this, it shows up in all the feeds. It is labeled as "advertising" and we allow advertisers to post there for free. I think it has worked well. We allow publishers and authors to make threads about their books in the books forum. DVD producers can post to the dvd forum. Product manufacturers to the product forum . . . Workshops, real estate, PDCs, conferences, online courses . . . all are free, and we encourage people to post. We even made a big list of free stuff people can do to advertise their stuff.

Over the last year, we have been boosting the threads that we think are the best. Often times, that boost is for a really good thread. Other times it is for something commercial. 

Most threads, when they are a year old, appear to have about 800 views. But take a look at this thread. Six weeks ago we created it and gave it a bunch of boost. It now has over 20,000 views. Not too shabby!

So we have now come up with an automated way to boost a thread. Everybody should be able to see a big button at the bottom that says "Boost this thread!"   This is a brand new feature, so it is still "beta".

~

How to boost your thread

Following is a list of the present features of thread boost, and how to use them. If you have any questions regarding these features, please feel free to post in this thread.

Auto-link

Select a word or phrase, and a ‘look-up’ will be done to find out how many threads contain that phrase (click on Check Count to see how many threads contain that phrase). One instance of your phrase from each of those threads will then auto-link to your thread (this means that when a person clicks on the highlighted word or phrase, it will automatically take them to your thread!).
So, in the case of the word ‘hugelkultur’, this word appears in 3041 threads! If you choose this word as your auto-link, one of those words in each thread will be a link to your thread (not every time the word appears in each thread, just once). That’s 3041 links directly to your thread. (You can see the cost by making your selection, then scrolling down to the payment area. You can change your selections before check-out)

Similar threads

This feature shows your thread in the "similar threads" section of other threads.
A ‘similar threads’ list of links appear at the bottom of every thread. These are links that are related to the thread, so if someone reads a thread about a topic similar to yours, and your thread shows in the ‘similar threads’ section, they can click on your link to continue reading. You can chose how many threads you’d like your link to appear in, and for how long.
This is a great way to get lots of exposure for your thread.
(You can see the cost by making your selection, then scrolling down to the payment area. You can change your selections before check-out)

Add to more forums

Add your thread to one or more other forums. There are often multiple forums that will suite your thread topic, so take a look through and pick the ones that fit.
Warning: off: topic forums will be removed without notice or refund.
(You can see the cost by making your selection, then scrolling down to the payment area. You can change your selections before check-out)

DX5 ads

DX5 ads are the tiny ads that appear at the bottom of every thread. These ads get thousands of views per day.
• Choose how many times you wish the add to be seen over the month ('impressions')
• Write your text (up to 65 characters included in price - extra characters cost extra)
• Select the forums you want the add to appear in (extra charge)
• If you only want the ad to appear to people in certain countries, you can choose that option as well. (extra charge) You may want to chhoose this option if you can only sell your product in certain countries.
(You can see the cost by making your selection, then scrolling down to the payment area. You can change your selections before check-out)

Pie on first post

Put pies on the first post of your thread. One or more little pie slices appear on the first post, and the total pie count appears on thread listings. The number of pies affects the ‘best’ algorithm. This means that the more pies you have, the more likely that your thread will appear in the ‘best this year’ or ‘best ever’ section (‘best’ algorithm) of the home page. This will get you thousands of views daily.

Giving ‘pies’ and ‘apples’ are ways that permies members can show their approval of a comment or thread. A thread that shows lots of pies and apples is generally a thread with lots of good information, and members are more likely to view that thread. Pie is good.

Pie for commenters

We will add pie slices to your account. You will then see a feature that allows you to give pies to posts written by others in your thread. This will raise the thread score, and affect the ‘best’ algorithm. (The person you gave the pie to will receive an email telling them about your gift, and they will then get extra features on our system. And it’s a nice thing to do.)

Thumbs on first post

Put thumbs-up on the first post (up to 10). A thumbs-up will appear on the post along with a number reflecting the total number of thumbs-up. And the total thumb count appears on thread listings. The number of thumbs affects the ‘best’ algorithm and thread score.

Flags

Show this thread in the ‘flagged topics’ list, plus show the flags on all threads lists. Flags are another way of affecting the ‘best’ algorithm, and showing that your thread is of high value to members.

~

The combined affect of adding these features to your thread is quite amazing. A thread that has not been boosted can have 100 views in a month, while a similar boosted thread can achieve upwards of 5000 views in the same time frame.
You don’t need to understand algorithms, DX5 ads or ‘impressions’ to see the benefits of boosting your thread. Try it for a month, and see how it can work to get more traffic to your thread.

~

We would really appreciate it if you could share your experiences with using this feature. Post a link to your thread in the comments section below, and let us know how many visits you got while your thread was boosted. This will help us continue to refine Thread Boost to meet your needs.

Stay tuned for more features to be added to Thread Boost! Our guys are always working on ways to improve the features on permies, so Bookmark this thread so you’ll be kept apprise of future features!

If you have any questions at all about how Thread Boost works, or are having trouble with a feature, please post your questions below and we'll get to them as quick as we can.


COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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I'm making an exception to my policy not to post just to agree. I love this idea. I can see how this may contribute to the accumulation of information into comprehensive threads and reduce the creation of quite so many redundant threads covering the same info. I try to add old threads that I read to all the relevant forums to make them easier to find, but I haven't wanted to post empty comments just to bring them to the top of the viewing cues. Thank you.
 
master steward
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People have been testing it a bit and it seems like it is all working correctly. 

I wish to really take it through the paces. 

So for the next few days, I have configured the thread boost stuff so that orders of $100 or more are 80% off.  And orders of $1000 or more are 90% off.  I am hoping that this will lead to a thorough test of the features.

 
pollinator
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I saw the button several times, but did not use it. I have so many 'flags' to give away ... I use those as my 'boost'.
Content minimized. Click to view
 
gardener
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I compared two threads selling plants/seeds. They were made around the same time (Jan 15th and 17th).

The first offering comfrey cuttings started on Jan 15th has been viewed 114 times as of today (Feb 18th).

https://permies.com/t/61905/Comfrey-root-cuttings-Bocking-cultivar

The second offering siberian pea shrub seeds started on Jan 17th, was boosted for one month. It has been viewed 6073 times as of today.

https://permies.com/t/61972/Siberian-Pea-Shrub-seeds-sale

This increased visibility has resulted in more interest in the thread (more replies) and probably more sales.

Thread view count is visible at the bottom of the thread (when logged in).
 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:
Most threads when they are a year old, appear to have about 800 views.   But take a look at this thread.  Six weeks ago we created it and gave it a bunch of boost.   It now has over 20,000 views.  Not too shabby!



I just want to point out that a bit more time has passed.  That thread is now three months old and has had 41,671 views.

 
gardener
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Wow! I had no idea adding flags would do that to a post. I have quite a few apples now (thank you SO much all...) and could totally rock something if I boosted it other than adding a recent post after some serious time it sat idle... thank you!
 
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I do not understand the Autolink feature of Thread Boosting.  I signed up for Autolink with a two word phase, but I cannot find any links to my thread.  What am I missing?
 
paul wheaton
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Coralee Palmer wrote:I do not understand the Autolink feature of Thread Boosting.  I signed up for Autolink with a two word phase, but I cannot find any links to my thread.  What am I missing?


What is the phrase you tried?  Can you point me to one thread that has that phrase?
 
master steward
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Coralee Palmer wrote:I do not understand the Autolink feature of Thread Boosting.  I signed up for Autolink with a two word phase, but I cannot find any links to my thread.  What am I missing?


It looks like your phrase is permaculture income. 

It looks like the auto link worked here.  For as long as you are subscribed to the boost, when someone on permies writes this phrase, it will automatically become a link to your thread.
 
Coralee Palmer
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If I understand you correctly.  If someone type Permaculture Income in the search function, it should come to my thread, even if that phrase is not in my thread?  Is that correct?
 
steward
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Coralee, I think it means that if someone uses the phrase permaculture income in their post it should show up as a link, like it does in R Ranson's post.

But it doesn't seem to be doing that here. So, what's up with that?
 
Coralee Palmer
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The first offering comfrey cuttings started on Jan 15th has been viewed 114 times as of today (Feb 18th).

https://permies.com/t/61905/Comfrey-root-cuttings-Bocking-cultivar

The second offering siberian pea shrub seeds started on Jan 17th, was boosted for one month. It has been viewed 6073 times as of today.

https://permies.com/t/61972/Siberian-Pea-Shrub-seeds-sale

This increased visibility has resulted in more interest in the thread (more replies) and probably more sales.

Thread view count is visible at the bottom of the thread (when logged in).


Which feature(s) of Thread Boosting was used in this test?
 
r ranson
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Coralee Palmer wrote:If I understand you correctly.  If someone type Permaculture Income in the search function, it should come to my thread, even if that phrase is not in my thread?  Is that correct?


Not the Search function, the forum.

Like this:
I typed the word lasagna and when I press submit, it automatically makes that word (lasagna) a link.
 
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Tracy Wandling wrote:Coralee, I think it means that if someone uses the phrase permaculture income in their post it should show up as a link, like it does in R Ranson's post.

But it doesn't seem to be doing that here. So, what's up with that?


Seems like I remember that the linked words only show as a link the first time they are posted in a thread and that's why the words link in R.'s post and not yours. permaculture income won't link in my post either.
 
Coralee Palmer
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There are three or four references to Permaculture Income in the above text posts, but only one links to my thread.

One reference the word Permaculture only, even when Permaculture Income is typed.   It links to permaculture boot Camp.

I do not understand how this works.  Is there a bug?
 
Tracy Wandling
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I believe the link only shows up the first time the phrase is used in the thread, not every time it is used.
 
paul wheaton
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I just lowered some of the prices on some things.   I also made it so that orders over $1000 get a 60% discount.

There are some new features:


Email ads:

You can now boost a thread so it appears in the tiny ads section of not only the dailyish emails, but also in all the emails that go our from this server.  I have set the price low for testing.  But the price for "ads at the top" are high because I'm not sure if I will really like it.




We are continuing to do lots and lots of testing and these features are getting better and better.    I started a new kickstarter recently and we made a thread about it:  https://permies.com/t/65247 ----   but!   We have done zero advertising for the thread other than thread boost.   Mentions of the kickstarter in email and whatnot has been directed directly to the kickstarter page.   The thread about the kickstarter has been purely threadboost.  4239 views in 4 days.









 
garden master
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I just have to say, I'm really glad the thread boost feature moved to the bottom of my emails, rather than the top. It was really frustrating and annoying every time when I'd open an email to check on a status of a thread, only to have the thread boost link at the top. My brain was really used to seeing the link to the thread there, and I hated having to scroll down top find the link to my thread. It was really obtrusive to me, and brought up icky angry feelings, and I really didn't want it to! I never said anything, because I really didn't want my body to be manufacturing angry feelings about it. I love permies! And the thread boost being up there was such a little thing, and it was rather illogical of me to be so unahppy about it.

Aaaaaanyway, I just wanted to say thank you for moving the thread boost to the bottom of the email. Now I can happily scroll down to see what is getting advertised when I have time, and not be bothered by it when I don't have time!
 
paul wheaton
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That message was at the top as a test. 

The thread boost stuff was only at the bottom for a long time. 

If you are thinking about being angry, I hope that you choose to direct your anger at the sites where every page is 90% to 95% advertising.   And if you see an ad pop up in that space again, not how the level of advertising is still very slight.  

I hope if you see an ad in that space that you will be glad that an advertisers has chosen to support us.

And if you see an ad in that space and you would rather not, I would like to suggest that you get pie and select the option to turn off ads.
 
Nicole Alderman
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paul wheaton wrote:
If you are thinking about being angry, I hope that you choose to direct your anger at the sites where every page is 90% to 95% advertising.   And if you see an ad pop up in that space again, not how the level of advertising is still very slight.  

I hope if you see an ad in that space that you will be glad that an advertisers has chosen to support us.


My thinking brain thinks permies is awesome, and that you are very right about how much better your advertising (and lack thereof) is. My annoying limbic system hates change, and so was a little frustrated by the ads at the top. My limbic system needs to shut up and listen to my brain! I'm sorry I let it lose in my post

And if you see an ad in that space and you would rather not, I would like to suggest that you get pie and select the option to turn off ads.


I have pie, though. And, as far as I know, I have ads turned off. But, they still come through on my email notifications. Are they supposed to, or is there another box to click that I'm just blind to? I don't need them turned off in my emails--I'm just curious, because I didn't know that was an option.
 
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For now, in-email ads do not get turned off based on your pie preferences. But I think you are right, and it is better if turning off ads from pie preferences turned in-email ads off too. I think we will do that soon (in about 3 days).
 
Devaka Cooray
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From now on, you will never see in-email ads as long as you have pie and have enabled the hide ads preference.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Devaka Cooray wrote:From now on, you will never see in-email ads as long as you have pie and have enabled the hide ads preference.


It's working on my end . Thank you for all the work you put into the forum!!!
 
Deb Rebel
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This is still sort of clear as mud, at this hour. I clicked sort of accidently to help someone with thread boost, but I already added flags to it. How do I 'cancel' my accidental click?
 
paul wheaton
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Deb Rebel wrote:This is still sort of clear as mud, at this hour. I clicked sort of accidently to help someone with thread boost, but I already added flags to it. How do I 'cancel' my accidental click?


If you click on the thread boost button, but you don't complete the transaction, then it is as if nothing has happened. 

Totally safe to peruse the thread boost options.
 
Deb Rebel
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paul wheaton wrote:
Deb Rebel wrote:This is still sort of clear as mud, at this hour. I clicked sort of accidently to help someone with thread boost, but I already added flags to it. How do I 'cancel' my accidental click?


If you click on the thread boost button, but you don't complete the transaction, then it is as if nothing has happened. 

Totally safe to peruse the thread boost options.


Thanks. That was simple, direct, and great. Thanks again.
 
paul wheaton
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I just made the DX5 and email-at-the-bottom stuff super freaky cheap. 

DX5 is now $0.10 for 1000 impressions.    Or at 20 million impressions it is $0.05 per thousand plus there would be an additional 60% discount for total orders that large is it ends up at $0.02 per thousand.

Email ads at the bottom are the same price. 

For now. 

So the way thread boost is currently set up, you could get get 10 million impressions of DX5 and 10 million impressions at the bottom of emails, for a total of $400.

 
Get out of my mind! Look! A tiny ad!
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https://permies.com/t/70674/digital-market/digital-market/Complete-Wild-Edibles-Package-Sergei
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