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http://omarsflosscorner.blogspot.com

FSDaily (Free Software Daily), is one of my most favourite websites ever.

And as a part of my deep and sincere loyalty towards the Free Software community as a whole, and to this honourable, elegant website in particular, I would really like to point out this issue that I find quite disturbing (perhaps it has been brought up by other people before, but I think it's still worth an article). It's about the types of ads that keep appearing on both sides of the page.

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Ubuntu87's picture
Created by Ubuntu87 4 years 39 weeks ago – Made popular 4 years 39 weeks ago
Category: Community   Tags:
lozz's picture

lozz

4 years 39 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago

4

Well spotted, Ubuntu87

Adblock+ makes sure that I don't see any advertising.

Seriously, most of us would vote DOWN any article promoting that many proprietary elements.

Thanks, also, to Omar's blog for raising the issue.

dave's picture

dave

4 years 39 weeks 3 days 31 min ago

3

The problem...

It is impossible for us to monitor the ads that are displayed to each and every user around the world. Amongst other factors, ads are displayed based on your location. We can therefore only see ads that are presented to people in Australia as that is where we are located. But even then the ads are different on each page load.

The only solution: we have said before that if you find an objectionable ad, you can let us know and we will do what we can to remove it. Email us the link the ad contains and if possible a screen shot and we will block that link through Google's competitive ad filtering system. As it is we already block several ads.

All this being said we barely make enough from advertising to keep the site going. Certainly not enough that I can give up my day job. But, it is really necessary for us to get that advertising money or the site would need to be shut down.

akf's picture

akf

4 years 39 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago

4

How about Adbard?

How about Adbard?
Although it might get you even less money.

Ubuntu87's picture

Ubuntu87

4 years 39 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago

1

Also..

Also, as far as I know, Ad Bard gives you the choice to change the per-click money you get, so you choose a slightly higher one. Or am I wrong?

Plus, I really don't wanna stick up my nose in stuff that don't concern me but it's just an suggestion, why not asking for support from, for example, a non-profit organization such as the FSF?

As far as I see it, this website is pretty big and crowded, it's expanding on a daily basis, plus it acts pretty much as a sum of all latest news, articles and events that occur in the Free Software community, so, personally, I don't see a real reason why they would turn you away.

dave's picture

dave

4 years 39 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago

1

Because they wanted us to edit all the stories

Last time we spoke with him, RMS wanted us to edit all of the submissions so that they reflected the values of the FSF. In other words, change all the uses of "open source" to "free software" and all the uses of "Linux" to "GNU/Linux" (where appropriate of course). I agree with the sentiment but that would be far too much work for us. It would be fine if submitters did it themselves by writing their own descriptions and titles for submissions but it is unreasonable to expect that of all submissions. Anyhow, I haven't thought about asking them for help since.

You might think with our page rank and traffic we could make a lot off advertising... that's what I originally thought too. However, the FSDaily audience are mostly tech savvy people who run adblocker and/or greasemonkey so they don't see ads at all. And, even if they do see ads, they are (like me) blind to ads. When you are familiar enough with the web, you subconsciously know what content is advertising and become blind to them (I'm sure there have been studies on this). The only way around this is to make ads more invasive, which I do not want and nor do you. On top of this, a large percentage of our visitors are looking for something free (as in beer) and they aren't likely to click on ads either.

To make matters worse, advertising income has dropped sharply thanks to the economic crisis. And, it's now getting to a point where I may as well remove ads altogether. But I need that small amount of income to cover hosting. Our server requirements are quite high. I'm sure some of you will have noticed how slow the site can be at times. Right now I'm working on getting a better server and _slowly_ working on moving to Drupal 6 too.

My original goal of having FSDaily make enough money so that running it could be my primary occupation has become very unlikely. Right now, I'd be happy if the site could become more self-sufficient. If the community participated more (mainly by removing spam) then I could just about step back and let it run itself. Of course I'd still need to do upgrades and maintenance, but I'd do that anyway as my way of giving back to the free software community.

Anyway, that's far more complaining than I intended to do. :D

If you see an objectionable ad. Just send me an email with the link it contains and preferably a screenshot and I'll do what I can to remove it. I already block quite a few ads including anything that links to microsoft.com.

lozz's picture

lozz

4 years 39 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago

0

Re spam removal

Hi Dave, you mention that it would help if we removed spam. You'll remember that I used to do this in the past, but you gave me a special set of controls to do it. Then I was out in the bush and when I got back the controls were gone, so I thought no more about it.

How do we delete spam, these days?

I'm sure that a number of regular members of this site would be more than happy to clobber any spam they see, me included.

Are there any other simple, but dull, repetitive tasks you could farm out to members?

We all love the site and would be happy to help keep it running.

Don't forget that you've got regular eyes scattered all the way from good old Oz to the steppes of Russia, if you need any reporting on local conditions.

dave's picture

dave

4 years 39 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago

0

You should still see the spam removal links

Hi lozz,

Under each story blurb there should be a "mark as spam" link. These are only visible to users with high participation rates. You are one of these users. All you have to do is hit that link and the story will be unpublished pending moderation by me.

I've recently made it so new subscriber accounts are not automatically activated. That seems to have made the spammers disappear... for now. So you may have less cause to use the links.

Cheers

Linerd's picture

Linerd

4 years 38 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago

1

Sounds more like RMSS

So I guess RMS assumes that everyone publishes stories under the GPL so that he's free to modify them so they spread his philosophy. We should all be free to express ourselves without having our words censored and edited by the free software Gestapo.

Thanks, Dave, for ignoring this ridiculous request from RMSS.

Ubuntu87's picture

Ubuntu87

4 years 38 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago

0

Ya know?

Ya know something? I agree.

Although I'm a loyal supporter of the FSF, I still believe that they are pushing way too much this time that they are contradicting with their own cause. They want to spread Freedom while they are dictating their supporters how to talk?

That's really bad.

dave's picture

dave

4 years 38 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago

0

To be fair...

I think we got that request from RMS back when we first launched FSD using slash rather than Drupal. (I can't check the details because the email wasn't sent to me - it was sent to Tony Mobily of FSM who was the assumed maintainer of the site at that time.)

When we were using slash, we would have had far more control over the titles and descriptions used for stories. With this new system, however, the site is far more community driven so how story titles and their descriptions are worded is out of our hands. Unless of course we went through and edited them all post-submission - which ain't gonna happen for a variety of reasons.

So perhaps the FSF would now have a different opinion because of the site operates differently now. But I'm sure they would still disagree with us using google ads. And, until some miraculous way for us to fund the site without comes along, they will have to stay.

akf's picture

akf

4 years 39 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago

0

Ad Bard again

Hello Dave,
you said a large percentage of our visitors are looking for something free (as in beer) and they aren't likely to click on ads either.

But I also think a large percentage of the audience here knows and appreciates the difference between free as in beer and Free as in freedom (FaiF). But the ads here are rarely for FaiF products. That's why I learned to ignore them.

Ad Bard might get you less money per click. But think about it. They might offer ads, that are better suited and more appealing to your target audience. And when your audience knows it is for FaiF products, they are probably more likely to look at it and click it. Maybe they even whitelist Ad Bard in their adblocker...

Well, no promise, just some thoughts.

P.S.: I ♥ FSDaily

dave's picture

dave

4 years 39 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago

1

We used them before

We were using Adbard until they asked everyone to take the ads down while the upgraded something.

We never got around to putting them back up. And we made very little money off them.

I will look into putting them back up when I upgrade the site.

Thanks for your feedback.