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Old 05-02-2008, 09:53 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Ads before dingalinks considered harmful

I well understand the desire to make money from all of the great free content offered by this site, but I think showing a video ad before every dingalink is excessive.

First, the ad is six seconds long, which, in this context, is an eternity. Given that a lot of the funny moments that inspire one to create (and watch) dingalinked clips are only about this long, the ad should be shorter. It seems to me a that a one- or two-second static image of, say, the first frame of the ad that runs at the start of full-length diavlogs is enough, especially as the same ad appears in the sidebar. I'm also happy to accept, as a tradeoff, a longer ad prior to a full diavlog.

Another option: figure out a way to show the ad only every first time, or every Nth time, per user session on the site. This seems easy enough to implement via cookies.

Second, the ad should not run again if the user replays the same dingalink. Again, this seems like the kind of thing that could be controlled by cookies.

I appreciate that neither of these is solely a matter of cookie management, but from my experience on other sites that mix ads in with video content, implementing my suggestions does not seem to present an insurmountable problem.

A third option is to use an overlay ad during dingalinks, running along the bottom during display of the dingalink, instead of having the ad run first. This may be a pain to implement, I grant -- it would seem to call for on-the-fly mixing. Maybe all videos (dingalinks or full diavlogs) could, by default, have added a bottom banner that times out after X seconds.

Tech considerations aside, there's this: One of the great things about dingalinks is the quick laugh aspect. I grant that there are other motivations; e.g., use of a clip to support an argument being conducted in the forums, or capturing a longer excerpt, just because you like the way one of the diavloggers expressed an idea. But for the jokes, succinctness is the key. Having to sit through a six-second ad every time you're looking for a four-second laugh kills the funny, and, I fear, will kill the motivation to make dingalinks. This would be a loss of a unique feature of this site.

There's another problem, too. Too many displays of the same ad, especially if it's too long, tends to provoke resentment against the brand shown in the ad. So, if you -- the BH.tv overlords -- are not swayed by an appeal to users' sensibilities, maybe this consideration will resonate.

Here's hoping, anyway.

Last edited by bjkeefe; 05-02-2008 at 10:04 PM..
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