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The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
Dave, we are trying to watch out for Snake-oil ads and block them as they come up... Sean has blocked a couple ecosmarte ones already.

If I were not looking for 'bad ads', I would probably just roll past them also. However, I personally (and Sean knows this) think we should remove as many snake-oil ads as possible, so newbies to pools or this forum will not think we approve of or support such items. Hence I am watching out and letting Sean know!

I personally would prefer ads over a pay-to-post system. I subscribed Ben's site because after I read everything and posted a lot, I found it valuable, and wanted to contribute. If I had had to pay-to-post at PF, I probably would have read and read, but never joined.
 

From_Arizona

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
212
Glendale, AZ
I was atracted to this site since it allowed a newcomer to ask questions AND read through the vast amount of knowledge contained in existing posts. I for one hate ads, but am willing to text over them rather than keeping a newcomer from posting unless they pay.

I alos puchased subscription to the howIbuiltmypool site, but it took two months before making that decision since I did not know if the hidden details were going to be worth it or not....and if it were just another site looking to take my money with nothing in return. At this point I would be willing to pay an annual fee to be part of the "off topic" forum stuff such as the coffee bar, but not the chem area, pool build, product area.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,917
Sebring, Florida
I have no idea what can be drawn from this fact but I just looked.....of the 1500+ registered users on this forum, less than half (646) have ever posted at all. It would seem to me that if you registered, it was your desire to post but 800+ of our members do not think so. I simply don't know what that means or if it has any bearing on this discussion but found it interesting.
 

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Some people register, just to tie up a username that they use so no one else takes it. For others, it would allow them to subscribe to topics as well as send pm's, all without posting.

Mostly though, I think people regsiter because they think they will post but then find that their questions have already been asked and answered.
 

skinnydipper

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2007
88
Riverside, CA
Coming from a forum that has giant page sized ads pop up in your face, I think these are very easy to tolerate.
To be quite honest, I wasn't sure all this fuss could possibly be about those little ads so I looked everywhere for something more intrusive. There was nothing else to see, so consider me with "TEAM SEAN."
Since he spends his time working on this site when he could be floating in his pool, I think he should at least get paid a little to do it.
 

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
I'm still in the evaluation stage, but one other option I have considered would run my own ads from companies I personally select. It would mean more effort on my part, but that way I could make sure that only reputable businesses and products are given space on the forum.

If I went that route, it would more than likely only be a single rotating banner on the top of the page. Each time you went to a new page, the banner would update.

Of course I would have to determine if there is enough of a market for this service, pricing, etc.
 

MeSue

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2007
345
Florida
It would be great if you could set up affiliate deals with some online stores and companies that you do want to promote--maybe figure out a way to offer member discounts. Something a little more interesting for the "Store" link above. I wondered why TFtestKits wasn't listed under that link.
 

SteveE

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
22
Lafayette, IN
Well, I don't have any original comments or ideas on this topic, but did want to toss in my 2 cents. I don't really notice the ads, and can certainly live with them. I would prefer to have ads and a free forum than forced payment membership. I think Sean's idea of getting more selective ads would likely be an improvement, as they may be more relevant to the forum in general, but it's not critical. Maybe Sean can re-start a post on this topic as a poll - you may get more feedback, or easier to tally feedback, with that approach.
 

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
SteveE said:
Well, I don't have any original comments or ideas on this topic, but did want to toss in my 2 cents. I don't really notice the ads, and can certainly live with them. I would prefer to have ads and a free forum than forced payment membership. I think Sean's idea of getting more selective ads would likely be an improvement, as they may be more relevant to the forum in general, but it's not critical. Maybe Sean can re-start a post on this topic as a poll - you may get more feedback, or easier to tally feedback, with that approach.
I thought about that, but then I would be supplying all the ideas. I would rather leave the topic open to suggestions. Someone may come up with a creative approach that I have not considered.
 

KurtV

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
270
SE Louisiana
skinnydipper said:
Coming from a forum that has giant page sized ads pop up in your face, I think these are very easy to tolerate.
To be quite honest, I wasn't sure all this fuss could possibly be about those little ads so I looked everywhere for something more intrusive. There was nothing else to see, so consider me with "TEAM SEAN."
Since he spends his time working on this site when he could be floating in his pool, I think he should at least get paid a little to do it.
What, you don't like your computer shouting annoying ad ditties at you when you visit that forum? I always love that Honey Bunches of Something one, especially at work.
 

venusflyer

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2007
32
Lebanon, TN
I, too, was attracted to this site because it was free (and let me register to ask annoying questions). I can deal with the ads if they keep more people coming. I like the idea of putting up ads from reputable companies and not just Google search ads (it seems). I think we will get more good people with more good ideas if the forum were free. However, I would hate for visitors of the site to think we are pushing products that are advertised on the site.

I became a lifetime supporter because I realized that this site had more information on it than I could ever use. And I know it can be time consuming and difficult to take on a task like this forum and the person/people involved should be compensated for his/her time. I would have been extremely happy to pay more, even, to become a lifetime supporter. In fact, when I clicked to be a supporter, I really thought it would be more than $20. :wink:

I also believe the people who are registered and don't post or PM or whatever (if there is a way to tell that) should be sent an email to respond to keep their user names, etc if it costs money and takes more time to have them here. I have no idea about the logistics of that, just my .02.
 

EskimoPie

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 27, 2007
278
Sahuarita, AZ
I don't think the ads are annoying or intrusive at all. I think the best features of forums are the wide array of people who join and voice their opinions and experiences... adding a forced pay structure will DRAMATICALLY limit the number of new members. If the ads bother you that much, either try to ignore them or use an ad blocker as several people have mentioned.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
The ads don't bother me, I mentally tune them out and am hardly even aware of them anymore. I don't think asking for money in order to post is at all a good idea. Having ads has gotten quite common, I don't see it as detracting from repuability. Google ads are fairly unobtrusive. Popups would really bother me.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,917
Sebring, Florida
Well, just to keep this thread going a little......

Since there seems to be a sizable contingent not objecting to the ads, then it make sense to me that to make the ads productive (pay money), we all need to click on them (which many have indicated they don't do...which isn't productive) or, get more folks on the forum who will take a look at them.

That means more membership. I know many, if not most of you, visit and frequently post over at poolforum. As such, you know that poolforum has many guests who cannot register or post but would like to. Steer them over to TFP where they can post, learn, and (hopefully) click an ad or two.
 

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
duraleigh said:
Well, just to keep this thread going a little......

Since there seems to be a sizable contingent not objecting to the ads, then it make sense to me that to make the ads productive (pay money), we all need to click on them (which many have indicated they don't do...which isn't productive) or, get more folks on the forum who will take a look at them.

That means more membership. I know many, if not most of you, visit and frequently post over at poolforum. As such, you know that poolforum has many guests who cannot register or post but would like to. Steer them over to TFP where they can post, learn, and (hopefully) click an ad or two.
Dave, while I appreciate the thought on the ads, it is against the rules with google for me to "encourage" anyone to click on them - for obvious reasons. Just treat the ads like you would any other information - use thyem if you find them interesting, ignore them if you don't.

And of course, it's always great whenever anyone refers new members to the site.
 

skinnydipper

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2007
88
Riverside, CA
If it helps, I accidentally click on the Google Ads from time to time. ;-) Just trying to do my part!

I also was quite surprised with the $20 for "lifetime membership." I was getting ready to buy the test kit and the $10 discount for members prompted me to look at what it would cost. I honestly anticipated seeing $100-ish for lifetime membership since the discount was $10. I wouldn't have been able to justify that cost, so it was nice to see that it was only $20.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
The ads don't really bother me as long as they don't get any more intrusive than they are, now. As in more ads or irritating popup ads and such.

However, I wonder how much money it will really generate? If most people block them, you aren't going to get clicks, which means you won't get paid, right? I guess you may get a feel for that after a month or so.

I'll throw this one out to you. I am active on another forum that is just more of a general discussion forum. Occasionally, the owner of that board will post an announcement that donations are being accepted to help defray the costs of running the board.
He doesn't do it often and it's really accepted, well. I have no idea how much response he gets, but there is no difference to members who donate and members who don't.

Are you not getting much response to the supporting membership levels? Perhaps you need to campaign it for a few days.
I know I don't pay much attention to the stickies, anymore. Perhaps some more of the board needs to be for paying supporters, only.
 

froggybabies

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 26, 2007
17
South Carolina
Popping back in to add my $.02...the ads don't bother me at all. I actually didn't really notice them until I found this thread. I do agree with staying away from pop-ups...that 'running into a wall' sound my pop-up blocker makes drives me nuts! :lol: