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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:47 am 
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Hi,

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Ads are popping up [like spring flowers] in the CAM forum commentary boxes [but only if you are not logged in as a CAM forum member]. This means that voluntary contributions by forum members are being subtly monetized. I am wondering if this acceptable use?

Now we all know that CAM has to make money to run and the grand age of Internet 'freebies' is long gone. But please try to control the rampant spread of ads. [Hoards of ads only encourage people] to use a blocker. As CAM advertisers pay good money to reach our community they do deserve select access to us.

Frankly, because CAM encompasses a highly specialized sector of consumers, I am perfectly willing to pay something to have any future listings appear that I would now post for free. If the amount were nominal, for a standard listing without it becoming a banner feature, I don't think many CAM regulars would object. 'Free' might be retained as an option for the first couple of newbie listings. CAM offers select access to people who know what they are buying - unlike Kijiji - where selling (and buying) is now such a chore.

CAM has grown to become an international force and the web-site's designers and moderators are to be [congratulated] for their long service. Unlike many other web-sites the CAM site is still not a bandwidth hog, And CAM still endorses community activity while others have gone over to the dark side of complete advertiser dependency.

But maybe it is time for the community to think about helping to re-balance the CAM income model. How would members feel about a small charge on their equipment listings?

Cheers,
David Neice

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Last edited by buybye88 on Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:07 am 
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Please explain exactly what you mean by ads David. The only ads in the forums I am aware of have been there for several months, if not over a year now so I am at a loss to understand what you are referring to.

A screen shot with a specific example would be helpful.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:17 am 
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I opened your forum post, started to read it, and the type wrapped around a shoe ad from Sears.
I was not logged in.
I then logged in, the shoe ad is gone.
i believe this is the design state of Cam, that you see more ads when not signed in.
Is this what you are refering to? And, is it outside ads, or CAM classified ads you are refering to, which are only on the landing page etc?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:52 am 
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I'm logged in.
Ads aren't that intrusive imo. Could be a lot worse


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:21 am 
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There are ad ban apps available.
I make use of one and no problem here.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:39 am 
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Could be security settings. I get the top and bottom of the page but not within ads. I think when it started happening within posts, I checked my security settings and blocked pop-ups like that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:21 am 
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Hi,

OK here is the screen shot OBI. But guess what? They only show up if you don't log in as a member. This was noted by Sasklite above. So, I suppose this is OK - within limits. But is it still acceptable use of voluntary contributions to CAM? I only tripped over this because I was shifting one of my portable machines over to Linux Mint and when I was browsing CAM with it using Firefox I hadn't yet logged in and the ads just kept on coming - within the forum commentary boxes - as seen below.

Screen Shot Below

I have amended my original post.

Cheers,
David Neice


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:39 am 
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BinkyTheCat wrote:
I'm logged in.
Ads aren't that intrusive imo. Could be a lot worse
I get these when I log in on my Android device, but not on my PC. On the PC I only see the ones at the top and bottom of the page. I have popups blocked within the browsers, but they seems to behave differently.

It doesn't bother me either; at least the ads are unobtrusive, unlike other websites that run animated gifs and flash videos. Annoying, those are.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:47 am 
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Hi everyone,

These ads have been in the forum for about 3+ years now. It is not a new change to the site.

If you find ads intrusive, please get an Ad Free subscription to CAM for $25/yr and support the site, otherwise please do not use ad blocking software on CAM, as we rely on ads to partially help fund the operation of the site.

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/userprof ... ee_upgrade

There are also other ways to contribute financially to the site, including getting a Premium membership, buying Shipping Labels from our system, using Auctions, and Featuring or Highlighting ads. A combined Premium membership + ad free subscription together costs less than a typical magazine subscription, and arguable CAM provides as much value as what users would pay for a magazine, and magazines still come with plenty of ads :).

In the course of rising costs over time, we have decided to stop adding more ads and try to limit price increases for subscriptions, and instead have created more and more value add features like Invoices, Auctions, Shipping Labels, and Featured ads to help diversify from relying only on ads.

As to the suggestion of using more fees to offset advertising needs, I think a blended model like we employ now is the only viable option, otherwise the burden of cost is too heavy for users, and certainly even the "free users" would need to be monetized to offset the loss in revenue. Even Agon relies on ads, and they requires fees for every listing. ebay requires 10% closing costs on many categories, and even they have ads.


Last edited by admin on Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
amended to say "contribute financially"


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:35 pm 
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I have a right to not see ads. I'm under no obligation to look at, click on, or even load anybody's advertising. Advertisers have no right to force me to view their ads. I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to see, hear, or otherwise be exposed to advertising if I choose not to - especially if there's a free and easy way to do so (ie. adblockers).

And I strongly resent the implication that I'm not contributing to a website if I choose to block ads. I contribute in many other ways; in the case of CAM, I've been spreading the word about the site far and wide since I first learned of it over a decade ago - well before it was a major player in audio sales. I also regularly report ads and posts for a variety of infractions, volunteering many hours of my time every year to helping the mods and admins regulate the site. I contribute ideas, advice and information to CAM and its users whenever I'm able. Are those efforts not worth anything? Is it fair for me to have to pay to not see ads, after all I do (and have done) for the site?

Yes, I can opt out of the ads for a price - but why should I have to pay for the privilege of not being forced to see ads, when I can use a free ad blocker to do the same thing?

I've cut my cable for similar reasons - endless ads that are continuously tweaked to be less and less ignorable. And having to pay for that privilege? That's exactly the reason Shaw, Telus, Rogers et al will never see another penny from me for a cable tv subscription. Is this really the model good sites like CAM want to emulate?

To my recollection I've never, in the entire time I've used the internet (more than two decades), voluntarily clicked on a single ad. Accidentally? Hundreds, if not thousands of times. It's ridiculously easy to accidentally click on ads, especially on mobile devices with small screens (and that's obviously an intentional design). Then I'm paying in bandwidth usage for the privilege of being redirected to a site I have zero interest in? And maybe even pick up some malicious software along the way?

I use global ad blockers, because I don't want to see anyone's ads or popups. Ever. Before I used an ad blocker, I would zoom in the page view so I could only see the content I was interested in and exclude the unwanted ads etc - but now many sites have stopped allowing zooming, presumably to prevent people doing this exact thing.

I don't think it's unreasonable to want to have an ad-free experience on the internet. I'm already bombarded with plenty of ads I can't ignore in practically every public or private space in my life. And it's not like it's impossible to monetize a massive, fully-featured site without resorting to advertising - just look at craigslist. Anybody who tells me I must be subjected to more ads deserves to be ignored, at the very least.

(And there's another, more sinister side to this monetization of the site as well: is CAM creating a two-tier system, where those with the means can choose to ignore ads, while those of us with limited means are forced to endure more and more ads encroaching on an ever-shrinking screen of actual content? And if so, is that fair? And can anything - besides ads and/or adblockers - save our beloved site from this fate?)

I'm not saying that I'm right and CAM is wrong, or that I have all the answers. Nor am I trying to suggest that CAM is the only otherwise 'good' site to resort to ads to generate revenue. Obviously, websites need funding to keep operating and/or expanding, and ads are certainly one option. And I do plan to monetarily contribute to the site when and if I feel it's appropriate. Thanks to diversification of revenue, there are several options to directly contribute money to the site operators, either as charity or for practical reasons.

I'm also not saying that I'm ungrateful for everything CAM has done for me - besides making money from the sale of items on the site, I've also benefited from plenty of helpful advice and information, provided directly by the site and its staff as well as by other members, users and contributors. I'm extremely grateful for those things.

And generally speaking, I support CAM exploring different revenue-generating ideas. Clearly not everyone has the time and/or means to contribute in the same ways I do, and undoubtedly there are many users who have no problem with seeing ads, or paying to not see them.

But what I am saying, is that this is why I think and act the way I do. The sooner good websites like CAM can accept that, and work with my interests instead of against them, the better this world will be for all of us.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Retro Audio wrote:
I have a right to not see ads. I'm under no obligation to look at, click on, or even load anybody's advertising. Advertisers have no right to force me to view their ads. I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to see, hear, or otherwise be exposed to advertising if I choose not to - especially if there's a free and easy way to do so (ie. adblockers).

And I strongly resent the implication that I'm not contributing to a website if I choose to block ads. I contribute in many other ways; in the case of CAM, I've been spreading the word about the site far and wide since I first learned of it over a decade ago - well before it was a major player in audio sales. I also regularly report ads and posts for a variety of infractions, volunteering many hours of my time every year to helping the mods and admins regulate the site. I contribute ideas, advice and information to CAM and its users whenever I'm able. Are those efforts not worth anything? Is it fair for me to have to pay to not see ads, after all I do (and have done) for the site?

Yes, I can opt out of the ads for a price - but why should I have to pay for the privilege of not being forced to see ads, when I can use a free ad blocker to do the same thing?

I've cut my cable for similar reasons - endless ads that are continuously tweaked to be less and less ignorable. And having to pay for that privilege? That's exactly the reason Shaw, Telus, Rogers et al will never see another penny from me for a cable tv subscription. Is this really the model good sites like CAM want to emulate?

To my recollection I've never, in the entire time I've used the internet (more than two decades), voluntarily clicked on a single ad. Accidentally? Hundreds, if not thousands of times. It's ridiculously easy to accidentally click on ads, especially on mobile devices with small screens (and that's obviously an intentional design). Then I'm paying in bandwidth usage for the privilege of being redirected to a site I have zero interest in? And maybe even pick up some malicious software along the way?

I use global ad blockers, because I don't want to see anyone's ads or popups. Ever. Before I used an ad blocker, I would zoom in the page view so I could only see the content I was interested in and exclude the unwanted ads etc - but now many sites have stopped allowing zooming, presumably to prevent people doing this exact thing.

I don't think it's unreasonable to want to have an ad-free experience on the internet. I'm already bombarded with plenty of ads I can't ignore in practically every public or private space in my life. And it's not like it's impossible to monetize a massive, fully-featured site without resorting to advertising - just look at craigslist. Anybody who tells me I must be subjected to more ads deserves to be ignored, at the very least.

(And there's another, more sinister side to this monetization of the site as well: is CAM creating a two-tier system, where those with the means can choose to ignore ads, while those of us with limited means are forced to endure more and more ads encroaching on an ever-shrinking screen of actual content? And if so, is that fair? And can anything - besides ads and/or adblockers - save our beloved site from this fate?)

I'm not saying that I'm right and CAM is wrong, or that I have all the answers. Nor am I trying to suggest that CAM is the only otherwise 'good' site to resort to ads to generate revenue. Obviously, websites need funding to keep operating and/or expanding, and ads are certainly one option. And I do plan to monetarily contribute to the site when and if I feel it's appropriate. Thanks to diversification of revenue, there are several options to directly contribute money to the site operators, either as charity or for practical reasons.

I'm also not saying that I'm ungrateful for everything CAM has done for me - besides making money from the sale of items on the site, I've also benefited from plenty of helpful advice and information, provided directly by the site and its staff as well as by other members, users and contributors. I'm extremely grateful for those things.

And generally speaking, I support CAM exploring different revenue-generating ideas. Clearly not everyone has the time and/or means to contribute in the same ways I do, and undoubtedly there are many users who have no problem with seeing ads, or paying to not see them.

But what I am saying, is that this is why I think and act the way I do. The sooner good websites like CAM can accept that, and work with my interests instead of against them, the better this world will be for all of us.

I like your passion.
Admin pretty much spelled out why CAM has the advertising, it's needed to keep the quality of the site where it's at.
It's not really a point of adhering to ones preference (yours in this case) it's required so everyone can enjoy the site, including you.
Unfortunately, it's the cost of doing business.
I don't think it's possible to change the revenue model.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:14 pm 
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@Retro Audio - you made a passionate and detailed post and I understand where you're coming from with regards to being forced to see ads. I see this argument and similar like it (eg "I don't want to pay Telus for an internet connection just to download ads on CAM"). I may have also used a poor choice of words when I said "you can contribute to CAM by ..." instead of specifically stating that you can "contribute to CAM financially".

Let me respond to share some perspective from the other side of this argument because its not often explained well by sites and too many sites are too aggressive about trying to encourage a healthier relationship between users and ads.

Please keep in mind that in this reply I am not directly referring to you, but in general to the belief that anyone should feel free to use ad blockers on CAM and CAM is wrong to request or suggest that users consider turning off ad blocking on our pages. I have nothing against ad blockers and ad blocking, and I won't hold anything against anyone who uses them on CAM, but I think it is important to share this viewpoint as well.

Sites like CAM are mostly free based on the unspoken agreement that you use the site for free in exchange for viewing some ads. This is like being able to go into a bar and sit to watch the game for free with the understanding you order a beer or two. Nobody can force you to order the beer, but if you don't want to do so, order some snacks or a meal. If you don't want to get a meal, don't want a beer, and don't want to pay for using the bar to view the game, then what is the bar going to do to pay for all the costs that provide the environment so you can enjoy your game? Some restaurants and bars are even forced to require a minimum purchase amount to sit and enjoy their facilities. If there was a free app that let you siphon beer from the tap for free would you use that too?

It frustrates me that it is widely accepted that music piracy is bad because it takes money out of the pockets of artists, but the same people who accept that will tell us that they have the right to remove one of the only ways for CAM to make money and pay for its maintenance and upkeep. Do our developers not deserve to be paid for the work they put into the site?

Some people who use ad blockers and never pay for anything on CAM are also the ones we spend the most time helping. We will never withhold helping someone based on these things and we never treat your feedback with any less respect, but you also cannot expect us to endorse, applaud, and thank you for doing it. We also often work with very frustrated or angry users who need our help. We do our best and always work hard for them. Does it feel good for us to find out that same user is blocking ads and thinks we do not deserve to earn some income from their participation, regardless of how hard we work to help them?

I'm not implying that people who block ads are not contributing to the site. there are many ways to contribute to the site, but there are only so many ways for us to generate the much needed revenue to keep the lights on and keep the site a high quality project.

I always tell anyone that works with me that we work hard because we care, and rewards always follow hard work. We do our best and the rest falls into place. We value hard work, doing our best, and making a difference. Ads are still the single largest and most important way in which we can be rewarded for that hard work.

In the past some users indicated they used an ad blocker because it was their only option. Now you have another option. Just don't rub it in our faces that you don't feel like using it.

Finally, I should also add that we have never forced anyone to do anything with regards to ads. You'll note we make no effort to combat ad blocking. I don't believe it is worth our time to fight that fight and I think its wrong to force anyone in that way, therefore instead I appeal to users using a written request as such:

CAM is supported by ads, and we hope that you consider not using an ad blocker on CAM out of the respect that we rely on revenue to run the site and pay for its maintenance and development. If you think ads deteriorate your experience on CAM, we've provided an Ad Free option at a fair price of $25/year. This is less than the cost of one month of cable TV, less than the cost of daily coffees, less than the cost of a few beers, and less then the cost of a tank of gas.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Retro Audio wrote:
I have a right to not see ads. I'm under no obligation to look at, click on, or even load anybody's advertising. Advertisers have no right to force me to view their ads. I don't think it's unreasonable to not want to see, hear, or otherwise be exposed to advertising if I choose not to - especially if there's a free and easy way to do so (ie. adblockers).


I get it, I use adblockers too.
At home I use the pihole, a hardware DNS based adblocker.
Nothing beats it, and it blocks ads before they get to your device.

However....why do you think you have the "right" to not see ads?
rights do not work that way....but if they did don;t you think Cam has a "right" to be profitable?

Quote:
Yes, I can opt out of the ads for a price - but why should I have to pay for the privilege of not being forced to see ads, when I can use a free ad blocker to do the same thing?

Your not paying for the privilage, your helping CAM stay profitable and therefore continue to exist and provide you with a free service.

Quote:
(And there's another, more sinister side to this monetization of the site as well: is CAM creating a two-tier system, where those with the means can choose to ignore ads, while those of us with limited means are forced to endure more and more ads encroaching on an ever-shrinking screen of actual content? And if so, is that fair? And can anything - besides ads and/or adblockers - save our beloved site from this fate?)

And what if they are creating a two-tiered system?
Why is that not allowed, or is that somehow a violation of your rights?

Nothing (zero, ziltch) about CAM is a right, only a privilege.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Commie!

This is a private site. Anybody who feels they are entitled to anything should review their legal rights.

You have a right to abstain, that's pretty much it. There is no law against banners, charging user fees etc.

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Last edited by racecars on Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:24 pm 
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Hi,

I accept the long and detailed responses of the site admin. I wasn't trying to stir up our passions, but only seeking to start a dialogue to help keep CAM solvent. There are lots of web-sites now with dead links. I just reinstalled a ton of software on one of my laptops and I was surprised at how many formerly active developer sites are now defunct. We just can't let something like this happen to CAM.

Those of us who haunt the forums and are members are not getting any ads in our forum comment blocks. New arrivals looking for 'knowledge' on the forums are getting them. Non-members searching forums are getting them and all of us are getting the regular splash page ads which support the website. We can block them with ad blockers or pay CAM $25 a year to turn them off.

Seems fair, but I still do wonder why we are wedded to a free listing model. Revenue from classified ads supported newspapers hugely for decades. The scale of listing transactions on a good web-site is another order of magnitude larger than newspaper classifieds. CAM seems to get about 200 new equipment listings a day and at even $1 per item - well we can all do the math.

Cheers,
David Neice

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