ding! you are more valuable ignoring the advertising here that supports the conent you want than you are paying out of pocket directly for the content you want. sounds like flimsy economics to me; maybe RM will crash just like the stock and housing markets due to the over-inflated valuation mechanisms that represent speculative values instead of the gold-standard.
I think the surprising thing is how many people do actually check out banner ads. I mean advertising in general is something that a high-end user ignores. However, there's lots of people who are interested in the message, who click it, and who buy because of it.
Ads are all bought on a CPM basis. CPM stands for "Cost Per Thousand" (with the M being a roman numeral) and so ads are priced at $X per 1,000 ad displays. The advertiser says "Hey I would like to advertise on Ridemonkey. I have $5,000 and I would like my banners to be up for 4 months." We give them a $7 CPM, and with that they'd get 714,285 impressions served evenly between the start and end date.
Thats the ideal situation, and what we're aiming for. Those companies advertise with RM directly, and we directly make the revenue. We're closing deals right now as the season gets underway, and you'll see better quality and more targeted advertising.
Currently on Ridemonkey we're running mostly what are called Ad networks.
Ad networks are what you use when your inventory isn't sold directly. So using our above example, in that 4 months, Ridemonkey might have say 8,000,000 total impressions to sell. That company buys 714,285 of them, but with only one company we've got 7,285,715 left over. Thats when you turn to the ad networks.
Basically a company (such as www.advertising.com) sells CPM, CPC, or CPA to their customers. They then turn around and buy advertising space from websites with left over inventory. So we say "Hey advertising.com, we have impressions to sell, will you buy them?" They buy them, but at a much lower rate than you'd get directly. Often this might be due to that company taking on advertisers who aren't that concerned with WHO sees their ad, as long as lots of people do.
Now, advertising.com is a pretty high class one of these, but there are hundreds of them out there. We use 30+ different ad networks to maximize unsold revenue. Some of these are lower down the food chain, and are willing to serve zwinky pop-unders. You can modify the settings and dissalow things like this, as well as ban offensive ads. Since we just changed from having this managed for us, to managing it internally, we had to re-set those settings, which is why that stuff popped up on you guys.
As the Bike industry supports Ridemonkey more and more, then we have really good targeted ads. People on here are bikers. They buy bike product, so bike ads are of interest. This will fill up as we get closer to the season and more companies come on board.
If anyone knows people at bike companies, suggest that they give advertising on Ridemonkey a shot. This place is a wealth of knowledge, and a very mature audience. Its a compelling property for advertisers, we just need to work on building those relationships.
Your eyeballs are important, as is your turning of pages, and clicking on ads that do interest you. If there's a product you're stoked on, then click on that ad and check out what the advertiser wants. Though we don't make money on that click, the advertiser likes to see the traffic coming to their site.
In addition to all of this (and sorry for the ultra long rant) we offer other perks to advertisers. Someone who buys banner space will get to run contests, have their own team forum, and come up with a couple of rad custom ideas that will be specific to their marketing needs. The whole idea is to create a full package that is compelling to the advertiser and interesting to the user.
That is how you create sustainable advertising relationships that last for years to come. The absolute last thing I want is for you guys to get pissed off by ads. Thats no good for you, no good for me, and no good for the advertisers.
Of course, this is a big tightrope walk... but hey its all part of the game. So the feedback is always appreciated, because we're working as hard as we can to make this good for everyone.
Ridemonkey is an awesome site, and to keep it awesome (and getting better) we need the advertisements. If you would be so kind as to not use ad blockers, that would be much appreciated. We won't force that issue though, as above all we want the user experience to be a good one.
Thanks for your understanding and loyalty to Ridemonkey. Its pretty amazing to see how much people care. You don't see that a lot on other websites.