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  1. #1
    Network Hub roryok's Avatar
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    Ads on the site lately

    I posted a comment on the Ron Gilbert / Monkey Island story which was almost immediately deleted. Perhaps it wasn't the best place for the discussion, or perhaps I'm just being silenced. Sounds melo-dramatic I'm sure, but I'm finding my attitude toward RPS is becoming deeply cynical.

    Either way I feel the need to continue discussion, for at least as long as this thread stays alive.

    I'm very unhappy with these new "links" to other content appearing between the story and the comments.

    This is what I'm talking about



    I know RPS is a business. I know it has to make money. And I know that advertising is the way to do that. But this nonsense is just unacceptable. This is the spammiest of spammy content. I'd expect it from cracked.com or collegehumour.com, but my beloved RPS?

    Can we please at the very least replace these ads with something game related?

    It might seem like I'm whinging over nothing but this sort of crap just cheapens the whole site for me. If the site is that strapped for cash then have a fundraiser. Put a picture of Jimmy Wales up on top and beg for cash. Have a bake sale.

    These ads are the web equivalent of bundling the babylon toolbar with your free software.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Jim mentioned in a front page comments thread (the dredging-up of which is a problem for another day, and I can't be arsed right now) that he'd like to use the proceeds from these ads to hire a new writer, and that if you find any specific ads particularly egregious you can forward the link to him to be blocked.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spacewalk's Avatar
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    I find that the "bikini babe" web game with the pulsating breasts advertisement creates an hilarious contrast with the general line of thinking on the site so that's probably one that should go.

  4. #4
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    This is in the other thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rossignol View Post
    The Outbrain links can be filtered, but it'll take some time to get rid of the sites that post crap. If you see something objectionable please send the link to me in an email: jim@rockpapershotgun.com
    Submitted a handful of links, have see the same ones pop, hope in time they disappear.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacewalk View Post
    I find that the "bikini babe" web game with the pulsating breasts advertisement creates an hilarious contrast with the general line of thinking on the site so that's probably one that should go.
    It's not just a contrast. It utterly undermines their point. Like the article about Kerrigan's bum, mocking Blizzard for blatantly appealing to the lowest common denominator. Well of course they are, because that's what sells games. Now I'm all for saying they should do better, and shouldn't be entirely driven by money, and maybe they should actively be working to improve things.

    But RPS are equally valuing money from ad revenue over doing anything about it themselves, and putting off female readers in the same way Blizzard are putting off female players. And that's also fine, because the RPS guys need to eat and I don't resent them making a living.

    But trying to do both at once makes them look silly. They're working to fix it sure, but they're not taking them down until it's fixed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacewalk View Post
    I find that the "bikini babe" web game with the pulsating breasts advertisement creates an hilarious contrast with the general line of thinking on the site so that's probably one that should go.
    I'm sure Walker's face popped out a wart after seeing that one.

  7. #7
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    I don't think blocking individual links is going to work, because they just get replaced by even more random ones... and there is an endless pool of weird random news on the web.

    I don't understand why the "more from around the web" section hasn't been limited to a specific category of news, say: VIDEO GAMES.? Surely that is possible?

    And I really don't understand it given that the other "more stuff from around the web" at the very bottom of the page seems much better targeted. I assume that's because it's for specific sites... and because it doesn't seem to generate referral revenue. But if the new ads resembled the links at the bottom then I don't think we'd be complaining.

  8. #8
    Bear in mind that very often websites have little to no control over what ads are placed on their site.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterstride View Post
    Bear in mind that very often websites have little to no control over what ads are placed on their site.
    Yes. RPS outsources their advertising to other companies.
    The problem here lies therein that they should probably have picked another company...

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    Yes. RPS outsources their advertising to other companies.
    The problem here lies therein that they should probably have picked another company...
    The other company is Eurogamer.

    (Who in turn outsource to other companies)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    Yes. RPS outsources their advertising to other companies.
    The problem here lies therein that they should probably have picked another company...
    I suspect that most, if not all, companies operate in this way.

    The only advertising site I know of that doesn't is Project Wonderful. I'm just not sure that such a company could hand RPS-level traffic.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Karuji's Avatar
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    The ads seem to be less "OMG Boobs!" which is a good thing, but now they are more "Huh wtf?"

    It's like they don't know this is a PC gaming website.

  13. #13
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    These ads pushed me to adblock. I'm also far too lazy to sort out the necessary exceptions. I might possibly be the only person to do this, and even if I'm not the effect is probably insignificant, but I thought I'd say so. Not a protest, but more of indication that I was pushed beyond a threshold by these tacky ads.

    /Deeply petty.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalfish View Post
    These ads pushed me to adblock. I'm also far too lazy to sort out the necessary exceptions. I might possibly be the only person to do this, and even if I'm not the effect is probably insignificant, but I thought I'd say so. Not a protest, but more of indication that I was pushed beyond a threshold by these tacky ads.

    /Deeply petty.
    I also re-enabled adblock to get rid of them so you're not the only one but I was browsing the site a bit ago from my iPad (which has no ad blocking capability) and didn't see these particular ads anymore. Did RPS come to their senses and remove them?

  15. #15
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    They look to be removed as of right now.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    They look to be removed as of right now.
    I think that new blinking Metro banner between the articles is its replacement, unless that was there before? Either way, I find it far less intrusive.

  17. #17
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    Yes, a lot better now.

  18. #18
    I am Mr Alec Meer, lord of hair Bonzrat's Avatar
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    State of play:
    these things were supposed to be easily filterable and refinable so they wouldn't result in horrible stuff. Clearly, that wasn't working, and trust me when I say we were far, far unhappier about it than you were. Not to mention embarrassed.

    So we've killed it for now, and are trying to establish whether there's something salvageable. If we can be certain that we can control what they show, and that they won't be covering the site in unpleasant and/or totally bizarre things, they may be back - not least because the part which showed random posts from our own archive was really handy. And yeah, as mentioned above, the potential cash could enable us to hire an extra writer, which would be wonderful. But if we can't make it play nice, it will face perma-death.
    Last edited by Bonzrat; 24-04-2013 at 12:05 PM.
    Peace through tyranny

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzrat View Post
    State of play:
    these things were supposed to be easily filterable and refinable so they wouldn't result in horrible stuff. Clearly, that wasn't working, and trust me when I say we were far, far unhappier about it than you were. Not to mention embarrassed.

    So we've killed it for now, and are trying to establish whether there's something salvageable. If we can be certain that we can control what they show, and that they won't be covering the site in unpleasant and/or totally bizarre things, they may be back - not least because the part which showed random posts from our own archive was really handy. And yeah, as mentioned above, the potential cash could enable us to hire an extra writer, which would be wonderful. But if we can't make it play nice, it will face perma-death.
    Err, well done, consider my earlier point retracted. Maybe make a bigger deal of it? To point out that you're actually doing something about that sort of thing, which is better than what anyone else does. And maybe crowd-source some alternative ideas for ads?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzrat View Post
    State of play:
    these things were supposed to be easily filterable and refinable so they wouldn't result in horrible stuff. Clearly, that wasn't working, and trust me when I say we were far, far unhappier about it than you were. Not to mention embarrassed.

    So we've killed it for now, and are trying to establish whether there's something salvageable. If we can be certain that we can control what they show, and that they won't be covering the site in unpleasant and/or totally bizarre things, they may be back - not least because the part which showed random posts from our own archive was really handy. And yeah, as mentioned above, the potential cash could enable us to hire an extra writer, which would be wonderful. But if we can't make it play nice, it will face perma-death.
    Fair enough.
    It does seem like something wasn't working as intended. It seems like the service should be recommending things based on the content of the post. But it just seemed totally random.
    The random ones from around RPS were actually kind of interesting, but it still felt like they should be more related to the post at hand.

    If you decide you just want the RPS ones back, then I'm sure there are dozens of wordpress plugins that'll do that. Though your entertainingly 'creative' use of tagging might come back to bite you on that one.

    If you wanted to bring back the current service, does it work with a whitelist rather than a blacklist? That way you could just enter the urls of a whole load of gaming related sites and limit what shows up to those. Blacklisting is going to be an endless task when it comes to the web.

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