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Community => This Forum => Topic started by: Tom on March 01, 2011, 04:28:13 PM

Title: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 01, 2011, 04:28:13 PM
Something very new to the game - another part of hell freezing over:

Quote
BattleMaster is a free game. You can play it without paying anything and I am quite proud of it being advertisement-free.

To cover its costs and pay for occasional expenses, BattleMaster is supported by donations. However, over the years many players have suggested that they do not have the money to donate - especially players from foreign countries where a few Euros is a days wage or more. And then there are, of course, many players who are very young and don't have PayPal nor the means for bank transfers.

I have decided to make an experiment. I often do things in unconventional ways, and this is no different. To the best of my knowledge, BattleMaster is the first website with opt-in advertisement. There are some where you can opt out (sometimes for a fee), but with BattleMaster, you don't see any advertisement unless you explicitly say "yes, I want to support the game this way" and enable ads in your user preferences.

And, just to be even more interesting, we give you several choices regarding the space you want to sacrifice for ads and the type of ads you are willing to endure.
A large skyscraper ad down the right-hand side of the screen, if you have a widescreen display. Or a wide banner at the top, or a smaller box in the corner. Your choice.
Less intrusive text-only ads, or multimedia ads as well? Again, your choice.

Let me know what you think, please. This is an experiment, and I really want and need your feedback.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: MaleMaldives on March 01, 2011, 05:23:50 PM
If you have the opt-in advertisement for a long enough time and/or click on enough advertisements, will you get similar bonuses that other players that donate do?
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: m2rt on March 01, 2011, 05:26:58 PM
I seriously want to see an ad network who would allow this.

Ofcourse if there will be no profit for the user from clicking on the ad, then it might be ok. But if user receives a benefit from clicking on the ad... No good ad network would allow it, maybe only those sites who promise people to get thousands of hits per day.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Berelain on March 01, 2011, 05:48:02 PM
I have seen all the options now. Skyscaper and leaderbord and to much "in your face". You cant look behind it. Every page you check you will see them first. It dont work for me.
It's a good thing you let people choose! When I log in and I see that big banner I dont have the spirit after some days to play again.

But the small box/banner works for me. You know it's there. But it's not to big. It's a nice and decent size. I can live with it even if it's permanent.

Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Kalte Lanze on March 01, 2011, 05:51:40 PM
I found the skyscraper ad to be more than tolerable, it was actually considerably smaller than I was expecting.

Even with a 20.1 inch monitor, it sits nicely out of my way and isn't distracting enough to keep me from playing the game, though if something eye catching does pop up, I will notice it with ease.

A very slick setup, I think.  Now, if only I could get another character for opting in :P
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Luegg on March 01, 2011, 07:44:25 PM
I think that adds (even if opt in) are a step in the wrong direction.

Battlemaster is special and adds will make it less so.

As an example I think the question of MaleMaldives illustrates this. An idea has immediately spawned that clicking on an add that you are not interested in will give you some benefits.

Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 01, 2011, 07:46:01 PM
If you have the opt-in advertisement for a long enough time and/or click on enough advertisements, will you get similar bonuses that other players that donate do?

I have absolutely no idea. :-)
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 01, 2011, 07:48:03 PM
A very slick setup, I think.  Now, if only I could get another character for opting in :P

I might think about that, but right now, it really is an experiment. My main question is if people like it. I personally have a dramatic distaste of advertisement in any shape or form, but it's taken me 10 years or so to understand that not all people share that sentiment. Now I wonder if what I've come up with is an option everyone can be happy with.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 01, 2011, 07:50:42 PM
I think that adds (even if opt in) are a step in the wrong direction.

Battlemaster is special and adds will make it less so.

Thanks. I'm well aware that this is totally un-BattleMaster. I have several reasons for going this route, one being as I mentioned that people have actually asked if there's a non-donation way they can contribute.

I'm interested in knowing why you think it is wrong, even though doing nothing means everything stays the same for you? That's not a trick question, I am seriously interested in the answer.

Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Kalte Lanze on March 01, 2011, 08:15:15 PM
I might think about that, but right now, it really is an experiment. My main question is if people like it. I personally have a dramatic distaste of advertisement in any shape or form, but it's taken me 10 years or so to understand that not all people share that sentiment. Now I wonder if what I've come up with is an option everyone can be happy with.

Pleasing everyone isn't an easy task, by any means, so I admire your ambitions.  I fully understand the nature of this experiment and will continue to opt-in if it helps :)
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Indirik on March 01, 2011, 08:23:13 PM
I personally have a dramatic distaste of advertisement in any shape or form
I mostly agree, though maybe not quite so strongly. I would continue to donate for the extra goodies, even if they were available via opt-in advertising. It totally ruins the immersion for me. But if other people are willing to accept them as "the price of doing business", then I don't mind them opting to look at them.

As another possibility, have you considered getting an affiliate account with Amazon? I know quite a few web sites that let you buy stuff through their affiliate link. It doesn't cost the the buyer anything, but gets you a percent or two kickback from Amazon. You could just post the affiliate link somewhere, like the Donation page. It doesn't need to be in-your-face, or on every page.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: loren on March 01, 2011, 08:33:09 PM
I mostly agree, though maybe not quite so strongly. I would continue to donate for the extra goodies, even if they were available via opt-in advertising. It totally ruins the immersion for me.

Personally the ruined immersion is what would kill it for me too.  But that's probably because of the way I've played the game these years.

/Loren
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Triggster on March 01, 2011, 09:50:31 PM
I find the leaderboard ad a great deal more tolerable than the skyscraper one which seems to distorte my screen somewhat. Personally, I'm willing to keep it on. However I am a fairly new player and can see how, for those who have been playing for a long time, the ads would be more distracting and ruin the immersion. It's opt-in at the end of the day so I feel it already accomodates for everyone.  ;D
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Perth on March 01, 2011, 10:04:31 PM
Here is the big question, and perhaps this is due to my ignorance of how internet advertising works:

I am fairly positive I will never click an ad, I just don't ever do that. So, if I opt-in, and never click on an ad, am I still helping Battlemaster out? Or do I need to click them in order for it to actually help at all?
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 01, 2011, 11:49:16 PM
Here is the big question, and perhaps this is due to my ignorance of how internet advertising works:

I am fairly positive I will never click an ad, I just don't ever do that. So, if I opt-in, and never click on an ad, am I still helping Battlemaster out? Or do I need to click them in order for it to actually help at all?

It only generates revenue on clicks. Many, many years ago money was paid for views, but I don't think anyone does that anymore.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Luegg on March 02, 2011, 03:37:55 AM
It only generates revenue on clicks. Many, many years ago money was paid for views, but I don't think anyone does that anymore.

Actually some do, its usually flashy and often intrusive and its for the sake of branding. I have also seen studies that they actually work (increase in sales)

But back to the topic. I actually like the idea of opt-in. It basically means no less immersion for me (because i am not turning them on) and gives opportunity to those that do not mind. My pickle is,  that advertisment is without any value by itself and therefore its spirit goes against the spirit of chivalry and nobility. Now there is an idea, force the adds to advys and make it impossible for nobles to have them  : p

Lets take an extreme example. Basically if you have ever played any online games that give you opportunity to earn extra "special points" for clicking various links with time limit on when you can click them again, well its not very far from that to the users sitting infront of the computer and waiting for the half hour to pass just so they can get a bit of special points. Basically I do not care much to playing games with such people. I am not judging, I was like that also. Probably still am, just not doing it anymore.

I am not sure if I am explaining myself and this is continuous problem for me when I am trying to describe why I find something to be of true value. The best I can say for such thing, object, person (or game in this case) is that it has true spirit. In that perspective adding adds will make this a bit lesser game.

I am also not some religious fanatic, after all I have been creating banners (and worse) for couple of years professionally.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 02, 2011, 06:39:19 AM
I think I understand where you're coming from. As I said myself, I strictly dislike ads myself, I have AdBlock installed into all my browsers, etc. For me, this is one of the most daring experiments, ever.

Also, I have to correct something, and Luegg is right. Digging deeper into Google AdSense, it turns out that there is a small percentage of ads that pay CPM - "per thousand views". From the little data I could gather yesterday, it's 0.5% of the total views, which turns out to be about 13 views - far below the threshold of paying anything at all. So it's negliegable.


Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Stien Family on March 02, 2011, 07:48:24 AM
I will look at the option and allow it to be viable for the duration of the experiment.  But I do not like ads and usually stay away from games that have ads.  But on the other hand if you find that this help you generate money for the game and I still have the option to opt out of seeing them if I donate or not.  That will be fine with me as I would opt out of seeing them and keep playing the game the way I have for that last 5 years.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 02, 2011, 08:11:21 AM
Well, you don't have the option to opt-out. You have to opt-in - unless you explicitly say "I want to see ads" in your user options, you will never see them. ;-)

I find it an important difference. "opt out" is the spam model - "we bombard you with ads, you can say no, let's see if you can say no faster than we multiply". Opt-in is the model for adults - "unless I know you want it, I will assume that you don't".
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: egamma on March 02, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
I would be okay with a small, traditional banner about the size of the "battlemaster forum", but not in BM proper. It could be here on the forums, in war islands, and on the core login page, but I don't want to see it in battlemaster--I'm not sure where it would go anyway.

And, I doubt I would click the ads, but you never know.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Chenier on March 02, 2011, 01:55:37 PM
Thanks. I'm well aware that this is totally un-BattleMaster. I have several reasons for going this route, one being as I mentioned that people have actually asked if there's a non-donation way they can contribute.

I'm interested in knowing why you think it is wrong, even though doing nothing means everything stays the same for you? That's not a trick question, I am seriously interested in the answer.

I personally can't see anything as being bad when it has no undesirable negative impact on players while having indirect positive impacts.

I'm also allergic to ads, but if the next guy doesn't mind them, and it fills the game's coffers, then why not let him bear the ads? That's what I think.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 02, 2011, 02:38:32 PM
Actually, egamma, I've just had the same thought not an hour ago.

Yes, I think the ads don't fit into BM itself. But here on the forum, or on the Wiki, they would be much less immersion-breaking.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Metsamees on March 02, 2011, 02:41:43 PM
I generally dont even register advertisements, unless they span the entire page or more.

If it helps BM, sure i'll click on some, maybe on many,
i wont probably pay attention what the ad is about or what it wants to sell though :]
Click-n-close.
(sorry im just not interested in useless c**p,
any groin enhancer or extension,
registrating on some sites i lack interest in,
or even inheriting bazillions from my dead grandfathers good friend who he met in WWII when they shared stolen whiskey behind the IS-3 or Tiger I
.... oh right that last one comes in emails, my bad)

but i'll click on some, maybe many.

Anyway, tested out that advertisement options.
Nice touch on the "where it appears" part, by the way.

Im generally for the idea.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Nosferatus on March 02, 2011, 02:47:20 PM
How much do you get per click or per add active? maybe it will be worthwhile to show players how much, in terms of money, there personally contributing to the game.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 02, 2011, 03:05:47 PM
How much do you get per click or per add active? maybe it will be worthwhile to show players how much, in terms of money, there personally contributing to the game.

I will do that if it sticks, just like I show how much donations I've received. But I only get sum totals, it's impossible to attribute it to specific users.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Metsamees on March 02, 2011, 04:48:07 PM
Heres an idea.
For those who have alowed the ads, is a button in that toolbar thing up there, so he/she could turn it off after he/she is done with it for today, or a while.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Miriam Ics on March 03, 2011, 02:34:19 AM
I like the idea of having another way to support BM.
Maybe the Amazon link (or other company link), that gives a small but usefull % of what people spend on it, is a better idea.
I prefer to donate directly, and I share the same feeling against advertising but, if someone really want to help, and if this can help, those people will have a option instead of nothing.
Last time I've read about advertising the result was like near 1% for a mass campaign. But Facebook show us every day that this is something that must have changed.

Life show us that people usually expect something in return of donations. I like to believe BM community is made of a special kind of people that dont follow the "commoners" (the usual) :p

I wish I had a brilliant idea for this issue. I don't.
I just admire you Tom, and what you did to have this special group at your side and will do whatever I can to help.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: fodder on March 03, 2011, 09:14:49 PM
since it's per click, there isn't much point asking how adblock would work with it, is there.

ie... on.. but blocked.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Longmane on March 03, 2011, 09:18:40 PM
I feel the same in simply being happy able do something help support this great game, and likewise had no trouble at all getting used to seeing an ad on my screen, especially with having been able chose have it there.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Rekhyt on March 04, 2011, 09:56:33 AM
I've personally added "@@http://*.battlemaster.org/*" to my AdBlock+ settings so that I can turn on the ads and they'll actually show up.  I don't know how long I'll keep them there, but for now the small text box is perfect for me.

I'm glad to see something like this; I have wanted to support BattleMaster, but I don't really have all that much extra cash (because I don't want to be a jerk and just donate a single Euro), and I don't use the fourth character slot I have now.  I'll have to make sure to occasionally click one of the ads so that it actually makes some revenue :p
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: m2rt on March 04, 2011, 09:59:03 AM
since it's per click, there isn't much point asking how adblock would work with it, is there.

ie... on.. but blocked.

Actually adblock should only hide text elements instead of blocking them. Thus an impression MIGHT be generated.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 04, 2011, 10:37:22 AM
Actually adblock should only hide text elements instead of blocking them. Thus an impression MIGHT be generated.

Don't think so. The ads are included via some javascript, and I'm pretty sure AdBlock prevents the execution of that script.

But I'm perfectly fine with people using AdBlock.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: fodder on March 04, 2011, 02:01:38 PM
yeah.. but it's a bit pointless to opt in and block.. if it doesn't do anything for you.

obviously you can't go around asking for a cheque... and turn around telling people to block
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Foundation on March 04, 2011, 04:01:52 PM
By the way, the Skyscraper ads sometimes push the main content down a few screens.  When I click "show unread posts since last visit" the list is pushed all the way below the ads.  It also pushes down list of threads on this forum. :)
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 04, 2011, 04:11:11 PM
By the way, the Skyscraper ads sometimes push the main content down a few screens.  When I click "show unread posts since last visit" the list is pushed all the way below the ads.  It also pushes down list of threads on this forum. :)

I've tried all I can to prevent that, but there are some instances where it still happens. Switch to a different ad layout if you are affected.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Gloria on March 07, 2011, 04:31:54 PM
I'm one of those people who asked for a non-donation way to contribute.  But I think the problem with opt-in advertisement would be the same:  would I be the target audience for those ads, considering it's very unlikely that I'd buy anything online? 
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: egamma on March 07, 2011, 07:56:57 PM
I'm one of those people who asked for a non-donation way to contribute.  But I think the problem with opt-in advertisement would be the same:  would I be the target audience for those ads, considering it's very unlikely that I'd buy anything online?

Click on the ads that you have some interest in, it should train the ads to show more relevant stuff.

That's what tracking cookies are for, after all.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 08, 2011, 10:09:18 AM
After a good start, ad revenue has dropped to almost nothing after I moved it to the forum. That is probably because only about 10% of the players even visit the forum.

So, my choices right now are to bring it back into the game, or remove it because it simply isn't worth it.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Anaris on March 08, 2011, 01:38:09 PM
After a good start, ad revenue has dropped to almost nothing after I moved it to the forum. That is probably because only about 10% of the players even visit the forum.

So, my choices right now are to bring it back into the game, or remove it because it simply isn't worth it.

...Or wait a little while and see if more players get interested in the forum?

I strongly suspect, by the way, that there's a second reason revenue dropped way off: At first, people were like, "Hey, cool!", turned on ads, and clicked on a few so they could support you.  Once they'd done that, though, the ads started to recede into the background, as ads tend to for most people online today.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Perth on March 08, 2011, 08:53:59 PM
That is probably because only about 10% of the players even visit the forum.

What percentage of people participated on the D-List?
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Alpha on March 08, 2011, 10:30:04 PM
I don't have any problem with the ads. If it generates revenue for the game, then I'll keep using them.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: De-Legro on March 08, 2011, 10:36:16 PM
I don't see the issue with having them in the game. For those that feel it breaks there immersion too much, they can switch them off there, and maybe switch them on in the forum. I didn't find the ads affected my enjoyment or immersion at all, and was rather sad to see them go. The other problem might be that people haven't turned the ads on in the forums. I know that I was only just reminded to do so.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 08, 2011, 10:42:37 PM
I don't see the issue with having them in the game. For those that feel it breaks there immersion too much, they can switch them off there, and maybe switch them on in the forum. I didn't find the ads affected my enjoyment or immersion at all, and was rather sad to see them go. The other problem might be that people haven't turned the ads on in the forums. I know that I was only just reminded to do so.

It's not just a matter of you thinking so or not, with regards to the immersion. It's also a matter of my pride. And I think I am happier with the game having no advertisement.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on March 15, 2011, 12:24:37 AM
Clicks have been at a constant 0 for the past three days, despite member count on the forum increasing and ad views being between 500 and 900.

I think we can call this a failure. There's no point in spamming people with ads if it doesn't bring anyone anything. There may be another spike every time I post something like this, but that's not a sustainable model. :-)

I think we can say that donations is where it's at. It confirms what I've been saying for years, that people willingly give to causes they think worthy, and the less you force them, the more willing and happy to contribute they are. That's a business model I rather prefer.

Nevertheless, so that nobody can say I'm not giving it a fair shot, I'll keep the ads in for a while longer.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Tom on May 31, 2011, 04:24:31 PM
for some reason Google has disabled my ad account and I really don't think I should bother with them being totally unhelpful (as in, not even explaining why) and the few cents or so that it's all worth.

I'll disable the whole ad thing and be done with it. [email protected]#$ advertisement.
Title: Re: Opt-In Advertisement
Post by: Nosferatus on August 03, 2011, 03:17:55 PM
[email protected]#$ advertisement.

Amen.