Flutterby™! : Tycho muses on web economics

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Tycho muses on web economics

2005-04-19 13:55:48.835648+00 by Shawn 4 comments

A bit of discussion on web economics from one of the Penny Arcade founders, in the context of Schlock Mercenary's recent departure from Keenspot.

[ related topics: Web development New Economy Consumerism and advertising Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-19 14:40:30.972038+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, even with Flutterby's paltry number of readers, occasionally I'll hear a number that makes me think "huh, maybe advertising wouldn't be so evil after all...".

Or "maybe we should run a parallel publication with the non-controversial stuff".

I also find it heartening that advertising that goes beyond online casinos and "spank the monkey and win a free iPod" is beginning to pick up the costs for publication. This says to me that there are sustainable models for web publishing, which means it's starting to come into its own.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-19 16:25:35.509802+00 by: petronius

I note that you use the word "sustainable", rather than "Princely".

I haven't paid that much attention to Google ads, other than to note that they usually impinge somewhat on the topic of the page. So, if I'm looking for data on RoboHelp I get several companies elling it, etc. What intrigues me, however, is how the advertising agency is at the mercy of its customers. If I go to a page discussing Islam, I usually find nothing but ads for Muslim matrimonial brokers (3 burkhas, no waiting........). No books by Juan Cole or Edward Said or Lewis, no Moroccoan eateries, no brass lamps.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-19 17:00:53.360394+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I don't ever expect (nor think I want what it would imply for) Flutterby to give me any income. But as I approach a decade out of Chattanooga, I would like to feel like there's more sustaining the server and bandwidth than the goodwill I generated ten years ago in helping to start Chattanooga On-line. So I've been thinking that if I could ever cover colo costs I'd start to think about making it a little more ad friendly...

But then I see something like Daze Reader's recent hiatus notice and think "wait, Evan's been living off that?" (Well, that notice and assorted other conversations that I thought I was misinterpreting).

I wonder if maybe Google could give publishers a little more control over the ads I run if we couldn't both win. If part of a publisher's morning routine was to get a list of potential ads and say "I think readers will find these appropriate and these superfluous" then everyone could win: The publisher would get more click-through revenues, Google would get ways to tune their algorithms for appropriateness selection, the advertisers would get more potential customers, and the readers would get screen space used for things they might actually be interested in.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-04-20 01:23:19.653014+00 by: Dori

Dan, if you want to just make a few extra bucks (not much, but it's something) in a way that's less intrusive than Google ads, take a look at the last ad block on the bottom right of the gray bar on Backup Brain. If you'd be willing to run a link like that, drop me a line.

Personally, I haven't found that Google AdSense is worth much unless you have a very targeted site.