An Experiment

I think the most common complaint I receive is about the advertising. People hate ads. I’ve tried to keep them as unobtrusive as possible (i.e. no popups, no ads pretending to be posts, etc) but I still get complaints about certain ads or people heralding adblock as a solution. The problem is that this site costs me money to operate which has been covered for the most part by those villainous ads.

I have asked some of those people who have complained what a better solution would be. Most of them have suggested a donation system to support the site. I have no idea if it is realistic to cover the site expenses by donations alone. But I’m open to giving it a try. I created a donate button on the right under site info. If Cynics are generous enough to support this site through donations, I will start scaling back the advertising.

Also, if you have any suggestions about how I could improve the site, (guest bloggers, more contests, more Bachmann!) please use this thread to rant.

26 Comments

  1. So people are upset that when they view your website for free, they have to endure the very part of the site that allows you to operate the site without charging? Is there a particular reason that they can’t simply ignore the ads? Are these the same people who don’t want to pay taxes, but want the government to continue to provide services?

    Probably the ideal solution would be to have a way of subscribing to the site, and anyone who subscribes would not see ads. But I don’t know if there’s a way to accomplish this with WordPress.

    I doubt that a donation button will offset your costs significantly. I’d tell the whiners to just deal with it. Advertising is how websites make money, and there are much more obnoxious ads out there than the ones you’re hosting.

  2. Probably the ideal solution would be to have a way of subscribing to the site, and anyone who subscribes would not see ads.

    The Metafilter solution. It’s a good way to go about it. I think I may research this further. Thanks Shawn.

  3. I don’t like that you care what people think. Bring back the old blog administrator!

    With regard to donations, if you could make an estimate of how many loyal readers you have and divide that by the monthly cost of upkeep, maybe you could use that number to ballpark how much the average person should donate, i.e. “Just a dollar will feed Cynical-C for a whole month!” Bonus points if you make it look like a Christian-affiliated sponsorship request.

    In conclusion, more bacon.

  4. I like ads, but I do have some issues with the blog. I would prefer less Ingersoll, less Star Wars, less stuff about gardens, less TSA bashing, less stuff about the halcyon days of Vegas, and for the love of all that is holy, less Cynikitty (how I hate that cat!) In essence, I would prefer that this blog was solely about those days when you long for an In n Out burger.

    1. I agree completely. All the ads seem to come from one or two places, so the download is very fast. Ads that I hate the most are ones that make me wait a few seconds while the status bar says its waiting for an ad, then it waits a few more seconds, and then has to re-render the whole page to get everything in place.

  5. Is the concept of sidebar and banner ads new or something? Every site has them, and I’ve seen much worse on other sites. The ones here don’t obstruct the site’s content (as pop-ups would), and it’s actually a bit entertaining when they’re ironic compared to the thread topic.

    Given the choice, I’d rather “endure” ads and have them fund the site than have the readers foot the bill. And as Shawn said, I doubt donations would offset the cost by much.

    (If it’s possible with WordPress) I’d like to have a way to edit my posts, if only within five minutes of submitting, just to fix typos that weren’t caught in time (damn autocorrect!). The time limit would be that, in the case of two readers debating, we wouldn’t want someone changing their original post to favor an argument.

  6. I dont post much but I do check you blog every day and twice on Saturday, just incase you decide to blog on weekends. The ads have never bothered me. I tend to treat them the same as any post you have about Sarah Palin, I skip right over them as they make my head hurt. The idea of having the site ad free for subscribers is probably the most reasonable (and best) solution in my opinion. Would there be a subscription level available that would also block posts about Sarah Palin?

  7. I love that so much of the internet is free for anyone willing to spend time on a computer. Let’s keep it free. Keep the ads.

    The only ad that ever bothered me was the 73 year old doctor without a shirt. That I was so compelled to look was very embarassing to me. I must be a slut!

  8. The ads are not obnoxious I really don’t mind them as long as they are not flashing & dancing – which I have never seen here.

    I enjoy your site a lot & should say thanks occasionally. If you want to create a two tiered system so people can pay & not get ads I’m OK with that. I can’t afford to pay you want you deserve for running this site (even just the cost of hosting let alone your time) but it sure shouldn’t cost you money to run it. Keep the ads & your sanity. I may be a socialist but I am not a communist 🙂

  9. I sent you a donation. Now I feel I can be indignant when you post things I don’t like. It’s my blog now!!!!!!!

    Not really. Go get one of those frosty beers you love so much. You deserve it.

    1. Or, if I become a Gold or Platinum Sponsor, will Chris post a special entry about my product or service?
      But seriously, I don’t even notice the ads.

  10. I must be confused. I daily make the e-trek to cynical-c.com, not cynical-me.com. I’m pretty sure this is therefore your blog and not mine, so put up what you want, when you want. Moreover, I find it interesting that the ads always reflect my latest google search, so it offers me the opportunity to play little games with myself by using googling very strange things. Sometimes I click the ads because I feel in some way that this increases the profitability of this site.

  11. Ads are fine. I’ve watched television for a few decades right now and have to put up with commercials. It’s the trade off for getting my content for free. I mostly tune out the commercials. This stuff on websites? I literally never notice it. Ever. Sorry if I end up killing your ad revenue when the marketers realize I’m not actually looking at things.

    So, in other words, just leave it on there. I’ve read the site for years, but I ain’t gonna give you squat to keep it running. Even if I gave anything, it wouldn’t be enough to sustain you.
    People like to bitch. Ignore it. You ignore the bitching about the content, ignore the bitching about that ears.

    I’d much rather have a site with mostly invisible ads than no site at all.

  12. No complaints, Chris, EVVARRRR! I dig whatever passion gets you going, you are my hero for keeping this going as long as you have. You’ve hooked me since you began this, and I am grateful this small community exists. There have been countless days when Cynical-C pulled me outta my depressed state and I walked away with a laugh. Ads?? You post ads???? Oh the “Do you like meat?” educational links? Cheers from afar!

  13. I have been following your blog now for a couple of years now and ive noticed that you no longer feature classical music clips the way you used to. Have your tastes changed?

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