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Posted by SBE on 23/6/2008 at 16:37

Sorry, but those double underlined "key word" advert things that appear randomly in the texts of people's posts on here drive me nutz. I find them very intrusive and personally I think they make posts a lot harder to read.

I appreciate you need to make a living Somtam, but is there any way to block them? I swear you won't be losing any money from me as I wouldn't DREAM of clicking on the wretched things!

#1 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,053
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Posted by somtam2000 on 23/6/2008 at 17:40 admin


Rant received.

Fair comment -- I know they're not the prettiest adverts around.

However, given Travelfish is largely advertising supported, we run a variety of different forms of advertising on the site -- some are a bit obtrusive, others less so -- and they all come together to keep us in business.

You can turn them off by disabling Javascript in your browser -- in fact that will kill just about all the ads on the site (some of which you may find useful) and it will also stop some functions from working, but your experience on the site will be blissfully ad-free!

Another option could be some kind of subscription which would allow subscribing members to decide what adverts (if any) were shown. Would you (and other Travelfish readers) consider that a reasonable alternative and if so, what would you consider to be a fair deal?

I'm open to all manner of suggestions.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by SBE on 24/6/2008 at 06:03

Thanks for the speedy reply ( as always) Somtam.

Unfortunately I haven't the slightest clue how to disable Javascript from my browser. (It's a woman thing) I did try Firefox adblock instead but that wasn't a great success ... somehow I ended up with a very basic forum format which wasn't exactly pretty on the eyes or easy to use. Maybe that was what you meant by "some functions will stop working"? 8-/ Anyway I managed to work out out that by disabling adblock I can see the forum properly again, complete with every single ad.

As you say you are open to ALL manner of suggestions how about this one... If you could give some clue as to which of the numerous script and image addresses that came up on adblock is the one responsible for those irritating underlined ads, then (in theory), I could selectively block that without getting rid of all the other ads. In exchange I wouldn't mind clicking on some of the less annoying ones just so you and your family don't starve. ;-) How's that for a solution?

Subscription fees .... hmm wouldn't you lose rather a lot of contributers on the forum if you did that? People can post travel questions for free elsewhere. Would travelers who don't actually need any info themselves pay for the privilege of answering other people's questions? Unlikely I'd have thought.

As for fees for the travelfish info pages... well
I would certainly pay for info is extremely useful yet not widely available eg. Trying to work out how to get to the more remote islands in Indonesia is a logistical nightmare when you're trying to do it from abroad. Personally I'd be more than happy to pay if you'd care to provide a comprehensive, accurate, and up to date list of all domestic flight and ferry schedules and prices in the country. Easy peasy, you've probably got them all lying about on your coffee table at home, just never thought about it before. ;-)

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,053
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Posted by SBE on 24/6/2008 at 06:23

PS I notice that when I run my mouse over the underlined word "advert" in my OP it reveals the following...

"Your guide to local unions. Find addresses and phone numbers"

Not only is it highly improbable that people looking at a travel forum are going to be remotely interested in actually clicking on it to find out more, it also bears no obvious relation to the underlined word.

Just thought I'd mention that in case you're wondering why those things don't provide more ad revenue for you.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 24/6/2008 at 06:38 admin

Firefox -> Tols -> Options -> Content : uncheck the "Enable Javascript" box.

That will stop Javascript working, but as you've already noted, it's a bit of an apocalyptic solution.

The ads that are making your life a living nightmare are served by either Google or Kontera (depending on what part of the site you're on), so you'd need to block one or both.

You misunderstood me on fees -- I'm not suggesting we charge for access to website -- as we say on the About Us page, we're never, ever going to do that. Rather, I'm suggesting paying to have the adverts removed (ie, you'd login and you'd see no adverts), so I don't think it would be a lose member issue.

That's not to say something like this is in the pipeline at all, but as I said in my earlier post, the website is advertiser supported. If everyone was to take your attitude (I don't like the ads so I'm going to block them) then it would be considerably harder for us to remain in business.

We've a bunch of paid-researchers who travel in the region reviewing guesthouses, hotels and destinations and then we provide virtually all the information online absolutely 100% free of charge -- to my knowledge we're the only website that does this for SE Asia. I don't think it's unreasonable to put some adverts on the site to recoup some of the expense involved in doing that.

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Posted by SBE on 24/6/2008 at 09:18

I don't think it's unreasonable to use ad revenue for the service you provide either...sorry if I gave that impression. I've always been impressed with the unbiased and comprehensive info you provide and recently you impressed me even more when you followed up on comments I and other posters made about the trash on Ko Maak. You not only asked your researcher about it, he then contacted the locals and got them to do something to remedy it ... result... 1.5 tons of trash got removed from the beach. Even if it hasn't totally cured the problem it's pretty still a good start ... all that trash would still be there without your intervention. How many sites would have gone to that much trouble and actually acted on what posters on their forums say? Not TT that's for sure! Big kudos Somtam, please don't change that side of travelfish either. Things like that really do make it a pretty unique website.

Back to the ads... well the only ones I really object to are those random double underlined blue words in the text. They seem mostly unrelated to travel topics which is presumably what would get the highest click rates on this forum. Not only that, they are highly distracting because they emphasize random words totally out of context with meaning of the actual message, thus making posts much harder to read even if you don't run a mouse pointer over the ads. Just my opinion, and maybe I'm the only one who finds them a totally pointless and unnecessary irritation. Maybe they actually get more hits and pay better than other types of ads? But if so, then surely other sites would chose to use them more often too? Perhaps I'm missing something.

As someone who rarely clicks any online ads, (yup I'm one of THOSE people, sorry) if I clicked on other ads on your site in exchange for a more natural reading experience you'd actually be making more money out of me than you do now. But just out of interest, how much do you reckon you'd need to charge for a blissfully ad-free site?

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