New UU Advertising: The Next Generation

A new suggestion that needs examination

TimWilson

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Howdy all,

As you may have noted, we've got some new ads! They're actually relevant, too! The Ukulele Site, Rock Class 101, some ads for Ukulele Underground (including the Marketplace and UU+), and of course, Kanile'a. There will be more coming, including one for the 2024 Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival that will go live as soon as I have it, but this seemed a good place to start.

btw, this isn't a thread to debate whether or not there should be ads here, or for you to vent about how much you hate ads. As long as the site is online, we're gonna need ads to pay for it. We've had a bit of a hiatus between having unplugged the awful Google ads and turning on our boutique, handcrafted, entirely websafe ads today, but they're not going away, and I wanted to add a few notes to contextualize this.

(And seriously, I love you all, I'm here for you, but there's nothing to debate, so please don't try to start one here. Without advertising, there is no Ukulele Underground, and I want UU to stay around. Hence ads.)


1) When I first joined, the ads here were atrocious. Lots of "adult" anime games, escort services, and many other things that made us look kinda scary, honestly. I volunteered to help clean those up, and from there, was persuaded to take on the sysadmin role, and here we are.

In eliminating those ads for "nicer" ones, I wound up cutting our revenue by over 80%. Oops. Turns out that adult content really does pay well! Still, not interested. :)


2) I HATE ad tracking, so none of our ads do that. They're just good ol' pictures. They don't follow you around the internet, they don't set cookies, and they're completely benign. As a result, you may find that they pass through some ad blockers. This is no sorcery or sneakiness on my part -- again, quite the contrary! I refuse to have anything to do with the sneakiness that has become entrenched in contemporary advertising, so some ad blockers just ignore ads like ours.


3) UU VIPs won't see them at all! Ad-free browsing had originally been part of our UU VIP benefits package, but fell out when our ad system broke on the way to our current forums software. I wasn't here at the time, so I don't know all the details, but hey, ad-free browsing for UU VIPs has now returned!

(I should also note that we have some new UU VIP benefits coming! Details to follow once I've worked out the technology. :) )


4) Kanile'a didn't want any ads for themselves here. They felt pretty strongly about it too. They're happy to own Ukulele Underground, and we're grateful for it, but their primary interest has been to simply and quietly support the community, and to otherwise let it be.

Commendable, yes, but to my mind, it'd look weird to NOT have any Kanile'a ads here. I whipped up a few as a proof of concept, and they liked how they looked, so they acqueisced.

So if you don't like seeing Kanile'a ads, blame me, not them. :)

Please know that it absolutely does NOT signify any interest to make the site somehow "more" Kanile'a, or reduce the amount of attention given to other brands, luthiers, etc. The potential for that kind of confusion is part of why they didn't want any ads for themselves here.

I've found you all to be able to hold multiple truths in your minds at the same time, so this is one of those times for you to do that. Kanile'a has LESS THAN ZERO interest in having anything to do with controlling content, the community, your conversations, or anything like that.

Again, we have a lot more bills to pay than what your very generous VIP support covers, so as long as we're online and growing, we're going to need ads.


5) I'll definitely note that there's a higher percentage of Kanile'a ads in the mix than any of us would prefer, but right now, we just don't have many sponsors, so the ad mix is what it is until we can bring on some more people. If any of you has contacts with other resellers besides TUS, or other brands besides Kanile'a, PM me! The more the merrier!

And yes, if you can name a brand, we'd love to see ads from them here! Same for related gear, other instruments, the Sweetwaters and Reverbs of the world, and anyone else you can think of. Alllll are welcome, as long as they're relevant to the folks here.

Please note that I'm not an ad salesperson, and have zero interest in becoming one. I'll be happy to talk to anyone about the UU forums and why they should advertise here, but I'm not gonna PITCH anyone anything. I'm certainly not able to cold call a bunch of people. Ad sales is a MORE than full-time job, which is why most sites automate it and you wind up with all those garbage automated ads that follow you all over the web.

It's gonna be tough to bring in more people, though. There's really not any such thing as ukulele brand advertising. (Seriously, who's a brand you've seen advertise?Kala? Anuenue? Flight? Any of the Ks? I've sure never seen one!) Most brands have gone in for social media marketing, supporting artists directly, and supporting festivals, and goodness knows that I wouldn't want them doing any LESS of that...

...but as a result, it's not like most brands have a bunch of ads laying around that they can just hand us. I can create ads for them to approve as needed, but as another result, it's not like any of these brands have actual budgets for advertising either. This is going to require new money, and with ukulele sales in general trending down across the industry, this is difficult pitch, to say the least.

Anyway, if you have ideas, please PM me. I don't want to clog the forum with too much ad talk. :)

But these ads are pretty lovely, feature some folks who are well-known and respected, are relevant, and most of all, safe.

The floor is open for questions, etc. :)

Mahalo,
Tim Wilson
UU Sysadmin
 
As a result, you may find that they pass through some ad blockers.

3) UU VIPs won't see them at all!
They do indeed pass through some ad blockers, which caught me by surprise. At the moment I can see the ads despite my UU VIP status, so I presume not all of the features have been implemented.
 
They do indeed pass through some ad blockers, which caught me by surprise. At the moment I can see the ads despite my UU VIP status, so I presume not all of the features have been implemented.

You should definitely not be seeing them as a VIP!!! Let me doublecheck that and report back.
 
They do indeed pass through some ad blockers, which caught me by surprise. At the moment I can see the ads despite my UU VIP status, so I presume not all of the features have been implemented.

I'm just tweaking YOUR account for now as an experiment before I apply it to all the VIPs, but no ads now?

Thanks,
Tim
 
I'm just tweaking YOUR account for now as an experiment before I apply it to all the VIPs, but no ads now?

Thanks,
Tim

Nevermind -- I tried batch updating all the VIPs. Can any of you confirm for me no ads now?

Thanks for your patience while I sort this out!
 
I’ve never seen an ad in the past, and don’t see any now.

Some ad blockers will be blocking these, and maybe you've got one of those? But then again, you're a VIP, and I've now successfully turned them off for VIPs without messing up your ability to post in this forum (which was the case briefly before I got it sorted :giggle: ).

So, YOU as a VIP not seeing ads counts as success! :)
 
I paid for VIP in part because I am so ad-blocked I pretty much never see them anywhere. I pay my way with actual money where I can, because I just cannot handle paying with my eyeball space. I’m going to encourage others to do the same. If you sell here, if you learn here, if you find community here, get yourself an angry-grapefruit-colored badge for your very own!
 
Test post.

EDIT: Yep, that all seems to be working for me, and I can post again! Thanks Tim.
 
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