VIP Membership Perk: Ad Blocking

Kenn2018

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I've mentioned this before, but thought I'd raise the suggestion again. Several members have complained about all of the ads they are seeing while using the site.
How about blocking the ads with VIP membership?
I know of several websites that do this, and I think that may be an excellent enticement for people to become VIPs.
 
How about blocking the ads with VIP membership?

Love it!

Even if UU decides to keep ads, I'm about to be blocking them all anyway. I don't know about you, but the majority of the ads I see are p***-y looking hentai things that I'm not looking too closely at, so I have no idea what they're advertising, but it makes me feel sleazy just having them on my screen. Gross.

Better ads make for a better website. It's super-easy to tell AdSense or others which kind of ads you want and which you don't.

Let me know if you folks can use a hand with this! I have nearly 30 years experience with online advertising, both local and programmatic, and would be happy to help!
 
I'm almost afraid to say that I never see ads on this site. Using the latest version of Firefox running on a Windows desktop. Hope I didn't just open the floodgates.
 
I'm almost afraid to say that I never see ads on this site. Using the latest version of Firefox running on a Windows desktop. Hope I didn't just open the floodgates.
Lol me too - on a Chromebook OS (which is actually Linux!).
UU is a business. We are paying for the business to operate by receiving the advertising and clicking on the ads that we choose, not all of them. If you block the ads and do not replace the income another way, you are wanting to get a free ride.
I don't think by using Firefox, or blocking ads, I'll be making UU any less money, because I would never click through on an ad in the first place. I just don't. I do know, of course, that I'm making someone money by being on the internet at all... and using Google for almost all of my tools, and having an Android phone, and shopping online, and... you get the picture.
 
I don't think by using Firefox, or blocking ads, I'll be making UU any less money, because I would never click through on an ad in the first place. I just don't. I do know, of course, that I'm making someone money by being on the internet at all... and using Google for almost all of my tools, and having an Android phone, and shopping online, and... you get the picture.

A lot of advertising is paid per view, not just paid per click, so using an ad blocker probably will decrease UU’s income from advertising.

That said, it may depend on how the ad blocking is done. The most common method is to block the source of the ad to prevent the ad from being loaded at all, and that will decrease counted ad views and the money UU makes from them. But there’s another type of ad blocking that loads the ad but sets it to hidden or invisible so you never actually see it. I think the second type of blocking might be able to fool the ad code into thinking it had a view for the ad without you actually having to see it, and therefore UU could still get paid for the “view”.

I also hope the forum might be paying for itself by attracting new visitors to UU. I found my way to the forum by Googling something ukulele-related, then found out afterward about the rest of the UU site with courses and eventually subscribed to take the courses. But I wouldn’t have found my way here and signed up for the courses if it hadn’t been for the forum.
 
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Advertising wise, I’ve been seeing ads since I first signed up a few months ago, but they have changed recently - they’re bigger now, and on a phone they sometimes overlap with the reply box now. (It seems to vary by ad whether it happens or not, that “most paused movie scenes” one is a problem).

Fortunately the box to type the reply into comes out on top of the ad, but the green “post reply” button gets hidden behind the ad until I type enough text to push it down past the ad.

Here is a screenshot of what I’m talking about. In the screenshot I’ve typed enough to push the reply button down far enough that it starts to emerge from behind the ad, but left enough overlap to show that it’s behind the ad.

(Sorry that image hosting site is an ad cluttered mess - click the tiny thumbnail between the ads to see the screenshot. BTW, did the option to upload/attach images go away? Seems like it’s only possible to add them via links now.)
 
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As in the other thread, I'm a UU VIP and have no problem with the ads, knowing that UU has very limited income and almost shut down.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 4 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 6 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
keep it in business.
 
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I wonder why ads are not seen by all of us. Has anyone figured out the which of us are more likely to see them and why?
 
No ads with Windows Chrome with Adblocker Plus.

That is what prompted me to become a "VIP" as I felt UU deserved the money.
 
Sigh, I'd like to become a UU VIP member, but I'm not comfortable providing my credit card number in that manner, especially as it's in US funds, so I don't know exactly what I'm being charged until it's gone through.
 
I believe in advertising, particularly in the context of community-building. My previous gig was at the largest community-based website in the professional video production industry, 2 million monthly visitors, over 17 million monthly pageviews, 100% ad-supported.

In the 90s, I ran a video production company that made commercials, and we also helped clients place ads. I don't object to advertising. I'm living in a house paid for by advertising. I object to objectionable ads. Nobody, anywhere, for any reason, should tolerate poorly placed, objectionable ads.

So, I'm also saying that I don't mind being a UU VIP and still having ads served. But the ads as they are currently being served here is a problem, not a solution. Doing better is easy. I'm volunteering to help.

Sigh, I'd like to become a UU VIP member, but I'm not comfortable providing my credit card number in that manner

I'd encourage you to try it once. That's what I did, for exactly that reason. The payments are processed by Stripe, one of the most widely-used payment systems in the world. I use it myself, and I think it's safer and more reliable than Paypal. (And for almost every vendor, a lot less expensive too.) UU never sees any of your information -- not your credit card number, not your street address, nothing. It stays secure in Stripe. Look 'em up, and I think you'll be impressed by what you find.

The monthly payment of $5 is for exactly $5. No tax. It's non-recurring, so you won't be surprised when it renews. Here's a screenshot of the receipt they emailed me.

9igMauu.png


I'm happy to save the money on a $45 annual contribution (vs. $60 on a month-by-month basis), but yeah, I wanted to know what I was getting into first. The water's fine! Come on it!

Now, I've only been doing this for a week here in my first month, so I can't say anything about the experience beyond "the payment method is safe, and you'll get charged what they say they'll charge", but I have a question for the VIP veterans -- what's up with the UU VIP forum? I don't feel a need to have any particular conversations with other VIPs that I don't want seen by the rest of the hoi polloi or whatever, but the button is RIGHT THERE on the front page, but doesn't seem to do anything. Is it another casualty of the platform change? Just curious is all. :)
 
The monthly payment of $5 is for exactly $5. No tax. It's non-recurring, so you won't be surprised when it renews. Here's a screenshot of the receipt they emailed me.

I think ploverwing was referring to exchange rates. $5 USD is $5 USD, but what it is in CAD or Euros or another currency will vary from month to month.

On the other hand, that does open up the possibility of waiting until a time when the exchange rates are particularly in your favor, then doing an annual contribution. UU gets the same amount of money either way, but when the exchange rates are favorable it costs less for an international member to send UU the same amount of money,
 
I think ploverwing was referring to exchange rates. $5 USD is $5 USD, but what it is in CAD or Euros or another currency will vary from month to month.

On the other hand, that does open up the possibility of waiting until a time when the exchange rates are particularly in your favor, then doing an annual contribution. UU gets the same amount of money either way, but when the exchange rates are favorable it costs less for an international member to send UU the same amount of money,
Lol the exchange rate is unlikely to be particularly in my favour with USD to CAD, but it's certainly possible to be a better rate (sometimes).

I'd encourage you to try it once. That's what I did, for exactly that reason. The payments are processed by Stripe, one of the most widely-used payment systems in the world. I use it myself, and I think it's safer and more reliable than Paypal. (And for almost every vendor, a lot less expensive too.) UU never sees any of your information -- not your credit card number, not your street address, nothing. It stays secure in Stripe. Look 'em up, and I think you'll be impressed by what you find.
Thanks a lot, Tim, for this information. I'll do a little more research, but I definitely appreciate your feedback.
 
Lol the exchange rate is unlikely to be particularly in my favour with USD to CAD, but it's certainly possible to be a better rate (sometimes).


Thanks a lot, Tim, for this information. I'll do a little more research, but I definitely appreciate your feedback.
I was due to renew when they switched the internet carrier and there were issues specific to UU members. Will do so again as a contribution in appreciation for how much time I "waste" here. And will do it as an annual so I will not be bothered monthly.

Years ago, I got a true bargain because James Hill monthly fee was $9 CAD, translating to $7. And my forthcoming Barron River is in AUD, so feels like found money.
 
...I object to objectionable ads
:)
Aha, the crux of the matter. I periodically try "white-listing" sites I frequent, but the deluge of ads always makes the sites unusable..

I believe it is the owner of the site that should regulate the amount, and in many case the content (it is their site after all) of what appears. Maybe they technically can't or just won't - which, I don't know - but until then it's Adblock Plus.

FWIW, I do make a yearly donation to Adblock.
 
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Lol the exchange rate is unlikely to be particularly in my favour with USD to CAD, but it's certainly possible to be a better rate (sometimes).

Oops, sorry about that! Typical American, forgetting that people live in other places. :ROFLMAO:

But yeah, a lot to be said for picking once a year, and doing your best with that. I wouldn't want to try to guess currency markets any farther out. 😁
 
I believe it is the owner of the site that should regulate the amount, and in many case the content (it is their site after all) of what appears. Maybe they technically can't or just won't

AdSense offers some basic controls, and it appears that some of those basic switches have been thrown. For example, the no political ads and no guns options appear to have been selected. Good! Those are fine where they belong, but this isn't that kind of website. But you can also opt to block specific ads or sites, and I wonder if this is the missing ingredient. Moderation for ads, if you will.

I'm thinking that the site's admins may also be using the default AdSense tools built into XenForo, which are okay, but limited. There are other options, none of them expensive. My favorite is €15-20/yr, depending on whether you want to be able to insert your own ads or just go with served ads.

I wouldn't want to dig too deeply into traditional ad sales (might be tricky to explain the relationship to Kanilea, for example), but I could imagine offering a limited number of free placements for festivals or something.

Those add-ons/plug-ins also tend to have cleaner CSS, so the pages will look better. All for the low, low price of a couple of coffees a year. 🤣

(Noting again that I am no longer in this business, and have no relationships with any companies in the space. But I believe in advertising, and bad ads distress me.)

Anyway, my point is that you can in fact have better ads content-wise, that are more readable on the page and therefore more inviting to click, AND choose to use them to directly support the community if that's desired, for not much effort.

I don't mean to be overly negative. I love it here. I also understand what it's like to wear too many hats while managing a website, having done it for 30-ish years. But I also see solutions being very much at hand, and as I mentioned before, would be happy to help.

i also didn't mean to hijack the thread away from the very good suggestion to offer ad-free browsing to UU VIPs. Great idea! But that message needs to be displayed, and local ad units are good for that. :)

And maybe either repair or delete the VIP forum, again offered with love and support.
 
Maybe the owners can work with the advertising seller to curate the advertisements to be more focussed on ukuleles and a ukulele lifestyle? Supplemented by advertisements for things ukulele owners like to do, like travel, music festivals, music technology, creative music products like CDs and Books and so on.

I am currently seeing a dreadful advertisement for Hero Wars....

Yes, yes, and yes! Adding a "report" button to ads is perfect! But I also love the idea of the kinds of ads that we COULD be having here. Some of it would come through AdSense, but books, CDs, and such -- affiliate kinds of ads would be dandy, and ultimately more lucrative than AdSense anyway, I'd wager. (Anyone needing to make meaningful money with AdSense really does have my every sympathy. It's brutal, and to borrow a phrase, Highly Unlikely.) Affiliate ads are VERY easy to set up in the plug-in I mentioned earlier.

The ad you mention is truly vile. I hated to do it for UU's sake, but I turned on ad blocking just because it really is intolerable to me. It shouldn't exist anywhere, and doesn't belong here.

I don't want to go overboard with this idea, but higher quality ads are not unlike fresh air. If you came here and knew that you'd ONLY see ads for instruments, accessories, educational products, records from your favorite performers, and festivals, you'd feel better about the whole site. It's no fun actively looking away from part of the page because it's disgusting, or choosing between that and supporting a site we love.

I witnessed the upsides of good ads in action at my previous gig, where we focused on making sure that the ads reflected our values as site managers, AND the values of our members. We were also super-strict about throwing out any vendors who wouldn't honor warranties or other shady practices, and it changed the nature of conversations in the forum, too. Members would say things to each other like, "Are you sure that Company X is legit for our purposes? I've never seen them advertise here, so do they even care about what we do?" People notice.

Seriously, people wrote to us regularly to THANK us for our curation of the ads, and to tell us how helpful they were. Third-party auditors for some of our sponsors verified that our ad-blocking was a fraction of what would be otherwise be typical -- like, single-digit percentages of people visiting our pages, because our ads created value for both vendors AND members. It really can be done with not much effort if you make it a goal.
 
@TimWilson you make a really good point about "good" ads: I'm on Ravelry, a social media platform for fibre artists and enthusiasts (knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving). They had ads that I do see in Firefox, maybe because they're not banners, I don't know why, but they're targeted, topical ads (e.g. yarn companies, manufacturers of equipment, etc.). I don't mind them at all, nor would I bother trying to block them: they're not offensive and usually they're actually very interesting to me. I rarely click through, but I actually do sometimes (whereas I never do for the generic crap ads they have on many platforms). Ravelry also has a marketplace where they sell ad spaces to businesses that provide goods & services specific to that fibre community. I don't know how much more work that would entail for the UU Forum administrators, but if you say that it's not that challenging to achieve, it would be a wonderful thing.
 
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