:Did they promise to keep the ads text-only forever, or did they just say that was the "current plan", which clearly implies that it's subject to change in the future? (Obviously, though, that change should have been discussed with the community before it was implemented.) As for this specific ad, seems like one that should be blocked purely for aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, logged-in users, the ones most likely to know where and how to complain about a specific ad, won't see these graphical ads at all. [[User:LtPowers|LtPowers]] 09:09, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
:Did they promise to keep the ads text-only forever, or did they just say that was the "current plan", which clearly implies that it's subject to change in the future? (Obviously, though, that change should have been discussed with the community before it was implemented.) As for this specific ad, seems like one that should be blocked purely for aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, logged-in users, the ones most likely to know where and how to complain about a specific ad, won't see these graphical ads at all. [[User:LtPowers|LtPowers]] 09:09, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
My primary concern is that ads not affect the actual content of our travel guides. That means that all advertisements be located outside the article space. That basically leaves three possibilities: underneath, to the left, and above the guides. I think the best location is on the left navbar, so long as it is at least beneath the "navigation" box. Bottom-of-the-page would likely bother no one, but they would also be less desirable to advertisers since they would be so far out of the way. Perhaps spaces above our articles, such as the area now used for site-wide notices and even perhaps in the area just beneath the personal links (Username, Usertalk, Preferences, etc.) could be used for one high-bidding text ad.
I think the left navbar is the top candidate: it's clearly visible, it doesn't affect the content, and it's technically fairly straightforward to do (or so Evan tells me).
Wikitravel Press will probably also get some page on the Main Page to plug its offerings. I'm not sure about the exact location though: possibilities include to the right of the Discover box or within the (enlarged?) "Featured Articles" box, with the latter probably a better fit: "here are some of our best articles online, and you can buy this one as a book too!". Jpatokal 22:20, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
Wikevent shows one example of left nav bar advertising. I agree it would be nice to keep them out of the actual article space. IB has said they favor non-intrusive ads, but obviously that depends on your definition of intrusive. I find this a little intrusive. – cacahuatetalk 02:06, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Left nav sounds good, although way back in the day en:User:Mark was working on a new Wikitravel skin that created a right navigation bar. The demo site is gone now, but some of the discussion is available at User:Mark/Archive#My attempt at site redesign. The advantage was that left nav was used for navigation, while right nav collected additional content, making for a clear delineation. Right or left, it would be great if ads were non-obtrusive and also targeted by section, for example putting hotel ads next to the "Sleep" section and taxi service ads next to "Get around". That may be too much to ask, but it seems like it would offer the most value to both travelers and IB. And I'm envisioning Google text ads - unobtrusive is good, but flashy "punch the monkey" ads would be an unforgiveable evil. -- Ryan 02:15, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Agree on the left navbar, the obtrusiveness of that World66 ad, ethical treatment of animated monkeys, and having no problem with text ads. Gorilla Jones 17:01, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
Types of ads
There are two types of advertisements that I'm aware of, that have already gained a good degree of acceptance from Wikitravelers both affiliated and unaffiliated with Internet Brands : Google text ads and Wikitravel Press ads. I certainly support the use of these specific types of ads and would be open to other types, if anyone has additional suggestions. --PeterTalk 14:17, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
I would like to see one square inch or say 200px of charitable ad space. Like "Contribute to Doctors Without Borders Here" - Other than that, I think ads are fine and necessary to support the site. 2old 14:29, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
I think that would be a pretty cool thing to do. And that's not (I think) something we'd need to wait for IB to do, I'm pretty sure that if we agree on it, we could just put up a link ourselves. --PeterTalk 02:42, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Umm, I hate to sound cynical, but I don't really see the connection to WT here...? What are you hoping to achieve with this? Jpatokal 12:40, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Well, you do sound cynical. But to answer your question. You have found this site to be rewarding, in as you are now selling printed books using the work of others. Some others may like to see their work be rewarded in other ways. This could be one example. As with this site, "Dr's Without Borders" have no borders. There is a lot of white space to the left going unused at this point, this could benefit many in need. Not doing it does not make any sense, and could be considered quite selfish. What are you hoping to achieve? Maybe restoring sight to one person as Windhorse suggested in a previous discussion, before he and some others dissapeared. Or helping a child to walk. Who knows? Please tell me why you would object, maybe I am missing something. 2old 13:09, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
I think 2old has a good point in that contributors work on wikis mostly for altruistic reasons. If our work benefits a good cause like Médecins Sans Frontières, that benefits WT because it gives contributors another reason to feel good about their work. Oh, and Windhorse will be back, as I understand it, he's traveling right now and doesn't have internet access. --PeterTalk 18:25, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Being a mean old Scrooge who eats babies for breakfast, I'm going to object on three grounds.
1) Commercial cost. The more ads we have, the more they compete for the viewer's attention and the less they're each worth. So putting up a charity ad will indirectly reduce any ad revenue for IB (and, yes, WTP).
2) No added value. Any money contributed would come directly from the users of the site, and people who contribute to charities will generally do so without prodding from Wikitravel. Unless you can convince IB to (say) put up matching donations, you're not making a net difference.
3) Implied community endorsement. Any charity selected would have to represent everybody on Wikitravel, which is near-impossible. I've contributed to Planned Parenthood Int'l, which I'm sure would raise a few hackles here, and even something as notionally inoffensive as MSF has caused controversy over the years. Here's a real-life example: last year, WikiHow went carbon-neutral, which means they put money into offsetting their carbon footprint. This stirred up a lot of debate about whether doing so was appropriate (did WikiHow have any business sticking its nose into what some viewed as politics, whether this money should have been used for upgrading the service instead, etc), to the extent that some long-time contributors left.
So there. Shave the whales and pave the earth. Jpatokal 23:44, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Well stated Jani. But, let's look at each one.
1) Commercial cost. At this point there are no ads. If Peter is correct and we could do this now, it would be a test of responses, would not cost anything, and may do some good.
2) No added value. You are correct, the money would come from the users. I do not think it would be a good idea to ask IB to give up space and match funds.
3) Implied Community Endorsement I really do not think this is an issue. The parties making the donations, likely would not donate to upgrade the service, that is what the ads are for, and if there is a lot of debate, that is fine, and if there is a lot of objection, it can be easily dropped.
A) One of the advantages to Wikitravel, may be the exposure this may generate for the site, and with Dr.s without borders, you could attract just the type of contributors to Wikitravel that we need. (You give, you get theory.)
B) One of the conditions, of providing an ad to a charitable user should be keeping track of actual $$$ donated and that should be reflected on the ad itself, if possible. Like "to date Wikitravers have donated $******* to ABC Charity"
So my vote is to Endorse such an ad, run on a trial basis for 6 months, with Windhorse being the negotiator with said charity, once he shows up. I hope he is having fun!
So, we are tied and shall move on with comment and voting (please vote only one time), unless IB puts the hammer to the deal. So there. Give sight to the blind and let the children walk. 2old 09:52, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
I am inclined against, because I think it's unfair to IB (in line with #1). If they begin raking in cash hand-over-foot, we can ask that space be set aside for something like this, but not before it's even begun. They need to be given a chance to get a return on their investment here, and raising the bar for them to do that will, in the long run, be deleterious to this site. Gorilla Jones 17:01, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
I see your point, but I think if we offend them, they will be quick to let us know. And, that is a good thing. 2old 17:13, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
All other issues aside, I just wanted to add a reminder that majority-rule voting is against the general Wikitravel practice of making all decisions by consensus. And that's something I'm 100% behind, although oddly it doesn't seem to be enshrined in policy anywhere... --PeterTalk 17:21, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
Just want to comment that IB's not commenting on this thus far is not out of a lack of interest, but more being interested in whatever consensus arises from this discussion. Redondo 19:17, 14 September 2007 (EDT)
To Peter. Thank you for pointing out the concensus issue/defintion. Again, I learn and I appreciate. To Rodondo. I am not trying to offend IB, or anyone else for that matter. And, I am glad you are paying attention, regardless of the outcome. I feel that I have taken away from Peters original question and that was not the intent. At my age (60), my goals, reward and thoughts may be a little different from the younger contributors. But, a relationship with organizations like DWOB, could likely provide benefit to both parties (For Wikitravel - Good exposure and the possibility of attracting addittional quality contribution). This thinking is probably generated from my role in real life as a negotiator with an obligation to treat all parties fairly. Usually, negotiators do not have the burden of "treating all parties fairly", that comes with my territory. 2old 11:55, 15 September 2007 (EDT)
Do we really have a say?
This page, seems to have lost it's appeal for discussion. But, another question has entered my little mind. What happens if/when IB decides to sell the site. Due to their lack of maintenence of the site (lack of interest?) and upgrades that have been proposed but never implemented, I get this uneasy feeling about it. 2old 11:27, 6 October 2007 (EDT)
Here's the thing, 2old: you do have a say, because you, and everybody else on WT, can vote with your feet. If IB doesn't do a good job of running it, and somebody comes up with a better option, then WT will die. But as long as IB, or anybody they choose to sell it to, keeps the community happy, then the site will keep chugging along.
...but this discussion has nothing to do with advertising anymore, and probably belongs on Talk:Internet Brands. Jpatokal 14:57, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
While I appreciate your views Jpatokal, I think the suggestion that one "vote with their feet", is a poor one. It's like the "if you don't like it leave" attitude (which is nothing but childish).
I was expecting someone to say that, but no, it's not that. See, if you decide you don't like (say) Google anymore, you really don't have a choice -- it can't be duplicated. But everything on WT is CC by-sa licensed, so it can -- and has been -- copied, mirrored and forked. The only thing keeping people on WT is that, to date, it's better run than any of the copies. Jpatokal 14:04, 8 October 2007 (EDT)
And, the discussion is about advertising also. It seems when one wants to "discuss" something, your first repsonse is usually something like this. This sort of forum or disussion, should be encouraged for the betterment of the site.
There are places for this. You want to bitch about IB, do it at Talk:Internet Brands. You want to bitch about a bug, do it at the bug's talk page. But nobody is ever going to find this if you're doing it at "Talk:Advertising policy" because, well, this has nothing, zippo, nada to do with advertising. Jpatokal 14:04, 8 October 2007 (EDT)
Personally, I think Wikitravel is a great project, consisting of some excellent contributors with a lot of talent. Judged by the spelling, most are better educated than me. I think, I have noticed a drop in contributions on a daily basis in the past year. I know several of my favorite contributors have disappeared. If they had any questions or reservations, I would never suggest that they "vote with their feet". I am a big boy, I understand that I have little or no control over any contributions that I may make, and that is fine. However, I think it is appropriate for others and myself to question things like "why is this site so darn slow"? Why can you not fix the Message waiting indicator? You would think that a responsible party like I imagine IB to be would simply answer or fix these minor problems which are bugging the contributors that add value every day to IB's site. By ignoring these issues, It shows lack of interest on their part or they just do not care, either way it does not reflect any good will towards their contributors, of which I am one. 2old 11:27, 8 October 2007 (EDT)
So howzabout you cook up a page with a list of the bugs that annoy you most and then contact IB about it? (Actually, I just went ahead and did it: Top bugs.)
As for contributions, people come and people go, but there's a page called Multilingual statistics that gives hard data about new articles, edits, counts, etc. The speed of creating new places has started to slow down, but I suspect that's because WT is starting to have pretty good coverage of the popular bits of the world — I don't run into red links too often these days. Jpatokal 14:04, 8 October 2007 (EDT)
That seems like a good idea, Jpatokal. If the community would like to use the Top bugs page as the standard place for reporting these, our tech team will monitor this page. The more prioritization the community can give, the better we can be at being responsive to the enhancements most urgently desired. Redondo 23:07, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
Top bugs. Well that worked out well, so far. Good thinking Jpatokal! I agree that contibutors come and go, but I have to evaluate WT like I do my business. Here, my most valuable asset is my past clients, for whom I go to extremes to keep happy. I have to think that WT's most valuable asset is their contributors. Can you come up with an idea as good as the Top bugs, for contibutor retention? 2old 13:07, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
Should we have a say?
As you may know, when Evan and Michele sold Wikitravel, they reserved the right to publish print guides based on Wikitravel content, with these guides being promoted on the site. This seems like a good way to gain additional readership of the Wikitravel content and to spread the word about Wikitravel. Evan has provided two proposals for placement of ads promoting these printed guides, which I'm posting here for community feedback:
Was that a joke? The right-side ad has screwed up the entire layout, although, the left ad looks fine. My preference, would be for all ads to be on the right side, so not to mess with the navigational area of the site. That's the biggest turn off for me. I do not like how the left-side ad interrupts the search field and the "Other languages" and "Other sites" links. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 11:25, 11 October 2007 (EDT)
I agree, Sapphire, the right-side ad is well-separated from the content. Any other thoughts on this? Redondo 16:36, 11 October 2007 (EDT)
I kinda like 'em both. The left-side is very unobtrusive, but the right-side is, as Sapphire said, more clearly separated and also more "future-proof" in the sense that it can be expanded easily from WTP ads to Google ads etc. But can you explain what you mean by "screwed up the entire layout" for the right side? Obviously it takes away a slice of screen space, but other than that the layout seems to flow fine for me (Mozilla on Vista). Jpatokal 04:43, 12 October 2007 (EDT)
Not really, I'm not sure how to take a screen shot on a MacBook. Let's just say the navigation menu overlaps the article and the article overlaps the ad. Maybe it's a Firefox issue. I'll check Safari. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 09:24, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
Checked Safari. Everything looks good in Safari, but looks horrible in Firefox. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 09:24, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
We'll get that sorted out so it's not a problem. Redondo 11:25, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
I like them both. But just a heads up. Please don't treat the feedback about placing Wikitravel press ads as generic feedback about all kinds of ads. Wikitravel press does not look as out of place as google ads would. We could place Wikitravel press ads right inside the article body and no one would complain (not recommending, just saying.) But people will have strong feelings one way or the other on other kinds of ads. — Ravikiran r 01:25, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
That seem reasonable. Redondo 11:25, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
Actually, Ravikiran, but I would complain about ads in the article body, even WTP ads. Of course, I want our friends and partners (Jani, Evan, Maj, and IB) to be successful, but Google Ads are implemented in the body of W66 guides and I think it detracts from the serious editorial quality that Wikitravel has established. I am afraid WTP ads would do the same. My personal preference is that all ads go on the right side. I know you were not recommending the idea, but I just want it to be known to IB that I think it would be a seriously foolish decision, that I, unfortunately, suspect would turn me off to working on Wikitravel guides. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 11:43, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
Hey hey hey, nobody's suggesting ads in the body of the article on WT. It's going to be either left or right as shown in the samples above, and that's it. W66 was plastering ads all over the place long before IB came along... Jpatokal 13:36, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
I understood that wasn't a current option/recommendation/suggestion, but I wanted to put that out there before anyone even considered it, especially since User:Ravikiranr had seemingly considered where he would stand on the issue. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 14:13, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
We're supportive of the idea of keeping all advertising distinct from the content as seems to be the consensus here. Redondo 23:08, 17 October 2007 (EDT)
I see ads as an necessary evil to support the site, so I have little opposition to ads. My artistic eye is almost blind, so I leave it up to the graphic artist professionals to make this site appear well. Am I right in my assumption that ads for WTP will only appear on the page they are about, or will we have a list of available WTP books avalaible on every page? I now see the VALUE of having one page for each location, regardless of its length. More inches to sell. Quite a bit of foresight on Evan's part! 2old 12:55, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
Yes, WTP ads will only appear when relevant. So you'll see Singapore ads on "Singapore" and any of its districts, and maaaybe South-East Asia, but not Paris or Minot, North Dakota. Jpatokal 13:36, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
Print guide links on review
The print guide links are now up on review; see for example http://wikitravel.org/review/Singapore. Barring major new objections, I'll be rolling these out for production use in the next day or so. --Evan 14:36, 5 November 2007 (EST)
Well, one day is not a lot of time for discussion. Many contributors might not even see this by then—I would urge you to wait a bit to allow discussion before presenting Wikitravelers with a fait accompli that significantly alters page layout.
With all due respect, the samples on review have been up and announced to the community since October 10th (see Talk:Advertising policy#Print guides); the new version is just the MediaWiki implementation. Jpatokal 21:36, 5 November 2007 (EST)
With the same respect, this is more than just the MediaWiki implementation — this the announcement of a decision that has been made between the two samples. The last statement made in the October 10th conversation was "it's either going to be left or right". I don't see where a consensus had come about between the two. (Sapphire's bolded concerns below, for example, do not apply to the left sample, which already had the ad below the search and toolbox.) I'd like to hear the reasons why creating a new right sidebar was chosen over using the existing left sidebar. Was that IB's decision? Gorilla Jones 00:52, 6 November 2007 (EST)
The discussion above has Sapphire strongly in favor of the right side; Redondo mildly in favor of the right; Ravikiran, 2old and me not having a strong opinion either way; and nobody in favor of the left. That's all the comments we got, and as nobody was objecting against the right side, it looked like a consensus to me. We said so to IB, so they went forward with the right sidebar.
Let me underline here that no irreversible decision has been made by IB or anybody else — they're fundamentally OK with both, so if the consensus swings the other way now, then fine, they'll go on the left. I don't think we can find a solution that will make everybody happy though, and I do wish you two had raised your objections a little earlier... Jpatokal 01:23, 6 November 2007 (EST)
The discussion further up has me, ryan, and gorilla jones supporting left side ads – cacahuatetalk 01:47, 6 November 2007 (EST)
First, a couple questions:
Will we then have a right sidebar just on the articles that have WTP guides, or will we gain a right sidebar site-wide?
Is the intention for the WTP ad to appear on only one page per book, or will it also appear, for example, on the city district pages?
The sidebar will appear only on relevant pages. For example, the Singapore ad will appear on Singapore, its districts and its itineraries (== the articles actually found in the book). The front page may or may not get an ad as well, but the rest of WT will remain sidebarless. Jpatokal 21:36, 5 November 2007 (EST)
I think keeping it advertised only on articles contained within the book is a good policy, but I have thought of an exception. --PeterTalk 03:10, 6 November 2007 (EST)
And second, a few comments:
The advertising phrase "and much more" is inaccurate. One of the main guidelines to creating a WTP guidebook is that the editor puts back into the online guides any new content or changes that are introduced to the printed guide. It's not "much more," it is just a different, especially convenient, and neatly packaged format for digesting the online content. This phrase gives the impression that there is something deficient with the online guide—that it is an incomplete guide designed to "hook" a buyer into purchasing the complete product and as such sells Wikitravel short.
There is a white background in the right sidebar which only extends partially down the side of the article—is there a way to make this look nicer?
If a right sidebar is universally introduced, it will wreak formatting havoc on our guides, which were designed with the current Wikitravel layout in mind.
I would really prefer that we not create a right sidebar for the WTP ads. I think it would fit just fine over the search box on the left sidebar, and that will not squeeze our guides.
Another concern of mine is that there may be an ulterior motive in establishing a right sidebar—to use it for additional advertisements. That's not necessarily something I would oppose, but I think it is very important to have a serious, open discussion here about this, rather than quietly introducing major, irreversible changes (a la EU constitution). There has been zero discussion of right-aligned advertisements so far (see Talk:Advertising policy#Ads location).
Aside from all that, I like the look of the ad itself. --PeterTalk 20:18, 5 November 2007 (EST)
Whoa - agreed with Peter that one day is too small a period for comment, particularly with regard to a change that affects page layout. Was there a consensus in favor of right-side ads? I haven't been able to find it. I'm vehemently against a new right sidebar that would squeeze the content of the page between two bars. (And think of the dread whitespace.) I'd have less of a problem with an infobox-shaped ad at the upper right-hand corner, clearly separated from the text by a strong border and/or shading, as long as it didn't run the full length of the page and the content wrapped underneath it. But I would prefer the left sidebar.
As to the verbiage inside the ad, I'm content to leave that between the advertiser and IB. Gorilla Jones 20:58, 5 November 2007 (EST)
I'd say the left sidebar was the obvious place. 188.8.131.52 21:01, 5 November 2007 (EST)
If ads go on the left side, please, please, please, please DO NOT PLACE ANY ADS ABOVE THE SEARCH BAR OR "TOOLBOX." I use these tools quite often and don't want to scroll down for them because WTP and other ads are placed above them - this is why I was pissed off about ToC change several months ago. The ToC scrolled endless on and I had to scroll even further endlessly on to use the "Special pages" or "What links here" links. That's why the right side is my preference - it doesn't interupt my work flow. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 21:55, 5 November 2007 (EST)
Some answers: the right column will only go on pages with a corresponding WTP book (as of now -- if there's other advertising in the future, there's a good chance that it will go in a column like that, although I don't know for certain). The intention is that the right-column link will go on each article that appears in the book -- so the Singapore book link would go on Singapore, Singapore/Chinatown, etc. That's also why "and much more" makes sense: it will be really rare (if not impossible) that a single Wikitravel article becomes a book entirely by itself. My guess is that it would be unlikely for us to publish a book with fewer than a dozen Wikitravel articles -- so "and much more" is entirely accurate and clear. --Evan 22:15, 5 November 2007 (EST)
Right-side ads seems to mess up the page layout for IE6 users, please see 958x788 and 1280x998(full screen). Am I the only person having this problem? If here is a IE7 user, I'd like to know whether it occurs for IE7, though I usually use Firefox. -- Tatata 23:30, 5 November 2007 (EST)
If the "much more" refers to content not available on Wikitravel.org, that seems accurate and appropriate. If it mainly refers to content from other guides on Wikitravel, it seems potentially misleading to me. Might we instead say something clearer such as "Get this guide to Singapore and related ones from this site in the book Wikitravel Guide to Singapore." Redondo 21:55, 7 November 2007 (EST)
It seems clear that the right sidebar choice is to make way for further advertising, but at least it gets us talking about the big picture here and not just WTP ads. If it was just WTP ads I would like Gorilla's suggestion about doing it infobox-style, but I don't want google ads in the body with our articles wrapping around them, and IB have said they don't intend that anyway. The left sidebar is the least obtrusive place for ads to be, but IB haven't voiced whether they see enough real estate over there or not, and where exactly ads would be placed if they were restricted to there. John, what are our options in the long run for ads? What are you guys comfortable with? And if you guys are still a long way from introducing ads (and from telling us why they aren't a priority for you guys) then why not just put WTP ads on the left until we need to figure out a new solution? – cacahuatetalk 01:42, 6 November 2007 (EST)
Wow, it's my mistake for not seeing that discussion above—I had been away from WT for a while and apparently am not as well caught up as I thought I was. All the same, as Cacahuate says, there is a big disconnect between the opinions expressed there and at the original discussion on ads placement at the top of the page. I still prefer the left-side version, though, and fail to understand Andrew's objection—the review example is actually below the toolbox, and I'm pretty sure it's not big enough to force the toolbox off the screen even if it were above the search bar (at least it wouldn't at my modest resolution).
The WTP editor in me definitely likes the right-aligned ad, for the same reason that the general WT user in me worries that it is a little too obtrusive. Ultimately, were this discussion truly about just the WTP ads, it wouldn't matter much since they will only affect a handful of articles. Right sidebars throughout the site, however, would be a major headache and would likely upset a lot of less-regular users. It would also encourage those who would like to portray WT as an advertising-focused site.
I understand now where Evan is coming from, but I still think the ad wording "much more" is not clear and liable to be misread by readers less familiar with the relationship between WTP and WT. And is there a way to make that white region wrap around the add, rather than drifting down 1/3 of the side of the page?
Like Tatata, I experience weird formatting problems in IE, only I am using IE7. With IE7 the review page fails to load the left sidebar at all. --PeterTalk 02:06, 6 November 2007 (EST)
My objection was to an idea offered that ads be placed above the search bar. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 02:58, 6 November 2007 (EST)
Actually, now that I think about it - I have another reason to object to the left side bar, but what if someone doesn't want to click on an ad, but does because he/she is trying to use the nav bars? I think the right side would be best because it would allow IB to expand the section later, make it universal, and it would clearly separate all ads from all content, including nav bars. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 03:01, 6 November 2007 (EST)
@cacahuate: please don't assume any intentions other than what's here. The right column is because people strongly preferred it in the discussion above, not because we're trying to open up the right column for other ads. I'd prefer to move stuff over to the left column instead -- I think it looks better there, actually. But I also understand the idea of having a right-side "commercial area", which other sites (Wikia, for example) have made kind of standard.
@Peter: are you OK with "and more" rather than "and much more"? I'd like to make it clear that the contents of the WTP Singapore guide is more than just en:Singapore. The WTP guide to France will include en:Marseilles and dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of other cities and regions. --Evan 13:23, 6 November 2007 (EST)
I didn't mean that to be harsh or accusatory, it just seemed really clear... Creating an entire right sidebar for 1 small WTP thumbnail ad doesn't make a lot of sense, considering that nobody has yet objected to WTP ads being within articles, and only 1 person has objected to the left navbar. Good point about Wikia too... I guess people will be getting used to seeing that right nav bar around. Wikia Search. It does look less strange once the Google ads are in place. My question still stands though... why isn't advertising a priority yet for IB? – cacahuatetalk 18:38, 6 November 2007 (EST)
"More" and "much more" are all the same to me. If I was writing the ad, I'd opt for something along the lines of "Get all Wikitravel Singapore content neatly packaged in the book, Wikitravel Guide to Singapore." But I'm not, and I would like to be clear that my comments on this particular issue are purely an attempt at constructive feedback—as Marc said above, WTP definitely does not need to gain the approval of Wikitravelers for the wording of its own ads.
I'd like to echo Cacahuate's last comment about how no one has objected to the proposal that the WTP ads go right in the article itself. I could be mistaken, but I think it is pretty clear from the discussion on this page that the community does draw some line between WTP ads and google text ads—the WTP ads are linking to a product closely tied to Wikitravel content and of undisputable relevance to the articles contained within the book—and may well be willing to allow WTP ads on the articles packaged in the WTP guides. That's something I certainly would prefer. --PeterTalk 02:09, 7 November 2007 (EST)
Actually, I preemptively objected to the placing of any ads in Wikitravel articles. Don't quite remember where, but it may very well be on this page that I stated my opinion on that. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 16:00, 7 November 2007 (EST)
Well, I looked, but I can't find your objection earlier Andrew. The only objection I saw before was my own at en:Wikitravel talk:Wikitravel Press. Would you be willing to reconsider? I see two strong reasons for allowing WTP ads within the content of the articles that are contained within the guides:
WTP wants to put the ads up and go forward with the launch, but the right sidebar is a contentious addition that I think should have more of a discussion. Putting them in the very few Singapore articles for the time being seems like a good way to avoid holding up the launch. We can easily move them later if we decide to do so, but moving them off a right sidebar would be much more difficult since only a few people have access to that code.
I think it's fair to differentiate between the WTP ads and future google text ads, because a) the WTP ads will only go on a few pages (10), rather than all pages (16,882), and b) the WTP guidebooks are inextricably linked with the articles they contain, bear the Wikitravel logo, and do provide a clearly relevant service to anyone looking at that particular article. Google ads a are more of a crapshoot.
I don't think there is any danger of other ads creeping into the article space if we make this distinction clear now. I want to see the WTP Singapore launch go forward ASAP, but I don't want to see a right sidebar introduced until we've had a real discussion with IB about what their goals and needs are with advertising. To me, infoboxing the WTP ads for the time being seems like a useful compromise. --PeterTalk 17:48, 7 November 2007 (EST)
My earlier comments: Actually, Ravikiran, but I would complain about ads in the article body, even WTP ads. Of course, I want our friends and partners (Jani, Evan, Maj, and IB) to be successful, but Google Ads are implemented in the body of W66 guides and I think it detracts from the serious editorial quality that Wikitravel has established. I am afraid WTP ads would do the same. My personal preference is that all ads go on the right side. I know you were not recommending the idea, but I just want it to be known to IB that I think it would be a seriously foolish decision, that I, unfortunately, suspect would turn me off to working on Wikitravel guides.
Not sure, if I'd be willing to reconsider my position, because I'm afraid I don't like the W66 look at all and I'm not as optimistic as you are about how well WTP ads could be blended in with WT articles. -- Sapphire • (Talk) • 07:52, 8 November 2007 (EST)
I'll respond on a couple items here. With regard to why advertising hasn't yet become a priority for IB, we have maintained a willingness to forego immediate revenue with the thinking this might contribute to further use and growth of Wikitravel. Naturally, at some point we will need to generate revenue from the site. But we have endeavored to be a good partner in the Wikitravel community by making supporting the site a first priority ahead of revenue concerns. Please let us know if this seems to be a reasonable way to proceed.
In terms of the placement of WTP ads, Evan has suggested that they go on all pages from which book content has been derived for use in the print guides. As he mentions above, this might be a dozen or more for each book. We're fine with this if everyone else is. This will mean perhaps 100-200 pages having the WTP ads, depending on the number of printed guides which are available.
In terms of the positioning of these ads, I do think it makes sense for them to be in the same position that AdSense will eventually go. It keeps commercial links in the same place on the site, and it avoids having to have two separate design discussions. I can envision having a place where a WTP ad might go, which alternatively could be used for AdSense on other destination articles, once AdSense is deployed.
Personally, I prefer any ad (WTP or AdSense) to be on the right side a lot more. This keeps it clearly separated from the navigational links. It's a common place where users expect to find ads. Before we would deploy any such ad position, IB will take on the challenge of ensuring any template changes will render fine across the various browsers. We definitely want to avoid having pages display poorly for some users. But that said, we're open to community consensus on this. Redondo 21:47, 7 November 2007 (EST)
I don't like this from a design standpoint, but I can see a practical virtue — it would increase my comfort level with the right-side WTP ads if it were resolved that the new right sidebar would be the only adspace once ads are implemented site-wide. In the meantime, since this new template will affect only a small set of pages, I'm content to let WTP get on with their launch. Gorilla Jones 23:09, 7 November 2007 (EST)
Thank you for explaining that John, I really wanted to have a clear statement from IB in this discussion, and your reasoning seems quite sound to me. And the fact that Wikia is now using a right sidebar for advertising should also make it easier to deflect serial wikidetractors' complaints. I'm quite willing to drop my opposition to a right sidebar, but would still prefer that we wait a good week before rolling out such a change, so that interested parties may find this discussion and have their chance to raise concerns of their own.
Thanks, Peter and I agree on waiting for other input in this discussion. Redondo 00:23, 9 November 2007 (EST)
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'd actually prefer to see the ads introduced sooner, rather than later. IB's willingness to forgo current revenue to promote growth in hopes of greater long-term revenue can sound to the paranoid like a plot to fatten up the site before knocking it over the head with the AdStick and serving it for dinner. Personally, I'd rather get the model running well and running now. I think that the discussions on this talk page and elsewhere would provide a pretty good basis to draft a more formal policy. --PeterTalk 23:20, 7 November 2007 (EST)
I'm interested in other people's thoughts/preferences on whether there is any value in proceeding with ads sooner rather than later. Redondo 00:26, 9 November 2007 (EST)
I think you might as well proceed with ads. People have had plenty of time to get used to the idea of ads, and there is a good possibility that WTP will result in an influx of new contributors - they might as well see the site as it's going to be, not arrive and then see it make the change, potentially feeling deceived (or whatever). Gorilla Jones 01:27, 9 November 2007 (EST)
@Redondo. No reason to leave money on the table. Ad's do not bother me, I am concerned if they go on the right side, how that will effect photo's. But have at it. We would like a squid though, our Gorilla is losing his patience and we never know where that will lead to. 10:05, 9 November 2007 (EST)
By the way, did you happen to see this ad, anyone heard from Windhorse? 2old 11:01, 10 November 2007 (EST)
Have there been any technical hold-ups with putting this into effect? Gorilla Jones 23:30, 18 November 2007 (EST)
There's a new version up on review, which works better with IE, but still isn't quite right. Comments welcome though. Jpatokal 03:18, 20 November 2007 (EST)
IE7? My IE6 doesn't show the ad... ;-) -- Tatata 04:03, 20 November 2007 (EST)
Continued discussion on Ads location
PLEASE - not on the right! It scrunches up the article. On the left, it can work fine (see www.armeniapedia.org for my implentation on my wiki) or above the article you could put the one line ads called "Link unit"s so that they are very thin and not full ads. Or both. But please, not on the right! It's ugly and intrusive, unlike (in my opinion) the other two choices. The left side is also where people gravitate to navigate the site anyway, so they're looking there already, and all the articles are long enough that nobody will miss the ad if its not at the absolute top left. --Raffikojian 00:52, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
+1, and below the toolbox and anything existing there now. --DenisYurkin 11:31, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
As you may or may not have noticed, there has already been a lot of discussion on this matter, and the link to this discussion has been on the RFC page since 13 September 2007. We reached a consensus on ads placement a long time ago, and the objections and suggestions you are bringing up now have already been discussed.
If you would like to discuss this further, it is incumbent upon you to address the existing arguments and to advance new ones, in order to persuade the community to move away from the existing consensus. But I'd suggest it's not terribly fair to bring up these objections after the tech team has thrown themselves into the coding, based on the long-established consensus already here. --PeterTalk 21:26, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Google's own advertising policies have always amazed me with their openness and good faith assumptions. Google mail actually allows its users to turn off text ads in their preferences menu. Granted, many users probably never bothered to check for this and remain unaware, but I myself keep them turned on since they really are unobtrusive.
I think it would be an excellent show of good faith and of confidence in the quality of our ads and ad placement to extend a similar option to Wikitravelers when ads are placed on Wikitravel (any reason why they haven't been yet?). The only reason I can see that would propel users to turn them off would be if we get the ad locations/size wrong, and they become obnoxious. And having the option available would nip in the bud any complaints of rampant commercialization and whatnot (except of course, from one regular buffoon). --PeterTalk 20:35, 5 November 2007 (EST)
This is an interesting suggestion. I'm interested in other people's thoughts on this. Redondo 21:48, 7 November 2007 (EST)
I like the idea, but based on a quick chat with Evan, it's not technically feasible to implement until we get the Squid caches in place. Jpatokal 22:06, 7 November 2007 (EST)
Nobody told me there were squids. Get those catchers in place right fucking now. Gorilla Jones 23:15, 7 November 2007 (EST)
Yeah I just noticed the ads, and then went looking for the 'Preferences' option to switch them off. 99% of site visitors probably would not act in this way, but for those of us with a keen eye on corporate behaviour, displays of good faith, and openness, we look for these things.
Although having said that, I guess companies do that kind of thing as an easy way of swatting away criticisms from that vocal 1% of people who care. Any criticism, and the first response is "you find it annoying? so turn it off" (which of course doesn't address the point that the other 99% of users will still find it annoying, but won't think about fixing it) So providing the option can also be viewed cynically, but on the whole I'd say at least it shows that "the company" cares about answering criticism from the community.
Looks good to me in Firefox & IE7. --PeterTalk 03:56, 22 January 2008 (EST)
The problem with this is the screen real estate it uses through all height of the article.
Maybe put it on the left, between "relatedpages" and "In other languages" blocks? --DenisYurkin 04:32, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Ah, there is a problem. The right sidebar is forcing all right aligned images to display floated below the bottom of the sidebar (often causing the image to then cover article text). This has happened with all the Chicago articles' lead images (example). While we could adjust the format of these particular articles (and I'm not sure we should), that would hardly be practical if/when a sitewide right sidebar is introduced. Any technical solutions to this problem? --Peter 10:40, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Looks fine on my browser (Mozilla), if a bit skinny. Can you upload a screenshot? Jpatokal 12:07, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Here's a screen of the problem. The problem is essentially that the right sidebar is affecting image placement on the vertical axis, which I don't think it should. --PeterTalk 13:50, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Ah, OK, I see what you mean — and yes, I'm getting that too. It's a little fugly, but IMHO not a showstopper. I'll see what the CSS gurus can do. Jpatokal 00:05, 2 February 2008 (EST)
Internet Brands wants to begin displaying Google AdSense on Wikitravel, in the right-side column of the new layout that has been on Review for awhile and will be going live shortly. This brings up the broader issue of Wikitravel's Advertising Policy. I have posted a draft policy here for community review and discussion. Evan reviewed this previously and provided input into this policy. Please provide your thoughts on this...thanks! Redondo 22:53, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
This looks like a great start, at the very least. I'm looking forward to actually seeing the ads in action—could we put some up on Review? I know that the right sidebar is currently causing formatting issues for the Chicago articles by forcing right-aligned thumbnails below the horizontal terminus of the sidebar, and I'm hoping that won't be an issue. --PeterTalk 01:26, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
I added "no animated ads", per previous discussions that there wouldn't be any "punch the monkey" style ads... if one of those dancing insurance characters showed up I'd start shooting people :) – cacahuatetalk 02:04, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
Great suggestion, Peter. We'll get an example posted in the next day or so. Redondo 19:11, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
I find it kind of strange that no admin of the other languages was informed about this add-move prior to the start. I'm admin at the NL site and had no idea until I saw the lay-out of some of the pages screwed up. 3wisemen 00:42, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
Shared is supposed to be the central contact point for all language versions.
I do agree with your point though. The Wikitravel admins mailing list should be resurrected, so IB (or others) can send notifications of important changes like this, site outages, software upgrades, etc. Jpatokal 05:40, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
Thanx for your swift reply & support. I indeed liked that admin mailinglist; despite the fact that some domains thought it to be spam ;-) 3wisemen 08:56, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
In the past we've been encouraged to limit communication to on-site posts, rather than by email. If some admins would prefer email communication, we're happy to do that as well. How is this list kept current? Thanks! Redondo 13:42, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
Obviously the site is an should remain the primary means of communication, but the mailing list comes in handy when it's important that everybody gets the message. I think the list was previously maintained by Evan: approval required to join, and the software handles unsubscriptions. Jpatokal 05:10, 17 April 2008 (EDT)
After much discussion, the ads have arrived. Thank you to the Wikitravel community for all the input and conversation. I hope you'll see that you've been heard. There will likely be some early bug issues and we ask your help, again, in tracking them. I will be watching Open bug reports and this page. Thanks for your help in this. JuCo 20:16, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
We have moved the ads from Review to the live site. We are going to be making some further tweaks, and please make any suggestions you feel are appropriate. It will take a couple days to get the ads coming from Google in the various languages other than English, but we are working on this. Redondo 21:32, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
I'd like to ask you that you are working on the problem, affecting image placement which Peter pointed out above. If not, do I have to submit a bug report?
As to the ads in the various languages, some ads in Japanese have arrived to my user page on ja:. Unfortunately, they are not relevant to travel at the present time... ;-) -- Tatata 23:18, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
the image placement should get fixed quick, that's annoying... at the moment when I look at the en:Flaccid Peninsula National Park the map that should be at the top of the page shows up so low that it cuts off right near the pubes! Argh – cacahuatetalk 03:53, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Just my 2 cents worth, but I think the google ads are terrible. 184.108.40.206 09:18, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, in case I wasn't clear before, I thought that the image placement problem is a show stopper, and should be fixed before introducing the ads sitewide. It's a bug that affects virtually every page on the site. By the way, though, I'm not actually seeing ads at all. Just a little stubby sliver of a right sidebar at the top right of every page. (I'm using Firefox 2.) --PeterTalk 11:11, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Got it. The image placement problem is the result of a couple different issues that the tech team is going through and actively fixing. You should already be seeing fixes.  And as the cache times out on these pages (or if you purge cache on the pages) you will see that many are back to normal (with ads...). But, as I mentioned, this is the result of a couple different issues and addressing them will be a process. I've reported the other two issues noted here to the tech team, too. Thanks for all your feedback and keep it coming. JuCo 13:00, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
If possible, you might want to filter out "wiki" from the AdWords. Currently most ads seems to be about wikis, not the destination in question! Jpatokal 13:56, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Per Jpatokal's suggestion, we are working on providing the option of signed-in users not seeing ads. We are also looking into suppressing the ads from edit and preview pages, in case that seems desirable. Redondo 16:58, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Ah, I just figured out why I'm not seeing ads—my ad block program is perhaps a little too good ;) --PeterTalk 15:05, 3 April 2008 (EDT)
Just a quick update...we hope to launch the option for users to opt out of viewing ads by the end of next week. Redondo 14:50, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
Opt-out is now available for signed-in users! The option is in Preferences, under the last tab on the right, "Wikitravel". We've also removed ads from edit pages, as you've probably noticed. Thanks as always for your input on this one. JuCo 18:29, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Yay! Thanks for getting this rolled out. Jpatokal 07:21, 23 April 2008 (EDT)
Mid-section pushed down
Is it just me, or... I might have missed out on something. The thing is that some/most of the pages on shared and sv: looks just fine (I assume, as intended). But some important pages, like recent changes, are "out of order" in the sense that the entire mid-section including most of the edit toolbar, gets shoved down, forcing me to scroll to read/use. Is it a related issue to the one that Jpatokal mentioned before? Or is it a new problem? Or is it me...? Riggwelter 14:29, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for highlighting this. The page layout is surprisingly complex, and we are working on some formatting issues including this. Redondo 16:53, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
The tech team has fixed this and is manually purging the main cache so that we'll see this fix across all pages over the coming days.
Please have a look at sv:Barcelona. Two images, intended to be on top of eachother, now seems to be floating all over the page. If the image links are listed on top of eachother, they end up NEXT to eachother. Look at the page history if you need any clarification - I have left it as it is now. Riggwelter 15:13, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
Cheers! I have added my remark to the bug report. Riggwelter 04:04, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Paddy cake paddy rice paddy chili paddy cake paddy rice paddy cake paddy rice paddy cake paddy rice paddy chili paddy chili paddy chili paddy chili
I think we've almost fixed the problems, but infoboxes are still looking a bit funny: the text is flushed right at the edges, with no padding at all. I added padding-left: 0.5em;padding-right: 0.5em into the content style, how does the box on the left look on y'all's browsers? Jpatokal 07:28, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
Fine in FF 3.0 beta 5 and IE 6.0. --DenisYurkin 15:54, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
OK, I've plunged forward and added padding to infobox and disclaimerbox. Please replicate the change to other language versions as necessary. Jpatokal 23:56, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
Hmm, it's not just the infoboxes that were affected: see Multilingual statistics. Apparently the changes to the CSS are now overriding the cellpadding parameter of tables? Eg. the stats tables are supposed to have cellpadding=3, but they're getting drawn with zero padding now. Jpatokal 14:01, 9 April 2008 (EDT)
I see what I did. Give me a day or so and I should be able to get it fixed. KevinSours 15:09, 9 April 2008 (EDT)
Update. I have a fix for it, however I need to implement part of it (done yesterday) and then roll cache (in process) and implement the rest (I can hopefully do this today or tomorrow). There won't be any visible changes until the last bit gets done) KevinSours 11:44, 10 April 2008 (EDT)
It isn't. Its possible that some other fix updated. I've made a number of little tweaks in the last couple of days and the cache is still catching up. I'm trying to balance getting that pushed through with site performance.
Its mostly up at this point. The css file is still cached at Alkamai (which is the last bit to update). I'll get that fixed soon. In the meantime I added something to the html to work around that, so purging cache on a particular page will fix it. Let me know if there are any further problems. KevinSours 20:14, 11 April 2008 (EDT)
Google AdSense sensitivity... or not?
Our ad policy clearly states that the ads should only be travel-related. This works fine, most of the time, but sometimes it gets just silly, probably because of Google's filter settings. Today, sv: has had ads for language classes of little or no use to a swede, ads from companies offering to restire your hard drive, how to give away a brunch as a gift, and, perhaps the most ridiculous of them all: ads linking to an online directory with search criteria for stock brokers! This needs to be looked into ASAP, because it is a breach of our own policy and is completely counterproductive. Riggwelter 09:48, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
Why is this a problem? I've also noticed that ads on fi: are often marginally related, but that's probably just because there are less ads to choose from. Google does the best job it can, and to me it makes virtually zero difference where the links lead. Jpatokal 11:08, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
It is a problem because it violates our policy which clearly states the ads shall be travel-related. To many contributors, it is bad enough that we have to accept ads, but now we have them and have to deal with it. But, we should stick to the policy or loose our credibility. If there are so few ads to choose from, then the Google service should be cancelled altogether, or IB should approach Google and have them deal with the text filters. Unlike you, I am not at all convinced that they do the best they can for us. I have no problem with ads as such, and I have no problem to see the same four ads as long as they are travel-related, but I do not want to have ads without any relevance at all. There has to be SOME quality requirements and I'd love to hear IB's view on the issue. Riggwelter 11:36, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
The policy does says "Ads will be relevant to travel (though this may be dependent on the relevancy achieved through ad networks such as Google AdSense)." Jpatokal 02:18, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
Exactly. So it must mean that we should question ads when they get out of bounds altogether. This cannot be much of a problem to fix and still retain the ads - through contact between IB and Google. Frankly - ads which isn't travel related at all, but totally irrelevant, makes the site look silly and just like some other aggregator site. We should protect our reputation by questioning it. Riggwelter 10:29, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
I don't see why this is a problem... the only downside is that IB is likely to get less clicks on the ads which means less revenue... why does that concern anyone but them? I can't imagine that more than 5% of the world actually looks at Google ads any more frequently than I do, which is never... I really don't think this concerns us. But to address your point, is it on all pages that they are way off target, or is it worse on pages with little content? wouldn't they get more targeted when there's more info for them to go from on a page? – cacahuatetalk 18:57, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the feedback. The way this advertising works, the ads will become more targeted over time. We have seen improved targeting over time on other sites. I see your point, but I think that our Ad Policy does a good job of explaining that while we aim to attract mostly travel ads, there will likely be some less relevant ads, too. This will get better over time. Remember, too, that if you don't want to see the ads, every logged in user can choose to turn them off under "Preferences", last tab on the right "Wikitravel". JuCo 19:24, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
Excellent feedback, which also stated what I was hoping for, i e that ads will be more targeted over time. What can you, as in IB, do to make Google increase their work on the targeting of ads in various languages? Do you have any ongoing discussions with Google? Riggwelter 09:34, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
Good questions. I think I should clarify...these are not human negotiations that are getting closer to a clearer understanding on both sides. These are automated shifts in reaction to how many people click through and what relevant words are added to the content. So, over time, as content fills out and irrelevant ads are ignored, the advertising will get more targeted. Hope this helps! JuCo 20:57, 19 May 2008 (EDT)
Travel booking ads
My name is Ron Mertens from TripTouch, and I'd like to discuss something with you guys... We have a platform which aggregates travel content and services from many sources - we choose the best source for any content type (and also each country). We have travel guides (from wikitravel - the best we could find!), photos, accommodation, events, restaurants, activities, and more. We already cover over 5,000 destinations.
Anyway, we have started to work on a travel widget - to be added to web pages (we already have a widget for iGoogle/netvibes). The idea is that we can offer revenue-share on booking done via the widget.
We would like to approach the community (which was suggested by JaniP, thanks!), and suggest placing our widget in wikitravel pages. We feel this will be better than AdSense - it includes relevant and interesting travel content to the location (which we feel will enhance WikiTravel), and will only carry a revenue share if someone book something (event ticket, accommodation, transportation, restaurant booking, activity, etc).
Although we can obviously make any cosmetic changes you wish.
I'd love to hear your opinions!
We have never discussed with the Wikitravel community putting any sort of booking capability on the site. We're not opposed to such a notion if the community sees value in the functionality. But we want to be cautious about not having too much advertising on the site. If we were to pursue such a direction, Ron, we would research all of the available options. So I would ask you to refrain from lobbying on the site for partnering with your particular service. Thanks! Redondo 16:16, 27 May 2008 (EDT)
"Lobbying"? This page is meant precisely for discussing advertising policy, and when Ron contacted me, I suggested he post it here for community feedback.
My two cents: I like the event listings, which something that Wikitravel does not and (realistically speaking) will not support in the foreseeable future. If this can produce a stable revenue stream as well, then even better. Obviously I'd like to see this as a replacement for Adwords, not just additional advertising. Jpatokal 13:28, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
Internet Brands will be expanding the ads offering by Adsense to include graphical ads. We recognize this is a shift for frequent users and have found some ways to minimize the change for registered users. Signed-in users will still see only text ads that have been in place now for several months. And the "opt out" option on the tab in "Preferences" will still allow logged-in users to choose to use the site ads-free. Nothing else is changing in terms of placement. As you saw with the initial Adsense rollout, we unfortunately can't specifically control what ads are served to us. I will make the adjustments in the Advertising policy. Again, any help in tracking bugs during this transition is much appreciated. We will be monitoring Open bug reports and this page. JuCo 18:30, 1 August 2008 (EDT)
Wow, that's shady. Any thoughts on discussing before adding something that the community has said in the past it vigorously opposes, and that IB had promised wouldn't happen? For the record, I'm not against them because I don't want to look at them, but because I think it turns off new contributors and users. When I go to a website for the first time, I'm almost always inclined to close the window without looking around further as soon as I see annoying picture/animated ads. Instant turn off. The ability to sign up, log in, and then turn them off is irrelevant... you would have lost me by then – cacahuatetalk 16:50, 2 August 2008 (EDT)
Please do not alter policy pages without consultation with the community. -- Cjensen 20:46, 2 August 2008 (EDT)
Agreed, please do not alter policy pages without consultation with the community. I'm glad to have an organisation paying the server bills, and maybe there's a compelling financial argument for display ads. But I volunteer my time here in part because it's a community project. Please don't take actions that look like IB is treating Wikitravel as a corporate property, where policy gets changed by corporate decision, and the community is only notified. JimDeLaHunt 23:59, 2 August 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, this was several steps beyond ballsy, especially as the community, along with IB, has already established a consensus regarding this matter. I'm now choking on a really harsh (and lengthy) IB denunciation, but I'll give you the benefit of a response first. --PeterTalk 02:37, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
Aye, 'tis crap. We're trusting IB to know the deal here. Are you still ramping? -- OldPine 22:14, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
Thank you for weighing in here and for your patience in waiting for a response. Our intent is to adhere to the current advertising policy and not allow animated advertising. Our understanding is that current policy allows image advertising and we were concerned the word ‘animated’ would be confused by some readers. Hence our effort to reword it. We recognize that we should not have changed the policy wording without dialogue with the community first. We know that policy collaboration is an important part of this site and critical to the users who have built this community. Our intentions are not to undermine the community. Moving forward we will discuss changes to policy wording with the community before making changes. JuCo 21:24, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
A third type of advertising was added, which is different than clarifying the semantics of the policy. The current policy denotes two types: Wikitravel Press, and "Context-sensitive text ads from Google Adwords" – cacahuatetalk 22:38, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
Agreed with all of the above. The very least you can do is put up a demo site and show us what this is going to look like. Jpatokal 01:45, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
We’ve put up tags for display ads on Review for you to take a look. The ads may not be there immediately, but over the next few days, they should start appearing. We are filtering them to minimize the occurrence of the kinds of images you’ve mentioned in these advertising discussions. We won’t allow Flash ads, widgets or any other kinds of interactive advertising. As you’re aware, though, the ads become more targeted over time. If there are specific ads that you’d like to see blocked from the rotation, please let us know. The best way to do that is with a screen shot that you can post here or email to IBcommunity1 at internetbrands.com. JuCo 18:22, 18 August 2008 (EDT)
The image ads are displaying on Review. We are looking to roll these out soon and would like to hear your feedback about what you see on the test site. Thanks! JuCo 15:52, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
It was my understanding that we did not want image ads. Could we please have a discussion of why they are needed first. Open discussion of these types of issues are critical for maintaining the general feeling of openness and trust that a Wiki needs. --PeterTalk 17:42, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
I see no ads. -- Cjensen 02:10, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
They're not on the main page, but other pages on review do have them. See eg. Singapore. Jpatokal 09:53, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
I just used the opt-out button, I have no ads. I prefer it that way. Out of sight, out of mind. 2old 16:04, 26 August 2008 (EDT)
We want to continue working with the Wikitravel community to minimize any adverse impact of advertising on the site. We are supportive of the feedback that has been provided opposing Flash ads, widgets and interactive advertising, and we concur with this. We invite your assistance in identifying specific ads you think should be blocked from display on the site, and we can get these blocked. We support providing users with a choice to opt out of seeing any ads. An increasing portion of AdSense advertisers are running display ads rather than text ads. Our thought is to let Google include both display and text ads for non-signed in users, and to limit the ads shows to signed-in users to text only (if the user hasn't opted out of ads altogether). JuCo 13:19, 27 August 2008 (EDT)
We will be pushing the ads that have been up on the review site onto Wikitravel. As you've seen on review, we took your feedback about the kinds of interactive ads you didn't want to see seriously. Now, we are looking to the community to help us identify specific ads you would like to see blocked from display as we continue the discussions about growing Wikitravel.JuCo 13:12, 29 August 2008 (EDT)
Gotcha, fait accompli. No explanation. Understood. --PeterTalk 14:13, 29 August 2008 (EDT)
Note to IB: that was sarcastic. You still haven't explained why you find it necessary to put up graphic ads in the face of community opposition. Jpatokal 01:17, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Our site looks like a bad joke
Our site now looks like a joke. And IB has clearly shown its disdain for working with the Wikitravel community by unilaterally placing display ads on Wikitravel in violation of our policy and cornerstone principle of working under consensus. It is a shame and embarrassment to our site to have our servers owned by a company that does not respect the Wikitravel community and our practices. IB has not so much as explained why they deem display ads necessary, or even desirable. That is what is called a dick move, and is just plain disrespectful to all the people who work on this wiki and who have worked with IB in good faith.
Moreover, there was no indication on this page that anyone actually opposed display ads in theory. Rather than work to build a potential consensus for display ads, IB displayed their disdain for the site, and their utter incompetence in working with the Wikitravel community by violating our policies without so much as a discussion. These antisocial and antiwiki tendencies at IB have been obvious from the start of their involvement with Wikitravel, in their neglect of work on the site; in their outrageous, unexplained, and even unacknowledged refusal to release data dumps (this threatens all the work we do here, were the servers to go down); and in their spotty and dishonest communications with the Wikitravel community.
I vote no confidence in Internet Brands as the host company for our servers. I will no longer contribute to this project as long as this remains unresolved. --PeterTalk 15:57, 11 September 2008 (EDT)
Yep, that's pretty much what we DON'T want the site to look like. That ad takes over the entire page, making the article look like an afterthought. Why are display ads necessary? Are they significantly more lucrative? Are text ads bringing in little to no money? Are they at least covering the operating costs yet? Are display ads then being implemented so that you can afford to devote more of your tech teams time to fixing and improving the site even during calm times when users aren't threatening to leave? – cacahuatetalk 22:27, 11 September 2008 (EDT)
There's no hidden agenda; the business model will be extremely transparent. The current plan is to have unobtrusive, targeted, well-identified ads on the pages of Wikitravel.
IB, if you have to break your promises, you need to convince the community that it's necessary. You're manifestly failing to do so, and I find this an even bigger problem than the ads themselves. Jpatokal 08:48, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
Did they promise to keep the ads text-only forever, or did they just say that was the "current plan", which clearly implies that it's subject to change in the future? (Obviously, though, that change should have been discussed with the community before it was implemented.) As for this specific ad, seems like one that should be blocked purely for aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, logged-in users, the ones most likely to know where and how to complain about a specific ad, won't see these graphical ads at all. LtPowers 09:09, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
We are trying to find an appropriate balance between Wikitravel as a community-driven site and business requirements we have in running the site. We are trying to be a good partner in the community and respectful of the consensus process (though we're aware some members would favor little or no monetization of the site).
Including display ads for visitors who have never registered isn't intended to sidestep community dialogue, as this seems within the scope of advertising that has been contemplated in the ad policy discussions to date. The policy states that for the time being, Internet Brands will deliver text ads on all content pages. The policy also states that Internet Brands will not deliver pop-ups, ads which open separate browser windows, and animated ads. The policy did not state that only text ads would be delivered. And since display ads were not excluded, we believe the policy allows for image ads. We think the current ads are consistent with the spirit of targeted and unobtrusive. All ads remain on the right side, separate from and not interfering with the site content. While we rely on Google to deliver relevant ads, we can also block particular advertisers if their ads are poorly targeted, garish or offensive. We continue to be dedicated to working with the community to help craft this experience. The screenshot posted above is a great example of the way you can tell us what you don’t like. We can pull any ads –offensive or otherwise -- from the rotation. We've pulled the ad you've indicated.
Most major travel web sites show display advertising. While this is the norm, we support a more limited approach to running advertising on Wikitravel. We've refrained from letting Google show display AdSense ads to registered members, and we embrace giving everyone the option of turning off ads entirely. JuCo 21:35, 12 September 2008 (EDT)