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Re: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

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  • donnaK
    It could serve two purposes one to your visitors and of course secondly to you Finances. There is nothing wrong with making a few bucks doing something you
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 21, 2008
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      It could serve two purposes one to your visitors and of course secondly to you
      Finances. There is nothing wrong with making a few bucks doing something you
      Like and enjoy for a good purpose.
      Hugs
      donnaK 
      -------Original Message-------
       
      Date: 1/21/2008 5:29:24 PM
      Subject: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question
       
      A question on "advertising" ethics for the list-
       
      I've been offered $250 a month to add a link+image on the front page of
      GovTrack, not just as an advertisement per se but also because of the
      benefits of getting a link from a somewhat high Google PageRank site
      like GovTrack. The link would be to a site of marginal interest to most
      visitors, but it wouldn't be offensive or obtrusive. ($250 sounds like a
      lot to me, but I guess I'm no SEO expert.)
       
      There is first the obvious question of whether this could impact
      GovTrack on Google.
       
      Also, until now, I have always felt that selling links was a silly way
      to make money. Kind of gaming the system, at the expense of Google users
      who would otherwise get different (i.e. perhaps more useful or fair)
      results.
       
      I'm actually now turning a very modest profit on the site (thanks to the
      Google AdSense ads at the top of every page), and I don't particularly
      want to commercialize the site further, but money is money.
       
      Anyone have any thoughts? (Is anyone still reading this list?)
       
      Thanks.
       
      --
      - Josh Tauberer
      - GovTrack.us
       
       
      "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation!  Yields
      falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
      Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
       
       
       
       
       
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    • Derek Willis
      Josh, I don t think there s any real harm in selling links, as long as such links are in keeping with the nonpartisan philosophy of the site. In other words,
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 21, 2008
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        Josh,

        I don't think there's any real harm in selling links, as long as such
        links are in keeping with the nonpartisan philosophy of the site. In
        other words, if you're ok with it, I think others would be, too.

        Derek


        On Jan 21, 2008 6:29 PM, Josh Tauberer <tauberer@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > A question on "advertising" ethics for the list-
        >
        > I've been offered $250 a month to add a link+image on the front page of
        > GovTrack, not just as an advertisement per se but also because of the
        > benefits of getting a link from a somewhat high Google PageRank site
        > like GovTrack. The link would be to a site of marginal interest to most
        > visitors, but it wouldn't be offensive or obtrusive. ($250 sounds like a
        > lot to me, but I guess I'm no SEO expert.)
        >
        > There is first the obvious question of whether this could impact
        > GovTrack on Google.
        >
        > Also, until now, I have always felt that selling links was a silly way
        > to make money. Kind of gaming the system, at the expense of Google users
        > who would otherwise get different (i.e. perhaps more useful or fair)
        > results.
        >
        > I'm actually now turning a very modest profit on the site (thanks to the
        > Google AdSense ads at the top of every page), and I don't particularly
        > want to commercialize the site further, but money is money.
        >
        > Anyone have any thoughts? (Is anyone still reading this list?)
        >
        > Thanks.
        >
        > --
        > - Josh Tauberer
        > - GovTrack.us
        >
        > http://razor.occams.info
        >
        > "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
        > falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
        > Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
        >
        >



        --
        --
        Derek Willis
        dwillis@...
        http://www.thescoop.org/docs/
      • Jeff Fischer
        On your comment of advertising income and what s a lot/little. If you consider how someone could potentially monetize their increased page rank and the
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 21, 2008
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          On your comment of advertising income and what's a lot/little.  If you consider how someone could potentially monetize their increased page rank and the traffic being driven to their site from yours.  I don't consider $250/mo a prime spot on your site a large amount of money at all.  Done right, I would assume they could create thousands of dollars in income based on this meager advertising cost.  I know people with much less valuable content who make 5-7k/mo in advertising.
           
          Also, as a web developer, I don't consider advertising (assuming it would be noted as such on the site) as commercializing your site.  If you didn't note it as an actual advertisement and it appeared as an endorsement, then I might construe that as commercialization.  Commercializing your site would definitely look like, integrating features into your site based on a parternship established with another company.

          As a web user, I just completely drown out the advertising noise, so I don't find them intrusive.

          In my opinion, I woulnd't pass on the opportunity, but I would raise the cost significantly.  Assuming this company has confronted you, they want the advertisement more than you want the money.  I'm also assuming they proposed the $250/mo instead of you proposing that amount.  It sounds like they're using the anchoring decision trap to set the bar for what's a reasonable price and what's not.  If you're not married to the idea, I would respond at 4-6x their proposed amount and gauge their response.
           
          Jeff

          To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
          From: donnak.sharing@...
          Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 17:37:52 -0600
          Subject: Re: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

          It could serve two purposes one to your visitors and of course secondly to you
          Finances. There is nothing wrong with making a few bucks doing something you
          Like and enjoy for a good purpose.
          Hugs
          donnaK 
          -------Original Message----- --
           
          Date: 1/21/2008 5:29:24 PM
          Subject: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question
           
          A question on "advertising" ethics for the list-
           
          I've been offered $250 a month to add a link+image on the front page of
          GovTrack, not just as an advertisement per se but also because of the
          benefits of getting a link from a somewhat high Google PageRank site
          like GovTrack. The link would be to a site of marginal interest to most
          visitors, but it wouldn't be offensive or obtrusive. ($250 sounds like a
          lot to me, but I guess I'm no SEO expert.)
           
          There is first the obvious question of whether this could impact
          GovTrack on Google.
           
          Also, until now, I have always felt that selling links was a silly way
          to make money. Kind of gaming the system, at the expense of Google users
          who would otherwise get different (i.e. perhaps more useful or fair)
          results.
           
          I'm actually now turning a very modest profit on the site (thanks to the
          Google AdSense ads at the top of every page), and I don't particularly
          want to commercialize the site further, but money is money.
           
          Anyone have any thoughts? (Is anyone still reading this list?)
           
          Thanks.
           
          --
          - Josh Tauberer
          - GovTrack.us
           
           
          "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation!  Yields
          falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
          Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
           
           
           
           
           
          Yahoo! Groups Links
           
          <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
           
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        • Nancy Berry
          Jeff, you said everything I was thinkin, but you said it a hundred times better. And yes, at least two of us still read this:) Nancy Berry ... From: Jeff
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 21, 2008
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            Jeff, you said everything I was thinkin, but you said it a hundred times better.
            And yes, at least two of us still read this:)
             
            Nancy Berry


            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Jeff Fischer <JeffreyMFischer@...>
            To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 6:13:40 PM
            Subject: RE: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

            On your comment of advertising income and what's a lot/little.  If you consider how someone could potentially monetize their increased page rank and the traffic being driven to their site from yours.  I don't consider $250/mo a prime spot on your site a large amount of money at all.  Done right, I would assume they could create thousands of dollars in income based on this meager advertising cost.  I know people with much less valuable content who make 5-7k/mo in advertising.
             
            Also, as a web developer, I don't consider advertising (assuming it would be noted as such on the site) as commercializing your site.  If you didn't note it as an actual advertisement and it appeared as an endorsement, then I might construe that as commercialization.  Commercializing your site would definitely look like, integrating features into your site based on a parternship established with another company.

            As a web user, I just completely drown out the advertising noise, so I don't find them intrusive.

            In my opinion, I woulnd't pass on the opportunity, but I would raise the cost significantly.  Assuming this company has confronted you, they want the advertisement more than you want the money.  I'm also assuming they proposed the $250/mo instead of you proposing that amount.  It sounds like they're using the anchoring decision trap to set the bar for what's a reasonable price and what's not.  If you're not married to the idea, I would respond at 4-6x their proposed amount and gauge their response.
             
            Jeff

            To: govtrack@yahoogroup s.com
            From: donnak.sharing@ gmail.com
            Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 17:37:52 -0600
            Subject: Re: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

            It could serve two purposes one to your visitors and of course secondly to you
            Finances. There is nothing wrong with making a few bucks doing something you
            Like and enjoy for a good purpose.
            Hugs
            donnaK 
            -------Original Message----- --
             
            Date: 1/21/2008 5:29:24 PM
            Subject: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question
             
            A question on "advertising" ethics for the list-
             
            I've been offered $250 a month to add a link+image on the front page of
            GovTrack, not just as an advertisement per se but also because of the
            benefits of getting a link from a somewhat high Google PageRank site
            like GovTrack. The link would be to a site of marginal interest to most
            visitors, but it wouldn't be offensive or obtrusive. ($250 sounds like a
            lot to me, but I guess I'm no SEO expert.)
             
            There is first the obvious question of whether this could impact
            GovTrack on Google.
             
            Also, until now, I have always felt that selling links was a silly way
            to make money. Kind of gaming the system, at the expense of Google users
            who would otherwise get different (i.e. perhaps more useful or fair)
            results.
             
            I'm actually now turning a very modest profit on the site (thanks to the
            Google AdSense ads at the top of every page), and I don't particularly
            want to commercialize the site further, but money is money.
             
            Anyone have any thoughts? (Is anyone still reading this list?)
             
            Thanks.
             
            --
            - Josh Tauberer
             
             
            "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation!  Yields
            falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
            Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
             
             
             
             
             
            Yahoo! Groups Links
             
            <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
             
            <*> Your email settings:
                Individual Email | Traditional
             
            <*> To change settings online go to:
                (Yahoo! ID required)
             
            <*> To change settings via email:
             
            <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
             
            <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             


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          • Francis Calub
            Josh, I think it s a great idea. $250/month is definitely not much and it will help you with your operational costs. In terms of ethics, there s really nothing
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 21, 2008
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              Josh,

              I think it's a great idea. $250/month is definitely not much and it will help you with your operational costs. In terms of ethics, there's really nothing much to say. The site is free for all of us to use. Why should anyone complain? I for one will only ignore them anyway :) However, if you wish, only allow ads that you like and you know is good for the public. Whatever your decision is, I'm sure everyone will agree with me in saying that, "We're right behind you." You've done a phenomenal job with this site and putting in ads won't damage the quality of the site (unless you start posting so many of them :)

              tc
              francis

              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Nancy Berry <oaktree1860@...>
              To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 4:56:37 PM
              Subject: Re: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

              Jeff, you said everything I was thinkin, but you said it a hundred times better.
              And yes, at least two of us still read this:)
               
              Nancy Berry


              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Jeff Fischer <JeffreyMFischer@...>
              To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 6:13:40 PM
              Subject: RE: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

              On your comment of advertising income and what's a lot/little.  If you consider how someone could potentially monetize their increased page rank and the traffic being driven to their site from yours.  I don't consider $250/mo a prime spot on your site a large amount of money at all.  Done right, I would assume they could create thousands of dollars in income based on this meager advertising cost.  I know people with much less valuable content who make 5-7k/mo in advertising.
               
              Also, as a web developer, I don't consider advertising (assuming it would be noted as such on the site) as commercializing your site.  If you didn't note it as an actual advertisement and it appeared as an endorsement, then I might construe that as commercialization.  Commercializing your site would definitely look like, integrating features into your site based on a parternship established with another company.

              As a web user, I just completely drown out the advertising noise, so I don't find them intrusive.

              In my opinion, I woulnd't pass on the opportunity, but I would raise the cost significantly.  Assuming this company has confronted you, they want the advertisement more than you want the money.  I'm also assuming they proposed the $250/mo instead of you proposing that amount.  It sounds like they're using the anchoring decision trap to set the bar for what's a reasonable price and what's not.  If you're not married to the idea, I would respond at 4-6x their proposed amount and gauge their response.
               
              Jeff

              To: govtrack@yahoogroup s.com
              From: donnak.sharing@ gmail.com
              Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 17:37:52 -0600
              Subject: Re: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question

              It could serve two purposes one to your visitors and of course secondly to you
              Finances. There is nothing wrong with making a few bucks doing something you
              Like and enjoy for a good purpose.
              Hugs
              donnaK 
              -------Original Message----- --
               
              Date: 1/21/2008 5:29:24 PM
              Subject: [govtrack] Advertising ethics and ramifications question
               
              A question on "advertising" ethics for the list-
               
              I've been offered $250 a month to add a link+image on the front page of
              GovTrack, not just as an advertisement per se but also because of the
              benefits of getting a link from a somewhat high Google PageRank site
              like GovTrack. The link would be to a site of marginal interest to most
              visitors, but it wouldn't be offensive or obtrusive. ($250 sounds like a
              lot to me, but I guess I'm no SEO expert.)
               
              There is first the obvious question of whether this could impact
              GovTrack on Google.
               
              Also, until now, I have always felt that selling links was a silly way
              to make money. Kind of gaming the system, at the expense of Google users
              who would otherwise get different (i.e. perhaps more useful or fair)
              results.
               
              I'm actually now turning a very modest profit on the site (thanks to the
              Google AdSense ads at the top of every page), and I don't particularly
              want to commercialize the site further, but money is money.
               
              Anyone have any thoughts? (Is anyone still reading this list?)
               
              Thanks.
               
              --
              - Josh Tauberer
               
               
              "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation!  Yields
              falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
              Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
               
               
               
               
               
              Yahoo! Groups Links
               
              <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
               
              <*> Your email settings:
                  Individual Email | Traditional
               
              <*> To change settings online go to:
                  (Yahoo! ID required)
               
              <*> To change settings via email:
               
              <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
               
              <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
               



               
               
               
               
               
               
               


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            • Josh Tauberer
              Thanks for everyone s comments! ... Actually it started at $150. I said I didn t really have time to deal with business things, and lo and behold he upped the
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 22, 2008
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                Thanks for everyone's comments!

                Jeff Fischer wrote:
                > I'm also assuming
                > they proposed the $250/mo instead of you proposing that amount.

                Actually it started at $150. I said I didn't really have time to deal
                with business things, and lo and behold he upped the offer and I started
                listening.

                --
                - Josh Tauberer
                - GovTrack.us

                http://razor.occams.info

                "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
              • tyhartwig
                I don t see any reason why not. I do have some considerations though. If at all possible you should shop around for companies that you can justify being
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 23, 2008
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                  I don't see any reason why not. I do have some considerations
                  though. If at all possible you should shop around for companies that
                  you can justify being sponsored by. I don't think a fox news
                  sponsorship or a moveon.org would be in line with your govtrack
                  philosophy ... although if you did them both side by side ;).
                  My second consideration would be, if they are mainly looking for page
                  rank, you can limit the size of the link to something very small and
                  still get around the same money. Personally, I hope you get enough
                  revenue to expand the site and hire staff! Maybe some paralegal to
                  complete the bills that ammend other bills "strike sec a216 etc",
                  some folks to educate about the basics of legislation, or some
                  advertisement for govtrack! Which brings me to another thought ...
                  do you have a link banner?

                  --- In govtrack@yahoogroups.com, Josh Tauberer <tauberer@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > A question on "advertising" ethics for the list-
                  >
                  > I've been offered $250 a month to add a link+image on the front
                  page of
                  > GovTrack, not just as an advertisement per se but also because of
                  the
                  > benefits of getting a link from a somewhat high Google PageRank site
                  > like GovTrack. The link would be to a site of marginal interest to
                  most
                  > visitors, but it wouldn't be offensive or obtrusive. ($250 sounds
                  like a
                  > lot to me, but I guess I'm no SEO expert.)
                  >
                  > There is first the obvious question of whether this could impact
                  > GovTrack on Google.
                  >
                  > Also, until now, I have always felt that selling links was a silly
                  way
                  > to make money. Kind of gaming the system, at the expense of Google
                  users
                  > who would otherwise get different (i.e. perhaps more useful or
                  fair)
                  > results.
                  >
                  > I'm actually now turning a very modest profit on the site (thanks
                  to the
                  > Google AdSense ads at the top of every page), and I don't
                  particularly
                  > want to commercialize the site further, but money is money.
                  >
                  > Anyone have any thoughts? (Is anyone still reading this list?)
                  >
                  > Thanks.
                  >
                  > --
                  > - Josh Tauberer
                  > - GovTrack.us
                  >
                  > http://razor.occams.info
                  >
                  > "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                  > falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                  > Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
                  >
                • Josh Tauberer
                  All, I ve continued to read all of your responses very carefully --- it s all been very helpful. ... Heh, I like that side by side idea. No, actually, I
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 26, 2008
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                    All,

                    I've continued to read all of your responses very carefully --- it's all
                    been very helpful.

                    tyhartwig wrote:
                    > If at all possible you should shop around for companies that
                    > you can justify being sponsored by. I don't think a fox news
                    > sponsorship or a moveon.org would be in line with your govtrack
                    > philosophy ... although if you did them both side by side ;).

                    Heh, I like that side by side idea.

                    No, actually, I definitely don't have time to shop around for money in
                    the first place. The ad that will go online is pretty neutral, and
                    seemingly respectable.

                    > Personally, I hope you get enough
                    > revenue to expand the site and hire staff!

                    Now that would be something!

                    > Maybe some paralegal to
                    > complete the bills that ammend other bills "strike sec a216 etc",

                    You'd think this would be something the government would do, right? As
                    I've read, Congress has cut lots of funding for actually figuring out
                    what the law *is* (which is, by looking carefully at how each new thing
                    amends old things, etc.)

                    > do you have a link banner?

                    Well, I can make one:
                    http://www.govtrack.us/media/linklogo.png

                    --
                    - Josh Tauberer
                    - GovTrack.us

                    http://razor.occams.info

                    "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                    falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                    Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
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