The Inevitable - Ads

Gamers With Jobs was begun in January 2003 with the idea that it would be a personally entertaining hobby that Certis and I would enjoy for however long the ride managed to last, a timeframe we measured at something like six months. In our very wildest and unicorn populated dreams we imagined a perhaps marginally successful gaming website, though one with daily articles that would be worthy of industry recognition, written by writers good enough to scribe their unique voices anywhere in the business. We imagined a forum of thousands, with more posts than we could hope to read, a tight community, and threads that spanned pages growing better at every turn. We imagined thousands of unique readers per day, and millions of hits a year. It all seemed pretty damn far fetched at the time, and how we laughed at the mere hinting of such nonsense. Well, kids, we're there, have been for a while now, and the question that Certis and I have spent a large portion of the year deciding is: What now?

GWJ is equal parts beast of burden and labor of love. I'd no more abandon or sully this site than I would dip my pets in a tasty batter and fry them up for dinner, but as the site grows, in many ways despite our best efforts to restrain it, the joyful beast consumes more hours, more work, more bandwidth, more time, more money, and more effort. So, considering that we would not begin to think of letting the site deteriorate, Certis and I are faced with the choice of slowly drowning under its weight, or accepting that we must make GWJ a part of our own jobs. You probably sense where this is going, so let's just get this out of the way, and then we can talk about it.

Gamers With Jobs will begin displaying advertisements. Please, I'm begging you, read on before reacting!

According to string theory there are limitless parallel dimension with infinite probabilities stretched across a multiverse that allows for all possible permutations of reality, which means there is, somewhere out there, a universe where Certis and I are extraordinarily wealthy and able to maintain ourselves on wit and looks alone. This is not that reality, though if anyone can fashion a method by which funds can be transferred interdimensionally then we may have an alternative solution. Barring that, GWJ needs revenue to sustain, and survive.

I have several things I want to address, but first let's talk about what sort of positives this change could bring. First, Certis and I are renewing our efforts to grow and improve this site, but we can not do it without resources. Generating revenue means that we can begin considering improving the site technology, layout, and servers. Faster access, better navigating, and, imagine this, a functional search function are just a few of the things we'd like to consider doing. Further, we could focus on generating more content and creating incentives for our personnel in keeping them here.

As it stands now our donation drive provides a nice base to keep us functional and breathing, but it offers no room for growth, and we are stretching the dollars to keep providing the level of content and reliability you've come to expect. It is enough to keep the doors open, but not much else. We have far more potential than we've been able to explore.

Additionally, Certis and I put in a lot of hours in managing and producing for the site. It's time that we love, and were we independently wealthy we'd do it for nothing without complaint. Tragically, we both increasingly find ourselves in conflict about where to put out time. Supporting the site sometimes comes at the expense of supporting ourselves, and it's increasingly easy to imagine a scenario where we have to start abandoning our time with the site to the daily grind.

We recognize that not many of you will feel this is an entirely positive change. I'm sure you will all draw different conclusions as to what this means, and we hope that most of you recognize it for the relatively benign force that it is. We will not be asking our writers, who, as you've certainly noticed, are fiercely independent themselves, to change their voices or styles. And, should there erupt at some unlikely point conflict between what our writers responsibly post and what our advertisers want to be associated with, then we'll stand behind our people. I find that kind of scenario, however, highly unlikely.

Our approach in providing advertising will be to find the least intrusive reasonable ads possible. We will explore advertising alternatives designed not to annoy the reader, but still be effective. We've certainly no desire to seem irksome with gaudy or intrusive ads. I imagine there would be a period of fine-tuning as we find a balance between what generates revenue without getting in the way of the site.

In the end, this is the choice we have made, between stagnation and growth, sustaining on the edge or seizing an opportunity to be mighty. Without this, it is possible that our levels of participation might no longer be sustainable, that we would not be able to monitor the forums or produce content or recruit new talent as much, that we would have to spend more of our time working for someone else than for you and ourselves. We ask not that you take our assurances of continued commitment to unbiased content at face value, but that you have the patience to allow us to prove it.

As always reader comment, which is pretty much known for being vocal, is welcome, and we will be very interested in your responses. We hope you understand our reasons for bringing advertising to the site, and have the faith in us to find that satisfying balance that does not intrude upon your experience or tarnish our reputation. In fact, I think you may find that GWJ will become better than ever.

I know there have been a number of changes that we've asked you all to deal with the past few weeks, and I certainly understand the uncertainty and chaos that brings along with it. This, however, is the last shoe I forsee dropping anytime soon, and hopefully we can get through a bit of turmoil with a better site and a better community in place. Again, we hope to prove this not with words but action.

Let the rampant speculation and wild hyperbole "… wait for it! "… begin.

- Elysium

Comments

I'm cool with it. I followed you folks from EA and I'll trust you till you screw up.

Once you folks do get rolling with this I'm looking forward to an indepth article from Ely + Cert about the challenge. Another expose about the joy of gathering money in this wonderful world of ours. I'm thinking something akin to Ely's series on managing EB but more positive as it would be about managing GWJ!

Out of curiosity, why does the cost ramp up disproportionately? If x percent of users donated y amount of money and that was enough to meet z, the site's financials goals/needs, when the site was small, why does that equation get thrown out of whack as the site grows? Is it because Gameguru is unique and his contribution gets diluted as the numbers increase?

Oh, one more thing. Now that you guys are going to be rolling in money, can we have a longer list of active forum topics there on the top left of the page?

I've got no problem with GWJ having ads. Given the integrity of the CEO's, I know that they (the ads, not the CEO's) will not be intrusive or offensive in any way. If it gives you the financial ability to be more involved, then I say go for it.

Alien13z wrote:

Out of curiosity, why does the cost ramp up disproportionately? If x percent of users donated y amount of money and that was enough to meet z, the site's financials goals/needs, when the site was small, why does that equation get thrown out of whack as the site grows? Is it because Gameguru is unique and his contribution gets diluted as the numbers increase?

Non donating members/lurkers. For every one of us that donates to the page there are probably 3-4 that don't (I don't know the numbers) and they add bandwidth. The site is getting more and more popular too, with the Escapist and GWJ doing a link-lovefest back and forth and just being a decent place in the general sense more people are finding what us long termers already know, it's a great place to hang out. Also from what has been said in the past and in this article, the donation drive covered the hosting bills, some money to put in Pyro's moneyhat (I wouldn't want to manage a site of this size w/o some sort of compensation either, we're a bunch of whiners) and pay for the E3 trip. Keep in mind, the big prizes for the donations were mostly all donations (Danke GG)! that's amazing to me.

Do what you guys need to do to keep the site up. Like Jeb said, I'm not going anywhere.

Eezy_Bordone wrote:
Alien13z wrote:

Out of curiosity, why does the cost ramp up disproportionately? If x percent of users donated y amount of money and that was enough to meet z, the site's financials goals/needs, when the site was small, why does that equation get thrown out of whack as the site grows? Is it because Gameguru is unique and his contribution gets diluted as the numbers increase?

Non donating members/lurkers. For every one of us that donates to the page there are probably 3-4 that don't (I don't know the numbers) and they add bandwidth. The site is getting more and more popular too, with the Escapist and GWJ doing a link-lovefest back and forth and just being a decent place in the general sense more people are finding what us long termers already know, it's a great place to hang out. Also from what has been said in the past and in this article, the donation drive covered the hosting bills, some money to put in Pyro's moneyhat (I wouldn't want to manage a site of this size w/o some sort of compensation either, we're a bunch of whiners) and pay for the E3 trip. Keep in mind, the big prizes for the donations were mostly all donations (Danke GG)! that's amazing to me.

Actually Pyro doesn't make any money from this. You know how the aborigines believe that taking their photo takes a bit of their souls? Well, each time we post... We give Pyro a bit of ours.

IMAGE(http://www.idgaf.com/images/cthulhupyro.jpg)

That was totally awesome.

WHAT ABOUT THE WHORES?

(Not that it's relevant, timely, or even cogent. I just like talking about whores. And capitilizing text. And writing in the interrogative.)

You folks have always seemed to have good judgement and strength of will to do the right thing we've all come to agree with (well for the most part:>) So to add my 'what every you think it will take' comment.

Alien13z wrote:

Out of curiosity, why does the cost ramp up disproportionately? If x percent of users donated y amount of money and that was enough to meet z, the site's financials goals/needs, when the site was small, why does that equation get thrown out of whack as the site grows? Is it because Gameguru is unique and his contribution gets diluted as the numbers increase?

As far as I can tell, it appears that its more than just the cost of hosting/bandwith that they are worried about. It sounds like the cost in time/effort also ramps up and that is a finite resource. I get the impression that, assuming the advertising works out, some of the 'employees' are going to start making a little coin to offset the increased time demands of the site.

It's all going to remain a little nebulous for now, we really have no idea what kind of revenue ads will actually mean. I can say that in the entire time the Press Pass ran ads, we totaled less than $30 dollars. I don't anticipate ads are going to mean much in terms of feeding our families anytime soon. As much as anything, we're laying the groundwork for for a possible future where running GWJ could be considered a "part-time job" rather than a full time hobby

A few people have been asking, so I'll repeat here that the donation drive will be rolling forward in early September. Hopefully we'll be able to lay out a decent idea of what the money will be for, it kind of depends on how E3 shapes up and how much of a site redesign we look at doing.

Certis wrote:

...we totaled less than $30 dollars.

OMG... WE ARE DOOMED!

Certis wrote:

I can say that in the entire time the Press Pass ran ads, we totaled less than $30 dollars.

What did I tell you about those Google Ads, sonny?!

A few people have been asking, so I'll repeat here that the donation drive will be rolling forward in early September.

But what will you do to top the weiner bomb? WHAT I ASK?!

A few people have been asking, so I'll repeat here that the donation drive will be rolling forward in early September. Hopefully we'll be able to lay out a decent idea of what the money will be for, it kind of depends on how E3 shapes up and how much of a site redesign we look at doing.

TITANIUM WEINER BOMB!

Whatever it takes to keep this awesome site running. You deserve some compensation for all the work you put into this place and you certainly shouldn't be paying for it out of pocket. I hope the ads atleast pay for the cost of the server rental, etc.

ColdForged wrote:

But what will you do to top the weiner bomb? WHAT I ASK?!

Your very own golden Certis.

I for one and I can see others haven't ever doubted your judgement in this regard Elysium and Certis, so do what you have to do to make this community a part time job. More functionality and content only sound like bigger pluses than anything a few tasteful and well placed ads can do to hurt.

Ah the time honored tradition of making money :). Take a job you love and never work a day in your life.

I have zero problem with this (as a reasonable long time member). Slap some google add sens into a corner and get a couple gaming company sponsors to run some edge or banners for upcoming game, in short the usual.
The community commentary will inevitable balance out your eventually becoming sold out shills (I kid ).

Reach for the stars.

But what will you do to top the weiner bomb? WHAT I ASK?!

A miniature Escapist logo

buzzvang wrote:
But what will you do to top the weiner bomb? WHAT I ASK?!

A miniature Escapist logo

Oh snap!

Advertise away! Just nice to have something good to read at work instead of the pointless drivel of most gaming sites. If ads help keep it here, then ads it is, work is boring enough.

One more 'good luck' response here. Anything that helps.

ColdForged wrote:

But what will you do to top the weiner bomb? WHAT I ASK?!

A golden Richard Simmons icon. Duh!

Certis wrote:

It's all going to remain a little nebulous for now, we really have no idea what kind of revenue ads will actually mean. I can say that in the entire time the Press Pass ran ads, we totaled less than $30 dollars. I don't anticipate ads are going to mean much in terms of feeding our families anytime soon. As much as anything, we're laying the groundwork for for a possible future where running GWJ could be considered a "part-time job" rather than a full time hobby

A few people have been asking, so I'll repeat here that the donation drive will be rolling forward in early September. Hopefully we'll be able to lay out a decent idea of what the money will be for, it kind of depends on how E3 shapes up and how much of a site redesign we look at doing.

I find it strange that I would actually become angry If I found out that the chance to donate was being taken away. Good to hear.

zeroKFE wrote:
ColdForged wrote:

But what will you do to top the weiner bomb? WHAT I ASK?!

A golden Richard Simmons icon. Duh!

First thing I thought of ("First thing I remember knowin'..." /old country) was a golden Unicron, inspired by buzzvang's hysterical comment. But then GWJ would get sued, and all the ads and donation drives in the world probably wouldn't save it.

Therefore, I'm suggesting the old

----> you know what

or a golden, smilin' Stan!

fedaykin98 wrote:

Therefore, I'm suggesting the old

----> you know what

The golden finger---->butt?

Wouldn't Ian Fleming sue us then?

Couldn't read all three pages of comments but it looks like most people are positive on this change. I trust you guys to make the right decision and as you can tell from my little gold icon, I for one have put my money where my mouth is. If ads keep GWJ afloat and alive and relatively unchanged you have my support.

zeroKFE wrote:

A golden Richard Simmons icon. Duh!

IMAGE(http://www.willowtreeaudio.com/id/richard_simmons_GOODJERS.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.mts.net/~skeeve/livejournal/inside-simmons.jpg)

What's really disturbing: the filename is "inside-simmons.jpg"... lemmiwinks anyone?

Quick, post more Simmons pics before they lock the thread!