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Mon Aug 3, 2020, 04:31 PM

Just a heads up, we're about to start re-testing some ad placements

This discussion thread was locked by EarlG (a host of the Announcements group).

Obviously this is something that doesn't affect Star Members, so if you're a Star Member already, please feel free to stop reading

For those of you who are not Star Members, you're probably aware that over the weekend a ton of ads showed up in places where they weren't appearing before. Too many ads, in fact, to the point where we had to turn them off again because they were annoying people.

We've spent some time today re-working the setup and we're about to test it again.

Some things to expect:
  • Ads should now appear mostly in places where you're already used to seeing them. Over the weekend they were showing up in all kinds of places that made some pages difficult to read. We have dialed all that back pretty significantly. So for example, while we still have the usual ads at the top of the page, inside the OP, and in the sidebar, ads should no longer appear anywhere inside replies, or even between replies.

  • You may see some additional ads that weren't there before on the Latest and Greatest pages, in the thread listings. Again, we've dialed this back so you shouldn't see them too often, but they are there.

  • We got rid of the sticky ads on desktop and tablet -- they were just taking up too much space on larger screens. (We're keeping the one on mobile though -- we've had that one there for quite some time.)

  • People noticed over the weekend that some ads were showing spinning circles for a second or two before loading. This is normal -- it's to let you know that an ad is supposed to be in that position and just hasn't loaded in yet (as opposed to popping in out of nowhere). But if spinning circles are showing up and not going away, then something went wrong. If this happens to you a lot, please let me know (because it shouldn't be happening).

  • All ads should now have an "x" on them, so you can click to hide individual ads.
We know that ads can be annoying, but they are unfortunately necessary to keep DU up and running. We're taking our time on this so that we can strike the right balance and make sure that they don't interfere with your ability to enjoy the site, so thank for your continued patience while we continue to test the new software.

If you're finding the ads to be too much, don't forget that a Star Membership removes all advertising from DU, and can be purchased for as little as $1 for an entire year -- although we do accept larger amounts

Thanks again,

-- The DU Administrators

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Reply Just a heads up, we're about to start re-testing some ad placements (Original post)
EarlG Aug 2020 OP
Merlot Aug 2020 #1
EarlG Aug 2020 #5
in2herbs Aug 2020 #2
EarlG Aug 2020 #3
in2herbs Aug 2020 #4
EarlG Aug 2020 #6
in2herbs Aug 2020 #7
in2herbs Aug 2020 #10
EarlG Aug 2020 #11
in2herbs Aug 2020 #12
EarlG Aug 2020 #13
in2herbs Aug 2020 #25
questionseverything Aug 2020 #8
caduceus111 Aug 2020 #9
Kali Aug 2020 #14
questionseverything Aug 2020 #15
Kali Aug 2020 #16
questionseverything Aug 2020 #17
Kali Aug 2020 #18
questionseverything Aug 2020 #19
Kali Aug 2020 #20
questionseverything Aug 2020 #21
discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2020 #22
questionseverything Aug 2020 #23
discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2020 #24
Post removed Aug 2020 #26
Kali Aug 2020 #28
Kali Aug 2020 #27
EarlG Aug 2020 #31
Kali Aug 2020 #32
Behind the Aegis Aug 2020 #29
EarlG Aug 2020 #30

Response to EarlG (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:24 PM

1. Any way you can chose not to use ads that rotate or flash constantly?

Those make it very hard to read the articles with all the flashing and movement.

BTW, the "X" thing doesn't really work, not your fault.

I'm on a desktop and the ads don't reduce in size so I see a lot of blank space between threads where the ads are pushing down to space they fit in. That's happening when I view "actual size" if I reduce the size, the ads fit, but then the type is rather small.

I had a feeling you were doing some tests this weekend, am glad to know you've got it worked out. I spent so much time closing ads on the desktop that reading was becoming a chore. Glad it's back to normal. I try and support your advertisers whenever possible.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:42 PM

5. Unfortunately we can't stop the ads animating

Iím afraid static ads are probably a thing of the past...

When you say the ads are pushing down to fit, Iím kinda curious to know what that looks like. Could you possibly take a screenshot and email me at earlg@democraticunderground.com?

FWIW, the ad software is supposed to learn what kind of ad itís supposed to put where, so it might be a bit squirrelly to start with, before it figures out the layout. Hopefully it will settle down for you before too long.

Thanks for your feedback, and if you could get a screenshot to me that would be super helpful.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:26 PM

2. This AM (8/3) I posted that my DU site looked normal again. It's now 2:30 same day and it's

hosed back up. Instead of seeing too many ads I see no ads and the green circling arrows and blank spaces.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:37 PM

3. Hmm, I'm starting to wonder if you have

some kind of content blocker, or a security setting turned on in your browser which is affecting the display. If youíre a Star Member or running an ad blocker, you wouldnít see the ads at all. But if youíre not, the ads should load after a second or two. They shouldnít spin but then not load. But youíre the only person who has reported this so far. Do you see ads on other websites?

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Response to EarlG (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:41 PM

4. I'm not having trouble with other sites such as Daily Kos, TPM, etc. nt

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:43 PM

6. And you're seeing ads as normal on those sites

Whereas at DU youíre just getting spinning circles that donít go away?

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Response to EarlG (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 05:48 PM

7. Just to verify, I just went to DK and everything was working right on the site. nt

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Response to EarlG (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 10:49 AM

10. Good 8/4 morning. Just to advise I am again/still having green rotating circles in all the places

I previously mentioned in other emails. I am also noticing that in the article content I am now seeing funny figures that don't belong such as a backward S, a % sign, a ? mark. I can still read and post but the circles and figures are still there, I read around them.

I'll be off line for a couple of hours. Will check back later. It's 7:45 am AZ time right now.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #10)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 11:03 AM

11. I'm baffled

Last week we had an issue with our character set that made those odd characters appear where smart quotes would normally be, but we fixed that and it hasn't been a problem for days. I'm wondering if you have some kind of caching problem.

Can you try clearing your browser cache and see if that makes a difference? Here's a page that shows you how to do it in different types of browser:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-clear-your-browser-cache/

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Response to EarlG (Reply #11)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 02:37 PM

12. I have a computer guy I call when I need help. However, to the best of my ability I followed the

instructions to clear my cache. I don't notice a difference. BTW I am also seeing the word "ezoic" on the portions of my blank screen.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 03:02 PM

13. The blank spaces are where an ad is supposed to load

"Ezoic" is just the name of the company that's serving the ads.

Something in your browser is blocking the ads from loading but I don't know what it could be. I think there's a way for us to get rid of the spinning circles though, so we're working on that.

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Response to EarlG (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 5, 2020, 12:49 AM

25. It's 9:45 pm on 8/4 and I no longer see green circles spinning! Lots of empty space. Will check

again in AM and report. Thanks.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 08:05 PM

8. so on my phone

if the screen is 5 inches ,the ads are 4 inches plus of it

yes you can scroll and some of them go away

and yes I can click the x each and every time and the ad will go away

but if I was visiting for the first time I would of never have tried to get past the ads, I think this new ad "placement" will kill new peoples interest

on my laptop the only change seems to be there are ads about every 15 op titles or so ( but there were already ads on 3 sides the page)

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 05:29 AM

9. Found the bug:

Past week DU has been horribly slow, especially when hitting the back button or going to a new page. Blocked ezodn.com and ezoic.net. Back to normal speed.

Sad that ad trackers are now the norm, particularly on a political forum where anonymity, privacy, and security should be considered a high priority.

While I don't post much, I've been here since 2001 and read every day, like many, many other lurkers. I'm disappointed, and considering leaving permanently if this is the way forward. It's not worth my time having loading delays, spinning circles, and having my every move online analyzed. It definitely DOES interfere with my ability to enjoy the site.

Come on guys. You're better than this.

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Response to caduceus111 (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 04:42 PM

14. for a BUCK you can get rid of ads

you have enjoyed the site for almost 20 years? send it some money

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Response to Kali (Reply #14)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 04:49 PM

15. so does du exist to build a community or to make money ?

is it a business?

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #15)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 04:52 PM

16. of course it is a business

is there something wrong with that? and why can't it serve more than one purpose?

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Response to Kali (Reply #16)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 04:58 PM

17. so du pays taxes?

I wonder why they call it a "donation"?

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #17)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 05:02 PM

18. you should probably ask the administrators...

I don't know how they structure that kind of stuff. I know I have "donated" to a number of "businesses" over the years...what do you think they should call monetary contributions to the site?

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Response to Kali (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 05:09 PM

19. if it is a business then it is a fee for service

if it is a non profit then it is a donation

honestly it doesn't matter to me, I just think it should be transparent about the reason for it to exist

for whatever reason the admin did not respond to me on this page, you did so I engaged

"shrugs"

if a dollar a year can make up for me not seeing literally hundreds of ads a day, then I question what those ads even pay the site and how they can be worth taking the chance of not growing the democratic community

I am just naturally curious, sorry if it bothers you

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #19)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 05:20 PM

20. are those legal terms?

asking for a donation makes more sense than asking for a fee for service, but I don't have a problem viewing it that way...pay a small fee to get one of the best sources for late breaking news (especially political news) and discussion with no ads.

or as a donation to the same cause...news, info, and discussion on a site run by some people who have a right to earn money off of it.

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Response to Kali (Reply #20)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 05:42 PM

21. it is a business,it is listed as an llc, i just didn't realize it

but being a business makes my question about how little ads must pay even more on point, if a dollar a year makes up for missing hundreds of ads a day, how little must those ads pay or is there a different goal than the dollar?

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #17)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 09:23 PM

22. LLCs and S-corps do not file or pay federal taxes

They can pay wages to their employees. My S-corp paid me a salary and salaries to my employees. Any profits retained in the corporate account at the end of the year became business income to me on which I paid taxes as if they were regular non-wage income. This income would be taxed similar to income you would get from a rental property.

The admins "work" and I hope make some reasonable salary or profits from the endeavor. They incur expenses to run the site and are giving up other pursuits in order to run the site.

Many schools and hospitals operate as non-profits but are still expensive to operate. They have employees and usually pay them competitively.

I wonder why they call it a "donation"?
I suspect they use the term donation as there is no set price for an hour, month or year of ad-free access and you can elect to pay more than a dollar if you wish to.

If you have additional questions, there's a link for that: https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=ata

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #22)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 09:40 PM

23. pretty sure they see me asking the question here


if a dollar a year can make up for me not seeing literally hundreds of ads a day, then I question what those ads even pay the site and how they can be worth taking the chance of not growing the democratic community

or


is there a different goal


and of coarse both businesses and non profits have employees that need to be paid/I do not begrudge them that

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #23)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 10:34 PM

24. pretty sure many folks see and hear questions that they don't feel obliged to answer

While the admins here do at times participate, they are quite busy right now. YMMV

is there a different goal
Not that I can think of. If you have something specific in mind, I could form an opinion but only if you share your thoughts. It is a discussion board.

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Response to Kali (Reply #14)


Response to caduceus111 (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 06:16 PM

28. wow, no need to be so rude

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 06:15 PM

27. are you still doing things?

I just noticed all the headlines that I had already read in Latest news (on the Latest page) column are no longer the "read" color...stuff I looked at in the center "Latest" column are marked, but not the other...

that would actually be my browser wouldn't it?

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Response to Kali (Reply #27)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 09:17 PM

31. You know, I don't think that's related to the recent updates

Last edited Fri Aug 7, 2020, 10:19 PM - Edit history (1)

This happens to me too from time to time, and has been going on for a while -- most of the time links turn to the correct "visited" color (the default is purple), but sometimes they go back to blue again. It's a bit of a mystery... likely something to do with our code being a bit old and creaky these days. There's possibly a simple fix for this -- I'll take a look. If it's not a simple fix though, we may have to live with it for a little while.

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Response to EarlG (Reply #31)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 09:29 PM

32. good deal, not a real problem. just noticeble today was all.

normally I just assume it is an update or something on my end. thanks!

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 08:38 PM

29. I am a star member and I am seeing ads.

The odd thing is I am seeing them in odd places. Every jury I am on...ad! In "My Posts" when I have more than a few responses to a thread and open it in "My Posts" to see who responded...ad! I even had an add in one of my PMs, but I can't find it now, so it is either fixed or gone.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 09:10 PM

30. Ads are definitely not supposed to be served on those pages

We thought we'd fixed the issue with Star Members seeing ads which occurred briefly last weekend, but it seems that the new ad platform is occasionally inserting ads into pages where they shouldn't be at all. It's possible that the fix Elad came up with for making sure Star Members don't see the ads did not extend to pages where we weren't expecting ads to be, which is why they're occasionally sneaking through.

I'm going to do some troubleshooting on this and make sure that no ads are served on those pages. Thanks for the heads up and sorry about that. As you can see, we're still working out some kinks with the new ad platform.

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