Ads & Performance

Comments

17 comments

  • Michael Gorup

    Ads are working real good.  I'm now seeing them on the login page.

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  • Barronovsky

    Yeah, gotta love those high-action ads that follow along the right side of the feed as you scroll down the page. :rolleyes:

    They are so distracting that I found a solution to cover over the motion ads, using task manager's "always on top" option and positioning it, just slightly larger and on top of the ads. I suppose one could do that with any window that has the option of always on top, but I keep task manager open and minimized much of the time anyway.

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  • ravenflight

    @Barronovsky - Good idea, I'm using a little text editor now to cover the blinking ad that keeps being visible as you scroll, right next to the images on the dash, which is fucking annoying. Fancy having to resort to such means to cope with a site's design!

    What gets me - and I say it at the risk of sounding like someone who keeps complaining - but what does get me is that they offer the option of subscribing to get rid of the ads. You pay using bitcoin or some crypto currency thing, I wouldn't even know how to get hold of that energy wasting, climate destroying stuff.

    But even if they let people hand over money just using Visa or Mastercard or whatever - do they seriously believe tons of us would feel confident subscribing to a site which has been malfunctioning since the beginning of this year? And still does not seem willing to engage in regular, sensible, substantial communication, leaving us wondering what the hell is going on? I want to make it clear - I still do like bdsmlr a lot. To be precise - I like the way it used to be, and if I believed in a deity I'd be praying for divine intervention to make it the fuck work like that again.

    But currently that intervention is not forthcoming. Instead, we  are forced to endure continued problems as well as irritating ads (cheap, primitive and REALLY badly made ads at that, which don't inspire trust at all) placed in such a way as to make it likely one clicks on them sooner or later by accident.

    Not sure that's really where bdsmlr ought to be...

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  • Michael Gorup

    ravenflight - Amen, brother!  When I saw ads on the sign on/register page, I just shook my head.  I'm sure lots of people will want to register to a site that displays ads in that particular area. (bit of sarcasm)

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  • Jennie

    Okay, so confession time for me:

    First, I have a paid account. I don't see the ads. Well, most ads. I still get a full-page ad once a day, on my first refresh of the site after midnight. Still worth it not to see monster/cartoon porn or "hot moms in my neighborhood" in my feed after every third post. (I used coinbase to acquire the crypto, fwiw). They chose to use crypto to protect user privacy. I can understand their reasoning, but don't necessarily agree with it.

    Second, I also know people on the "inside", as in people on the development team. (I am not part of the team.) But someone started yesterday, and their task is to try and fix a lot of the "user-visible" issues. (This is different person than the full-time engineers mentioned in the May 5 update.) Things like the ad problem, chat, video, and the queue. The (new) main development team is still trying to fix outstanding server-side issues, and do so in a way that allows future development. The site was built upon a long series of hacks upon hacks, and all that came crashing down unexpectedly with the Great Crash.

    So, with this knowledge, you can see why I've generally been an apologist for the staff's actions. I'm annoyed too, because I want to be using the site the way it was last year. But changes and fixes are happening, albeit slowly. I've been hounding them directly for better communication (even fixes we as users never see tell us that work is happening behind the scenes), while managing the expectations of them over on this side.

    💫The more you know.💫

     

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  • ravenflight

    Jennie - Well if you pay not to see ads, and then get "a full-page ad once a day", then technically speaking, paying not to see ads means paying only to see a full-page ad once a day. I'm not saying that's a deal breaker; but I do think it's less than entirely up-front to get you to fork out for something you then do not fully receive. And as Michael Gorup implies, ads on the registration/sign on page may not be what persuades the vastest number of new members to join, though it's worth noting that once you feel you need to register, it probably isn't your brain which guides your hand on the keyboard, but a set of body parts which couldn't care less about mere reason.

    It's  reassuring to learn that additional staff are being recruited to help deal with outstanding issues.  Obviously it's not easy - without repeated down times - to fix things on a site built on a flawed code base. As you say, "better communication" would be a huge help. It is astonishing that this is still missing. Not talking to your membership is a bit like running a cruise ship and then a) not revealing its destination to the passengers, b) refusing to inform them as to the exact location of the dining rooms, while c) having loudspeakers blast out shrill ad jingles on an endless loop.

     

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  • Jennie

    Not disagreeing on any counts here. (I do have an open support ticket about the ads. They've acknowledged that its a bug and not supposed to happen, but we've seen how quickly bugs gets fixed.)

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  • Teas & Denial

    Very glad to hear info like this Jennie.

    A little communication goes a long way. 

    I don't care about ads honestly. I understand they are used to support things financially. You can just scroll past them and they don't concern me at all on a free site like this.

    Videos and messaging is my main issue as you identified. As somebody that produces original content, the videos being down is exceptionally frustrating. Glad they have somebody trying to sort this out.

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  • RugRollers

    Again, thanks Jennie for informing us and somewhat bridging the vast communication gulf between site management and users that has inexplicably persisted month after month.

    Yes, I've also had to resort to screen tricks to spare myself seeing the ads. I didn't mind them too much after first joining a year ago, but now they've gotten monstrously frenetic and nauseatingly fake -- they have exactly the opposite effect on my libido from what I come here for.

    Question for you Jennie: Are they still staffing up and specifically are they looking for someone to straighten out the hash they've made of their community relations and communications? I happen to know someone who would be perfect for this, having helped rescue another adult site after a far more cataclysmic implosion than the one on here. Don't know if they'd be interested but I can reach out to them if it could be of any help. (Message me on the site if you prefer, same handle, or gmail, also same.)

    (On a positive note about site development, the apparent removal of the tumblr-ish 6 mb size limit for uploads late last year has been a huge boon as someone who primarily makes and posts longish gifs. Don't even know whether they did that on purpose or it was accidental, so I'm still a little nervous they will discover and put it back.)

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  • Jennie

    RugRollers

    I used to use DNS-level blocking of the entire ad networks but felt guilty so I turned it off, couldn't stand the ads, and ended up paying. I haven't turned the DNS block back on because I want to know when the problems get fixed. OTOH, it's the nature of the ads moreso than the ads themself. Static merchandise ads? I can live with that, and might even visit the advertiser. Full-screen chaturbate pop-ups? Umm, no; that's why people use AdBlock. Anecdote: I talked to someone who was interested in advertising their products on here (actual, physical, high-quality wares). They got crickets when they tried to contact the staff (that was early 2019 IIRC, so completely unrelated to the recent ongoings).

    The 6MB limit removal was intentional (there was an announcement, probably about 8-9 months ago). Up to 6MB, the image just posts. If it's over 6MB, it's converted to webp, and needs to fit under 10MB once converted. Most of the time that works correctly. Occasionally the conversion will fail, you'll end up with a 30+MB file, and waste everyone's bandwidth. I have an open bug report for that, too.

    I've volunteered myself to be a PR/communications point/bridge within the community, but they have other plans in the works (I don't know the full details). I generally think there may be a fear on their end of sharing too much. But I also think that all we, as users, want is to know that progress is being made through an official channel. (Every little communications update seems to calm things down a bit more on these boards...)

    Part of it may also be a reluctance to throw the people who built the site under the bus. As a fellow software engineer, I can relate; we've all incurred tech debt that's come back to bite us. And what is "simple" for the junior programmer is incredibly complex to the senior engineer/architect, because we know exactly how the users will break it, and what needs to be done to prevent that, how that will break, and so on... Since they're trying do it The Right Way, changes will be slower than what we've become accustomed to.

    I don't know anyone on the inside apart from development, so I can't speak much to other positions or the overall state, just what's going on with the technical side.

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  • ravenflight

    Okay, so by the sound of it they're are understaffed, they're having code problems, they are doing work alright, one needs to be patient - all par for the course. Plus, it's a free site so we ought not to be complaining too much. And to be clear - I still am a big fan of bdsmlr.com and what it "stands for", if that isn't too lofty a way of putting it.

    That said, this ad stuff is absolutely disgusting.  Jennie above, talking about how they are dealing with the issues, says "they're trying to do it The Right Way". Really?  Cheap, amateurish, brash, glaring, blinking eye sores everywhere, some of which, a fraction of an inch from your image feed, follow you around as you scroll, and distract the hell out of you?

    And not a word of explanation. With a number of problems unresolved, where is the attempt at meaningful communication? In one of their rare github entries (largely devoid of substance) they vaguely promise that "the bdsmlr blog will be implemented soon". So how difficult is it to set up a blog? A handful of mouse clicks, two minutes of their time - is that really a challenge which they need weeks and months to prepare before they take it on?

    Persistent silence in the face of ongoing difficulties, coupled with unbelievably intrusive ads - I don't know, but does that suggest to you that they have huge amounts of respect for their users? They may "trying to do it The Right Way". But would you say they're succeeding? Again - I continue to be a big fan of bdsmlr.com. It's just not as easy as it used to be.

     

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  • Michael Gorup

    I realize this is the wrong thread but, I spent close to an hour to get chat to load.  That's ridiculous!  And the ads?  Come on!  They have to be pocketing thousands of dollars a day.  Yet, very little to nothing is getting done.  I submitting a ticket, for something unrelated, 3 weeks ago, and nothing, except the obligatory, 'we received your request' email.  If they need to hire people, do it!  Like ravenflight mentioned I'm not jumping ship.  Hell, there's really nowhere to jump.  If they would do a subscription with no ads and have shown that consistent work was being done, I might, MIGHT, consider.  As it is now?  I'll work with it.

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  • RugRollers

    Jennie thanks again, I prostrate before you in utter gratitude -- that's just me joking, my jokes are always half true. These folks should've taken your offer of help and I bet you were either giving it away or asking far less than what it's worth. They were scared of you because you understand the tech side is my guess, admittedly based on N-of-one but very in-depth experience.

    Response to a couple of things:

    I post gifs in the 12-18 mbps range. They don't seem to be converting to webp, based on redownloading my own uploads (best practice, just checking). Same size, same format. They mostly play fine but I don't want to waste bandwidth for others, so should I convert them to webp myself? Not sure how to do that. 

    Your anecdote really struck me:

    Anecdote: I talked to someone who was interested in advertising their products on here (actual, physical, high-quality wares). They got crickets when they tried to contact the staff (that was early 2019 IIRC, so completely unrelated to the recent ongoings).

    I can readily think of online stores that could advertise on here quite tastefully/statically as you suggest -- Extremerestraints, Stockroom, Leatheretc -- and we're not even seriously bdsm, just shopping for fun stuff occasionally. Honestly, I'd rather have a well run $25/year site without advertising, but since free access with ads is what's expected, the evolution of ads into utterly nauseating territory seems like a dimension of incompetence beyond the communications constipation.

    I have no software competence whatsoever, but from a social science perspective I very much feel you about how people tend to break things no matter how carefully you design them. Viz, currently, the first real democracy in the world, 250 years later.

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  • RugRollers

    My prostration and/or the inadequacy of my prostration has driven Jennie off this board. Two weeks now. Causal inference. Just kidding.

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  • Jennie

    No, I'm still here. I need to step away from time to time for my sanity. I didn't see your reply.

    To answer your question: Don't convert them, but don't intentionally post gigantic gifs for the sake of it. The back end is supposed to do the conversion if its more than 6 Mb. The dev team is definitely aware that big files are wonky, and I've provided them posts to illustrate, both through Zendesk and the dev I know.

    As for the ads ... I once had the idea of an adult store advertiser network that used the location of your ip to serve ads for your local shops. Like if I saw ads for my local stores, I almost certainly would click and shop. I don't know why that's not a thing. I mean AFF and Fetlife ads already use the ip location... I think there could be a market for adult analytics, simply because those who do make purchases spend a lot of money on them.

    But the adult ad payout rate is tiny, probably because the product behind the ad is so ridiculously bad. Quality versus quantity, and the economics say that quantity wins.

     

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  • Michael Gorup

    Jennie:  I think an adult store advertiser that used my ip to serve ads for my local shops is a great idea!  Due to my profession, I don't frequent the stores, and I have been burnt by some of the products of the general advertisers.  Besides, I like to support my local stores and vendors.

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  • Abigail West

    If you're using a chromium-based browser (Edge, Chrome) you can use an extension called uMatrix. It takes a little while to tune it, but it works splendidly. I haven't seen an ad on BDSMLR since I started using it. And, honestly, I don't want to provide any revenue to the team that doesn't seem to be fixing the issues.

    As a free user, we have a covenant: they show us ads, they provide a stable, safe environment to host content. The content drives more ad revenue. A healthy "free" site will continue to grow because the content attracts more viewers; more viewers attracts more content creators; more viewers and content creators creates more ad revenue.

    At this point the ads are increasing, the tech is failing, and the content creators and viewers are leaving. In fact, if you have to refresh your dashboard 5 times before it displays properly, that's FIVE TIMES the ad revenue.

    I don't know. I'm bitter. I spent 6 months of my lockdown creating content almost 8 hours every day. I feel a little betrayed by the unguided moderation, the technical issues, the deletion of content, and the flat-out disappearance of content (without the Post Deleted placeholder). I held up my end of the covenant.... BDSMLR hasn't even come close to fulfilling their end of it.

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