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Down with... Hulka?
June 29th 2000, 06:38 CEST by Seth

Making the daily rounds of sites I actually enjoy, I came across this notice at Hulka.com
Hi Sgt. Hulka,

We've enjoyed working with you and your controversial site.

However, since you're not running any of the ads or the logos, which indicates noncompliancy with the FGN agreement, as of June 23 we're taking your site off the network.

Pattie Lesser
Editor-in-chief FGN

Hulka gives this reason for removing the banner ads,

To which I say good riddance! Hulka.com was always an indy site and the only reason I signed with FGN was because I was tired of daily emails to join some stupid network of gaming sites. I'm glad it's over with! No more changing ads for this client, and that client.. blah blah blah! The reason I took down the logos and all was because of the measly $7.00 check I received for the month of February when we received over 500,000 hits!

Which brings me to the question, does anyone ever click on those pesky things, and do the lovely webmasters of today deserve more? I've bought one thing in my lifetime from clicking on a banner (I believe it was at Blue's for the original Unreal, and I bought it from Electronics Boutique - the absolute last time I made that mistake). For a site to generate 500k hits a month to recieve only $7 seems kind of... fishy to me. But if there's one thing Hulka has always been about, it's been fish. So I guess it makes sense, in a fishy kind of way.

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-06-29 06:46:33
charliew@3drealms.com
I've never clicked on an ad banner unless it had a half nekkid girl on it.
#2 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 06:52:27
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
FGN is not a very good network. I've had the same offers to join their network, but after examining them, I didn't really find it that appealing.

Seven dollars for 500,000 hits is pathetic. Either they have very low rates, or they weren't tracking the advertisements correctly.

If Hulka used the proper code and everything, he should be extremely happy to be off of that network. He should have made in excess of a few hundred dollars in the least for that amount.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#3 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 06:53:23
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
I hope he used that $7 to buy some cheese.

Anyway, this is the problem the majority of ad banner programs and afiliate netowkrs only pay you when you generate a sale (some are kind enough to pay you for a click throw). Unfortunitly banner ads end up working more like TV ads (ie see the ad know the site name I might check it out latter) the problem is that when this happens you get no credit for it (it's kind of like TV ad time only being paid for if people buy the product and say somthing about the ad). I've long thought I'd be a better idea for every one involved if a 5/15/5 setup was used (5 cents for every hit on the banner, 15 for every click, 5% for any sale).

O and no I don't clikc banners unless the product might interest me, or I feel the site is really worth taking a few minuite to click a banner or two (of corse this still don't mean the site see any of that money). O and St. Hulka what would the T-shirts look like?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 06:55:33
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#3</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>I've long thought I'd be a better idea for every one involved if a 5/15/5 setup was used (5 cents for every hit on the banner, 15 for every click, 5% for any sale</QUOTE>
My network pays for the hits, and extra for clicks I believe.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#5 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-06-29 06:58:22
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
I'm think the PainKeep Arena T-Shirts will have the PainKeep Arena Logo on the front of a black T-Shirt, or Golf Shirt, with either FEEL MY PAIN! on the back, or perhaps your Nick on the back of a football/hockey type jersey.

I'm working with a printing shop in Philly right now and might have a very cool deal worked out where you can design the shirt you want online and order it that way.  Like I said, I'm still working on details, but I like the dynamic idea, this way you can create the shirt you want, style, color, etc...

Maybe if possible, if you order 12 shirts or more, you get a Duke is a gay ass bitch T-shirt as a bonus!  (Just kidding Scott, don't sue me!)
#6 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 06:59:34
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
Well, hits are meaningless. Click through is what matters most nowadays, and if people aren't clicking on ad banners...

The entire structure of online editorial entities has a chance of crumbling because online advertising doesn't do much for you. Banner ads are ignored by most folks. This is why you're seeing more and more editorial sites partnering with retailers, since it's the only way they can hope to generate some revenue.

(Of course a few major sites may be successful, but most will probably start disappearing in a the next couple of years, much like the e-commerce fallout we're seeing.)

This is one of the (few) areas where magazines actually have an advantage over their web counterparts, since they charge for the content, giving them revenue streams that aren't ad or commerce-based. Websites really can't charge because there will always be free alternatives, and people generally don't go for quality when choosing between "free" and "costs anything at all".
#7 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 07:00:55
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Hulka has told me he has all the logs, the site has gone from 65k to the current number.

I think proper compensation for the good indy webmasters would be a great thing, it'd root out all the complete crap you have to sort through to find decent content.

What did Lowtax say he makes? $2,500. monthly?

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 07:03:24
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#7</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote -
<QUOTE>

Hulka has told me he has all the logs, the site has gone from 65k to the current number.

I think proper compensation for the good indy webmasters would be a great thing, it'd root out all the complete crap you have to sort through to find decent content.

What did Lowtax say he makes? $2,500. monthly?

</QUOTE>

Btw, this doesn't imply I'd ever want compensation for what I do here at Crap, (neither does anyone else, afaik) strictly because of the nature of our site, it is in our best interest to remain *completely* neutral and not have a single tie to anyone.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 07:07:14
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#7</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote...
<QUOTE>What did Lowtax say he makes? $2,500. monthly?</QUOTE>
Well, generally that is how they pay.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#10 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 07:07:41
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#6</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>This is one of the (few) areas where magazines actually have an advantage over
their web counterparts, since they charge for the content, giving them revenue
streams that aren't ad or commerce-based. Websites really can't charge because
there will always be free alternatives, and people generally don't go for
quality when choosing between "free" and "costs anything at all". </QUOTE>

Acctauly there is another way I can think of off hand, set up the ads yourself. I'd be nearly impossible for indies to do it, but many larger sites do (and manage to create a good amount of money from it (some I've seen charge say 500 for up to 1000 banner views, and more for each after that, many will also play with the randomness if higher amounts are paid). <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 07:09:02
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#6</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote -
<QUOTE>

Well, hits are meaningless. Click through is what matters most nowadays, and if people aren't clicking on ad banners...

The entire structure of online editorial entities has a chance of crumbling because online advertising doesn't do much for you. Banner ads are ignored by most folks. This is why you're seeing more and more editorial sites partnering with retailers, since it's the only way they can hope to generate some revenue.

(Of course a few major sites may be successful, but most will probably start disappearing in a the next couple of years, much like the e-commerce fallout we're seeing.)

This is one of the (few) areas where magazines actually have an advantage over their web counterparts, since they charge for the content, giving them revenue streams that aren't ad or commerce-based. Websites really can't charge because there will always be free alternatives, and people generally don't go for quality when choosing between "free" and "costs anything at all". </QUOTE>

The solution seems to lie with the advertising process then. I think these network gaming sites should form some kind of union, agressively market towards larger (even non-game related companies), and start charging what they're worth.

Let all the crap get scraped off on the sidewalk in the meantime. :)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 07:14:12
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#11</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote...
<QUOTE>The solution seems to lie with the advertising process then. I think these
network gaming sites should form some kind of union, agressively market towards
larger (even non-game related companies), and start charging what they're worth.
</QUOTE>

Seth isn't not really the network gaming sites that are having the problem, is the smaller guys who are paying for the web host and domain name out of pocket that I'm worryed about (hell I'd move off oc Geocities and register PCHotrod.com if I could get just enough to do so, and that damn squater's registration expires).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 07:15:22
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Acctauly there is another way I can think of off hand, set up the ads yourself. </quote>
I'm not sure if you're referring to internal links; that is, creating an ad network that links to other sites in the network in addition to regular ads.

That's all fine and dandy assuming you have actual revenue coming in for other ads. And I'm guessing that many ads nowadays are merely ad swaps, with very little actual money exchanging hands.
#14 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 07:16:35
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Seth isn't not really the network gaming sites that are having the problem</quote>
Well, the indies who are doing it for fun and in their free time will be fine; it's the network sites that will NEED more revenue to stay in business. I'm guessing we'll see more and more of them merging, with the bigger ones eventually being acquired by companies like Yahoo.
#15 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 07:22:40
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#13</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>And I'm guessing that many ads nowadays are merely ad swaps, with very little actual money exchanging hands.</QUOTE>
This brings me to think about how people might think it is wrong for someone to make you click on a referal ad (like for CompuExpert, as in Gone Gold and Evil Avatar). Hell, these people have to pay the bills somehow.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#16 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 07:23:20
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#14</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote -
<QUOTE>


<quote>Seth isn't not really the network gaming sites that are having the problem</quote>
Well, the indies who are doing it for fun and in their free time will be fine; it's the network sites that will NEED more revenue to stay in business. I'm guessing we'll see more and more of them merging, with the bigger ones eventually being acquired by companies like Yahoo.


</QUOTE>

If this does come to pass, these companies *still* need a union. It won't be bad for anyone.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 07:29:14
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#13</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>I'm not sure if you're referring to internal links; that is, creating an ad
network that links to other sites in the network in addition to regular ads</QUOTE>

No no, I was refuring to setting you your own ad 'network' for your site, where you personaly do the deals on how the comapnies would pay. Rather then using an out side netowork for the same task, doing the deals then running the ads via your site.

<b>#14</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Well, the indies who are doing it for fun and in their free time will be fine;
it's the network sites that will NEED more revenue to stay in business. I'm
guessing we'll see more and more of them merging, with the bigger ones
eventually being acquired by companies like Yahoo. </QUOTE>

I can see where your comming from but, I belive it'd be a bit easyer for some of the network site to disband and take ads into their own hands (for example Hulka could use that 500,000 hits to approce someone to place ads there with out FGN handeling things, although he'd have to run his butt off to do it, some thing I just can't see him doing after all he'd rather be working on those addons and mods right). Then again as the network site mearge we'd end up with a massive network with several sites trying to get money out of the same ad pool, so mearging might not be a good idea.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 07:29:56
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>This brings me to think about how people might think it is wrong for someone to make you click on a referal ad (like for CompuExpert, as in Gone Gold and Evil Avatar). Hell, these people have to pay the bills somehow. </quote>
Sure, but they might want to disclose the fact that the contest is designed to drive hits to a site in order to generate money...

It's like harvesting e-mail addresses for contests then selling the lists to spammers. This is fine, assuming that information is disclosed.
#19 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 07:33:02
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#18</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Sure, but they might want to disclose the fact that the contest is designed to drive hits to a site in order to generate money...

It's like harvesting e-mail addresses for contests then selling the lists to spammers. This is fine, assuming that information is disclosed.</QUOTE>
But what are contests used for? Promotion. It is as simple as that. Any content is used to drive traffic and gain revenue for a website that makes any kind of moneys at all.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#20 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 07:33:40
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>No no, I was refuring to setting you your own ad 'network' for your site, where you personaly do the deals on how the comapnies would pay. Rather then using an out side netowork for the same task, doing the deals then running the ads via your site. </quote>
Ah, that's a lot of work for one person.

More troubling is having editorial people also being ad people, which creates all sorts of problems. In print magazines, there's (supposed to be) a serious separation of church and state between ad folks and editors.
#21 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 07:36:49
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#20</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>More troubling is having editorial people also being ad people, which creates all sorts of problems. In print magazines, there's (supposed to be) a serious separation of church and state between ad folks and editors.</QUOTE>
It's also unfortunate that it is this way. If people had enough time to be both in charge of editorial content and advertisement, we wouldn't need the middleman like the game networks. Plus, if you could cut the middleman, you'd get 100% of the profit.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#22 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-06-29 07:39:12
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
If any of the developer dudes who visit here want to "sponsor" hulka.com please contact me, I'm open to all suggestions.  Make the money order out to Sgt Hulka c/o Bunker 32
===============================================

-= Come get Some!  



Must sleep now, be back in the morning!
#23 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 07:40:22
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>But what are contests used for? Promotion. It is as simple as that. Any content is used to drive traffic and gain revenue for a website that makes any kind of moneys at all. </quote>
Sure, contests are merely promotional tools, and that may lead to more ad hits and more revenue. But it's more indirect than, "click on this revenue generating ad banner to enter the contest." (It may also be illegal in some states.) Of course you could circumvent the link and just visit the site in question, but how many people would do that?

It's also somewhat deceptive to the advertiser, but I'm not sure how much they'd mind. It probably depends on the volume of traffic. It might be worth them getting 1% of the thousands of people coming through that link who actually end up buying a game. Then again, the extra bandwith/processor time of people just fulfilling a little scavenger hunt on their site may end up costing them (in this case, I seriously doubt it would, but if everyone did this sort of thing...)
#24 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 07:42:54
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>If people had enough time to be both in charge of editorial content and advertisement, we wouldn't need the middleman like the game networks. </quote>
Well, it's not so much an issue of time but of influence. The ad people cannot influence editorial coverage, and if it's the same person doing both, it would get harder to avoid that possibility. You'd have situations where a major game site sent out a letter to everyone in the industry promising previews if they purchased ad banners. Is this how you want sites to determine the content they elect to run? I don't.
#25 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 07:54:30
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#24</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Well, it's not so much an issue of time but of influence. The ad people cannot influence editorial coverage, and if it's the same person doing both, it would get harder to avoid that possibility. You'd have situations where a major game site sent out a letter to everyone in the industry promising previews if they purchased ad banners. Is this how you want sites to determine the content they elect to run? I don't.
</QUOTE>

I agree there, it might not be a good idea for a one or few person site (possibly havign one guy run his butt off getting ads and nothing else would work. But then we get right back to how badly many networks work in the first place. Hulka placed the ads there hoping to make a little money (possibly to cover hosting and domain charges not to get rich, Hulka conferm or deny please), but made only $7.00 off of the deal do to the click requirements (he should have made a lot more if they where using page views), now getting people to click the ads has little to do with him or what he does (short of verbaly attacking the company on the ads). Assuming he did every thing they say to do, place them at the top in a promanit place, who ever designed the ad now has to grab your attention, many don't. You stuck with advertising a product for free.

Dethstryk mind posting the name of the network/web page might be usefull to some one. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 08:04:26
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Sorta on topic.

general sites worth visiting, that you might not already.

http://www.eurogamer.net
http://www.sharkyextreme.com
http://www.fgnonline.com (only IGN site I visit "daily")
http://www.avault.com (best writing all around, I think)


It just struck me how few there are (that I visit), anyone else have suggestions for good, solid, under-rated sites?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-29 08:10:18
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>http://www.avault.com (best writing all around, I think) </quote>
Seriously? Hmm...
#28 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 08:27:24
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#26</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote...
<QUOTE>

Sorta on topic.

general sites worth visiting, that you might not already.

http://www.eurogamer.net
 
It just struck me how few there are (that I visit), anyone else have suggestions for good, solid, under-rated sites?</QUOTE>

Thanks for the eurogamer site Seth, being in the US I'd never thought to check that one. Great site.

As for other under-rated sites, can't thing of any off hand other then fan sites for a few games (not really impressive out side of the people already going there).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 08:51:46
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#27</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote -
<QUOTE>


<quote>http://www.avault.com (best writing all around, I think) </quote>
Seriously? Hmm...


</QUOTE>

David Laprad is great writer, and considering they keep all their talent in house...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 09:09:59
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#23</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Sure, contests are merely promotional tools, and that may lead to more ad hits and more revenue. But it's more indirect than, "click on this revenue generating ad banner to enter the contest." (It may also be illegal in some states.) Of course you could circumvent the link and just visit the site in question, but how many people would do that?</QUOTE>
Completely understandable. Unfortunately, stating that you are clicking on a revenue generating advertisement will shed a negative light, but at the same time, I really don't think the majority of people would care. If it's a contest, they will probably do it anyway.

<QUOTE>It's also somewhat deceptive to the advertiser, but I'm not sure how much they'd mind. It probably depends on the volume of traffic. It might be worth them getting 1% of the thousands of people coming through that link who actually end up buying a game. Then again, the extra bandwith/processor time of people just fulfilling a little scavenger hunt on their site may end up costing them (in this case, I seriously doubt it would, but if everyone did this sort of thing...)</QUOTE>
Any visitor directed to a website, scavenger hunt or not, has the chance of becoming a return visitor. That's just how advertising works. You see it, possibly remember it, and go back. That's just my take on it, however.

<b>#24</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Well, it's not so much an issue of time but of influence. The ad people cannot influence editorial coverage, and if it's the same person doing both, it would get harder to avoid that possibility. You'd have situations where a major game site sent out a letter to everyone in the industry promising previews if they purchased ad banners. Is this how you want sites to determine the content they elect to run? I don't. </QUOTE>
Guess I should have just stated that I think it would be better if every page (that being the collective people working on it) could handle their own advertisement, without the middleman. Didn't make myself very clear on that one. :)

<b>#25</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>Dethstryk mind posting the name of the network/web page might be usefull to some one.</QUOTE>
As you could probably take from my tag, I run Damage Gaming and my network is the wonderful <a href="http://www.gxnetwork.com/">GXNetwork</a>. (I'm providing a link to them for the curious. I'm not trying to pimp my page.)


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#31 by "MacDragon"
2000-06-29 09:17:01
ozdragon@ozunreal.com http://www.ozunreal.com/macintosh/macintosh.html
Official PlanetCrap Lurker here:

Who said "Bite me", 'cuz I sure got my teeth sunk into this one! (And, yeah, I do click on banner ads from time to time, BTW.)

A few here may know me or recognise my name - I'm one of five WebMasters at OzUnreal - and I'm hoping we are not considered by most here to be "crap on the sidewalk" [11](Seth).  Our main focus is to feature the work of level designers from the Asia-Pacific region, esp. Australia & NewZealand.  And we get absolutely zippo/nada/nuffink for it.

We are fortunate in that our webhost does so for free - he's a big gamer who owns the ISP, but he's commandeered both UT game servers (including one PC donated by us) to play Half-Life on. :-(  We have banner ads for him on the site, but there is no way he could get enuff hits from them to begin to cover his expenses. A server move may have to be in order to again host the huge numbers of UT players we have.

We have two other banner ads - one ancient graphic for 3dfx Voodoo3 and an animated .gif I did for GT Interactive (with U, UT, U:RtNP and WOT on it) - we put these up completely for free.  Why?  We hope to gain their continued goodwill for our next Level Design contest, for which they were sponsors last year.

Contests?  Posts [17](None-1a), [19](Dethstryk) & [23](Steve) - we do <i><b>NOT</b></i> hold contests to increase hits on our site or to generate revenue!  We hold contests to give Aussie mappers, skinners and texture artists exposure, to give them something to put on a resume and to give them a piece of H/W or S/W, a coffee mug, a certificate - something that's says "Cool, well, done, good onya!". We have a very large Mac following at the OzU Mac section and contests there are mainly an affirmation of their dedication to the platform and sort of a virtual pep-talk for us Mac users who are trying so hard to edit U/UT on the Mac.

Posts [20](Steve B.) - <i>"Ah, that's a lot of work for one person."</i> and [14)(Steve B.)- </i>"indies who are doing it for fun and in their free time".</i>  Damn!  It <b>is</b> a lot of work (newshounding); cajoling ('please write a tute on movers, X'); phone calls all over the planet; sending and answering emails ("why don't I have a copy of UnrealEd on my CD?"); helping developers (US) seek suitable programmers for NDA projects (don't ask); trying to arrange for benchmarking tests for gameplay, system tweaks, etc.; testing UEd under S/W emulation; working with an Apple 'Worldwide Developer Relations' manager to improve the Macintosh gaming experience on UT and working on the UnrealEd4Mac project; helping hosted site with webdesign; doing OzUnreal graphics, etc., etc.  Not one cent, and nobody pays my phone bill, my ISP provider, my printer cartridges, my software (when we tested UnrealEd under PC emulation, two of us purchased three proggies ourselves).  

We do it 'cuz we want to, we do it 'cuz we love it and we mainly do it 'cuz we love Unreal/UT.  I'm not so much into fraggin', but I am into skinning and textures, but, damn it, I never get to do it anymore - I haven't released a skin pack since the Warcows series in April. :-( [Hey, if Andy can tell us when he's playing Diablo II, I can p!mp my skins - :-P.]

Post [14](Steve) - <i>I'm guessing we'll see more and more of them merging</i> - Yeah , I was approached by a very large game network two weeks ago - would I come over and work as an Admin and would the site like to be hosted?  Well, yah, I *would* like to say "I'm MacDragon from BlahNet**", it'd be great and I'm honoured.  But for now, I've got sooo much to do for Mac gamers, I'm not ready to drop that until I've seen it thru.  And as to OzUnreal? No, we want to be independent - to have our own ideas, to not be lost in a crowded list of 4pt. names (who, sometimes, I have to wonder - are they there for the "clicks" they bring in to BlahNet**?).  But, damn, would we have traffic, and hits and clicks - and a RuXoR games server which, when we sailed in from Australia would give us all pings of about 126,000! LOL!

Well, there you go - my take on the banner/contests/network thing and how it works for an indie U/UT game site.

MacDragon


[**name has been changed to protect the guilty.]
#32 by "Dethstryk"
2000-06-29 09:25:33
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#31</b> "MacDragon" wrote...
<QUOTE>we do <I><B>NOT</B></I> hold contests to increase hits on our site or to generate revenue!</QUOTE>
Here's something else I should have clarified:

Contests that do not involve any kind of skill are done for publicity purposes. I think the kind of contests MacDragon holds (mapping, skins/textures) are great. You do not hold a contest like this just to give yourself exposure, especially as less people will be entering or even visiting your site because of it.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#33 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 09:31:33
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#31</b> "MacDragon" wrote -
<QUOTE>

Official PlanetCrap Lurker here:

Who said "Bite me", 'cuz I sure got my teeth sunk into this one! (And, yeah, I do click on banner ads from time to time, BTW.)

A few here may know me or recognise my name - I'm one of five WebMasters at OzUnreal - and I'm hoping we are not considered by most here to be "crap on the sidewalk" [11](Seth). Our main focus is to feature the work of level designers from the Asia-Pacific region, esp. Australia & NewZealand. And we get absolutely zippo/nada/nuffink for it.
MacDragon
</QUOTE>

I was more referring to the really greedy commercial gaming networks who host myriad of sites that are indiscrimnately sold off as being legitimate sources of news.

I'm still a big fan of the Unreal scene, used to be a part of UnrealNation.com (when San and mek still ran Unreal News Australia, which you may have heard of) and am still 'technically' a member of UnrealUniverse, though PC is my baby lately.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-06-29 09:34:02
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net
Post <b>#6</b> by Steve Bauman:
<QUOTE>Well, hits are meaningless. Click through is what matters most nowadays, and if people aren't clicking on ad banners...
</QUOTE>

FGN pays for ad impressions. So the fact that 500k page views generated 7$ should have been caused by some very weird server error, and I really think Hulka should have discussed it with the ad guy, if of course he cares :)

My 250k pageviews (yes, hosted on FGN :( ) generated somewhat over 300$. Still not the money that would cause you to quit your day job, but I never considered a hobby site to be a revenue machine, just some cash to pay for hosting.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "Carl Jarvis"
2000-06-29 09:43:13
carljarvis@home.com
<quote>
anyone else have suggestions for good, solid, under-rated sites?
</quote>

Realworldtech.com is a great site I visit from time to time that I don't see mentioned often.  I actually just found a month or two ago from a link on Arstechnica. It's extremely technical, at least by my standards, but it's still a very interesting site, even when I don't fully understand it.

I also check/read hardocp.com, anandtech.com, and the aforementioned arstechnica.com just about every day.  I don't know if these sites are underrated, but I like 'em (although a fair amount of the stuff on Ars also goes over my head.)

While I didn't particularly think Sharky's was underrated (I've been reading it for as long time now,) I have to agree it's a damn good site.

I can probably name 50 underrated console sites, but since this is a PC oriented site, I won't bother.
#36 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 09:44:29
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#31</b> "MacDragon" wrote...
<QUOTE>Contests? Posts [17](None-1a), [19](Dethstryk) & [23](Steve) - we do
<I><B>NOT</B></I> hold contests to increase hits on our site or to generate
revenue! We hold contests to give Aussie mappers, skinners and texture artists
exposure, to give them something to put on a resume and to give them a piece of
H/W or S/W, a coffee mug, a certificate - something that's says "Cool, well,
done, good onya!". We have a very large Mac following at the OzU Mac section and
contests there are mainly an affirmation of their dedication to the platform and
sort of a virtual pep-talk for us Mac users who are trying so hard to edit U/UT
on the Mac. </QUOTE>

I said nothing about holding contest to get money, my comments where about how many banner networks works, and how indy site that get bigger could increse profits (by finding some one to run there butts off to find ads for the site, after of course discussion with steve lead to having a second person do it rather then the editoral team). I never siad any thing about contest.

<b>#30</b> "Dethstryk" wrote...
<QUOTE>As you could probably take from my tag, I run Damage Gaming and my network is
the wonderful <A href="http://www.gxnetwork.com/">GXNetwork</A>. (I'm providing
a link to them for the curious. I'm not trying to pimp my page.) </QUOTE>

Thanks Deth, I don't think you have to worry about pimping the page, after all I did request it (so if your going to blame any one blame me for this:), also I've found that when you think your going to be flame bate your comments normaly aren't (hell I thought my comments about UO, Everquest and Diablo 2 would leave me a pile of tosted skin but they didn't seem to have a big effect).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-06-29 09:50:11
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#28</b> "None-1a" wrote -
<QUOTE>

<B>#26</B> "Seth Krieg" wrote...

<quote>

Sorta on topic.

general sites worth visiting, that you might not already.

http://www.eurogamer.net

It just struck me how few there are (that I visit), anyone else have suggestions for good, solid, under-rated sites?</quote>

Thanks for the eurogamer site Seth, being in the US I'd never thought to check that one. Great site.

As for other under-rated sites, can't thing of any off hand other then fan sites for a few games (not really impressive out side of the people already going there).</QUOTE>

No problem, spread the word. EG is a neat site.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "godZero"
2000-06-29 09:56:52
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#Main Post</b> "Seth" wrote...
<QUOTE>The reason I took down the logos and all was because of the measly $7.00 check I
received for the month of February when we received over 500,000 hits! </QUOTE>

Hulka: I believe you should check it out, it just can not be true with \$ 7.

<b>#Main Post</b> "Seth" wrote...
<QUOTE>


However, since you're not running any of the ads or the logos, which
indicates noncompliancy with the FGN agreement, as of June 23 we're taking your
site off the network. </QUOTE>

It's a shame!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "MacDagon"
2000-06-29 10:02:54
ozdragon@ozunreal.com http://www.ozunreal.com/macintosh/macintosh.html
Sorry, None-1a.  You are right, I must have meant Steve's comment (post #18) below yours.  My sanity escapes me sometimes. :-S

Seth is right - EuroGamer is too cool - a certain "Warren M." of this site has been known to give info re Unreal Ed (with screenies!) to them first.  *Gladiator-like sounds of battle, MacDragon throws self on sword...*
#40 by "WooJin Lee"
2000-06-29 10:42:32
woojin@rpgfan.com http://www.rpgfan.com
It might be fishy, actually, since the GameFan Network, the one we work with has a very different system of venue raising that I was under the impression that was more wide  spread.  We get paid for every person that sees the banner, not click on them, so we make a decent amount, enough to pay back the 2 years of paying the site by our own cash and buying some equipment.  

This and the fact that the GFN really isn't that great of a provider to begin with(our ftp server is STILL down) tells me that the guy's exxagerating a bit...of course. maybe he wanted out since the provider contracts usually last for 2 years...
#41 by "None-1a"
2000-06-29 10:57:13
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#40</b> "WooJin Lee" wrote...
<QUOTE>It might be fishy, actually, since the GameFan Network, the one we work with has
a very different system of venue raising that I was under the impression that
was more wide spread. We get paid for every person that sees the banner, not
click on them, so we make a decent amount, enough to pay back the 2 years of
paying the site by our own cash and buying some equipment. </QUOTE>

It was at one point, however; many advertisers have desided that per click works better for them. Many don't want to pay unless the ad generates some trafic in the first place (they asume this means the user will click on the ad not take note of the name and visit latter). It's wired but I'd like to see some of them pull this with other forms of media (ie we will not pay for the TV ad to run unless people come into the store with some prof of it, or we not going to pay to put that coupon in the newpaper unless people acctauly use it). Many banner networks work like this (it's hard to find one that doesn't now), host/ad nets will be the next to go do this road (that is the ones that pay in the first place). Then we're all fucked because some of the people creating these ads don't know jack about graphics design or advertising (meaning they can't grab your attention what why the need to to work correctly, well the punch the money and windows error looking ones have tricked a few computer newbies into clicking them).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "Desiato"
2000-06-29 11:41:03
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Banner ads are a waste of space.

I've never had ads on my private server. The only time my site had ads was when I was at Geocities. (That isn't exactly voluntary.)

I will also *never* have ads litter my page.

Advertising is an eyesore everywhere else, why we insist on allowing the same paradigm corrupt the net is beyond me.

I doubt my *ENTIRE* time on the net I've ever clicked on an ad.

My favorite app -- Intermute, allows me to banish ads anyway. I wish something like that existed for TV/Radio, then I'd be in heaven.

You can tell some places get desperate -- the trend in designing ads to represent windows popup dialogs is a good example -- or "fake scrollbars", etc.. Would they really need to resort to these measures if their bullshit ads were actually working??

Oh well -- advertising sucks in general. (At least when they try to ram it down your throat.)


Desiato
#43 by "Andy"
2000-06-29 11:43:00
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#31</b>, MacDragon:
<QUOTE>
[Hey, if Andy can tell us when he's playing Diablo II, I can p!mp my skins - :-P.]
</QUOTE>
I've never even mentioned Diablo II.
#44 by "wabut"
2000-06-29 12:53:20
wabut@yahoo.com http://ownage.gibworld.com
does anyone ever click on those pesky things? nope.

do the lovely webmasters of today deserve more? the majority of them, yes.

*grin*

the biggest problem with advertisements for me is integrating them in a good design. I do a bunch of sites on the side that want a banner ad or whatever, and i have to sit there pondering where the heck I'm going to stick this humongous 468 x whatever ugly ad. And all those bastard banner companies want the ad to be in the top portion of the site (they have some jargon for it. i don't remember right now.).

ugh.
#45 by "wabut"
2000-06-29 12:56:44
wabut@yahoo.com http://ownage.gibworld.com
<b>#44</b> "wabut" wrote...
<QUOTE>
ugh.
</QUOTE>
oh crap. re-reading that last post just reminded me that I have a somewhat important email I need to write and send off soon. doh.

THANKS PLANETCRAP! heh.
#46 by "Andy"
2000-06-29 13:02:34
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#44</b>, wabut:
<QUOTE>
And all those bastard banner companies want the ad to be in the top portion of the site (they have some jargon for it. i don't remember right now.).
</QUOTE>
Above the fold. Top half of the screen on an 800x600 display when the page first loads.
#47 by "Speed"
2000-06-29 13:14:25
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
I guess it's a common problem with networks.
Some networks give you an amount of money just for the pageviews, and adiitional money if there's real advertising on your site.
If you have about 200.000 pageviews (not even talking about hits here - which are alot more) I thought that would bring in something like 500$ but that wasn't really the case...
Unless you're one hell of a HUUUUGEE site I don't think you'll get much of real advertising either since they'll sell advertising easier for big sites than for smaller ones (which is normal) so you'll stick with receiving money that's just enough to buy 2 games for.
#48 by "Dave Long"
2000-06-29 14:33:59
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com/
There are ways around paying for hosting but still having a decent place to put your site. Gamestats has been a fantastic place for me to be for over a year. No fee for site hosting, but in return I don't make any revenue unless I bring in huge numbers. Their only stipulation was that I didn't "compete" with other sites in their network. I couldn't do an Age of Kings site for example.

That's ok with me because I do it out of the goodness of my heart and to have fun. It also has been a great way to meet new people. There's a lot of intangibles outside of advertising dollars and personal wealth to work for when running a game site. My only problem is limited time due to kids and family. If it weren't for that (read that, if I was a college kid with more time than pimples), I'd probably have a sprawling giant instead of a slim, focused editorial page. Oh, but Flamethrower thinks I'm "boring" so look for lots of unfounded rumor and unsubstantiated "facts" along with dirty name calling in the future. ;)

As for ad banners, I maybe click one a week. It's always something that looks interesting or is a creative use of that space. I'm sure everyone punched that monkey at least once when they first saw it just to see if it really worked. I haven't seen much since then that's caught my eye like that though other than a couple nice Shockwave produced ads.

If anyone cares to see what I do, click that silly house on the left.
#49 by "Speed"
2000-06-29 14:47:09
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
euhm... I don't have to pay for hosting since I have my own servers... So I don't see why that would affect the amount of money we would receive (except enlarge that amount)

Speed
Fragland.net
#50 by "Gestalt"
2000-06-29 14:48:14
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
MacDragon - "EuroGamer is too cool"

/me blushes. :) Thanks for all the kind comments guys - it's always nice to know that all the hard work our writers and editors pump into the sites are appreciated...


MacDragon - "a certain "Warren M." of this site has been known to give info re Unreal Ed (with screenies!) to them first"

Warren used to work with me at my company, The Coven, which is how I managed to twist his arm to get the UnrealEd shots and interview. ;)

He coded a great little 3D engine for us, which sadly we never got a chance to use before The Coven had to shut down due to lack of time and funding. The engine was called CovEngine, and the editor (CovenEd) was a work of art - I just can't face trying to use Q3Radiant, it's damned ugly and clunky in comparison to CovenEd.

And Warren was coding CovenEd in his spare time while working on Wheel of Time and learning to use OpenGL! Amazing...
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