Categorized | Also Noted

ASN goes ad free (for now)

Posted on 25 February 2009 by ASN Staff

We are in the process of removing all ads on this site. Several factors contributed to this decision, not least of which the fact that it simply was not worth it, from a financial perspective. The (very) small income from pay-per-click services such as Google AdWords were simply not worth cluttering up the site with banners and text links. Ultimately, these services end up being nothing more than free advertising for Google. If Google (or anybody else) wants to advertise in this space, they are free to contact us to discuss it. But it won’t come free.

Instead, we are putting up “donate now” buttons that allow readers and others to give us money, should they feel so inclined. The default rate has been set at $4.95–the cost of a magazine (remember those?) Benefactors can contribute through paypal or a major credit card and, if they so choose, be listed on a recognition wall (link to be published shortly). ASN reserves the right to decline donations from any or all organizations or individuals without notice or explanation. These sums will be refunded immediately.

Proceeds will be used to cover costs such as hosting. Anything left over will be shared with writers, editors and photographers, who have historically contributed their considerable talents for free. Eventually we will configure the site so donations can be made to a specific team’s beat coverage. We are currently having internal discussions for how to structure a profit-sharing agreement between contributors. Once these details are worked out they will likely be made available in the interests of transparency.

The “donate now” fields look like this.
[donateplus]
[donatetotal] has been raised to date through this method (this should be in real time).

They will be placed in select locations, as unobtrusively as possible. There will be no other campaigns to cajole or guilt-trip readers into donating. Just this: In a day and age when the general public has come to expect (if not demand) free content, many news organizations have accepted that profits will eventually dwindle, if not disappear altogether. ASN is no different in this regard, except that we never expected to get rich off this site to begin with. And we still don’t. And that’s fine. But not booking profits–even marginal ones–from an operation and breaking even is different from having said enterprise cost you money. That’s where we’re at now (hosting costs, travel to and from games, not to mention the opportunity costs involved, etc.). Anything to help us mitigate this is greatly appreciated. And that’s it. We’re done. No more sob stories. Enjoy the (soon to be ad free) site!

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