Sunday February 4, 2007

About the ads: I recently got an e-mail from Google nudging me to put one of these big ads on my site. “The medium rectangle is the most demanded size among our brand advertisers,” they say. So I’m trying it out. One silver lining out of this is that it forced me to clean up the CSS a little, and some of the mistakes that made the margins a little off in IE6 are now fixed. The bad news is that I had to widen the sidebar by about 50 pixels, and it looks a little out of balance now. Complaints? Update: The black BG will be up for exactly 24 hours unless there’s overwhelming support for making it permanent.



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  1. FER    Sun Feb 4, 05:06 PM #  

    Sidebar is almost as wide as the main frame. Somewhat distracting. My eyes tend to focus on both frames now.

  2. Rick    Sun Feb 4, 05:20 PM #  

    One word: obtrusive.

    I can’t stand ads and have deliberately left them off SotP, although my traffic wouldn’t justify having them anyway.

    I don’t know. Unless you’re going to earn a substantial amount, what’s the sense when they take so much away from the look of the blog?


  3. Alex    Sun Feb 4, 05:31 PM #  

    I just can’t stand that the first ad I’m seeing in this page is for Ann Coulter’s column.

  4. Rick    Sun Feb 4, 05:39 PM #  

    Agreed. What the hell generated that?


  5. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Feb 4, 07:08 PM #  


    Make as much money as you can.

  6. Manola Blablablanik    Sun Feb 4, 09:55 PM #  

    Alesh, I sent you a screenshot of how it looks on Safari 2.0.4 did you get it?

  7. Jonathan    Sun Feb 4, 10:27 PM #  

    The layout looks OK, though Ann Coulter is a bit thin for my taste. Can you get pics of some hot, hot libertarian women? Especially if they are Jewish. You will not believe the boost they will give to your ad revenue.

  8. Francie    Sun Feb 4, 10:40 PM #  

    I’ve been keeping my ads up for amusement. Targeted ads probably weren’t geared to fiction blogs – I keep getting ads for places to buy parrots. It’d take a very special reader to click on those ads (Great story, I think I’ll buy a parrot!) But I agree, too wide a frame. I’m a fan of the “small rectangle.”

  9. alesh    Sun Feb 4, 11:09 PM #  


    THANKS so much. Is it fine now? If so, the problem was that I commented out the previous ad routine, which itself had a commented javascript bit in it, and i guess Safari (rightly) doesn’t like nested comments. If not let me know (or send another screenshot, which was SUPER helpful) and I’ll figure it out.

    Everyone else~

    I know. The main column is 500 pixels, the sidebar is 300 now. I’m NOT making the main column wider again (i’m still feeling the pain of having gone from 450 to 500 when i look at the archives) and there’s not much I can do about google’s 300px medium rectangle. other suggestions?

  10. Franklin    Mon Feb 5, 11:06 AM #  

    +1 for the background. Lose the tag cloud. Tag clouds. Jeez.

    I’m loathe to suggest it because I know how much work it would entail, but if “Critical Miami” was on the left side of the photographs instead of the right, it would de-emphasize the Google ads quite a bit and beef up the prominence of the left, which is where you have the content anyway. Alternately, you could get rid of the tag cloud, and put the ads under the search field and recent comments. You might also try a stronger break between the photograph+title and the rest of the page, but it would mean losing that rather nice 1px horizontal border. Good luck.

  11. Manola Blablablanik    Mon Feb 5, 01:24 PM #  

    Hi Alesh, it’s ok now!

  12. GoogleIsEvil    Mon Feb 5, 03:50 PM #  

    CM getting commercial?? Say it aint so!

  13. alesh    Mon Feb 5, 04:43 PM #  

    Thanks Franklin. Yeah, the tag cloud is a little quaint. The reason I keep it around is that it provides visual variety in the navbar, but it’s time to retire it, or at least move it to its own page. Plus I have to go back and tag all the pre-2006 articles, anyway.

    I see what you mean about switching the header around, but geez, I’m not sure that’d be possible even if I had the time — some of those pictures are really old and I don’t have them all together anywhere.

    I’ll try some of the other suggestions; thanks again.

    Thanks Manola! The reason that broke was actually sort of interesting. But the upshot is I need to test on a Mac occasionally.

    GiE~ Hey, I’ve had google ads for awhile. I agree that this is more blatant then before. But it’s an experiment.

  14. Jonathan    Mon Feb 5, 08:37 PM #  

    Another idea: put the Google ads on top of the main column; keep everything else the same. That way, search and recent comments appear high up on the R column, which I think is where they should be. People would have to scroll down a bit to read the posts, but not a lot, and I think you might make more money that way.

  15. Jonathan    Mon Feb 5, 08:39 PM #  

    Oh yeah: I don’t like the new background. It seems unrelated to the rest of the site.