TLA Dropped, TNX too

With the rollout of the new design, I’ve dropped the use of Text-Link-Ads on this site.  I struggled to find a place for them in the new design and between the dropping income that they’ve been bringing in and a little pressure from the great oogelly moogelly I decided to just remove them altogether.

While I was at it, I removed links from the site as well.  Both services have a place and a use, but neither was fitting where I wanted this site to go and I really didn’t want to fill up the front page with more ad stuff.   I’m still considering whether I will put scratchback back in the design or not.  I’ve got room for it on the single pages, but it might stay off of the front page.  Again, the design is such that adding it would really mush stuff together and give more of an appearance of being over ad laden.

So, with that said, there are plenty of open ad spots at the moment.  I’ve changed the advertise page to reflect the new spots and the new prices.  If you are interested in advertising on Thatedeguy, please drop me an email.   I’m thinking of celebrating the new theme with a contest and possibly a discount on the ad spots.  What do you think?

Scratchback Beta now paying 90%

After about a week of being in Beta, it seems Jim Kukral and the Scratchback crew are listening to the users.  They just announced that the payout would be 90% after paypal fees.  That’s pretty generous.  They also mention something about moving back to about the same as blogads which is at 30%.  Still not bad.  Much better than the 50% cut after paypal fees that they started out with.

As you can see by the sidebar, I’ve only sold two spots on the top spots widget, so there are 8 more open!  It’s a FIFO list, so as each new one comes in the rest move down one spot.  With only two and the price at $1 you could potentially get your ad there for months.  That’s about 4000 eyes a month.  You can’t beat that much of anywhere else.

Scratchback Beta Goes Live

ScratchBack, the new advertising/tipping system from Jim Kukral got thrown into drive a little earlier than he had planned today. It was originally planned for the 31st or 1st, but it seems that it went a little bit viral late this last week and he decided to release it to the beta list.

If you’re still wondering what I’m talking about, it’s the orange widget thing talking about top spots on the right under the text link ads.

It has some potential. There are several options for setting it up. You can make the links last until someone bumps them off the bottom (like I have set up), 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days. Lot’s of flexibility there. There are several different color schemes that you can select as well. Most of the most used colors, so should be something to fit into just about any theme. You can also select between text links and image links. I couldn’t find anything saying whether the image links would default to a text link if the “tipper” didn’t upload an image, but I would assume so. And if you’re worried about Google getting mad at you, the links are hardcoded with the nofollow attribute.

Now, it’s not all roses with this. Several things jumped out at me right away. The first is that they plainly state that they are taking a commission on your tips, but nowhere does it say how much. Not the biggest deal in the world, but I’d still like to know. Especially when it’s a widget that could be programmed independently pretty quickly by anyone with some coding experience. It’s just easier to use ScratchBack. (*Update: I’ve sold one link so far at $1 and received a total of $0.333 for it.  Seems a little steep for me.  Not even TLA takes more than 50%)

And if you’ve looked at the widget here, you’ve noticed that it’s a little big for the sidebar. That’s because there is no flexibility for size. 180 pixels or nothing. I’d love to see some of the more standard sizes. Or at least an option for a standard sized 160 pixels. And maybe a horizontal option as well. Lots of people have a 468X60 banner spot that would work great for something like this.

And finally, there isn’t an affiliate program. Not really all that surprising considering that they don’t disclose how much they are taking. Hopefully they’ll work on that. I think it would help with acceptance and use if people were aware of how much they were losing per transaction as well as maybe able to get a kickback for referrals.

Another thing that I noticed, but that really isn’t a bad thing per se, is that during the sign up and in the FAQ’s, they try to make it very clear that this is not an advertising program. It’s a tipping platform that just happens to have a link kickback function. Sounds fine to me. Also sounds like double talk. Especially when you go and read the TOS and the only words they use for both buyers and sellers are the words advertiser and ad publisher. And they are called text link advertisements. Which is it? Are they tips or ads?

btw. I’ve priced the links in my scratchback widget at $1. And it’s set to bump down, so after 10 are purchased, the next purchase will bump #10 off the list. Should make for some interesting times if it’s used at all. Of course, if it’s never used, your link could sit up there for quite a while for only $1!