Banner System

He has: 424 posts

Joined: Mar 1999

As many of you have now noticed, we have a banner system at the top of the forums now... Some of you have questioned it's function, if it's free or if you have to pay for the space, and a number of other questions. This post is meant to answer all of the questions you may have about the new member banner system so please read on.

In February of this year, I ran the idea by the TWF moderator team of allowing all TWF members that met certain participation requirments the option of submitting banners representing their site for the banner rotation. The hopes of this idea was to encourage participation within the forums and to help get your site exposure... this allows the forums to benefit from your participation and help with growth and this gives your site exposure to thousands of new visitors each month.

The idea was online for a short time in February but failed because of some problems with the banner system at the time. We started the banner rotation again just a couple days ago with moderator banners and we have not ran into any problems with the new banner system.

Assuming we do not run into problems between now and September 1, 2001, we will be opening the banner rotation to all qualified TWF members. TWF has always been run as a non-profit web site and we have ran the web site without banners simply because they were not needed. We plan to continue to operate TWF as a non-profit site far into the future so the only banners you see on this web site will be those of active TWF members.

To add your site banner to the rotation, you must meet the following requirments:
[=1]

  • A minimum of 25 posts
  • At least 16 posts per month (we have built a script that will track your posting on a per month basis so this requirment will be monitored). This is 4 posts per week which is less than one post a day... If you visit the forums once a day and make one post, you have met this requirment for the month.
  • Your qualifying posts must be quality posts... This really just means no "I have another post" posts... As long as your posts are intended to help or receive help, you will meet this requirment.
  • [*]You must provide a return link to TWF on the site that your banner is referencing. Please see http://webmaster-forums.net/misc.php?action=linktous for link back images.
    [/=1]
    If at anytime you do not meet the above requirments, your banner will be deactivated for the next month so that you can meet these requirments.

    If you meet the above requirments and you would like to submit your banner, it must meet the following specifications:
    [=2]

  • There is a limit of one banner per member. Submitting banners for two seperate usernames which represent the same person is not acceptable and will result in all of your banners being permenantly removed.
  • The banner must be 468x60 pixels
  • The banner must be 25k or less (no exceptions!)
  • The banner can be static or animated only
  • The banner must be in .gif format
  • [*]The banner may not be promoting may not be promoting a site that is directly or indirectly competitive with TWF. I may choose to deny an entry based on this limitation at my sole discretion.
    [/=2]
    If you have met every requirment above, you can submit your banner for approval to mark@maxalbert.com?subject=TWF%20Banner%20Submition. The email MUST include all of the following information or your request will be denied:
    [=3]

  • TWF Username
  • A password to use for your banner stats page
  • Your email address
  • Your banner as an attachment
  • The url that you would like your banner to point to (exactly!)
  • The text that you would like to appear under your banner (75 characters max)
  • [*]The link that shows your TWF referral
    [/=3]
    You may submit your banner immediately if you meet the above requirments. Member banners will be added to the banner rotation on September 1, regardless of the submittion date. Please do not submit your banner if you do not meet all of the above requirments - your request will be denied.

    Please note that I expect 50-100 banners to be submitted and the banner rotation is simply a 1-{total banners} ratio... meaning your banner will show up once every {total banners} hits to the site... TWF receives approximately 3,000 hits per day so your banner will be seen by at least 30 people each day.

    Again, this is just our way of saying "THANK YOU" for participating and making TWF the community that it is.

    - The TWF Administrative Team[/]

    [/]

    [/]

    taff's picture

    They have: 956 posts

    Joined: Jun 2001

    Generally speaking, I think this banner system is a good idea. The fact that they will be seen primarily by peers and competitors rather than by potential clients makes it fall short of being a great idea.

    Regarding the posting requirements, while I certainly understand them, I'd hope that you use them as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. I don't count my posts but assume that I'm safe on this. However, I'd hate to find myself at the end of the month a few posts short and just trying to create a few for post count purposes.

    My other concern - one that will probably prevent me from participating - is the requirement of a recipical link.

    While this forum is an invaluable resource for me - by far, the best forum I've found on the web - I don't see that is has any value to my web site's audience.

    In fact, I'd rather that my clients and potential clients remain unaware of this forum. Their presence would impede my ability to garner honest opinions, openly discuss the trials and tribulations of day to day business, and well... generally vent Smiling

    .....

    McPhilly's picture

    They have: 62 posts

    Joined: Aug 2001

    Ditto,

    I am fairly new here but have been on several other forum's a long time (now a Mod on most of them). This looks like a great community and the banner ad idea is a great one.
    At the moment I do fall short of the requirements by quite a load of posts, but that doesn't bother me as I am here to offer my help where and if it is needed, as well as become a part of this community.

    Anyway, to my point.
    I have a few websites, and none of the traffic to them would be interested in this community. Also, I wouldn't want them to visit for the same reason's as above. If they found this forum on there own, then that would be fine as they wouldn't judge me and would hopefully treat me as another member of the community.

    I think I make sense.
    The bottom line, a link back to this forum is out of the question for several reason's. Is there something you could replace that requirement with ?

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    An excellent point has been brought up and I understand what you guys are saying... I'm discussing it with the moderators to see if we can come up with an alternative option...

    I am open to alternative suggestions that accomplish the same goal which is to bring new traffic to TWF in exchange for your banner in the rotation system.

    At this point, based on the input, I am going to hold this specific requirement out while we work on alternatives. If this requirement does not pose a problem for you, I do still ask that you link back to TWF to help us out.

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    After thinking about this thread a little more, here is what my thoughts are on the subject:

    If a client of yours wants to learn HTML or graphic design, or anything else discussed at TWF, they are going to do it with or without the help of TWF. They will probably do it without simply because TWF is not a direct guide to learning these tools... TWF is a utility that helps refine specific areas of Webmastering...

    We see a lot of beginners at TWF which is great. But they aren't learning their skills here. They may pick up bits and pieces of it but they will most likely buy a book or review some large web sites specifically related to the subject they are learning.

    Further, I also look at linking to TWF as a way of saying to your clients that you participate in a discussion board to help others and to gain more knowledge. As a web designer, I would look at this as a way for you to improve your skills, making you a better candidate for the design of my web site (from the perspective of a potential customer looking for web design services). The only possible way I can see TWF taking business away from you as a web designer would be if the user found another designer and this is a risk you run in business, period.

    Another point that has been brought up was that your site audiences wouldn't be interested in TWF. I don't honestly think this is accurate as there are millions of web sites on the Internet and each of them has a webmaster. Do you think that only non-webmasters visit your Web Site (assuming it isn't a web design services web site)?

    taff's picture

    They have: 956 posts

    Joined: Jun 2001

    My site IS a web design services web site but certainly not everyone who visits it is a client. I get as many employment enquiries as I do design enquiries. When I said "audience", I meant desired or target audience.

    ** "Further, I also look at linking to TWF as a way of saying to your clients that you participate in a discussion board to help others and to gain more knowledge." **

    A web designer is somewhat like the man behind the curtain. I have yet to meet a client with an ounce of interest in what goes on behind that curtain. Their concern is with what's on the screen.

    Don't get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with your banner requirements. I fully understand your desire to promote this forum as well as the benefits of reciprocal linking. I just wanted to explain why I personally (perhaps as well as other professional design shops) would not want to take advantage of it.

    I checked out the sites of the current banners to see how they have handled the crosslinking issue. It is interesting to note that, but for one exception, I was unable to find anyone linking back to the forums.

    .....

    McPhilly's picture

    They have: 62 posts

    Joined: Aug 2001

    >Further, I also look at linking to TWF as a way of saying to your clients that you participate in a discussion board to help others and to gain more knowledge

    Are you assuming we all want to ad banner ads advertising are web design skills ?

    Confused.
    One of my sites is aimed at the Joe Public of Pembrokeshire wales and has links to businesses, place's to chat, place ads online etc.
    They just about know how to turn computers on, never mind take part in discussions about the wonders of web design.
    So, I can safely say, they wouldn't be interested. I am not worried about losing traffic or sales to this forum because basically, it wouldn't happen. But first, I don't have anywhere suitable to place a link to you, and second, the Pembrokeshire public wont be interested.

    Stick with the rule, are you that desperate for traffic ?

    --
    no offence meant by that, but I don't see how a link on a welsh site would help this community in the slightest.
    --

    He has: 176 posts

    Joined: Oct 1999

    I think something like allowing other webmaster related sites to use these forums as if they're their own on their site would be of more benefit to this community.

    They would probably link to these forums from every page on their site, and if not you could show them how using the likes of SSI or frames or another programming language.

    Just a thought.

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    Quote: A web designer is somewhat like the man behind the curtain. I have yet to meet a client with an ounce of interest in what goes on behind that curtain. Their concern is with what's on the screen.

    Than there would be no concern for loosing that client because they made the choice to learn the materials on their own, which is one of the concerns that was brought up.

    Quote: no offence meant by that, but I don't see how a link on a welsh site would help this community in the slightest.

    Nor do I see how a link to a Welsh site in the banner system would help out that site in slightest, given the target and primary audience of this site is Webmasters who don't have an interest in Welsh sites.

    But I can't make that judgment for visitors because I honestly don't know... I'm sure that we would get visitors to TWF that would click on your banner if it was in the rotation and some may even be interested.

    I am only thinking out loud here to stir conversation and possibly find an alternative option for those of you who don't feel placing a link on your Web Site would work, regardless of the reasons (reasons that are very valid).

    I am far from saying that this is final and that no other options will be available. But if we allow you to post a banner in the ad system, what do we get in return?

    TWF isn't hurting for traffic... We aren't the most popular forum on the Internet but we surely aren't the slowest either.

    The banner system and it's concept is completely new to TWF... We are building on this "member banner" concept as I have yet to find another forum offering the same opportunities so I don't have something to work from... That is why I am discussing this in an open forum with you members, who will benefit from this system.

    Just give me some alternatives that you think are fair. We can work on them.

    McPhilly's picture

    They have: 62 posts

    Joined: Aug 2001

    >Nor do I see how a link to a Welsh site in the banner system would help out that site in slightest

    Good point Sticking out tongue
    Oh well...

    No suggestions at the moment im afraid. Im sure a large percentage wont mind linking back, but the few of us who can't will have to come up with something else.

    Sorry for being "stubborn" Laughing out loud

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    McPhilly,

    You're not being stubborn at all.. but my perspective on this is that if I allow some of the users to go without filling this requirment, I have to let them all go.

    I don't want to force a member to do something they don't want to, nor do I want to exclude your site from the banner rotation simply because your site doesn't really match the purpose of TWF.

    I may make this a soft requirment meaning that if you feel you have a valid reason for not linking back to TWF, you can email me with your reason and we'll talk about it from there. I really don't feel that this should be a requirment... I would hope that if we gave someone free advertising, they would return the favor in some way... we are helping your site after all.

    At this point, if you meet all of the requirments but this one, email me with your reason for not linking back to TWF and I'll discuss it with you on a case-by-case basis.

    disaster-master's picture

    She has: 2,154 posts

    Joined: May 2001

    This is how I see it after "skimming" over this thread and I may be way off on my thoughts but here goes....

    I don't know if I would put a link to TWF on my web design business site or not. Still contemplating this one. Like some of the others said, this board is where I come to ask questions, refine my skills and vent as well as try to help others. Do I really want a customer click on a TWF link on my site and then see that I am asking questions about how to build his/her site?? **shiver shiver** That would be bad for business wouldn't it?

    This may not concern those of you who are professionals or very experienced but as someone who is just starting up a business as I am and still doing a great deal of learning it concerns me.

    Quote: I would hope that if we gave someone free advertising, they would return the favor in some way... we are helping your site after all.

    I see your point here but aren't we helping the forum by helping others? (or trying to anyway;) )And isn't this a non-profit site? (I am not trying to be a witch....still just throwing my thoughts around.)

    What ever you guys decide on is fine with me. Sounds like you have bigger plans in the future though. You would be a fool not to. Although I do not feel that my site is worthy of having banner exposure and this really isn't a problem for me I do see where the others are coming from. I feel sure that you will work something out that will be to everyone's advantage.

    Good luck with the delima! I'm finished tossing my brain around.
    DM

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    Quote: I see your point here but aren't we helping the forum by helping others? (or trying to anyway )And isn't this a non-profit site?

    You are helping the forum by participating, which is one reason that I am being relaxed on this condition.

    And yes, TWF is non-profit and always will be, as long as I am running the show. But, for TWF to continue, it must have participation and it must continue to grow and keep a steady membership. If the forum is dead, there would be no point to have it online... I doubt this would ever happen as we have very steady and loyal members and we continue to get new members each and every day... But, the more people that benefit from it and share it with their friends, the more participation we have within the forums and the more help you have with your questions.

    If you are meeting the rest of the requirments, you are spending some of your time here helping others or being helped and that's what TWF is all about. Posting a banner on your site linking back to us is just another way to help us out and is definitely going above and beyond what you need to. If you don't feel that posting a banner on your site is a good idea, email me with a reason and we'll discuss it... Even if you simply tell your friends in school that like programming, or tell your work colleagues, it all helps.

    I want to make it clear that as long as you have a valid reason for not posting a link to TWF on your site, I will consider your banner for the rotation so PLEASE contact me if you meet all other requirments.

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    I am now accepting banners from all qualified members.

    They have: 57 posts

    Joined: Jun 2001

    Is free advertising?

    mjames's picture

    They have: 2,064 posts

    Joined: Dec 1999

    Quote: Originally posted by SWD
    Is free advertising?

    No, it is a token of our appreciation to the active members of TWF. If you can quality for those guidelines, then yes, you can get your banner up there.

    She has: 54 posts

    Joined: Sep 2001

    hey

    buddy thats a good idea idea to advertise ...
    and more over we feel privilged to be thanked by just participitating in the forum.. its out of this world ..
    Wish you best of luck for this

    bye

    "when one door of happiness closes
    another opens;but often we look so long
    at the closed door that we do not see
    which one has opened for us "(Helen Keller)

    DC_Sara's picture

    She has: 392 posts

    Joined: Jan 2002

    What a wonderful idea! Smiling

    Sara

    Megan's picture

    She has: 11,419 posts

    Joined: Jun 1999

    Can I submit banners for sites that aren't mine? There are a couple of causes I'd like to support...

    He has: 424 posts

    Joined: Mar 1999

    Email me with the sites Megan and I'll consider them. I'm hesitant because a)I would like to see a return link because 50% of the purpose of this "program" is to get return traffic and b)I don't want too many banners in the rotation.

    But, I will consider anything that's for a good cause.

    He has: 1,016 posts

    Joined: May 2002

    Is it a must to link back to this forum in order to get a banner in the rotation? I've looked at a couple of the sites in the banner rotation and could not find link back to TWF. Maybe I missed them.

    Suzanne's picture

    She has: 5,507 posts

    Joined: Feb 2000

    They may be people with more than one banner, but links? I don't have one from my business site (it's undergoing a much needed revamp), but I do from my personal site.

    I think the idea was, yes, an exchange. Smiling

    He has: 1,016 posts

    Joined: May 2002

    I understand that this is an exchange program, but we have a webhosting company and I don't think putting a link to this (or any other) forum will be the best of ideas. But of course, it's up to you. If you think we qualify, we would love to put a banner in the rotation. If not, then we will have to live with that.

    Mark Hensler's picture

    He has: 4,048 posts

    Joined: Aug 2000

    zollet, Chad had this to say near the bottom of page of this thread..

    Quote: Originally posted by Chad Simper
    At this point, if you meet all of the requirments but this one, email me with your reason for not linking back to TWF and I'll discuss it with you on a case-by-case basis.

    Mark Hensler
    If there is no answer on Google, then there is no question.

    They have: 25 posts

    Joined: Sep 2003

    I just want to say that this is the most inovative idea I have seen in a long time. Good for you, good for the members.

    It is a cracking idea and I will be in it as soon as I have 25 useful posts. and if you want to deduct this bit of crawling I wount mind that either.Smiling

    Graham.
    Backlinkers.com
    The Human Edited Directory Of
    Sites Looking To Exchange Links.

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