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Mata
I'm into full disclosure about decisions that impact on your experience of this site. As you've probably already noticed, there's now a banner on the side of the forums as well as the one right up at the top (which I suspect everyone has been ignoring completely anyway!), so I felt I should let you know why that's there.

There are several reasons, so here they are:

China. If you haven't paid any attention to the news for the last six months then you won't have noticed that China is making a lot of business people very nervous, and places like the US and Japan are getting annoyed that China is very good at making good quality but low-priced items. Such items include the Little goth Girl merchandise (and yes, I do know that they're not being made in a sweatshop). This means that various places around the world that might previously have wanted to stock my things are waiting to see if trade embargoes are put in place on textile products (one of the main things that China does particularly well). Today... Well, it's gone 2am here, so yesterday I heard that the chances of my merchandise getting into the US or Japan any time soon aren't very high.

There is a retail 'slow down' in the UK at the moment. Everyone is denying that it's a recession, but for my purposes it doesn't matter either way. It's the small shops that get hit the hardest because they don't have a huge bank roll to help them coast over downward blips. The small shops are the ones that stock my things, so that means they order less items. Less items, less money for Mata, less money for Mata's rent.

The banners.
QUOTE
£49.69 for April (60k 468's & 18k skys) and the US network will pay $28.75 (45k 468's & 33k skys) into our account for US traffic
That was for around two weeks last month. The US networks pay about a third less than the UK ones. As you can see in the figures, the '468's (which are the small banners at the top of the screen) in the UK got 60 thousand hits, but the sky banners (the tall ones, 'skyscrapers') only got 18 thousand. This reason is that simply there were an extra 42 thousand hits from the forums on the 468s. It appears that people in the US watch the animations more per-person than the UK people, but I get a lot less money for the US views. If it were the other way around then it wouldn't make much difference to lose those 42k UK sky views, but those are the ones that make a difference to the final numbers.

I don't have time with my PhD nearly its end to go and get normal work or even to reopen my shop, so the only solution is to try and make more money with the resources that I have, and that's why there are now banners on the side of the forums.

'Hope you all understand.

As always, if you ever get a really annoying one on there (lots of flashing, or noises when you're not doing anything to it) then please let me know. I consider the banners a necessary evil, but they remain basically evil and so I want to minimise the effect that they have on your experience of this place.

Like I've said before, on the plus side this does mean that I get to take away money from corporations who normally will fight tooth and claw to hold onto it.
ravein
Is it just my laptop/browser or is that side banner causing the forum frames to shrink up to the left? This is just happening tonight. I was just wondering if it was the advertising feed or my laptop. I did monk around with my laptop tonight.

I have no problem with whatever you do man. You have been nice enough to put this place together and maintain it. You gave so many people an outlet to express themselves *queue sappy soap opera music* I have been on this forum pretty much since week one. I have watched it grow and change, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. Either way you have created a wonderful forum and I support whatever changes you need to make.
oscarhilton
I donít really mind if its for a good course... but isn't there a better place for it like err.... at the bottom of every other 10 posts or something... just it cant be seen easily and shifts the entire page to the left... Other than that though im ok with whatever
Cath Sparrow
QUOTE (Mata @ May 21 2005, 02:23 AM)
China. If you haven't paid any attention to the news for the last six months then you won't have noticed that China is making a lot of business people very nervous, and places like the US and Japan are getting annoyed that China is very good at making good quality but low-priced items. Such items include the Little goth Girl merchandise (and yes, I do know that they're not being made in a sweatshop). This means that various places around the world that might previously have wanted to stock my things are waiting to see if trade embargoes are put in place on textile products (one of the main things that China does particularly well). Today... Well, it's gone 2am here, so yesterday I heard that the chances of my merchandise getting into the US or Japan any time soon aren't very high.

*



Yes that kind of a very sore point at the moment.
Cath = part of the retail trade
Retail trade = sending stuff to be made in china = Cath no job! mad.gif

I dont blame you in the slightest Mata as I've said in other threads I cant afford to donate so I cant complain and I do lurk round this place kinda alot so do what you need.
MistressAlti
Ah, wish I'd looked and seen this post before whining in the other thread.

It is _highly_ annoying, but of course I understand your reasons. If it didn't alter the layout of the forums it wouldn't be so bad.
I_am_the_best
I didn't notice anything. I can't see any banners on the sides, but I can now see the little shift. It's not very big, I don't mind. I did notice though that the text had been centred...
Mata
If anyone else can work out how to do this without messing with the layout so much then please let me know, because frankly I have no idea how else to do it.

If I put it at the very bottom of the page then that would mean scrolling to the end of the page would put all the useful options off of it, and as far as I know there's no way to have the first couple of posts wrap around the banner, leaving the rest of the page intact. Like I say, if anyone else can work out how to do this then please let me know, but sadly I do need the income so I've got to have them there.

Personally I think we'll all get used to it very quickly, but it would be nice if some sort of wrapping arrangement could be worked out so they had mininal impact on the layout.
oscarhilton
maybe the other side fixed into the page layout giving a space just for adds or something.... or keep it where it is but make it look ententional
Mata
I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Could you clarify a bit please?
CommieBastard
I think what oscarhilton means is that as it is, it's obvious from the page layout that the forums were originally intended to take up the full screen, and the ad was added later, which makes it look kind of messy.
beleraphon
The page looks fine on my screen, and I really hadn't noticed the banner till I read this thread!

It doesn't make me want to go vist sky though, anymore than the others gave me a desperate urge to click on them, but perhaps I'm immune to advertising.

Its like junk mail, I deliberatly go out of my way to NOT buy from any organisation that sends me junk mail.
I applied for a new credit card the other day, & I made sure it wasn't capital one as I get junk from them all the time. So their advertising is actually working against them.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (beleraphon @ May 21 2005, 05:50 PM)
The page looks fine on my screen, and I really hadn't noticed the banner till I read this thread!
*


Really? On my screen - as, apparently, on everyone else's - the forums have shifted about an inch and a half to the left.
oscarhilton
QUOTE (Mata @ May 21 2005, 03:21 PM)
I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Could you clarify a bit please?
*



yeah sorry i just read what i wrote and it doen' t make any sence smile.gif
basicly make it fit into the posts or something just to keep it from shifting.
Greeneyes
You could do something similar to the frame you get on those yahoo free sites. They have this annoying frame that comes up on the right, but that doesn't scroll with the rest of the page. That way you could stick the ad in the frame, and still have the forums working normally in the left.


...No idea how it's done though.

Example!
Hobbes
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ May 21 2005, 04:30 PM)
I think what oscarhilton means is that as it is, it's obvious from the page layout that the forums were originally intended to take up the full screen, and the ad was added later, which makes it look kind of messy.
*


In this respect, it'd look neater to have the right hand margin of the forums shift over slightly too - to make it symmetrical with the left. But that would reduce the size of the threads even more so.

*shrug*

Either way, I'm happy for Mata to make some extra cash - thus keeping the site running. I'm sure we'd all be moaning a lot more if we were getting messages like: "This site has exceeded its bandwidth limitations for the day, please come back again tomorrow".
Sir Psycho Sexy
Like I said in the other thread, the annoying thing is the empty space, when you can see the ad you can see it's ment to be like that but the ad is halfway down a page and the pages on these forums can get pretty long so the empty space makes the whole page look a little lop-sided or wonky.

Also the
"> The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! > The Other Side forums > Daily life" bit at the top of the page is cental where is used to be alligned to the left which looked much better I think.

Still it's your site, you need the money, anyone who doesn't like it can leave or get a sock full of half-bricks around the head (...forget the name...Morporkian...somethings unsure.gif )
Usurper MrTeapot
I don't have any problems with it actually.

The white space is probably the most distracting thing but I'm already half used to it. The shifting to the left is a bit of a nucence but thats just another case of adjustment too.

Just say to yourself, Mata + Cash = More Animations, works for me.
Mata
QUOTE (Greeneyes @ May 21 2005, 10:03 PM)
You could do something similar to the frame you get on those yahoo free sites. They have this annoying frame that comes up on the right, but that doesn't scroll with the rest of the page. That way you could stick the ad in the frame, and still have the forums working normally in the left.


...No idea how it's done though.

Example!
*

Well, what we've got now is actually very much like that, except without so much annoying stuff to the right. The Left column is about the same size as the avatar column, meaning that the masseages are apporoximately in the middle of the screnn, more so than they ever have been before.

As I've said, if I felt I had an option in this I would take the other one, but sometimes you just have to suckle on that corporate teat. I'll merrily take their money and still not subscribe to Sky. If Sky helps pay my rent, then that's just a good thing in my books.

I did change the background of the forums to a different colour but, for no reason I could ascertain, it changed a few other things for the worst, so I decided that big blank areas were best. As I've said before, if anyone can work out a better solution then I'd be very happy to hear it but at the moment this simple HTML hack is all I can think of.
vicrawr
Maybe it's me, but I see no banner at all. The only thing I can tell is that something is different, but I dunno what. Am I that unobservant?
oscarhilton
nothing really just that a new banner is added to the far right of the page moving the fayout slightly.
Hobbes
Perhaps it would be possible to make the banner look like more of a part of the forum. In other words, give it a table of its own with the same similar style to the thread. i.e.... a blue-ish backgrounded long cell down the edge with the darker blue border. Perhaps even giving it an 'Advertising' title, so it fits with the thread sitting next to it. If you see what I mean?

Hmm...

Okay, rather than try to explain with words... this is what I mean:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/Hobbe...sc/mataidea.jpg
gothictheysay
Oddly enough... I don't see the banners. I see the Amazon searchboxes at the bottom, but no ads. blink.gif So I'd click 'em if I could, and I see how they could be annoying, but whatever you need to keep the site going. smile.gif
oscarhilton
i like hobbes' idea. How did you get that picture anyway?
Greeneyes
I assume it's photoshopped. Personally I think the current arrangement is fine. Much less annoying smile.gif.

Edit: Just a thought, you seem to have space on the side there for two banners at minimum. While you require the money (and if it wouldn't screw the forum up), then perhaps you could stick another skyscraper underneath the sky one. I mean, it's not going to make it any more annoying, so while you have to have banners you may as well make use of the wasted space, no?
little_bear
Gah! The forum is all squished! This maketh me sad. sad.gif
Novander
's all good now. I like the funky matazone pictures around the banner. Makes it seem much less out of place, and the squishiness isn't noticeable anymore.

Hooray! :D
Sir Psycho Sexy
Yay! It's like mata took notice of my quibbles and fixed both of them? I was thinking something along those lines....maybe great minds just think alike? tongue.gif
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ May 23 2005, 01:07 AM)
Yay! It's like mata took notice of my quibbles and fixed both of them?
*


The next thing to do is to point out that you're not a mod yet tongue.gif
Snugglebum the Destroyer
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ May 23 2005, 10:26 AM)
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ May 23 2005, 01:07 AM)
Yay! It's like mata took notice of my quibbles and fixed both of them?
*


The next thing to do is to point out that you're not a mod yet tongue.gif
*



Surely we're not that desperate yet? I mean, pending the end of the world and such... tongue.gif biggrin.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ May 23 2005, 09:35 AM)
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ May 23 2005, 10:26 AM)
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ May 23 2005, 01:07 AM)
Yay! It's like mata took notice of my quibbles and fixed both of them?
*


The next thing to do is to point out that you're not a mod yet tongue.gif
*



Surely we're not that desperate yet? I mean, pending the end of the world and such... tongue.gif biggrin.gif
*



BWA-HAHAHAHAHA!!!! *cough* ooh look! it's Madonna!

unsure.gif

Why would that be the next thing to do? Mods are people mata trusts to behave when he's not around, I don't think (hypothetically) that he'd make someone who has a warning level (even if it is only 20% *mutter*) a mod. That's right! I'm not trust worthy....I'd steal all your credit card numbers and sign up to porn sites with them! tongue.gif
Mata
I had actually already tried to make the entire background of the site change to a better shade as soon as I put the banners up, but for some reason that change messed with other bits of the CSS. I did this because I wasn't keen on the white area either. When I found that there wasn't an easy way of doing that I put the idea on hold.

SPS mentioning that he'd like a filler did prompt me to have another go, yes, it was Commie's point (if memory serves me) about it looking messy to have the banner halfway down that made me put it at the top.

Someone mentioned having more than one banner on the side now that there is space for it... Well, I'd rather not get the place too cluttered if possible. I've still got some plans in the air to make some money doing some web-design and illustration. Yes, they do take my time away from my PhD and from animating, but they don't clog the place up any more than it already is. There's also the click-to-view ratio to think of - advertisers expect a certain amount of clicks per view of a banner minimum, so if I put more banners up it would probably dilute that and they wouldn't want to advertise with me.
oscarhilton
i like the blue thing with the ads on! its very cool and fits in really well. Its really changed my view of the new layout
Mata
smile.gif Thanks Oscar. I think it looks quite nice now. In some ways it seems more 'Matazone' than the uncustomised version on here previously!
I_am_the_best
I can't see it! At school I could see it though (loved the thing it was on with all the characters!). I just have a big blank space there... unsure.gif
Moosh
QUOTE (I_am_the_best @ May 23 2005, 04:39 PM)
I can't see it! At school I could see it though (loved the thing it was on with all the characters!). I just have a big blank space there...  unsure.gif
*


Are you using Ad-Blocker on your Firefox?
oscarhilton
I see mine... you didn't click on "block images from (such and such)" did you? Course that might be why... (I did this by accident and then realised a couple of days later smile.gif)
gothictheysay
QUOTE
Are you using Ad-Blocker on your Firefox?


Gee, that might be my problem. rolleyes.gif My stupidity has no limits.
I_am_the_best
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ May 23 2005, 04:02 PM)
QUOTE (I_am_the_best @ May 23 2005, 04:39 PM)
I can't see it! At school I could see it though (loved the thing it was on with all the characters!). I just have a big blank space there...† unsure.gif
*


Are you using Ad-Blocker on your Firefox?
*



Not that I know of... unsure.gif
artist.unknown
Lo, though the Feng Shui be gone and the resulting imbalance is will suck my soul into the internet, I will adapt for Mata's sake, mostly because this place already took my sleepy time, brain, and life, and I probably won't notice the difference. biggrin.gif
Mata
Think of it as helping to maintain your balance. This place encourages you to ask questions, the adverts tell you not to and to mindlessly consume. By having them both on the same page it helps maintain your inner self. Or gives you a schizoid break... One of the two unsure.gif
mooooooooooopo
QUOTE (Mata @ May 23 2005, 11:57 PM)
Think of it as helping to maintain your balance. This place encourages you to ask questions, the adverts tell you not to and to mindlessly consume. By having them both on the same page it helps maintain your inner self. Or gives you a schizoid break... One of the two unsure.gif
*


I can't decide if you're trying to promote doublethink or zen. blink.gif
Mata
I'll go for the latter option I think, but sadly it may well be that developing doublethink skills is an essential survival trait for modern life, so maybe that wouldn't be so bad after all...
spiffilicious05
In the words of my coach

"Do what you've gotta do"

I'm sure we all understand- a Mata with no money means a Mata with no home. A Mata with no home means less/no more creations, and that my dear friends would be the untimely end of an era.

Although I'd have to agree with little bear:
QUOTE
Gah! The forum is all squished! This maketh me sad. 
Hobbes
QUOTE (spiffilicious05 @ May 24 2005, 03:15 PM)
A Mata with no home means less/no more creations
*


Pavement artist?


The new side looks great, and I didn't even noticed it to begin with - until I scrolled up to look back at a post, and suddenly realised the differences. Very good stuff.
Calantyr
Ooooh I was opposed to the sidebanner, but those Matazone characters down the side have really made it look quite spiffy. Nice.

*Strokes them with his mouse, and clicks the banner a few times for good measure*
Mata
Cheers everyone. 'Glad we've reached a good balance of my need for cash and the need to keep this place feeling like home.
artist.unknown
Minor gripe about the adverts:

I got a PM, but I can't read it, because the ad covers up the sides. For some reason that particular page isn't adjusted to fit the new size. This problem may be unique to me, though, because my computer sort of acts like it was just beaten with a metal bat most of the time. But in case this is just something that missed getting adjusted, so it stands. Cheers.
Mata
I've sent and received several PMs without any trouble. I've tested these things in both Firefox and IE. Are you using an odd browser? Or perhaps you have a very low resolution screen?

The layout of the forums, as far as I can tell, is handled completely by HTML tables, not CSS definitions, so there should only be problems with overlapping if your screen is set to be more narrow than the minimum required to display the content... Which would be pretty tiny. Does any of this make sense?
Greeneyes
Works fine on 800x600 for me. The ad just stays the same and the pm box gets squished up all tiny-like.
artist.unknown
QUOTE
The layout of the forums, as far as I can tell, is handled completely by HTML tables, not CSS definitions, so there should only be problems with overlapping if your screen is set to be more narrow than the minimum required to display the content... Which would be pretty tiny. Does any of this make sense?

*blink*
*blink*
...no.

Doesn't matter if it works fine for other people. I don't often use PMs anyway, and, like I said, my computer acts a gerbil on crack.
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