Advertizing on GetGNULinux.org
An important decision here.
This is going to be a rather long post, so I just wish to get the key message across: No, we're not having Google ads or casino banners on GetGNULinux.org. Yes, we are going to experiment with advertizing on GetGNULinux.org and translations.
LinuxPreloaded.com is not really fit to promote every kind of free-software related product. For examples, the very nice products over at MultiSeatComputer.be (5000 eur+ computer kiosk arrangements) don't go to well along offers for miniature desktops.
At the same time, it gets harder and harder to keep vendors well-organised on LinuxPrelaoded and translations, because the lists grow longer and they are more and more varied. We would almost need a database (sorting by product type, pro vs. consumer, geographical area, service availability, etc), which defeats the point of a simple, readable list.
In addition to this, the visits on LP sites remain very low relative to the GGL sites.
The bigger picture:
We need money. I can only go on thanks to the very kind and loving support of my relatives; others among us are looking for jobs and money, because, frankly, working on GLM doesn't pay.
Commercial linking on LP sites hasn't amounted to much so far. It'd be really motivating to see some bigger numbers. More to the point, we still have to see whether there is potential for sustainability in GNU/Linux Matters. We're very, very far from that now --see the numbers in our latest financial report for more details.
I don't want to go into traditional advertising. I don't find it very relevant, nor very fair to our audience.
I'd like to do business, not merely money. I am thinking about trying to construct an audience which we can then "sell" to free software companies. I still remain greatly admirative of the way the Deck, a conglomerate of sites does this, with a different audience. Ok, sure, they're into the edgy-avant-garde-macbook-air-powered designer audience; while we are into the new-to-free-software audience. It's not the same monetary potential. But I'd like to do the same thing, in the same elegant way.
The thing I have in mind is a small graphic (say, 150px wide ) with a short text text on the side, placed at specific bottom-of-page locations on GetGNULinux.org [not in the header or in the middle of the text). We would, of course, keep full control over what gets displayed there. A small PHP script would call HTML ads randomly.
Over time, if we find other sites with the same target audience, we can run the ads together. A soft of free software "the Deckie", I suppose.
If it ever works out to exceed our expenses, I will, as planned, found a wholly-GLM-owned corporation in the Mozilla style. This entity would then take charge over the advertising network.
Right now our bylaws state that:
The association may accept to publish small nonÂobtrusive advertising in their official web sites, however:
* The visitors of the official web sites should never be inconvenienced, encumbered or misinformed by such activities.
* Revenues related to gambling, pornography, nudity, drugs, and illegal activities are strictly excluded.
* Through these activities, the association will take great care in not promoting proprietary software or organizations actively opposing the free software philosophy, whether directly or indirectly.
After a discussion within the committee we decided against writing out some additional restrictions. The term "non-obtrusive" is the key.
Setting this up
We still lack precise data that we could present to our advertisers. This is largely due to the server migration that hasn't happened, since we keep running into trouble with our new hosting service.
My objective is to run a pilot test, with a few un-paid ads pointing to our favourite vendors, during precisely one week. We would then count up the number of impressions, simply to have a reference data. Note that I don't intend us to charge customers per impression but per time. The Deck page explains this really well.
Since I'd really like to have this up before the RMLL, I hope to run the pilot phase from June 23d to 29th included.
Currently, I am swimming behind most things, as many projects are running at full speed. We have GetFreedomware.org in the works, a Russian translation near completion, server issues, huge paperwork, a trip and conferences to prepare... I apologize if I have not addressed your query yet.
As usual this is another opportunity to participate, so if you have a hang of the project and how to implement it, feel free to step forward and we'll hand you the keys.
Most importantly, I don't want GLM to head in the wrong direction. If you are concerned about this project, please let us know.
I'll keep posting as we make progress. Cheers,