RationalWiki:Advertising proposal

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Attempts to meet the expenses of the site through donations have met with mixed success. We need to try something new. Below are several proposals that I am putting to the community to discuss/vote. Hopefully this will go smoother than our previous votes. Any alternative suggestions would be most welcome and can be added to the talk page.

Proposal 1: Google Adsense[edit]

This is a proposal to add Google Adsense to the wiki. Most likely it would take the form of a small box add on the side of the screen near the search function. Hopefully not to obtrusive.


  • Fine with me, since "we" haven't been paying our own way. humanUser talk:Human 20:11, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Yes. Dark Matter Glaucopis 20:14, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Support, although see comments. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:17, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Sure, why not. Pinto's5150 Talk
  • Many anti-quack etc. sites use adsense comment on the ads. We would be under no obligation to avoid tearing the ad to intellectual shreds. I approve, as long as we post a policy about our position on ads (that is, we do not endorse yada yada yada). Welcome to capitalism. If we can't pony up enough, then we have to get funding our shut the doors. We would need to make a guess as to whether or not we would click enough to pay the bills (click often!)-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --goat--the other white meat 20:37, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Yes. I actually think that bizarrely enough, we might LIKE the ads to quacks, etc. As Human says, from our point of view it actually counts as research. But let's try and keep them text-only and minimal as possible. DogP 21:29, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Ok could be a good idea. Presumably we could back out if we don't like it.--Bobbing up 12:56, 8 March 2008 (EST)


  • Ugh, given the way Google ads target based on page content we are going to wind up with ads for health quacks, Christian ministries, conservative pressure groups, and teh Church of Scientology all over the site. Secret Squirrel 20:31, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Awesome! Instant links to our debunking targets! humanUser talk:Human 20:32, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Heh - and since we are all intelligent enough to know better it might not be such teh bad. Still... Secret Squirrel 20:38, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Per Secret Squirrel. -- Ryan T. 20:34, 7 March 2008 (EST)

If we take adds and tear them to intellectual shreds Google won't like us. Google are big and it's best not to turn them into an enemy.Barbara Shack 03:39, 8 March 2008 (EST)

  • oppose per everyone else. TmtamesP 16:25, 8 March 2008 (EST)


I'll just note that one drawback to Adsense is that you only get paid in months where your accumulated account exceeds $100, which reduces its usefulness somewhat for smaller operations like ours. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:17, 7 March 2008 (EST)

But you still get the dough, right? They just don't cut checks for under $100? So if we were breaking even, we'd get paid bimonthly? humanUser talk:Human 20:28, 7 March 2008 (EST)
You still get the money the month after you hit $100. However, since they won't tell you how much you can potentially earn unless you actually sign up and start displaying some ads, it's a little difficult to get an idea of how long it'll take before those checks start dropping in. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:41, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Can we ask Google if they will give us a say over advertisement content?Barbara Shack 03:45, 8 March 2008 (EST)

Yes, I think it is possible to filter out specific advertisers or keywords. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 07:32, 8 March 2008 (EST)

I support the Google adds provided bad adds are filtered out. By the way if you type "Rational Wiki" into Google 2 Wikipedia articles about logic come up before our Wiki. Type "RationalWiki" without a space and ours comes first. How big do we have to become before Google treats us more seriously?Barbara Shack 08:15, 8 March 2008 (EST) Can we follow both proposals? Does it have to be the one or the other? Google can't reasonably tell us to comit to them irrevocably unless they tell us how much we will get. Google are so big they can get away with being unreasonable.Barbara Shack 08:18, 8 March 2008 (EST)

If we decide we don't like it, we can always just remove the adsense codes from the site, so there's no permanent commitment on our part. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 08:42, 8 March 2008 (EST)

Proposal 2: Paid links[edit]

This is a proposal to add a set of links probably on the side panel which would allow for their display throughout the wiki. These links would be purchased based on some subscription over time and could link back to blogs, websites, etc. This would be totally under control of the wiki and probably support sites made by our editors.


  • Support, and would be interested in buying. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:18, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Can't hurt. Pinto's5150 Talk
  • Support Secret Squirrel 20:31, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Weak Support. Definately better than Adsense, but still, those little ads at the right of my screen are ANNOYING -- Ryan T. 20:36, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • I have no idea how much interest there would be, but sounds like a good idea.-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --goat--the other white meat 20:37, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Sure, why not, as long as we get to vote on who we take ad revenue from? DogP 21:30, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • Those little adds are annoying. If we're not paying out way it's much better than closing. Let's stick to schemes where we control what adds we get.Barbara Shack 22:54, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Have you donated yet? The best way to control content is to pay for it, directly, ourselves... humanUser talk:Human 23:30, 7 March 2008 (EST)
  • I have no problem with the proposal.--Bobbing up 12:55, 8 March 2008 (EST)


  • Oppose TmtamesP 16:25, 8 March 2008 (EST)


Additional ideas/comments[edit]

Project Wonderful isn't a bad choice, for reasons I explained over here. For those who don't know it, it's basically a variably priced customizable ad box not based on clickthroughs, but rather on how much the advertiser is willing to pay. One or two square boxes below the Pi Pledge button would be pretty unobtrusive, and very unlikely to be filled with fundie nonsense, which you can refuse on a case-by-case basis. Not sure about amounts of revenue, but it would be a possibility. --Kels 10:15, 8 March 2008 (EST)


Perhaps we would do better if we stopped humiliating other users on this site. People see the in fighting. People see the way Rationalwikians humiliate each other. They they think, "I'm not staying on this web site. I'm not giving money to that bunch." There are plenty of reasons to get Andrew Schlafly and other right wing fundy Christians. We shouldn't be getting each other. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Wow... and to think our dear bunchofnumbers thought this was important enough to place before everything else on this page. Oh, shoot, I just committed humiliarity. Dang, BoN was right! I'll go serve penance now. humanUser talk:Human 13:02, 8 March 2008 (EST)