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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:37 am 
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I use noscript, so i don't see those horrible in line ads. but i do allow scripts for silentpcreview.com, which means i see some ads on this site.
I'm not against ads, but i dislike it when it disrupt my reading. I will donate money, as the content here is so good and also this makes me feel better about blocking your ads:)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:53 am 
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larsolsen wrote:
I use noscript, so i don't see those horrible in line ads. but i do allow scripts for silentpcreview.com, which means i see some ads on this site.
I'm not against ads, but i dislike it when it disrupt my reading. I will donate money, as the content here is so good and also this makes me feel better about blocking your ads:)

Thank your for your donation, much appreciated. :)

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Support SPCR by buying your gear through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:24 am 
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Seems addblocking is a definate 2edged sword here.

I started blocking ads due to another site I frequent (www.tomshardware.com). The flash adds were slowing down page load times and causing my browser to hog memory and cpu cycles, bringing my PC to a crawl.
Since I normally surf from work - bringing my PC to a crawl was unacceptable - so I went and paid $$ for adblockPro.
Soon I came to accept add-free web browsing, and on some sites - obnoxious-sig free forum reading.

SPCR seems to have less-annoying adds than some other sites -- but the flashing, jumping, scrolling stuff can still cause me to turn the adblocking back on.


A suggestion:
for all the products on your reccomended list - add a "buy this on <retailerSite>" link. Many times ive opened spcr in one window and a retial site in another window, looking to see if they sell one of your reccomended products.

Right now the endPcNoise ad is advertising cases, but if im shopping for a PSU or case fan - chances of me clicking on that ad are slim to none. But if I know i can goto the reccomended list and buy a good piece of hardware AND support spcr at the same time - im all for it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:36 am 
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Location: in the depths of hell
kittle wrote:
A suggestion:
for all the products on your reccomended list - add a "buy this on <retailerSite>" link. Many times ive opened spcr in one window and a retial site in another window, looking to see if they sell one of your reccomended products.

Right now the endPcNoise ad is advertising cases, but if im shopping for a PSU or case fan - chances of me clicking on that ad are slim to none. But if I know i can goto the reccomended list and buy a good piece of hardware AND support spcr at the same time - im all for it.

+1. Another thing, AVSForum automatically converts Amazon and Newegg links in posts to affiliate links. Since a lot of people here buy from Newegg and post Newegg links, particularly when speccing builds, I think that's another way to get some income.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:43 pm 
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dragonfire wrote:
In line ads are the reason I run AdBlock. I'm one of those people who highlights as they read. In-line ads royally mess me up (which I guess is the goal).


ME TOO! inline adds and pop up adds drive me crazy. Sorry to SPCR, but i block all adds. Find someplace else to make money, not at my expense. Your site is supposed to cater to us, to make us want to come to your site and read your content. Adds push users away. You want me to come to your site and read your content, then get rid of adds, or i will.

IMO, i think you should take the opposite aproch. Make the site as effecient as possible with the least amount of bandwith required per user, and then just pay what you can afford without revenue from the site to keep the site up. Text and low rez/compressed image files load just fine without a huge pipe. Don't need to pay extra for more bandwith to your site and then fill it full of spam from advertisers to pay for it all.

I liked that article at techdirt. If you did advertising right, then people wouldnt feel the need to block it in the first place. Make it so transparent with the rest of the content that people dont even know its an ad, and they wont even think to block it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:23 pm 
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ilovejedd wrote:
+1. Another thing, AVSForum automatically converts Amazon and Newegg links in posts to affiliate links. Since a lot of people here buy from Newegg and post Newegg links, particularly when speccing builds, I think that's another way to get some income.

I think this is an excellent use of technology to generate revenue in an unobtrusive manner. I think the reason we do not find this objectionable is because it's not advertising!

But I've read that newegg affiliation is 1) invite-only, and 2) commission is 1% until you generate over $50k / month for the etailer. The SPCR community is solid, but is it large enough to make it worthwhile? Google search results on Newegg affiliation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:00 pm 
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wow, this opened up a rather big can of worms.

google adsense can be:

1) text only, no pics or flash, spcr decides
2) tries to target the country of the visitor

that would probably be the least obnoxious, but the problem is that forums are notoriously difficult to monitize, so they aren't well suited for adsense.

maybe change all of the affiliate links to text-only?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:16 pm 
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Aris wrote:
Find someplace else to make money, not at my expense. Your site is supposed to cater to us, to make us want to come to your site and read your content.


This not a realistic attitude since hosting sites isn't free ever even if you optimize and reduce bandwith. You still have other cost like personel (or is this site only using volunteers) and equipment.

I also don't think this site wants you too read it's content it doesn't seem to focus on popularity and driving up visitor counts for no apparent reason. They provide a service towards people it's the people that ask/need the content. So it's the other way around then what you're saying.

I just don't think intrusive adds are the right solution for financial problems. Also driving people towards a pay model to get rid of the adds seems to me like a bad idea.
They should look at the problem more creatively and maybe figure out an completely new solution.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:57 pm 
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This discussion is one of the most fertile & relevant I've seen on SPCR for quite some time, and I'm grateful to both Ars and Techdirt for their respective pieces -- which gave rise to this thread in the first place.

Lots of interesting ideas and reactions here that we'll be studying.

One important thing to note:

SPCR remains a smaller, special interest, niche tech site. The issue of computer noise is still considered important only by a minority of users and makers, and this is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. Your presence here makes you a part of a relatively small minority. The other sites above are broader in scope and naturally have larger audiences. They both start with more resources than we do.

Ars probably went too far by not announcing their experiment before they ran it, and it's impossible to argue against Mike Masnick's position that "If you run a company, it's your responsibility to put together a business model that works." Techdirt's Mike Masnick is obviously a marketing-savvy guy with enough balls to woe big firms with creative ad/promo schemes.

Not everybody who runs a tech website is so marketing-savvy, however, even when that site's information is really useful or even essential. In such cases, it's in the site's community's best interest to help as they can -- rather than to demand as Aris does, that we "find someplace else to make money, not at my expense" or say "You're supposed to cater to us, to make us want to come to your site and read your content."

I think it's fair to say that SPCR content is compelling and unique enough to be indispensable for some people, and they are generally very happy to read our content and seek us out regularly. The sheer numbers don't favor revenue, however, and taking more time to create other content or do other things to generate adequate revenue for the site content creators to make a living doesn't make much sense when our resources are always stretched already.

What comes through loud and clear is that no one wants "loud" ads, and this will be communicated to all of our advertisers in the very near future. It's also clear that many SPCR readers would accept a subscribe-for-no-ads model. This is something we've long discussed in-house but never been in a position to implement. By happy chance, we're coming to a position where it will be possible to implement in the near future. New development in consolidating our main site and the forum will make this possible -- hopefully some time this spring.

My thanks to all who have participated here, and I encourage everyone to please continue making suggestions & contributing ideas.

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Support SPCR by buying your gear through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Donating to a business
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:47 pm 
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I'm a bit confused about the notion of donating to a business. If you're running a business, and taking any profits home with you, and you're doing fine, why would I donate?

On the other hand, I enjoy the site quite a bit, and would like to see it stay open. But before donating to an organization, I'd want to actually know something about it: where is the money currently going? Where would additional money go? In my mind, unless an organization is willing to be public about its finances, there's no reason for people to give money voluntarily.

(Incidentally, I'm currently being distracted by an endpcnoise.com animated gif advertisement. Perhaps I need to use adblock in addition to noscript.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:12 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Ars probably went too far by not announcing their experiment before they ran it...

I think that's only part of their problem. Additionally, they've insulted members of their community directly (in please don't come back replies to comments) and indirectly (the viewers are no more than $$ to us attitude).

MikeC wrote:
Not everybody who runs a tech website is so marketing-savvy [as TechDirt's Mike Masnick]...

As I see it, SPCR is actually doing better than most in this regard. Consider the SPCR-designed systems and collaboration with Antec on chassis. I don't know how profitable this was to SPCR, but I think this is a good direction: you nurtured a community, and channeled its wants/needs into sell-able products. And you did so without annoying or insulting anyone. Win-win-win.

MikeC wrote:
...even when that site's information is really useful or even essential.

I've learned that very little is truly essential. "Really useful" - absolutely, and our lives are greatly enriched by it as well. Being by nature non-essential contributes to difficultly of web monetization. Monetizing through advertising seems like the easy play, but it's clearly not a long-term solution given the development and prevalence of ad-blocking software. I think the future of online revenue generation will be indirect - leveraging content & community to sell other things. That 'thing' could be as obvious as a site subscription, or as indirect as a chassis co-designed by SPCR.

I think about how much PC hardware I've purchased as a result of "free" online media and OTA HDTV. For as much as I dislike them, Apple seems to get this idea: their OS is inexpensive but drives purchases of expensive hardware. The opposite also works: the iPhone/iPad is a portal to the iTunes store. Boxee has the Boxee Box - software and hardware each driving sales of the other.

But you replied to this:
MikeC wrote:
...and taking more time to create other content or do other things to generate adequate revenue for the site content creators to make a living doesn't make much sense when our resources are always stretched already.

I guess I don't have an answer to the "not enough resources" argument. Is this an accurate characterization: resources are stretched currently, and the way we currently apply those resources is not driving growth? This is a catch-22 and a half.

Thanks so much for opening the discussion on this. A few other sites I frequent reported on the Ars experiment but didn't open discussion on it. I think that's a missed opportunity.

Worker control wrote:
confused about the notion of donating to a business.

What if it were re-phrased. Seems maybe the contention is with the word "donate". Contrast with something you buy - it's not a donation, you're purchasing something - do you research where your purchase money is going? For example, a large portion of the money we spend on our hobby profits foreign corporations. It is extremely difficult to track the flow of currency at that point, which is not to say we shouldn't consider it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Quote:
google adsense can be:

1) text only, no pics or flash, spcr decides
2) tries to target the country of the visitor

that would probably be the least obnoxious, but the problem is that forums are notoriously difficult to monitize, so they aren't well suited for adsense.


Is Google AdSense, what appears at the top and right hand sides of many Google searches.?

If so, I have been hiding them for a long time because they are often pure evil........ i.e. full of malware, this is going to be a dying trend just like people using IE is, this needs to be catered for, i.e.e not used.

Please tell me that I am wrong, I would love to know, BTW please post a visual image of "GoogleAdSense", so I can be sure.


Andy

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Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Donating
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Jay_S wrote:
Worker control wrote:
confused about the notion of donating to a business.

What if it were re-phrased. Seems maybe the contention is with the word "donate". Contrast with something you buy - it's not a donation, you're purchasing something - do you research where your purchase money is going? For example, a large portion of the money we spend on our hobby profits foreign corporations. It is extremely difficult to track the flow of currency at that point, which is not to say we shouldn't consider it.

I'm not talking about the word at all. What I'm talking about is giving when not required to. I don't send money to Newegg unless it is in exchange for things I want. On the other hand, I give a lot of time and money to a nonprofit organization I support, because I know I support the use of that money.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Jay_S --

Thanks for your thoughtful post -- and generous contribution.

You're right that the word donation doesn't adequately describe it: Readers of SPCR do get information and data that is not available elsewhere, it's a unique service that provided. As there's no requirement to pay for it, it's a voluntary recognition of the value of this service -- that we appreciate greatly. The $ is used to help pay wages, for continuous maintenance/purchase of test equipment (it breaks, better ones are discovered), for the minimal industry trade show participation that's required of tech media, for server maintenance, co-location & bandwidth -- ie, the ordinary expenses of any tech media organization.

By resources, I refer to both people's time/energy, as well as revenue to pay for more people's time/energy. Your note about the Antec case projects is a reminder that SPCR's reach is probably longer than our daily average traffic would suggest. To be clear, those projects resulted in one-time fees for each, in the few thousand $ range. There was some benefit in PR/traffic, but it's hard to quantify in terms of revenue. As for the SPCR-certified PCs, the program basically pays for my time. If those PCs sold in the dozens monthly, they could become a decent source of revenue, but as it stands, they represent barely a trickle.

Ad revenue is so dependent on traffic; the well- and long-established site Anantech, for example, has 55 million impressions monthly, according to their 2007 presskit. Their traffic-generated ad revenue is high enough to sustain a fairly large full time staff -- 11 in editorial alone. You can probably add another 5~10 in sales, marketing, management and IT support.

In contrast, SPCR traffic currently sits a little higher than 1% of Anantech's. The total ad revenue minus expenses is barely enough for a single middle class income in the US or Canada today. Hence, my need to take on contract/consulting work as it comes along, which then limits my time/energy for SPCR. The other people who work for SPCR do so on a part-time/piecemeal and sometimes volunteer basis. (The bandwidth of flash ads isn't a significant cost factor, btw.)

The unique, systematic, comprehensive testing methods and tools developed at SPCR also hurt our ability to attract qualified editorial workers: They have to live close enough to my lab to access all the test gear, it's just not possible for SPCR reviews to be done elsewhere. (Who else has easy access to an anechoic chamber and 10-dBA noise audio recording/measurement gear?) So unlike most other tech web sites, whose reviewers are often scattered geographically and connected mostly electronically, SPCR's reviewers must come from the Vancouver pool. Vancouver is not tiny, but it represents only a tiny fraction of the potential qualified editorial workers in the English speaking world who are accessible electronically. And it's a pretty unique skillset we seek.

These factors have combined to hinder SPCR's growth. Our very specialization, which makes us unique and attracts this unique acoustics-aware, computer user community, is a core growth limitation. The issue keeps me scratching my head...

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Support SPCR by buying your gear through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


Last edited by MikeC on Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Hmmm...

If internet access were bandwidth fee based, I might feel differently, but I see ads as a necissary evil, and would like it to stay that way.

SPCR will always hold a special place in my heart, as for a very long time, quiet computing was not the norm. As it stands, most computer part companies have begun to cater to us silent PC enthusiasts, and SPCR has become the cutting edge of the movement.

I shudder to think what my ears would be like without the recommended hardware lists and quality reviews of SPCR.

Antec P182
Enermax Modu 82+ 625w
TRUE 120
Veloceraptor 150GB
WD 500AAKS

So much time and money saved by knowing those would be exaclty what I needed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:46 am 
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Banner ads don't bother me - when they display properly.

What does bother me though is what happens to page load times when doubleclick.net or googlesyndication.com or however decide they're going to take an early holiday. This can very easily cause a site using their ads to grind to a halt. I come here for the content, not the ads, and if the ads stop me viewing the content it makes this place less useful to me.

In the comments on the Ars article their site designer made the point clearly that they go to great lengths to ensure that their page will load snappily even if the ad merchants servers have wandered off for a cappucino and a danish. I think that's an important point that all site designers need to take onboard. By running ads you're putting a lot of your users experiences at your site into the hands of third-parties over whom you have little or no control, and you need to be aware that rightly or wrongly their cock-ups make you look bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:01 am 
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vick1000 wrote:
Hmmm...

If internet access were bandwidth fee based, I might feel differently, but I see ads as a necissary evil, and would like it to stay that way.


Lucky you - here in Australia internet access is bandwidth fee based (I get 6GBon peak/ 6gbs off peak for $49.95). And it's damn slow as well: http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/Imag ... dchart.jpg. For those reasons I routinely block all ads on all sites, so as to keep my bandwidth for stuff I actually want to see and to speed up the sometimes intolerably slow load times on pages.

I want SPCR to prosper, but I'd rather not have the ads. If MikeC's "fee for no ads" idea gets up and running I'd be much happier with that.

Cheers,

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:18 am 
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The fact is the business model surrounding online ads suck ass. A few years ago there was no such thing as an adblocker. A few years ago I wouldn't have said that the model sucks. It is also a fact that us geeks are far more prone to use an adblocker or other way to enhance or surfing experience, and thus also increase our security. It is fairly ironic that the tech-sites that actually tells us that one of the pros of a browser is the adblocker. Then they complain when we use it. Also they tell us an adblocker is a great way to increase security, and we are bombarded with information about us beeing at risk of infections and hackers and so on. Again some irony... some of the ads we block tells us we are at risk. From this we can conclude that the business model is bad. It's even worse when used by a techsite.


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 Post subject: Still ads are fine
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:20 am 
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I get severe headache of these flash and gif animated ads in 10-20 minutes of reading the page. So to read the article I have to use Adblock or not to read at all. If you display still-images and text only ads I'm happy to see the ads and like to support your site, but with these running reindeer and bouncing what ever it's inposible to concentrate what you are reading. I have learned that people with even mild strabismus this is more of the problem than for most of as.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:44 am 
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While the content on this site is unique and helpful, i dont know if i would say its "indespensable". There are maybe two dozen articles on this site that are truely needed. But i'd say lately, most of the articles are fluff. Only written to try and draw in readers to the site to get more money from the adds. And those "real" articles that are actually needed to further the silent pc community could be hosted on a site that costs next to nothing to maintain.

Its just more of this fluff to get more readers, to get more money from ads, to pay for more stuff, to do more fluff articles to get more readers.... It goes on and on and on. When does it stop? At what point do you say "enough is enough" and you get back to the basics. To the core of the community. This is SPCR, not Tom's Hardware or Anandtech. Focus on what your good at, and leave the other tech reviews to the generalized tech websites.

Don't get me wrong, MikeC has done a lot for the silent PC community, but some of this stuff lately is just so off topic. Also i think the PC industry as a whole has come a lot further than he admits when it comes to catering to the silence enthusiast. When he started this site you never heard company's advertising that their products are quiet. Now you see it everywhere. While their claims may not always be honest, it at least gives a nod that companies are thinking enough about it to put a label on their products about it.

Here are some things i can think of off the top of my head that have changed in the industry to cater products towards silence.

Passive motherboard heatsinks is almost the standard now, whereas before if you didnt put a small 40mm fan on your northbridge heatsink people thought you were being cheep.

Remember when 80mm case fans were the standard, and the only way to get 120mm was to cut a hole yourself? Now 120mm is everywhere.

Hard drives used to constantly keep pushing the RPM barrier higher and higher, and now they make desktop drives that are 5400rpm so its quieter and uses less power. That would have been unheard of when this site started. "Why make a slower hard drive" people would have wondered.

Or how about PSU effeciency. 70% was considered "good" back in the day. Now if your not 80+ certified people consider you cheep. Less excess heat means the ability to lower the stock fan speed, which means less noise. Not to mention 120mm fans are pretty standard for PSU's now where 80mm was in the past. Larger fans spin slower with the same amount of airflow, and then can now spin even slower because the unit generates less heat.


I can go on and on and on. I think MikeC loses perspective sometimes. The industry as a whole has turned 180 from where it was when this site started. Everyone at least consideres noise as a contributing factor to sales now where before it was just an inconvenient aftereffect of faster hardware.

Get back to basics Mike. Get back to the reason you started this site in the first place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:51 am 
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Aris, I've held my tongue on your various and numerous rants for longer than I can recall, but I have to say it now -- you're one who will always find something to bitch about.

Of course the industry has changed!

Compared to 8 years ago -- Computers are no longer just the machines in the midtower boxes; they come in every shape and size -- and our reviews reflect this. Computing also straddles audio & video (and entertainment) in a big way now, and again our articles reflect this. And yes, the gear is both quieter and more energy efficient than before, and again, our reviews reflect this -- 8 years ago, no major PC brand would ever have sent us a PC that we'd assess as being quiet; our last review of the all-in-ones from Lenovo & Asus suggest that they are quiet enough than even SPCR enthusiasts could live with them.

Yet, our own PCs -- and our component reviews -- plumb a level of noise well below what we could even dream of measuring 8 years ago, and our "top component" standards are higher than ever before.

The diversity of product reviews and articles here today is a reflection of reality in the computer industry. To go "back to basics" -- mods of components to make them quieter -- is to slide back into a historical backwater, into obscurity.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:27 am 
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+1 for subscription/fee with no ads.

Just donated $25 to show some appreciation towards SPCR, this is a unique community that offers much insight not available elsewhere. And the reviews are top notch :D

You've set the standard for proper noise measurement amongst reviewers, and AFAIK noone has been able to match them properly :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:50 am 
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Posts: 379
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Quote:
Mike Markson recently wrote up a blog post for entrepreneurs, talking about how every entrepreneur needs to learn the lesson that, whatever doesn't go right is your fault. It's a tough lesson for people (especially entrepreneurs) to learn.


as the article at tech dirt states.

I know ads have a demographic involved, I am a victim. Be it rural, bad service, whatver, it is not my problem, I have to block ads. I have to use ad blocker, but a legit one, it works with internet explore natively, no extra software.

the delusion that ads generate money through advertising has got to end like an opiate addiction...by the source of the fairy tailing pusher.

EDIT: Of course I can only donate as a user, when I can here. the ad stuff is hard on any truth of motivation of a genre of a website..as if all ads a company puts up is part of spcr as a true team. It is the same for every site. the closer to truth a site gets..the less ads are welcome. I will donate again soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:19 am 
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Sounds like Aris' issue is more with content than the thread topic: ads and ad-blocking. Would getting "back to basics" excuse annoying and potentially-infectious advertisements? IMO the answer is obviously "no" - no qualitative change (positive or negative) in a site's content will override my distaste & distrust for the types of ads we're talking about.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:38 am 
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This site wasn't even started as a "business" per se -- it was just a project. It was in the spirit of sharing knowledge to fill a need required by an esoteric community. As is the case with the Web (and the world in general), if there's a continuing need for something, a way will be found to keep it going, even if it requires fiscal wrangling. I can't speak authoritatively on this, but I would imagine that if a way could have been found to fund SPCR adequately without advertising then advertising would not have commenced, and there lies the difference in spirit between here and a more typical Web site, which would never forgo any revenue stream.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:08 pm 
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Reachable wrote:
This site wasn't even started as a "business" per se -- it was just a project. It was in the spirit of sharing knowledge to fill a need required by an esoteric community. As is the case with the Web (and the world in general), if there's a continuing need for something, a way will be found to keep it going, even if it requires fiscal wrangling. I can't speak authoritatively on this, but I would imagine that if a way could have been found to fund SPCR adequately without advertising then advertising would not have commenced, and there lies the difference in spirit between here and a more typical Web site, which would never forgo any revenue stream.

Well put, dead on! 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Let me start by saying that I hate advertising. Be it fools shouting on the TV, politicians whining on the radio, ugly billboards trashing the roadsides, blinking and bobbing internet boobies, or fraudulent fliers festering on city walls.

Almost nothing truly good ever comes one's way via advertising. The best things in life aren't advertised, because they don't need to be. These are the products, services, or experiences you find out about from friends, family, neighbors, enthusiasts, or volunteers. They are the products of human creativity and ingenuity so powerful that they sell themselves.

Therefore, I block/skip/ignore/mute advertisements as much as I sanely can. Including using adblock on my preferred browser, which I use for about 99% of my internet interaction. Of course, not all ads can be avoided, and companies that produce ads which annoy to no end certainly go on my personal blacklist to avoid.

I think the TechDirt article has the right idea. If you need to advertise to support your business/cause, do it in a way that fosters consumer appreciation rather than annoyance and hatred. So for instance, I would look well on a company that say sponsors a traditional (theoretically unbiased) SPCR review, in return for mention, a company logo placement, or links to their site. Whereas a company that just plops banner ads, flash ads, animation/video, or inline text pop-ups will have nothing but my scorn.

Affiliated shopping links is another great feature that would seem to help the original site, the advertiser, and the user. So long as they are logically placed and unobtrusive, of course.

I'm sure there are probably other good ways to implement revenue producing measures to a free-access website without annoying/extorting it's userbase.

If a website wants to operate via "donations", it should then operate as a traditional non-profit organization with public disclosure of its' financials. I hate the hypocrisy of websites that always beg for donations, but are actually anything but hurting for cash.

Anyway, the bottom line is that as much as I appreciate some of the work SPCR has done over the years, I do not feel that I must subject myself to irritating 3rd-party advertising to pay it back. In fact, I really don't feel any responsibility to pay back any website which offers it's content for free. Of course, trying to force monetization to the very access of such content is another huge problem, and would likely just shift the community away from one given site, to a new gathering place.

I certainly don't envy the position of someone who runs a website like this, and must balance these various competing interests. But as far as I am concerned, adblocking is here to stay. Either accept it and change to make advertising more consumer-friendly and less obtrusive, or just lock down your site into an all-pay or no-adblock, or god forbid both zone, and watch as the vast majority of intelligent people take their discourse and exchange of information elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:46 pm 
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I don't and never have used ad-blocking software.

However, I don't run most scripts or ActiveX. At the moment I'm still using Windows 2000 which also means I'm running IE6 (have tried Firefox and other alternatives, don't like them).

I've had all of IE's scripting set to "prompt" mode for, as far as I know, longer than Firefox and noscript and adblock addons have existed; I was doing it that way on NT4 before Win2000 existed. I'm sure the popups for each script would annoy most people but it gives me a lot of control on sites I'm familar with, as I can let some scripts run and others not.

I do this because I suppose I'm paranoid, but the large percentage of sites I visit work just fine without scripts so I don't see the need to risk running them. While sites such as this one I trust to not intentionally have malware, there's always the possibility of hacking and now the issues with ads.

So as a side effect of how I run, I mostly don't see the type of ads many find annoying; as example on SPCR's front page I see the white/green Amazon ad at the top, the SpectraPLUS and Newegg ones on the left, along with the SPCR Shopping Engine, Google search on the right, and Amazon search at the bottom. None of that bothers me, but those underscore ads in body text mentioned above I can't stand...I didn't even know they were here since I never see them.

I don't spend a lot of time here as I'm not as critical of PC noise as this site's die-hard audience, and I tend to lose interest in PC products when I'm not rebuilding my machines. However, even aside from the noise aspects of the testing, the product reviews here are in my view some of the best ones to be found on any of the PC sites, and most of the posts on these boards are intelligent.

I also visit the Ars Technica forums but am rethinking that as I found some of the attitudes expressed in responses to their article on this topic to show they don't really respect their audience.

To summarize the above, I'll likely never explicitly block ads on any site, but I'm also not going to stop not running most scripts and ActiveX controls, as it's how I'm comfortable using the internet. Soon I'll be on Windows XP and IE8 but will still operate the same way.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:50 am 
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Mike: How popular is SPCR with the producers of cases, fans etc...?

They should pay you for testing. Im thinking they should also send you more cases and fans for testing. Everywhere I go, as soon as someone mentions "silent computing", they are refered here. So whatever 120mm fan, 92 or whatever... is at the top of your list. They will get a sale from one customer. The sale might not come from newegg... but Noctua or whatever will get to sell a fan.

Do you have time to test all the things that get sent to you?
How much money would you need to get this done?
Is there anything us readers can do to help?

I have an idea that might work for this site. Maybe there could be a list of items that us readers want reviewed. Next to that item there is a price and a donations button. If we donate enough... that item gets reviewed. The price would then be your electric bill, the product cost etc...

If Antec for example really wants something reviewed (cause it sells a lot of cases) then they can give it to you for free and the price will only be your time (and maybe antec can pay for that as well).

I really like this site and don use adblockers myself. I do think the business model is terrible... because of before mentioned facts. This however doesn't mean that I want the site to go down.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:56 am 
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Bakkone wrote:
Mike: How popular is SPCR with the producers of cases, fans etc...?

They should pay you for testing.

This portion is a bad idea, as it would give the appearance of favorable reviews being bought.


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