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Viewing announcement # 296
We are serving some new ad placements to non-donors. (Jun 18th 2008)
    Earlier this year, we announced that we would be testing out new ad placements. That process is finally finished, and the new ad placements should be appearing on our site for all non-donors.

    We have run two types of advertisements on this website for the last two years: BlogAds (the vertical column of ads appearing on our homepage, the Latest Threads page, and selected other pages), and Google AdSense (the more traditional banner ads, squares, and skyscrapers that appear on most of our pages). As our site has grown and our traffic and bandwidth have increased, these advertisements have provided us with much-needed additional revenue so we can continue upgrading and improving the site. In fact, just last week we spent nearly $9,000 to install a state-of-the-art database server to better handle the increased election-year traffic.

    Late last year, Google AdSense changed their advertisements in a way that dramatically decreased the click-through-rate of their ads, which then decreased the revenue that publishers receive. This change was completely out of our control, and caused our monthly revenue to plummet by more than 50%. In response, we have no choice but to make the ads on our site more prominent, and more relevant to our content. We believe that these new ad placements strike a fair balance where they are easier to see without being overly obtrusive.


    If you are a DU donor, you should not be seeing any Google ads.

    Since the purpose of the ads is to raise money for DU to pay our expenses, we feel it is only fair that our donors should not have to see them. If you have donated to Democratic Underground any time in the last year, the Google ads should be automatically removed from your pages. If you think you have donated in the last 12 months but you are still seeing the ads, then there may be a problem with our records. You can check your donor status by clicking the "Options" icon and then clicking the "Donor status" link. (Or you can just click here.) If you believe any of the information on your donor status page is incorrect, please send an email to skinner@democraticunderground.com and explain the problem. Please include as much information as possible.

    Important message for monthly subscribers: Please check your donor status page to verify that you are still a monthly subscriber. In the past, subscriptions would be automatically canceled if there was ever any problem charging a monthly donation (such as an expired credit card or technical glitch). This problem was fixed a while back when we set up a new subscription system, but a significant number of long-time subscriptions were canceled without notice because of it. If your donor status page does not show you as a subscriber, please look at a recent credit card statement to check if we are still charging your card.


    We do not pre-approve any of the ads served by Google.

    On any given day, there could be hundreds or even thousands of different ads appearing on our website. These ads are served automatically by Google, and we do not pre-approve them before they appear. For this reason, occasionally advertisements may appear that are not appropriate for our community. We do have the ability to block inappropriate ads after they appear, if we are aware of them.


    What to do if you see an inappropriate advertisement.

    If you see an ad that you consider inappropriate, please send an email to skinner@democraticunderground.com with the full text of the ad, including the web address. We will review the ad and decide whether to block it. Ads are considered on a case-by-case basis. We block ads that could be offensive or disruptive to the community (including bigoted ads, anti-choice ads, or ads that smear our candidates). We may sometimes permit non-disruptive ads placed by our political opponents. (After all, if a Republican is stupid enough to waste their money advertising on Democratic Underground, it's not my job to fix their mistake.) It usually takes approximately 24 hours for a blocked ad to stop appearing on our site.


    Thank you for your understanding, and thank you for being a part of this community.

    David Allen ("Skinner")
    Dave Allsopp ("EarlG")
    Brian Leitner ("Elad")
    Democratic Underground Administrators
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