An interesting post on by [OKTO] rattled my boredom. Out of it, born this
rant post which is not to bash anyone but to share a study. May the openness of this knowledge would lead us to a better understanding of why now every major FOSS has their own Usability Guidelines. May from this entry we would understand that FOSS is not about software but also leveraging ideas and share it to the entire humanity; that through FOSS runs also knowledge of other fields.
Let’s we starts with these three pictures:
Those are three international portals and these are the three of our lovely Indonesian portals:
Whoops, looks like a portal broke my Chromium browser. Hmm, switching into Opera browser and disable Flash functionality:
[OKTO] Silaban, Okto. Astaga.com Reborn..! http://okto.silaban.net/2009/10/linux/astaga-com-reborn/
My old blog. Another rant. http://jpmrblood.blogspot.com/2009/01/seriously-guys.html
Okay, people, I believe I owe some explanations. I will express my personal opinion based on my observation and experience. There are some don’t and do for each sites, but I will only take the common misconceptions only. Btw, other than bots, feel free to comment.
1 Your brand, their brand!
There should be a distinction between your brand and your advertiser brand. By making your advertisement banner a level as your site headline, you are making a general assumption of saying that you are one of them. More than that, did you know that they are stealing your show?
Take 10 random people and ask them to see your site. What would they see first in that headline? What is the first impression of them when seeing your site? With careful study, it would be easy to tell that their memories are linking your site with the advertiser’s banner. One unnoticed psychological effect is chaining process, which you would say that your site banner is linked against that main advertiser. Or, the site itself is chaining with the blinking advertisement banner. Making your site’s identity fade.
Whose show is this? Yours or theirs?
This process of design has a product called uncluttered look, one of the selling point of professional software tools. Take a look of the three sites from abroad and you’ll see that their brands never get confused with any of the advertisement.
I was trying to include the [BBC] site and found that it was not in the same league with our locals. Instead, I tried to match them with few sites that I would like to visit and would like to analyze the model they take to advertise.
One of advertisement business model they would take is the affiliated route. How to put an affiliated advertisement?
One good way is to dedicate the advertisement into one proportional block to keep all things neat. Affiliated advertisement also considering your target audiences. It won’t be a random advertisement but also in one purpose with your site genre. Your site would also making some stories related to them. This way, your reader also have informative advertisement and seeing it not just as a blatant advertisement. With this kind of strategy, the likely of your readers to click and go to your advertiser is highly probable and you would have content enrichment.
There would be a problem posed with this kind of advertisement: what if your site theme is general?
That is hard! People would like to brand themselves unique and you have all-you-can-eat buffet? Well, the thing that you could do is put your site into category and sell each category to relevant advertisers. A little data mining can show demographic statistics of your viewer and take that to advertise it to the advertisers and put them on a perfect spot. International sites sometimes offer geolocation-based ads, interests-based ads, etc.
#3 Unhurting The Eyes
Take a toddler to see your site. How long would they endure watching your site without getting throw up?
How long would your viewer could read your site? If Facebook have the same blinking advertisement as you are, there would be no people would stands by it. Those blinking ads causing the untrained eyes displeased and confusing them. For the trained eyes, like mine, simply ignoring them all.
Survey your readers, do they remember what advertisements that they did see?
Blinking text is an unfavored way to catch attention, it steals away our view. Making most of the content blinking should be considered as illegal and violators should be shot, violators should be shot again. It is an awful way to blur your reader from the content. The distraction caused by the blinking things also confuse our head and make us sick.
IMHO, the only reason why the site’s still running is because there is no another competitor that have the same grade product with better content placement. Create one and create the buzz, you would gain popularity. What if there would be a BBC Indonesia or CNN Indonesia?