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 Tuesday, 9-January-2001  20:28:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's been a lot of noise on the hardware scene over the last few days about advertising revenue, some of the large site networks are rethinking their strategy and this is having a shakedown effect on the scene. A couple of good blurbs about it are on BXBoards.com and ArsTechnica. A few people have asked how this affects OCAU.. well, it basically doesn't. We're not in a network, we have our own dedicated server and are financially independent. This kind of thing is one of the many reasons I have kept the site as independent as possible from other sites, no direct affiliation, no network membership etc. I freely link any site with interesting and relevant content.

Having said that, by sheer coincidence I have been working on getting a new banner company over the last couple of months. The one we were with (no names) turned out to be unfortunately not very professional with their approach to sites so I have ended my contract with them and looked elsewhere. I have had a couple of meetings with DoubleClick, did a presentation to them on the site and they have been very keen to get OCAU under their wing and start displaying their ads on the site. So you'll see their ads soon - they're already testing in the forums.

Banner ads are a necessary evil when running a high-usage site like OCAU. At the current rate, we will do 1.8M pageviews this month which equates to over 70GB of outbound web traffic for this domain alone. Add in the hosted sites, email, DNS and other miscellaneous traffic.. it becomes an expensive exercise. I make no secret of the fact that OCAU has been losing money pretty consistently for the 18 months it's been running (more so, since we got the dedicated server). I don't mind covering the cost, I think it will eventually pay for itself and even if it doesn't I enjoy being part of the community - but I obviously can't keep throwing money away indefinitely. Hence, banner ads - they really are the only substantial source of income for this site.

Hopefully DoubleClick will send a wider range of ads than we've had in the past, and you will see things you are genuinely interested in. Almost all of the ads you will see will be for Australian products, sites and services. We are paid per ad viewed, but the advertisers will definitely take note of the click-through rate and be less happy about advertising on sites that never attract any clicks. So, while I'm not asking you to click banners at random, I hope you find the future ads more interesting and decide to check a few of them out.

Thanks again to everyone for helping make OCAU the thriving community it is today, it's great to be part of it. :)

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.