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Advertisement posts in the General Gaming forum

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Total Posts: 521

Joined 2010-02-08

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First of all, thank you to all the Adventure Gamers forum moderators who work to quickly delete spam posts from the forums. There have been times when I saw a spam post during a visit and a few minutes later it was gone. That watchfulness and diligence is really appreciated.

Second, I’d like to start a conversation about the number of advertisement posts that are currently being posted in the General Gaming section.

At the time of this writing 13 out of the 25 threads (or 52% of threads) that are visible on the first page of the General Gaming section are ads.

(If you want to see them yourself, they’re here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

Of these, only one ad is from an active forum member who has ever posted anything other than ads, and she was advertising a Humble Weekly sale featuring a developer known to many adventure gamers (Frogwares).

The rest are from new members who registered an account strictly to post ads for their games. Of these, only one such thread has actually garnered replies from any other forum members. The rest have either zero replies or have only replies from the developer just posting more ads, like this thread. While replies from other forum members isn’t a perfect way of gauging actual forum member interest (or the lack thereof) in these ads, it’s better than nothing.

I am not suggesting that ads be completely eliminated in the General Gaming section. I am wondering if the vetting process for ads in the General Gaming section should be more stringent. I understand that ads for games in the Adventure Gaming section can be of value to the forum members by bringing games to their attention, and theoretically the same is true of certain ads in the General Gaming section. But right now, most advertisers in the General Gaming section do not seem to pay much if any attention to why their game might appeal to this forum’s demographic, nor are most of these advertisters active members of the forum otherwise. This leads to the feeling that they are mainly targeting the AG forums with their ads simply because it exists and they are able to.

The current forum policy on ads is this:

No spam or viral marketing
These kinds of messages will be deleted, and their posters will be immediately banned without notice.

On-topic promotional messages are allowed in some cases
Generally, we allow promotional messages that are on-topic, add value, and are not annoying.
- Promoting amateur/freeware adventures is generally allowed (within reason)
- Before posting any promotional message for a commercial game, we ask that you get in touch with the staff beforehand
- If you wish to link to content on another website, we request that you use the opportunity to generate an actual relevant discussion on this forum, rather than merely posting a link

Is it still required for these advertisers in the General Gaming section to get in touch with the staff beforehand, or else presumably risk having their ad deleted? Maybe this policy is still being enforced and the remaining ads really have been vetted as acceptable by the AG staff before they were posted. But if not, I’d like to suggest that this policy be re-enforced in the General Gaming section, even if things continue to be looser and more accepting in the Adventure Gaming section.

It’s just my opinion, of course, but most of the ads in the Adventure Gaming section currently seem relevant enough that they’re often like small flowers that other forum members are happy to stop and smell. (I’m counting as an ad—albeit a benign one—any time a developer posts specifically to let people know about a fundraising campaign, game in development, or game newly released.) Most of these AG ads seem successful at bringing to forum members’ attention some games that they might be genuinely interested in but didn’t know existed. This is why many of these ads get replies and the developer and the forum members begin talking to each other about the game.

In the General Gaming section, on the other hand, there are currently too many barely relevant ads that don’t seem like they are attracting much forum member interest, even from the many members (like myself) who play lots of games in genres besides adventure. This proliferation of ads just makes the General Gaming section of the forum feel like it is growing over with weeds. I consider that a shame, because there are several cool discussions in the General Gaming section that might flourish better if this section of the forum were pruned further to keep it a more pleasant place to visit and have conversations.

If any other forum members happen to spot this thread and want to chime in with their own thoughts on the number of ads in the General Gaming section, please do so.

Thanks for listening!

     
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Total Posts: 1166

Joined 2012-02-17

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The ads are indeed as annoying as they are apparently useless. If they were interfering with more relevant threads, we would certainly clamp down harder on them. But frankly, the General forum is so infrequently updated with regular discussion threads, it’s hard to justify being too ruthless about it. I certainly don’t think they’re discouraging participation in the existing threads. I don’t think having the forum populated by months-old dead discussion threads is any advantage. Fewer weeds, more tumbleweeds. Wink

So long as they’re about legitimate games, it’s really more a case of “no harm, no foul” at the moment. But sure, if it’s a big enough deal to people, we’d be glad to reconsider.

     

Editor-in-Chief, some obscure little site called Adventure Gamers

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Total Posts: 521

Joined 2010-02-08

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That’s understandable. Still, personally I’d vote that it’s healthier for the forum in the long run to see tumbleweeds (dormant older threads) than too many weeds (irrelevant ads) on the first page of topics.

My theory is that visitors are more likely to post in topics that they can readily see, and that most visitors do not normally browse to the second page of topics. With that in mind, at least a dormant discussion thread that used to be of interest to people might, if it were still visible on the first page, spark the interest of a passerby and lead to a renewed conversation. Most of the ads, on the other hand, that currently fill the first page (and push dormant threads to the second page) in General Gaming aren’t contributing much of value, so far as I can tell, to the health of the forums.

I do realize that the General Gaming section, by its nature, is never going to see as much traffic as the Adventure Gaming section, but I still think that this issue with the ads can make a small but important difference to forum activity over time.

If the more egregiously irrelevant ads were to be eliminated so that there would be more visibility for older discussion threads (and for those few ads that are actually relevant), then over time this added visibility might lead occasionally to a few extra replies to older topics. I propose that that is good for long-term forum health.

If instead the irrelevant ads continue to dominate the first page, then sure, in the short term those ads might create the impression that “more things are happening” in the otherwise somewhat slow-paced General Gaming forum. But in the long term, I suspect visitors may become increasingly disinclined to check the General Gaming forum at all, since it may come to feel like it’s becoming a bit of a wasteland, with legitimate posts buried among too many ads from random first-time posters who sometimes don’t seem to have even put much thought into why their game might or might not appeal to the AG forum community in the first place. I imagine that if this scenario transpires, it would ultimately lead to the General Gaming forum activity getting even slower than it currently is.

But perhaps I’m in the minority in finding the current proliferation of ads off-putting, who knows. So if you’re a forum member who happens upon this thread and are reading this, let us know if the current proliferation of ads in General Gaming bothers you, too.

     
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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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As someone who frequents that section a lot, they did bother me for a while.

I reported a lot of them as spam, but stopped doing it when none of them were getting deleted.

Now I just try and ignore them.

My preference would be for them to be nuked as they are not contibuting to the forum at all. The threads are not a discussion just a plain advert.

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 1166

Joined 2012-02-17

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Caliburn - 25 July 2014 09:08 PM

My theory is that visitors are more likely to post in topics that they can readily see, and that most visitors do not normally browse to the second page of topics. With that in mind, at least a dormant discussion thread that used to be of interest to people might, if it were still visible on the first page, spark the interest of a passerby and lead to a renewed conversation.

It’s a good theory, but in my experience, dormant threads stay dormant. Even with all the ad threads, there’s still a discussion thread on the first page that hasn’t been updated since June 9th. That’s more than a month and a half.

So maybe it should be me posing the challenge to you folks.  If you don’t want to see any more spam threads (and who does?), time to start filling up General again with relevant threads. Smile

 

     

Editor-in-Chief, some obscure little site called Adventure Gamers

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Total Posts: 521

Joined 2010-02-08

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I noticed that one of the moderators has cleaned up and consolidated some of the ads in the General Gaming section, so thanks very much for doing that! Laughing

Thanks also to Lucien21 who I notice has taken Jackal’s advice and posted some new things to help keep that section lively. I’ll try to contribute posts of my own as I’m able (along with the several other members who post there) to keep it a beautiful garden worth the weeding effort!

     
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Joined 2011-10-21

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Caliburn - 29 July 2014 05:29 PM

I noticed that one of the moderators has cleaned up and consolidated some of the ads in the General Gaming section, so thanks very much for doing that! Laughing

That would have been me. Posts that didn’t garner any reaction, and where the poster had that as his only post and hadn’t even logged in here once since posting, got the boot. And multiple threads by a same poster got lumped together.
I only went back two pages, though. Older threads aren’t worth the trouble, imo.

These kinds of threads are always difficult for the mods (or at least for me). On the one hand, if they post some info, some links and a few screenshots, then their post is informative enough in my view to warrant its existence, even if it’s by first-time posters as its always possible that they’ll stick around a bit longer if their thread garners some reaction.
Even though it’s mostly spam (or at least semi-spam), I’m also of the “no harm, no foul” disposition. Deleting them on sight feels far too harsh, so I tend to let these slide by, especially since they did post them in the right subforum.

And then occasionally threads like this one jolt me into cleaning up part of the mess… Tongue

     

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