Community Forums Sharing Ad Revenue with Users?
January 16, 2006 9:26 AM   Subscribe

The New York Times reports that community forum sites like Digital Point Solutions' have created a system whereby forum participants share in the Google AdSense revenue (Revenue sharing FAQ). Digital Point claims that no gaming of the system has occurred so far. A google search turns up at least a handful of other sites that are doing the same (but no major sites, it seems), and the latest drupal adsense module apparently makes it easy to set up. Curious. [Full disclosure: I know nothing about any of this. I mean, I barely know what a 'blog is (and I'm sticking to that leading apostrophe -- it's the only thing standing between us and Babelian anarchy and we're not even sure 'Babelian' is a legitimate word so now we're really mired in the hypocrisy, huh?).]
posted by nobody (9 comments total)
In a forum site setting, how can there not be fraud when the visitor is also the person that would benefit from the adsense?
posted by menace303 at 9:37 AM on January 16, 2006

I think there's a bit of confusion. In the case of drupal's adsense module, it allows the person who posted a given article to receive a cut of the adsense revenue generated when people read said article. It's not that visitors benefit so much as writers have a chance to share in the site ad revenues.
posted by verb at 9:40 AM on January 16, 2006

Some clarification so you don't have to wade through all the links: The digitalpoint system is such that the initial poster of a thread gets 50% of the adsense revenue for that thread. The NYTimes article suggests that commenters within the thread get a share as well, but the digitalpoint FAQ seems to say that they get 50% of the revenue for incoming pageviews linked to their specific comment only. Apart probably from this last bit, I gathered from the drupal site that their module was doing the same.
posted by nobody at 9:48 AM on January 16, 2006

How dare someone attempt to make money from doing something they love!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:04 AM on January 16, 2006

Make money by posting threads in fora? I would have to stop black-holing the Google scripts at the router.

Seriously, aside from allowing more monitoring of one's web activity, which only a few resist, the effect on the fora would be unfortunate. It introduces an element of commercialism into the selection of topics, which would poison the honesty that many of us appreciate online boards for.

In the long run it might even give the advertisers a lever to influence content in their own ways too.

We're better off with the current indirect and uneasy relationship where site owners deal with the advertisers and participants deal with the content and there is only a loose relation between the two.
posted by jam_pony at 10:16 AM on January 16, 2006

I can't wait for all the mesothelioma threads.
posted by dhartung at 10:56 AM on January 16, 2006

I would just like to say that I adore the wording of this post.
posted by shmegegge at 11:45 AM on January 16, 2006

I would think that the bigger fear may be users on popular sites on this one linking to other sites' threads or comments in which they have a revenue-sharing stake. It would certainly make self-linking harder to detect.
posted by nobody at 8:17 PM on January 16, 2006

(oops: "...popular sites like this one....")
posted by nobody at 8:59 PM on January 16, 2006

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