I appreciate your understanding the need for the community and the
homesteaders to generate a profit. As you realize, advertising is our
primary source of revenue, and we find that the majority of the members
welcome the opportunity to build a self sufficient online community of
personal web pages.
Please see my comments below ----->
Happy Holidays and thanks for your significant email. I know
how much time
you put into it.
VP General Manager, GeoCities
> Dear Rich,
> I appreciate your taking the time to write me about GeoCities'
> advertising. Again, I have nothing against advertising and I understand
> it is GeoCities' primary means of support. But I also feel there must be
> better ways of doing it than the interstitial and GeoPop ads that are
> currently being tested. Specifically, the interstitials and popup ads
> are a terrible mistake and I sincerely hope you do not continue to use
> them. I'm sorry for the length of this message, but there's a lot to be
> said, especially about the popup ads:
> 1) They are intrusive: Unlike a conventional ad, these *require*
> interaction and a special effort to deal with. I personally find them so
> annoying that I will not visit any GeoCities pages that display them,
> including my own guestbook, and I am sure many others find them equally
-------> They certainly POP UP in your face, and are noticed.
This I agree
with. But, for me as a visitor I appreciate being able to click it away.
As a homesteader, I appreciate the option of not placing an ad in my page,
an ad which may interrupt a format and design I like.
> 2) They are ineffective: Viewers
such as myself close these things the
> instant they appear, long before any ad is displayed. Due to the
> annoyance factor, viewers of the ad may feel angered by and resentful of
> any company that would advertise in this way, and some GeoCities members
> have gone so far as to propose a boycott of all companies who advertise
> using intrusive methods such as the popup windows. Case in point: I
> admit it, I clicked
> one of those GeoGuide banners for Surplus Direct, and saw they had some
> pretty good deals on equipment I needed. But when I started to receive
> junk ('spam') emails from them, I immediately changed my mind. When they
> refused to stop sending it and ignored all my requests to be left alone
> I was downright pissed off, so much so that I organized a boycott of
> this company. (BTW, your 'Content Cops' had all 68 pages of my GeoCities
> site deleted for it.)
-------> Actually, we find that the GeoPops are an effective
> *3) These ads crash computers.
Even when they don't, each window that
> pops up drains away a small chunk of Windows' system/GDI memory that is
> never recovered...over time, the system becomes sluggish and unstable.
> The GeoPops especially cause problems ranging from applications errors
> to system-wide crashes.
------> I have sent this to our engineers to look into.
When did this
occur? What is the configuration of your computer? (H/W, system version,
software version, modem or direct connect?, etc.)
> Several popup windows, when I closed them,
> caused my computer to lockup with a 'bluescreen' error, in which the
> Windows GUI is replaced with a blue text screen with an error message
> and the computer stops responding. After rebooting, victims are greeted
> with another screen listing all the disk errors that have resulted from
> this crash, or ultimately, your sponsor's advertisement. I have a pretty
> good idea of how a person feels after one of these, having contacted
> Egghead Computers expressing my 'gratitude' about the 30+ clusters their
> ad caused me to lose on my hard drive and asking them to consider a
> different method of advertising on GeoCities.
> There must be a better way of handling this advertisement. I've seen
> your new GeoGuide applet and must say that it looks promising.
-----> We are getting really good feedback on the new GeoGuide.
> I'll be
> trying it out on my Index page this week and most likely adding it to
> all my main pages thereafter. The GeoGuide idea is a good one, and
> there's only one improvement I could possibly suggest (keeping the
> 234x60 banners and displaying 2 of them side-by-side on the new
> double-size GeoGuide, one homesteader banner and one commercial ad).
------> We chose one 468X 60 banner for two reasons:
1) It is the most
standard ad unit, and 2) because many Homesteaders in the banner exchange
program requested an animation capable full banner.
> Another idea which I'm sure would give you
the undying gratitude of
> members is to offer text-only advertisements appended to the bottom of
> pages. This would get the sponsor's message across without incurring an
> 8+KB (20K counting the GeoGuide applet itself, possibly every page
> depending on how the user's cache is set up?) of extra loading time per
> page to serve graphical ads.
--------> This is one we have not thought of before, and I
will forward it
on to Marketing. We should test it and see how it effective it is in
generating click-throughs and traffic for advertisers. Hey, if it works
we'll do it, but keep in mind that advertisers want targeted, effective
> Is GeoCities really not turning a
profit on all these ads? All I can
> say is you're probably not charging enough for them; targeted
> advertising like this can be very effective if done right, any a number
> of companies are making good money from Web business.
--------> The Internet advertising market has more supply than demand.
is tough out there. Very competitive. We should see a profit near the end
of 1998, but only if we can make advertising options like GeoPops and
GeoGuide work. And, you are right, targeted advertising can be very
effective if done right. We are also working on various programs to enhance
the targeting of ads, which should increase click-throughs and traffic to
> Again, sorry for the length of this message,
but it's not everyday a guy
> can talk to one of the 'higher-ups' of GeoCities knowing someone will
> actually bother to read what they have to say. I'd also like to
> personally thank you for listening.
-------->I sincerely thank YOU for all the thought and time you
share your opinion. We want to create an online community full of pleased,
fulfilled, helpful, and expressive people. You are why we are here.
Sincerely, Rich Rygg
> Happy holidays!
Rich Rygg wrote:
> I appreciate your posting. Most Internet companies are not making a
> profit. GeoCities is no exception. The pop-ups are not a matter of
> making a "killing" on advertising, but rather another step towords
> even. We are still running a substantial monthly deficit.
> Your support, and the support of all Homesteaders is critical to the
> survival of GeoCities. Advertising really is what allows us to
> free services. The services will go away if the advertisiers do.
> Please help support them. No company can afford to do this for free.
> would love to you further input.
> Thank you,
> Rich Rygg
> VP General Manager
> You Wrote:
> I've been watching both sides of the advertising arguments for some
> time, and would now like to express my own opinion:
> Nobody said Geocities cannot advertise. This is how they can provide
> their free service, and I have nothing against covering one's own
> expenses. (This ain't a free
> ride, you know!)
> But, I believe that with the number of interstitials and popup
> in addition to the GeoGuide applet, Geocities has gone overboard in a
> gluttonous overeating
> binge. Currently they stand to make, if I were to roughly guess an
> amount by exposures and pricing of comparable services elsewhere, at
> least a 10-20fold more in
> final gross income than they spend. In my personal opinion, they have
> definitely crossed the line between legitimate business and greed.
> like a drug addict, they
> are always craving more, and hoping they can push increasingly hard
> without breaking the proverbial camel's back. This is a practise which
> will not be any part of,
> which is why I will soon be moving to Xoom.