you come under editorial pressure from advertisers to
remove or modify it…This eventually results in a
watering down of the true, authentic content on the site
Their current advertising is just... pointless, I rarely see adverts on reddit, almost every page load has the advertisement block filled with an internal reddit notice (eg: "check out the FAQ!", "Thanks for not using adblock", "check out reddit gifts") or an advert that someone has paid for via self serve for their subreddit.
Maybe I'm missing something but surely even just throwing up a simple adsense block in the advertising space would generate enough revenue to be worth whatever supposed good will these cutesy cat picture adverts exist to score. Adsense certainly wouldn't "destroy" the trust people have placed in the site... As someone that puts time into reddit I'd be more annoyed if they let the site become so unprofitable they have to shut it down vs. have a few adverts that I can opt out of with a tiny monthly fee.
Would anyone here (that uses reddit) leave if they had proper advertising (that could be opted out of with reddit gold and was not audio / video advertisements, just "standard" web adverts)? I've never met someone willing to leave a website over adverts, if the adverts are reasonable.
Also during the time I wrote this comment I was constantly refreshing reddit.com, so far I have not seen a single non-reddit related advert and I'm at 30 page loads.
(maybe raldi or jedberg or whoever that left reddit and lurks here can explain why this isn't being done, because it's confusing, is there an internal belief that reddit users are so touchy that they'll leave if reddit tries proper advertising?)
edit: oh and for the perfect example, imgur has advertising, what about 75% of popular reddit content uses, and I don't see people boycotting imgur? (of the 100 links in r/all right now 75 are to imgur, 25 of those are to imgur.com which has advertising, so that means 25% of the front page links go straight to imgur with adverts)
edit edit: in an attempt to explain my opinion succinctly, I think the real problem reddit has is the toxic idea that any attempt to make money will alienate the community, when in reality the majority of reddit users don't care and the vocal minority would not leave the site as long as the advertisements were reasonable. People want a stable website that they can be a part of, advertisements don't destroy that. Look at how many people love imgur, 9gag and funnyjunk. Having so little faith in reddit users ability to deal with adverts is to me more "insulting" than the adverts themselves.
r/gaming, a post about Borderlands2 with a sponsored ad that links to one-click checkout on Steam.
A post about Romney's many lies featuring a donate to Obama link, or vice versa.
Featuring a sponsored Ad to a local crossfit gym that is having a free trial.
To pull this off they need much better Advertiser control, sentiment analysis of posts, and inclusion into a larger Ad Exchange (or offer Reddit inventory via an exchange model).
Spending your money to advertise on reddit is less effective than simply flushing it down the toilet.
Once they figure out how to monetize effectively, they'll really have something hot on their hands, so I'd bet it seems like a good idea to tread carefully and tolerate some loses for now.
I agree with your point and I agree with this. But something interesting I remember from when Yishan was hired is this comment by kn0thing (cofounder Alexis Ohanian)
>I asked all of the candidates I interviewed the question: "Why did digg fail?" Yishan knows. And I'll do everything in my capacity as a board member of reddit, inc. to make sure he doesn't fuck it up.
Digg stagnated because it listened to a vocal minority
of its community
but rather they are locked into an unchanging mediocrity
by the inherent conservatism of their existing userbase
Most people I know that use reddit don't have an account, let alone are willing to pay money towards reddit. Shouldn't reddit move forward; accept that yeah some of the vocal minority might hate adverts but with proper advertising they could transform the sites financial situation and hire enough people to make the site able to grow and adapt alongside the demand for the site? Lots of the comments on the blog post seem to have the same sentiment: the reddit admins are never around and the site barely seems to be updated, if people feel that way wouldn't they be happy to take an extra ad or 2 to see that change?
I would love to see an extra 2 adverts on every reddit page if it meant the site could grow and adapt and offer all the features it should have but are left up to the community to build (see: reddit enhancement suite). There's so much reddit could be...
And why go down that road if they don't have to, there's
nothing wrong with asking for contributions in order to
put out a product they're proud of
As I said in my comment I would love to see a comment from someone involved with reddit previously or presently on whether or not the fear of user outrage is a driving force behind this refusal to invest in proper advertising, because it seems to be that way.
From the way the blog post reads I don't think the issue is that they can't make money with adverts, it states:
we can start running a bunch more ads
I think that if they want to really commit to the idea that reddit gold can support the site they need to have targets (A counter of the # of people that need to sign up this month), something that people can understand and associate with. If there's 50,000 people needed every month to be paying and it's at 40,000 people will be compelled to sign up to feel like they're contributing.
For your publication, the writers will keep writing as their job, but if you upset the content generators at reddit, you'll lose your content source.
In general, monetization of a publication is a more proven model than monetization of user generated content.
There’s a good reason Advance has done everything it can to distance reddit from the premium brands of Condé Nast, short of dumping reddit altogether.
If Advance were worried about reddit tarnishing their brands as you say they'd just have the admins ban anything offensive.