Question of the Day: I'd like to buy ad space on

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 14:12.

Today I received an email with the message below, and I've received several like this recently, inquiring for text-link ads. I've seen those popping up on many sites, and I bet they work pretty well, for a while. But I can only imagine where such text-links may lead... and wonder what are the best ways to commercialize content via REALNEO. Is it this...?:

Hi Norm,

I will send you $25 in exchange for placing a small text for an international phone service on this page:

Please let me know if you are interested.

REALNEO is moving toward a legal co-op structure and members and the co-op will need to collaboratively address issues of value of their content, as we move forward. Based on traffic at our site, REALNEO content has commercial advertising value, which shall only increase in the future.  Some content will have more value than other... some writing, photos or videos could become quite valuable. Jeff Buster and I have been approached to use our photos found on REALNEO in magazines around the country, for compensation (which I have not collected). I'm sure other members have been or will be offered compensation for content, as well.

Seeing as this question is popping up more and more, I'll open it up to the REALNEO community... should members be able to accept an offer like I received today and/or should REALNEO have a commercialization strategy, like including some text-links, ad blocks, a banner or a sponsor? Feel free to discuss other funding options as well, including grants.

One proposal I'll make is to offer the option to sell prints of photos found on REALNEO, on demand... e.g. being able to order the header image (which could be any size up to 16 feet wide, priced per foot), and to offer logo items like hats and t-shirts... perhaps even licensing the brand, as I'm thinking about renaming Brown's Market the REALNEO Cafe.

Your thoughts?


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We need to talk to CoolCleveland and determine how they hashed out the compromise.  I believe they post obvious ads in red text.  PD's pop-ups and screen slides drive me crazy.

Or, we can just keep ourselves from becoming sell-outs, by saying no.  But, that is too easy.  Afterall, we already each endorse our own message and, so far, only a few items have been expunged here for the too, too obvious.  So, how do we get more people to put their message and images out there?  Ad/Incentives?  Does everything need to generate a dollar?

Need sustainability plan... and decision-making plan

Jeff Buster has been working to put realneo into a legal co-op structure, meaning we'll all have to decide these issues, and others to insure the sustainability of the content. Jeff Schuler is working on moving realneo to a more sustainable technology platform and upgrading the site to a new version of Drupal, all of which costs money. There are lots of ways we may fund all this, and that needs to be discussed... perhaps just encouraging realneo members to buy logo t-shirts...

That said, realneo co-op members own their content and will be approached directly about commercializing it, including adding ad links to their content... I was approached directly about linking to my content and I'm sure other members will be contacted about their content as well. I don't see why members should be denied the ability to make money from their content, even if it means they add ad links to their content... do you think we should have a policy prohibiting such commercial use by content owners, or via our shared technology? I really don't have a position on this so I leave it up to all the members to decide, however we decide to decide such things...

Disrupt IT

Operation Focus

  Do you have a working relationship with Jeff Sugalski at the Plain Press.  Here is news that I want to hear.   Ironically, Operation Focus has a historical precedence.  Was this an intentional use of the phrase?

No such thing as a free lunch

Just my two cents...


I feel that people might be interested in making money off a website, or even through their posting on a community "co-op" site such as REALNEO.US.

...but fair is fair...

It is currently costing me nothing to post these words here, but other people are incuring expences to maintain, care, feed and potentially upgrade this site.

I like a free ride as much as the next person, but I genuinely feel that those who have been paying for this site should be fairly compensated for their expenses before those of us who are enjoying the ride make a cent.

I feel the same should be done for the maintenance gang, and the future upgrades.

How this financial arrangement should be made is as yet undecided, but I feel that those posting here should maybe receive a portion of any revenue stream, but that a distinct portion of that same revenue stream should be used to "pay the bills" as it were.

I also feel that this arrangement needs to be in place before people start getting used to receiving the full amount being offered to them for their content.

Bottom line - Norm, I don't know if you or someone else has been footing the bill for this wonderful site for the time I have been posting here, but I sincerely thank you (or whoever) for your (their) money, time and effort. 

I also know that there are other kind folks who have be laboring "behind the curtain" to keep this site neat, clean, tidy and working properly. I thank you all too.


I would second Bill

I would second Bill MacDermott' sentiments. If there are going to be advertisements the costs of producing the site should come first in line.

I do think that those doing this work should be careful about what they allow to be advertised and that it clearly be identifable as commercial matter.