Request From MozillaZine

Thursday August 12th, 1999

I've been considering recently the possibility of adding advertisements to MozillaZine. I've been interested in moving to a dedicated machine which would 1) give us control over the operating environment, 2) free us from sharing CPU time with 50 other websites and 3) give us a machine to use for other projects, and advertising would help pay for the server every month. More importantly, advertisement would allow us to branch off into another area, by allowing us to pay authors for work on tutorials and articles.

So, my questions are:

  • How do you feel about mozillaZine having ad banners? Would you approve if it would help bring new features to the site?
  • What is the difference (in terms of ad revenues) between signing up with a professional ad-banner service and handling advertising internally? Which would you recommend?
  • Would I need to create a business entity if I accepted ad revenues and did payouts to third-party article authors? I assume so, but I know there are a lot of sites out there that have ad banners but aren't necessarily businesses.
  • What are the average rates currently charged for banner space?

#1 Kein Problem

by sneakums

Thursday August 12th, 1999 8:03 PM

I have no problem with Mozillazine having ads. The gains will outwiegh the (mostly notional) drawbacks.

#2 Request From MozillaZine

by BrerBear

Thursday August 12th, 1999 8:19 PM

Go for it! If it helps the site, I'm all for it.

#3 Speed

by Anon

Thursday August 12th, 1999 8:35 PM

Go for it, just as long as it doesn't slow down the loading of the page much.

Also, please don't do the Geocities thing. Just place a normal banner on the page.

#4 Request From MozillaZine

by Anon

Thursday August 12th, 1999 8:47 PM

<<How do you feel about mozillaZine having ad banners?>>

I don't have a real problem with it as long as it doesn't get too wild. I site Slashdot as a good example here. One ad at the top of each page and nothing else. I can live with that, especially if it helps you guys out.

I can't help with the other questions, sorry.

Just my two cents worth.

#5 as long as no ads for X10

by Anon

Thursday August 12th, 1999 8:51 PM

no problemo as long as you don't put up those cheezy f*ing ads for x10 video cameras with the scantily clad women on them...what is that all about??? zdnet is crazy with you are going to setup all sorts of hidden cameras to catch women naked...

#15 as long as no ads for X10

by arielb

Friday August 13th, 1999 4:07 AM

yeah I don't understand what the women have to do with x-10. ok they are beautiful women and they're not naked or anything but there's no point to it. They're basically implying that women are objects to sell stuff and that's disgusting.

#37 Request From MozillaZine

by badben

Sunday August 15th, 1999 4:22 PM

> they're not naked or anything but there's no point to it. They're basically implying that women are objects to sell stuff.

Would it be better (in ethnical terms), if they were naked???

#6 Won't matter to me

by Anon

Thursday August 12th, 1999 8:56 PM

I use the a proxy to block banners. Many are available.

#41 Won't matter to me

by muesli

Wednesday August 18th, 1999 3:18 AM

Huh? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? They won't get any ad income if the ads aren't viewed (or clicked on). That'd be great - they go for an expensive server, and then we all follow your links, causing them to get no income to support it...

And, then of course, there's the issue of getting free content - instead of ripping off the content provider, just don't go there.

#7 no problem, but...

by stoecker

Thursday August 12th, 1999 10:11 PM

No problem with it, also long as a) "real" banners, not pop-ups and b) a reliable and fast adserver with failover. that will prevent screwing up the page and load time if there is something wrong with the banners.

i would also suggest that you try to get a little control over the banner-content: no porn/violence/political content and no "lamer-content". it would really bug me to see some "get ie5 now!"-banner on mozillazine.

ahmmm... well, actually i would love the feeling of seeing m$ spending money for mozilla(zine) *grin*.

but try to keep ads and real mozillazine content strictly separate (no so named "sponsored links" etc.)

go for banners, chris ;)

#8 Ads to MozillaZine.

by jonde

Thursday August 12th, 1999 10:42 PM

Allright. But don't put there more than 2. One ad would be the best.

#9 Ads to MozillaZine.

by jonde

Thursday August 12th, 1999 10:42 PM

Allright. But don't put there more than 2. One ad would be the best.

#10 Charge!!!

by Dan6992

Thursday August 12th, 1999 11:47 PM

Well big sites like Lycos charge a minimum of $1,500 for a banner, but I don't think your going to get that from the start. However I don't recomend using one of those pay per click services either, a customer of mine uses one of those and barley makes enough to pay his hosting bill. I think you should see how much a similar site, like code guru ,gets for a banner and base your pricing off of that.

#11 Use the adds.

by Anon

Thursday August 12th, 1999 11:52 PM

I say go for it.

1. Use your own add software, if need be use slashdot's adfu software, doesn't seem to have any problems handling the load and its open source/free product.

2. Don't go with a secondary add company, you only get clickthru's and even then its usually bi-monthly payments if any real payment at all.

Use the ad services as a filler for when you don't really have any adds on your own.

I think you wouldn't have much problem getting adds from code debuggers/compilers/packagers and or sun/redhat or other companies.

And about the sponsored by, i say go for it. who gives a whoot if there are an extra button or two. But if some big corporation wants to sponsor the mozillazine site then more power to you!

I would choose to keep the revenue on your personall SSN, unless you want to open a business. I don't think people really need to be paid for submission of an article. ON the other hand, if you have something other sites don't have, then you may want to go with a business model and incorporate, but since you really are a news site about mozilla you wouldn't have much of a future without being there and can't really rely on that as being the sole reason for your existance... so i say run the adds, use your ssn# as the tax id, and use the profits for server... if you plan on hoasting your own projects to develop a distinct project then open your own business to martket it.

#12 ok to ads.

by beg

Friday August 13th, 1999 12:21 AM

<<How do you feel about mozillaZine having ad banners?>>

I think you should do it. Although, the reason your doing this is to pay for the new service, but i hope you make some extra money on the side, too.

The only thing i'm against is selling my email address!! ;)

I know you wouldn't do this with-out asking us, but i'm just making sure you know i'm against that...

#16 ok to ads.

by mozineAdmin

Friday August 13th, 1999 4:57 AM

>The only thing i'm against is selling my email address!! ;)

Don't worry about that! No one has access to our members list but me, and I'm not selling it, and have no intention of ever selling it. In fact, that's part of my privacy statement on the members page.

"All solicitations for our users' information, except legitimate legal subpoenas, will be ignored. This is our promise to you."

I need to amend that to say "We will never sell or give away your information to any one, except in the case of legitimate legal subpoenas. Your password is encrypted in our database; even we don't have access to it. Please choose your Password Hint wisely."

The only way someone could get your email address from mozillaZine is by trolling the forums and snaggging any email addresses they find.

#13 Request From MozillaZine

by acc

Friday August 13th, 1999 1:20 AM

Go for it!

Just make sure that a non-existent ad doesn't slow down the main page.

However, could you also put one of those tall/thin ads that and have. (they advertise gnome, kde, etc)

Presumably they wouldn't bring in any money, but may drive people to gnu software sites...

#14 Request From MozillaZine

by zontar

Friday August 13th, 1999 2:14 AM

Go for it -- lizards have to eat, too. ;-)

And, yes, the x-cam ads really suck. No x-cam ads, please!

I also like the idea of using unsold availabilities for "public service" stuff like open source projects and sites.

#17 Great! as long as(God Willing)...

by samig

Friday August 13th, 1999 6:58 AM

1) Mozillazine stays,focusing on what she does best. 2) The ads are suitable to the readership,i.e mostly tech and Internet 3) We don't wake up one day to find MozillaZine biased towards some company that advertises,kinda reminds me of ZDNet :-) the idea in general is great.Slashdot did it,and I don't see anything wrong in it if MZ stays as she is now . Peace

#18 no problem

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 7:47 AM

Mozillazine is too useful to me for me to stop using it because of an ad or two. Just make sure, please, that they are tech related ads.

#19 One more in support of banner ads

by maynard

Friday August 13th, 1999 7:52 AM

Hi. I read mozillazine fairly regularly and just wanted to chime in supporting the use of banner ads to help with revenue generation. I know this site isn't intended to draw money, but using banner ads in order to offset the hardware and bandwidth costs associated with running the site is perfectly understandable.

#20 Ad Software

by SomeSmartAss

Friday August 13th, 1999 8:32 AM

check out phpAds 1.0.0 Its a (free) set of php3 scripts for managing banner ads.the list of features are:

manage multiple clients (each with own login) manage multiple banners (any size) per client view daily, overall and summary statistics send statistics to clients via email use HTML, GIF, JPEG and PNG-banners show random, pre-defined or HTML/image banners show banners belonging to a specific group activate and de-activate individual banners

I haven't personally used it, but I'm impressed with his phpMyAdmin scripts.

#21 One against

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 8:45 AM

I really dislike sites carrying advertising (although I too use a proxy). I feel that the ads add to the loading time, generally ruin the page layout and look very, very cheap.

I really like the clean and uncluttered design of Mozillazine and do not particularly want an animated banner ad at the top of it.

On another personal note I also feel that advertising generally cheapens a site and makes it feel as if it is more interested in revenue than its alledged topic.

Advertising may raise revenue but unless it is going to be a lot of money and that money can be used for something really positive (I haven't noticed any site problems) please don't do it.

You have a good advocacy site here, don't turn it into just another browser site.

#22 banners w/ tutorials

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 9:03 AM

I would be content w/ advertising if there were tutorials that focus on the new features in Mozilla. Preferable a static advertisement than an annoyingly flashy one.

#23 Request From MozillaZine

by SteveH

Friday August 13th, 1999 9:23 AM

I don't object to it, because I've learned to just ignore ads. This is why using ads may not generate much revenue for you. Check out: (look at Example 2)

#24 Here's an idea for ads

by grappler

Friday August 13th, 1999 11:04 AM

You could do some cooperative deal with Blockstackers (the slashdot company).

They created their own internal ad handling to aviod high doubleclick prices. And ads that would appeal to slashdotters would also target mozillazine people well.

#25 Few had advice on actually doing the advertising

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 1:55 PM maybe I can help there.

I help run and I ran before it and work with the people running We've done advertising on web sites and in software both and I can tell you that you are unlikely to see significant revenue from it unless you can a) get sponsorships from people willing to just pay well for the privelege of being known as your corporate sponsor or b) you get levels of traffic where you could deliver a million or so ad impressions per month.

So, given that statement, what kind of money could you make from ads? You have three basic choices for ads. Sell your own, this is the most time intensive and the biggest pain in the ass because it requires you to camp out on the phone and fire off emails all the time to line up advertisers, dicker over pricing, and then finally browbeat them to try and get the money out of them for the ads you displayed (the last part can be quite hard indeed because lots of people just don't want to pay their bills, and you have very little leverage aside from running that new "<Insert Company Name Here> Doesn't pay their bills" campaign).

If you get a really large number of impressions (1 mil per month or more) you might be able to get a company to sell your advertising space for you. These companies typically get half of what they sell for you, but given all the crap they have to do, it's not necessarily a bad deal. As one of the your replies mentioned, you may be able to work out a deal where both you and they sell ad space to try and make money on all your impressions (and maximize your income). These people can sell ads for anything from $3 to $20 CPM (the abbreviation used for 1000 ad impressions). Avoid companies who are going to fill your space with click banners that only pay based upon how many times they are clicked. They pay more but rarely enough more to make up for the pathetic number of clicks they attract and suddenly you end up paying for them to try out unsuccessful banner campaigns.

Last (and definitely least) would be companies that soak up bulk ad buys where companies want to just shotgun out ads in large numbers to see if anything sticks. Aureate is the one that we used for ads in LOLChat and also for Because they typically pay a mere $1 CPM even a large number of hits can amount to very little money. The hypothetical 1 million ad impressions per month I mentioned before would net you only $1000 with these bottom tier ad sellers. The upside though is that they will display advertising with sites that get too few impressions to interest any of the companies I mentioned before.

John Munsch

#26 Plz not animated ads

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 2:16 PM

Plz try to stay away from the animated ads.

#27 Try these places for ad revenue

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 3:24 PM

Each of these places pay out by the CPM (a MUCH better deal than pay-per-click - especially with declining click-thru rates). The main distinction between these companies is their entry requirements (which is directly proportional to the CPM you will receive). This list is sorted in ascending order on the entry requirements (from no requirements to 1 million impressions/month). LinkExchange (You might avoid this one - it's owned by Microsoft) BurstMedia FlyCast Hope this helps!

#28 Are you not a non-profit?

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 4:57 PM

Ads are a waste of everyones time. You have a non-profit domain name, I would recommend that you ofically apply for non-profit status and get donations (hello AOL) to support the site.

#34 True, get

by Kovu

Saturday August 14th, 1999 9:22 PM

.org is generally considerd not-for-profit

#29 quick answers

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 5:16 PM

I have no problem with banners... not many people do.

As for how to go about it, I wouldn't even TRY to sell the space myself. Selling ad space is a full-time job for someone with the proper connections. Burst! ( was getting the highest rates for its users, last I heard (DoubleClick, FlyCast, etc. talk about big number CPM, but they leave far more ad space unsold).

#30 business entity

by Anon

Friday August 13th, 1999 5:18 PM

You don't need a separate "business entity" to sell ad space, just a social security number (for the US, that is) to allow them to report the income to the IRS.

#31 good idea

by Kaoslord

Friday August 13th, 1999 11:03 PM

if it helps you out GREAT GREAT GREAT!!! but be forwarned, you might not get much cash.... you should talk with Block Stackers Intergalactic (slashdot) about maybe doing something with them, avoid having to pay some company lots and lots of cash and i believe that similar ads would appeal to the similar communities for higher click through rates which means more $$$ if slashdot uses that variable pricing by clickthrough rate thing. This really sounds like a good idea to me. If you want to start your own system (good luck) use phpAds, since you use php for your website dont you? that can be found at from the makers of phpMyAdmin mysql administartion and phpPolls. Anyways good luck, and if I had the money, id buy ads but I dont believe $20 cuts it....

oh one last suggestion, maybe lease space to other open source related sites for small prices, to help pay for the server since i dont thik you will be using all that power and bandwidth.. and remember, with only a couple of sites you could pull 50-100 bucks a month which is some sunstantial cash to aid you until your ads make you enough cash...

#32 Fine with it

by QuakeRaven

Saturday August 14th, 1999 11:34 AM

Go for it, if it helps. Great idea.


#33 Did you consider a

by Kovu

Saturday August 14th, 1999 9:17 PM

.com sites are usually the ones that carry the ads. I think .org sites are generally like this one, niche interest without having a great deal of potential for revenue. Though I could be wrong. Having both would allow you to seperate the sites into differing styles and types of content. Just a thought!

Other than that, I don't see why not. Netscape should be your first major customer :)

#35 Did you consider a

by Kovu

Saturday August 14th, 1999 9:27 PM

BTW, let me know if you want a designer for the .com site or anything, if you check out my sites: and graphics (beware, this Netscape graphic is over 600K!)

I enjoy doing it and I'm good at it :)

#38 Did you consider a

by Kaoslord

Sunday August 15th, 1999 8:05 PM

this is horrible, you used frontpage for your site, that should be illegal if you advocate netscape and use a tool to make pages that are broken in netscape... bad bad guy!!!

#36 handle ads internally

by Anon

Sunday August 15th, 1999 12:11 AM

Most sites I know have to go with outfits like doubleclick because they dont have the technical expertise to run thier own add server. They also pay 50 percent of thier revenue to doubleclick.

#39 wm

by Anon

Monday August 16th, 1999 3:38 AM

You should run ads - it would help you pay the bills and thats what people dont understand too much.

Use BURST at for general selling and you should have your own page for advertisers on the site so potential ones can take a look (you can get 10-15$ CPM) . Sell only in CPM's, over burst you should get $2-$5 CPM , average and they have great tracking software so you WILL choose what AD's do you want to run. You should also use AD managment software in any case, I red here about php scripts but I use cgi - you can find bunch at


#40 No problem !

by lirand

Monday August 16th, 1999 6:05 PM

Anything who may help the Mozilla organization or the Netscape browser is welcomed !

#42 You guys are crazy!

by Anon

Thursday August 19th, 1999 3:18 AM

Banner ads completely suck! I don't care what funky stuff you can provide after selling your soul to the junk merchants, it won't be worth it. Purity, or nothing.

#43 Re: You guys are crazy!

by FrodoB

Thursday August 19th, 1999 8:24 AM

What if that "funky stuff" is actually mozillaZine itself? What if it got to the point where Chris couldn't continue to support the site himself? Would you be willing to sacrifice the leading Mozilla news site for the satisfaction of knowing your page loads half a second quicker?

That having been said, there are some ads which are just plain bad. They've gotta match the page. :)

#44 One add (blended)

by azdan

Monday August 23rd, 1999 8:21 PM

Ads are ok, as long as you blend them in with the site. The positives would be good, but make the sure you blend the ads.