Forum: Biostar Ads Are Now Live. Feedback And Comments Are Sought.
5
gravatar for Istvan Albert
5.0 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k wrote:

Hello Everyone,

We have a new feature on Biostar - advertising for members of our community. Most of the rules were set at parameters that we thought made sense but this is a good time to chime in and discuss them here. See the Ad List page and Ad Help page for details.

In a nuthsell:

  • Users may run ads for products: software, research papers, blogs, conferences etc that they can be considered an author/initiator of
  • Users above a certain reputation may approve ads. These may be their own but also could be someone else's ads.
  • People that may run ads can also opt out from receiving ads from their user account page.
forum biostar • 3.0k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 5.0 years ago by Mary11k • written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k
2

Can one run an ad for bioinformatics job postings?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Malachi Griffith16k
1

IMHO yes if the user posting the job wants to hire for their own group - but no if the user is a HR personell or agency hiring for a company. In general I would also recommend to have that listed on the Job page as well where no restrictions apply.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

Can we get an option to link the Ad to the job posting? Seems like this would be one of the most common uses of ads for academic users.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Chris Miller19k

Not immediately - I would need to think this through of how to make this work. The ability to cross link is there but there is some complexity to making it work.

But for your second statement, academics don't advertise because it is seems prohibitively expensive and grants do not support it. And we are not used to think of a research product as something that should be advertised. Yet in fact conferences are just that, a powerful avenue to advertise and show tools and ideas to someone else. If you can't pay for a conference you lose that.

We just need to change that mentality and think of it in terms of informing others. Someone writes an interesting tool or develops a technique that is under review in some journal and would take months to get it out into the public - now on Biostar you can raise awareness and let people know about it well before that.

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.0 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

Yes, this was my thought. Just a way to drive traffic to an existing job page. I also agree with Istvan on the HR personell or agency.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Malachi Griffith16k

Can an ad be deleted from that list in the ads section? There might be a lot of spam if not.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Damian Kao14k

It can be deleted from the Django Admin management interface but not by moderators. I will add that feature.

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.0 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

Is 'show count' the number of times it has been seen on the front page by a visitor? Or is it the number of click throughs by a visitor?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Damian Kao14k

that is the number of impressions of the ad on all pages - this only loads for javascript enabled clients so web crawlers don't trigger it

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

Thank you Albert! Is the position of the Ads definitive? I am worried that the upper corner of the webpage is getting a bit cluttered.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k

everything is experimental and up for suggestions/discussions, but it was better to have something up first and discuss in context rather than as an abstract idea

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

Maybe in between the google search bar and the navigation bar might be better?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Damian Kao14k

It could also be a first post on the page reddit style. I will play with the options.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

I think some people are confusing the Stop/Start functionality with settings for their own account? It might be useful to restrict the site administrator and ad creator to have permissions to enable/disable ads on a per-ad basis. Those who want to disable ads on a per-account basis could be directed to their user preferences page.

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.0 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Alex Reynolds24k

only moderators have that permission, but I'll change it so that moderators can only stop an ad by closing the post

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k
1

this has now been fixed, only authors can stop ads, the status by field indicates who set the last status

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

Looks like ads have been turned off altogether and for everyone.

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.0 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Alex Reynolds24k

Ads are a bit too intrusive in the mobile version, specially from a blackberry. Since they are in the top of the page, and the screen of my blackberry is small, the only things I see when I load Biostar are the ads and the search form. It's not the best view, it would be better if I could at least see the first questions when accessing the website.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.8 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k

thanks for reporting, can you create a GitHub issue for this, so that we are reminded of it plus we can add some followups.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.8 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k

done, it's the issue #198

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.8 years ago • written 4.8 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k
6
gravatar for Mary
5.0 years ago by
Mary11k
Boston MA area
Mary11k wrote:

Pro-tip: Never say "ads" to academics. Call it "outreach".

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.0 years ago by Mary11k
1

point taken! ;-)

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k
2
gravatar for Damian Kao
5.0 years ago by
Damian Kao14k
USA
Damian Kao14k wrote:

People use BioStars in different ways. Obviously the main purpose of the site is to get your question answered and act as a repository of knowledge. Being a lone bioinformatician in my lab, I use BioStars as a way to discover new things. I find reading other people's questions and answers exposes me to different techniques and ideas others are thinking about. The new ads system is a nice supplement to how I use BioStars.

For me personally, I like the ads system. However, I can see how it can be obtrusive to people who use BioStars in other capacities. Perhaps Eric is right in implementing an option to turn off ads? Maybe only give that option to users that have more than a minimal amount of score (something like 100?).

ADD COMMENTlink written 5.0 years ago by Damian Kao14k
1
gravatar for Eric Normandeau
5.0 years ago by
Eric Normandeau9.8k
Quebec, Canada
Eric Normandeau9.8k wrote:

Hi. I just wanted to state my personal stance concerting ads. I do not want this to sound too harsh, but I have pretty strong feelings about advertisement. Let's call it playing the devil's advocate. (EDIT: Having a very strong stance on the subject, I am very aware that most people will have a softer or even opposite feeling about it.)

Advertisement is everywhere. I personally find most forms of advertisement intrusive and alienating. It is an uncalled for and unwanted invasion of my thought processes. I find it opposes the idea of freedom: freedom of thought, freedom not to be harassed. Whenever I need something, I fire up a browser, perform a quick Google search, find what I want, and get it.

I find it strange that a group who aims to be a community and whose contributors are not paid would like to pollute its interface with ads. It makes using and contributing to the forum less interesting for me. I'd be glad to be offered an option to opt out of receiving ads. (EDIT: The option was there all along and I had not found it.)

The idea of promoting user work is interesting. Posting a nice How-To in the tutorial section seems more appropriate to me in the context of a forum community.

So, these are just quick thoughts about how I feel about ads on Biostar.

Cheers

ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.8 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Eric Normandeau9.8k
2

First of all you can opt out, check the user info edit page and tick the checkbox called "Hide ads". As Damian says perhaps it would be better to greatly reduce the reputation required to turn off ads to say 100 (10 votes). I agree with the sentiment that showing ads to someone that hates them is pointless. I'll make that change over the weekend.

At the same time we have to realize that ads are the way the internet works. Sites that use some other methods to support themselves are few and far between. The vast majority of Biostar readers are consumers of the information here - less than 1% of Biostar readers produce useful contributions. This group of users need to "pay us" by looking at ads of some sorts.

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.0 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k
5

also just to point out another aspect - these ads level the playing field.

Currently you as a scientist have no way to compete with a company that buys Google Ads that - for a bioinformatics topic a Google Ad can cost more than $1 per click! If you want to raise awareness for anything that you produce you are out of luck.

Biostar is the only place that I know of that instead of selling ads opens them up to the users that contribute. And you can even turn them off if you wish. My goal on Biostar is to see ads from people that I trust calling my attention to concepts/software/destinations that they think that I should now about. Short of reading the site every day I would not know what is going on.

Some company advertising a software that cost tens of thousands of dollars does not make me feel particularly positive. A highly ranked Biostar user pointing out a software that they think I should know about does not bother me at all.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 77k
1

While I agree with the spirit of this comment, I think the point of Google Ads is a bit misleading. The target of bioinformatics advertisers on Google are clueless managers that need to spend money with CYA strategy in mind. As scientists, we don't compete with companies at the level of advertising, because we typically try to reach other scientists, who "convert" poorly on ads of all kinds anyway.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Pawel Szczesny3.2k
1

Ads also serve as a good gamification reward. I would also think about if the current scoring system needs revamping.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Damian Kao14k

I am not sure to see how ads contribute to gamification... Could you explain what you mean?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Eric Normandeau9.8k

Since only users with a certain amount of score can post/approve ads, it serves as a reward for contributing to the site.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.0 years ago by Damian Kao14k

Thanks Istvan. I had not found the 'Hide ads' box after a (too) quick search. I understand that ads is how the whole world works but it doesn't mean I have to like it. Especially on one of the very few communities I find pleasant to frequent.

I see your point of view with bringing the focus on things produced by recognized members of Biostar, but I somewhat still think that a good tutorial or another form of post is more informative and pleasant to read than an add.

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.0 years ago • written 5.0 years ago by Eric Normandeau9.8k
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