Important Announcement
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  1. #1
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Default Important Announcement

    Frugalvillage.com is implementing a new format of advertising called IntelliTXT.

    As most of you know, donations have been few and far between. CJ and Dee have been kind of enough to organize a fundraiser and I'm thankful for those that have participated.

    Advertising coupled with donations is what will help keep the site going. It's also what keeps it free to use.

    Here's an explanation of the new ad implementation:

    What is IntelliTXT?

    The green links are provided by a company called Vibrant Media, it scans each page for both appropriate
    advertiser keywords and contextual relevancy. If a match is found, a small number of words can be subtly enhanced directly within the page. You will recognize the keywords by the green double underline that distinguishes them from other links.

    How does it work?

    A reader's mouse passing over any highlighted keywords will be presented with a Tool Tip describing an advertiser's product or service. If the reader then chooses to find out more information they can click on the keyword and it will act like an ordinary link taking them to a page belonging to the advertising company. For every click on a highlighted keyword, we will receive a small payment. If the reader is not interested in the advertiser's product or service, they simply read on, with little or no disruption.

    What if I don’t want to see these ads?

    IntelliTXT is user-activated. If you aren’t interested in the offer from the advertiser, you can simply move
    your mouse off of the green hyperlink. If you see any advertiser's products or services that interest you, feel free to click on the link. Hopefully you'll benefit, the advertiser will benefit, and we will benefit too. If not, don't scroll over the keywords and don't click and your reading experience will be uninterrupted.

    When will I begin to see this?

    We will be implementing a test of IntelliTXT within the next few days.

    This method of advertising has been used on many largescale sites. (forbes.com, entrepreneur.com, popular mechanics, ivillage, motley fool, dell, etc)

    Turning ads off and blocking ads is up to each individual;however, Frugal Village requires methods for defraying costs.

    I'm the only person that pays the costs involved with the exception of very few donations here and there in a given calendar year and currently there are so many sections that need to be upgraded.

    I haven't repaired them due to the cost. We're in desperate need of changing the systems we currently are using. I haven't updated the forum software in a long time and this leaves us open to being hacked.

    We're currently testing different systems on the sister sites so that when we do make the changes to Frugal Village (which are slated for sometime in March) it will be as painless as possible and won't require extensive downtime.


    Frugalvillage.com Timeline

    # 1998 Website launched on free website space

    # 1999 Domain "Usave2day.com" registered with 10-20 unique visitors per day and moved from "alltheweb" free boards to free ezboards

    # 2000 Switched website software to phpbb free software.

    # 2001 Switched to Vbulletin paid software. http://www.vbulletin.com/order/
    Domain name changed to Frugalvillage.com

    # 2002 Registered business Frugal Village as donations started to be received. Outgrew two server accounts.
    1) http://www.serve.com/hosting-bc.html 2) http://www.serve.com/hosting-c1.html with fluctuating up to 1000 unique visitors per day

    # 2003 Moved to dedicated server with 2000 unique visitors per day http://www.ev1servers.net/hosting/dedicated.asp

    # 2004 Moved to managed dedicated servers. http://www.cheetaweb.com/?topic=3000

    I won't go into details on how large we've become, but millions describes our page views each month.

    As many of you know, I implemented and tested being a subscription paid website and although that helped defray some costs and also helped weed out and maintain the quality of the members here, it was against my business plan and not the business model that I wanted to continue to pursue. It is my belief that a subscription based model is not what is best for the future of FV.

    During the past few years, I've always tried to utilize free software. There have been times that I've paid for
    software and at the moment, all these features aren't working and I need to pay to repair them.

    This isn't just the forums. The cost for that is minimal in comparison to the other software and hardware changes that are needed.

    I wanted to take this time to say thank you to all members for their participatory and monetary support. My goal is to get some of these core costs covered, so that I can budget for the necessary repairs and better plan for the future with our best foot forward.

    It is my belief that this new ad implementation will help defray costs. I understand many members may be unhappy with the implementation of ads, but I'm hoping you can see this from my perspective as well.

    It is necessary for the survival of the site and to secure the future of it. You'll be able to see advertising pennies and dollars at work here in the upcoming year and I'm confident that you'll be as enthusiastic about these planned changes as I am. Change is never easy, but the benefits will continue to outweigh the cons or I wouldn't bother to continue.

    I want to clarify that online advertising is new for me. I am testing different networks. My apologies for some of the questionable ads that popped up a couple of weeks ago, but the filter took a bit to take. I would never purposely show some of the ads that were shown.

    While on the topic of advertising, I wanted to address members advertising here within the forums. Most members know that I don't mind advertising your ebay listings. That's fine without permission. I don't mind people posting their for sale or trade items.

    I do not permit business ads to be posted or in signatures or profiles without permission and many will be subject to an advertising rate.

    Our policy has been set since 2002 and reads as the following:

    any signatures with links that are promotional, commercial, monetarily benefit the poster, and/or otherwise conflicting with this website will be subject to an advertising fee.

    Any signature ads that have not been paid for or removed within a week's time, will be removed.

    This doesn't apply to ebay or half.com links, nor does it apply to personal non-commercial sites that are not of the same nature as FV. Any site that runs banner ads, affiliate links, or promotes a business is not considered a non-commerical personal site. This also excludes signatures that have been granted personal permission from me.

    Please contact me if you have any questions regarding your ad payment. (ie. multiple signature rates, mailing address, paypal information, renewal, etc)

    Also, if your link is displayed here, a reciprocal link is expected and appreciated.

    FV is a place that fosters trust amongst it's members and all ad payments go toward the growth of the community, so directly benefit the community. Advertisers will be awarded an angel avatar for their award case that shows they have contributed advertising funds to FV.

    Fees for Single Advertisement signatures:

    3 Month Advertising Signature

    Signature: $30.00
    Signature & mini banner $50.00

    6 Month Advertising Signature

    Signature: $55.00
    Signature & mini Banner $85.00

    One year Advertising Signature

    Signature: $105.00
    Signature & mini banner: $150.00


    Please feel free to contact me in regards to advertising options. (such as top of forums and on the main page banner rates)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Darlene's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the heads up Sara. I know running this site has taken a lot of time & money from you and Gabe and the least we can do is help defray costs buy supporting this change. Love how FV has grown and am looking forward to see what's up next. Exciting times ahead & I'm looking forward to being a part of it all.




  3. #3

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    Default



    This type of advertising is actually really neat. I played with it on another site last night.

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  5. #4
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    Originally posted by Darlene
    Thanks for the heads up Sara. I know running this site has taken a lot of time & money from you and Gabe and the least we can do is help defray costs buy supporting this change. Love how FV has grown and am looking forward to see what's up next. Exciting times ahead & I'm looking forward to being a part of it all.
    Me too Darlene!!

  6. #5
    Registered User SewCrafty's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see what these new links will be!

  7. #6

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    Originally posted by homesteadmamma
    Me too Darlene!!


    Me three!!

  8. #7
    Registered User mom22grls's Avatar
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    Are these the kind of advertising that are on allrecipes.com? Actually, I have found them helpful on occasion.


  9. #8
    Registered User celina's Avatar
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    do you have a paypal donation button....i know on another site she has a button for us to donate if we feel the desire...even 5.00 here and there helps...

  10. #9
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Yes. Similar to on allrecipes.
    We actually were approached to use the exact same company as on allrecipes, but I opted to not go with them. They offer coupons that need to be printed. It would appear a better match and maybe it is, but we are opting to go with Vibrant Media for the initial trial vs. coupons.com. The ads we will be showing are not coupons. Just links, but they work almost the same with the exception of not needing to print something and only needing to click an ad of interest.

  11. #10
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by celina
    do you have a paypal donation button....i know on another site she has a button for us to donate if we feel the desire...even 5.00 here and there helps...
    https://www.frugalvillage.com/upgrade.shtml

    The donation link is on the top left of the forums. Under the logo.

  12. #11

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    Thanks for the explanation, Sara. I too think the expansion and development of FV has been handled very well by you and Gabe and I congratulate you both on what the site has become.

  13. #12

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    Thanks for the explanations Sara. I recognize that there's "no such thing as free lunch" and hence, understand that you either need to sell a product, charge a subscription fee or accept advertising. I've noticed a pop-up add when I first come to the village. I don't mind it, but I hope the number of pop-ups don't increase. The top-bar ads are very unobtrusive.

    I do have one question: Does the Village benefit financially if we actually click on those little green links?

  14. #13
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Yes. In order for FV to be paid, the green link has to be clicked. It's not actually an ad and only a link otherwise. I'm hoping anyone that doesn't have an interest, will find that ignoring them is painless and doesn't interfere with their regular reading on the site.

    There is a pop up ad that pops and it's set to pop only once per day per person that allows popups. That's once per day on any part of the site. Not once per page. If anyone receives more than one popup, please let me know because it is not set to be that way.

    There will not be an increase on popups ads. It is my feeling that they are the most intrusive, but they also happen to be the most effective form of advertising and because they are able to also be controlled per person, they are a good match.

    If the new ad implementation is successful, I will remove some other ads. It is not my intent to overwhelm anyone here with ads. I'm in a testing phase right now and seeing which ads are working best throughout the entire site. This is inclusive of surfing traffic and not just community members.

  15. #14
    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    I understand how much it must take to maintain the site and appreciate all that you do and are looking to do in order to keep up the integrity of the Village.

    Thanksomuch for all that you pour into it.

  16. #15

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    I actually had never noticed any where to donate or contribute to the Village before. Thanks for letting us know ahead of time! I did notice on the upgrade page that it was for paypal only, unless I missed something. How would someone donate with cash or a money order? I would love to help!!

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