Forums: Dropzone.com: Suggestions and Feedback:
Icon and Aerodyne links in posts

 

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Nightingale  (B 26984)

Mar 18, 2006, 10:56 AM
Post #1 of 64 (4488 views)
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Icon and Aerodyne links in posts Quote | Reply

The auto-clicky to Aerodyne is pretty cool, but the Icon one seems to be a little problematic, because icon is a word with other meanings, and a lot of times, the clicky doesn't make any sense, and when words happen to end in the letters -icon, it makes half the word clicky and puts a capital "I" in the middle. For example: emoticon


pilotdave  (D License)

Mar 18, 2006, 8:34 PM
Post #2 of 64 (4449 views)
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Re: [Nightingale] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Holy crap.... sangiro, how much would it cost to buy the word Boobies???

Dave


bob.dino  (E 2185)

Mar 19, 2006, 5:27 PM
Post #3 of 64 (4418 views)
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Re: [Nightingale] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This is an attempt to link to the Icon container on the Square1 website: Icon.

I can't. It's masked by the advertising link.


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 20, 2006, 1:25 AM
Post #4 of 64 (4387 views)
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Re: [Nightingale] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hey Kris,

Thanks for the suggestion. We actually had it like that originally. There is a flip-side to this in that a lot of users do not use capitalize when they post to forums. From the perspective of an advertiser this means that there may be a slew of conversations about their product that does not get linked to their site - and that's a problem if you're paying for that keyword.

Aerodyne is one of the few companies which actually has product names (like Icon, Smart and Pilot) that's used a lot in different contexts in the forums. For most other companies this would not be an issue at all. Sabre, Xaos, Javelin, Bird-man... most simply doesn't have this problem.

Based on this here are the decisions we had to make.

1) Make the product linkage case sensitive (basically just for Aerodyne and a few others) and when an advertiser buys a link, set up every possible variation of that word to try and make sure we are fair to them as well.

2) Make it non case sensitive and get some "out of context links" to the manufacturer page.

#1 above is unfortunately an almost unworkable option. We tried that and I rolled it back.

Aerodyne, aArodyne, aeRodyne, aerOdyne, aeroDyne, aerodYne, aerodyNe, aerodyne...

and the starting again with....

AerodynE, AerodyNe..

you get the idea...

It's obviously a balance between being fair to advertisers, but also try to create a user experience that's not confusing. I simply decided most product names are pretty unique and distinguishable and should not be a problem. I'll take the knock on the few that are out there that can be used out of context. It's just a call that I had to make.

I'm open to further constructive suggestions though. Smile

Just in general about Forum Keywords:

Keywords has to relate to a company product or name. All keywords must be approved by myself before they are sold. I'm sure there's money to be made in selling keywords like "skydiving" and "boobies" but it's simply not going to happen. (sorry Dave!)

I've been doing this for a while and those of you who have been here for a few years will know that I am pretty adamant to create a clean and uncluttered user experience without a bunch of ads. Dropzone.com has an absolute minimum amount of ads. No pop-ups, nor 2 or 3 long skyscraper ads and a big flash block on every page. These are pretty much standard - try CNN.com or 80% of the sites on the web. We have always resisted this and will continue to do so.

Linking keywords are effective, for advertisers and non-intrusive to users. On this site they go through a approval process before they will be used and they are priced in a way that reflects the fact that I know the impact too many of them can have on the site. They are also non-permanent. The minute an advertiser stops paying for them... all of them will disappear again.

It's not a perfect world but I trust this can be done in a way that's balanced and fair to all involved. Smile


Eule  (Student)

Mar 20, 2006, 3:05 AM
Post #5 of 64 (4378 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
1) Make the product linkage case sensitive (basically just for
Aerodyne and a few others) and when an advertiser buys a link, set up
every possible variation of that word to try and make sure we are fair
to them as well. [...] #1 above is unfortunately an almost unworkable
option. We tried that and I rolled it back.
Aerodyne, aArodyne, aeRodyne, aerOdyne,[...]

Uh, this problem has been solved since at least 3rd November 1971.
Page 8 of http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/man12.pdf
suggests that matching on patterns like

'[Aa][Ee][Rr][Oo][Dd][Yy][Nn][Ee]'
'[Ii][Cc][Oo][Nn]'

would probably solve this problem. Going even further and matching on

' [Ii][Cc][Oo][Nn] '

(note leading and trailing space) would solve the problem of parts of
words getting turned into links.

Eule


bergh  (C 1649)

Mar 20, 2006, 3:07 AM
Post #6 of 64 (4378 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hi Sangiro

Maybe try doing pattern maching the sold word by specifying that it has to Either be at the start of the line and needs to end with a space or it needs to start with a space and end with a space.

php e.g.

preg_replace('/^Icon /', $replacementText, $string);//Replace any Icon at the start of the line with the content of $replacementText
preg_replace('/ Icon /', $replacementText, $string);//replace any Icon that is between two spaces
preg_replace('/ Icon$/', $replacementText, $string);//replaces any Icon that start with space and ends the line.


bergh  (C 1649)

Mar 20, 2006, 3:09 AM
Post #7 of 64 (4376 views)
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Re: [Eule] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Dam you just replied before me but you're missing two possible cases where a word is at the start of a line or end of a line, in other words no leading or trailing space.


(This post was edited by bergh on Mar 20, 2006, 3:10 AM)


bergh  (C 1649)

Mar 20, 2006, 3:17 AM
Post #8 of 64 (4372 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

One other thing don't do the ad linking on the preview post page as user can then check the preview to see which word they need to get creative with to avoid ads link.

ps. Also try to match and remove open close brackets with nothing in between or just spaces in between.


RhondaLea  (A 29204)

Mar 20, 2006, 4:27 AM
Post #9 of 64 (4356 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You didn't want to discuss this in the other two threads, so I brought it over here:

In reply to:
That's fair. I'm taking note of your feedback. It's absolutely impossible to please everyone and if you feel strongly about this you can certainly cancel your Premier Membership. (which JP doesn't have) Unfortunately the relationship between Premier Memberships and forum keyword ads actually work exactly the other way round though....

Just like you I need to make decisions about how I pay the bills. I trust you'll continue to enjoy all the free features you're getting on Dropzone.com - as both of you certainly have been doing for a very long time.

1. I didn't say anything about cancelling my membership, so I'm not very appreciative of your remarks above for the following reasons: a) I'm locked in until February 2007, so I can't make a decision until then anyway without suffering financial loss, even if that had been my intent, which it was not and b) I first subscribed when I realized just how much of a postwhore I'd become. Prior to the last few months, I really didn't use this site that much, and prior to the last year, I barely used it at all. The only premier feature that is minimally useful to me is the ability to sort PMs, and I don't use any others. I had a much different reason for subscribing, and I really resent the hell out of having my support for your site denigrated--i.e., by your comments above.

2. Aerodyne was and remains my overall favorite gear manufacturer, both because of the gear they sell (if I ever do start jumping again, it would be to Aerodyne I would go, unless a certain rigger friend of mine goes back into business, and even then, I'd still buy my canopy from Aerodyne), and because I am quite fond of Bushman and his predecessor (RIP Ian), as well as having been friends with Bill Hazlett way back. My point is that my objection has nothing to do with liking the company, because I support the company fully. And back when I was still jumping, a fair number of Triathlon sales were directly attributable to my glowing reviews on r.s.

All that said, I strongly object to having my posts hijacked this way. Obviously, I know what to do to prevent it happening, and although it's annoying, it's exactly what I intend to do.

rl


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 20, 2006, 4:42 AM
Post #10 of 64 (4351 views)
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Re: [Eule] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Eule,

Good suggestions. Thanks guys.

Matching patterns will indeed go a long way to solving the problem stated above. It doesn't solve the problem of out of context links though. While you may gain a little on context, you at the same time also provide a very simple way for anyone to get "around" the ad, which is not fair to the advertiser.

Recognizing a pattern for a product like Pilot or Smart does not mean it actually refers to the product:

"We've created a new Pilot Forum on our site"
"Smart people will know how to solve this problem in no time"

...and on the flip side, allowing a link to be created in all cases to the exclusion of one case means people can write the word in the single exclusion, all the time, and get around it. In this case, write it in all lower case. (You do have to exclude something, otherwise the pattern recognition becomes moot)

Combining it with some of bergh's suggestions is probably better. Removing it from the middle of words is a good idea. I'll follow up on that. Trying to also build context about the proximity of the word within the sentence is also a good idea. Again, just not very fool-proof.

Part of the issue is recognizing the words. Another part is the fact that the words for these few products, in any form or format can actually have more than one meaning.

Again, I think their are few enough of these product names around that this should not be a big issue. I'll continue to look into some of these suggestions though.


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Mar 20, 2006, 5:03 AM
Post #11 of 64 (4341 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
All that said, I strongly object to having my posts hijacked this way. Obviously, I know what to do to prevent it happening, and although it's annoying, it's exactly what I intend to do.

I'm sure Sangiro will be open to suggestions for other ways he can support himself while maintaining this website which has evolved from a part-time hobby to a full-time job as it has grown over the years.

The links don't bother me. As with everything else on this site, you don't have to open them, just keep reading.


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 20, 2006, 5:04 AM
Post #12 of 64 (4341 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Duly noted.

Quote:
so I can't make a decision until then anyway without suffering financial loss

Though I understand that "it was not your intent" I will gladly refund your full payment if you do decide to cancel and leave your Premier Membership active untill your current term expires. I certainly have no desire to keep you "locked in" or cause you to suffer a "financial loss". Smile

For now I'm going to stand by my position that these ads are a lot less annoying than pop-ups, large flash blocks all over the site or Google ads in every little corner.


(This post was edited by sangiro on Mar 20, 2006, 5:14 AM)


RhondaLea  (A 29204)

Mar 20, 2006, 5:47 AM
Post #13 of 64 (4327 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
Duly noted.

Quote:
so I can't make a decision until then anyway without suffering financial loss

Though I understand that "it was not your intent" I will gladly refund your full payment if you do decide to cancel and leave your Premier Membership active untill your current term expires. I certainly have no desire to keep you "locked in" or cause you to suffer a "financial loss". Smile

I support the site because I think it's a good and worthwhile site, and because, in spite of my periodic objections (of which you are aware), I think the good far outweighs the bad.

So speaks one of the latter day holdouts of rec.skydiving. Crazy

But even though I'm turning down your offer to refund my money, it was a nice offer under the circumstances.

Besides, you can't get rid of me that easily. Unimpressed

Laugh

In reply to:
For now I'm going to stand by my position that these ads are a lot less annoying than pop-ups, large flash blocks all over the site or Google ads in every little corner.

I dunno. If it were me, I think I'd go for the Google ads. They don't take up much space, and they're far less personally intrusive than having to type "emoticon" funny all the time.

rl


RhondaLea  (A 29204)

Mar 20, 2006, 5:54 AM
Post #14 of 64 (4322 views)
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Re: [skymama] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
The links don't bother me. As with everything else on this site, you don't have to open them, just keep reading.

Andrea, go back and read Katzurki's post in the other thread.

That needs to be fixed. Fast.

I don't care if Aerodyne links to something when I type it. But I don't want to type any words that contain "icon" and have them turn out with a capital "I" in the middle of the word and a link in part of the word.

Nor do I want to have to engage in this stupid little exercise of putting some code in the middle of the words I type.

rl


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 20, 2006, 6:52 AM
Post #15 of 64 (4304 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
Nor do I want to have to engage in this stupid little exercise of putting some code in the middle of the words I type.

Then don't.

Quote:
That needs to be fixed. Fast.

[sound of me clicking my heels]

If you read my post above you'll see that I said I will certainly look into removing the links from inside words. That was never intented to happen and it's just plain nasty from a usability perspective.

Until this discussion started you've used the word "emoticon" no more than 7 times in 4,173 posts. Till I get that sorted I'm not going to be too worried about all the time you'll have to put in to avoid creating an accidental link! Tongue

I think you've managend to create a huge issue (in your mind) about something that most people scanned over and moved on to the next post.


(This post was edited by sangiro on Mar 20, 2006, 8:24 AM)


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Mar 20, 2006, 6:53 AM
Post #16 of 64 (4302 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
I don't care if Aerodyne links to something when I type it. But I don't want to type any words that contain "icon" and have them turn out with a capital "I" in the middle of the word and a link in part of the word.

Well, that's a whole different position than your first few posts on the subject. I'm sure HH will work on the "icon" problem. Other than that, these links seem to me to be far less intrusive than other options that are out there.

I signed up for Hotmail's free Beta e-mail and only lasted an evening with that before swtiching back to the old way. I couldn't stand how the ads took up more room than the actual content. In my opinion, most other site's ads are so much worse than this one.


RhondaLea  (A 29204)

Mar 20, 2006, 7:15 AM
Post #17 of 64 (4291 views)
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Re: [skymama] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
Quote:
I don't care if Aerodyne links to something when I type it. But I don't want to type any words that contain "icon" and have them turn out with a capital "I" in the middle of the word and a link in part of the word.

Well, that's a whole different position than your first few posts on the subject.

Nope.

This is what I said:

I would resent (like crazy) having my words turned into ads. Fortunately Icon is not a word I use, although I do use the word emotIcon. And I do not like what the preview of this post is showing me even a little bit. It's an outrage.

I'm all for making money, but there is a line, and this crosses that line.


I do resent it, but I can also see the argument for it--which came after my response. I still think I'd prefer the Google option, but I'll be calmer about it if I have some control of what my posts look like. (I also made a comment about it in the thread about sig lines, but perhaps we should just let that lie.)

I can't go back and search every word I've ever written that contains the word "icon." I just don't like having my posts altered, unless it's for reasons having to do with the forum rules.

Try to remember that I didn't start this, but I keep getting responses that seem to require my reply, and I have this terrible habit of responding to posts that address me directly.

rl

P.S. I wouldn't use hotmail if MSN were the last provider on the planet. I have plenty of stationery I need to use up.


(This post was edited by RhondaLea on Mar 20, 2006, 7:17 AM)


pilotdave  (D License)

Mar 20, 2006, 8:13 AM
Post #18 of 64 (4274 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think it could be worse. Many forums use the commercial IntelliTXT service that does the same basic thing, but in a more annoying way.

Sangiro, I would make one suggestion. Keywords should look different from regular links, as not to confuse users into thinking the person that posted the message created the link. To me, it's dishonest otherwise. I like a dotted underline instead of a solid underline for sponsored links.

Pilotdave Tongue


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Mar 20, 2006, 8:17 AM)


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 20, 2006, 8:23 AM
Post #19 of 64 (4262 views)
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Re: [pilotdave] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
Sangiro, I would make one suggestion. Keywords should look different from regular links, as not to confuse users into thinking the person that posted the message created the link. To me, it's dishonest otherwise. I like a dotted underline instead of a solid underline for sponsored links

That's a good suggestion. Thanks. Smile

Quote:
Pilotdave

Tongue


Nightingale  (B 26984)

Mar 20, 2006, 8:51 AM
Post #20 of 64 (4247 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

What about keeping the keyword the same color as the regular text (less visually distracting than turning it purple, especially if the link has nothing to do with the post), but having an underline to let people know that it's a link?

Edit: also, perhaps for forums such as Speaker's Corner, the keyword feature for icon could be disabled, as it's unlikely we'll be discussing gear there, and very likely that the word will come up in other contexts. Or, just use the keywords in the skydiving related forums rather than Bonfire and Speakers, where most of the discussion is non-skydiving related.


(This post was edited by Nightingale on Mar 20, 2006, 9:04 AM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 20, 2006, 10:37 AM
Post #21 of 64 (4219 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
It's absolutely impossible to please everyone and if you feel strongly about this you can certainly cancel your Premier Membership. (which JP doesn't have)

Just like to point out, I was one of the first to join, not because I see eye to eye with you (I'm sure you'll agree we don't), but because this wesite and what it offered seemed worth suporting. It appears it may not need the suport any longer.

Quote:
Unfortunately the relationship between Premier Memberships and forum keyword ads actually work exactly the other way round though....

Please explain.

Quote:
For now I'm going to stand by my position that these ads are a lot less annoying than pop-ups, large flash blocks all over the site or Google ads in every little corner.

How long till you're pressured to go to that? Besides, then an ad looks like an ad, not like a manipulation of someone's own words. Even the sig line ad in the PM's ain't bad, because it is more easily seen as seperate from the senders writings, but now I could be pointing out a flaw in a manufacturer's product and your advertising will change that into a possible endorsement.


Premier sangiro
Head Honcho
Mar 20, 2006, 11:28 AM
Post #22 of 64 (4202 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
Just like to point out, I was one of the first to join,

And I appreciate that, but with all due respect, you were also one of the first to cancel. Tongue

Quote:
It appears it may not need the suport any longer.

How did you derive that? Because I don't want to change a feature that you and a handful of other people don't like? Were you under the impression (again) that paying for a value add service buys you some form of leverage?

Quote:
Please explain.

What's to explain? Canceling a Premier Memberships is more likely to encourage me to look at other revenue streams...

Quote:
How long till you're pressured to go to that?

I wasn't pressured to go to this.

Quote:
I could be pointing out a flaw in a manufacturer's product and your advertising will change that into a possible endorsement.

No it doesn't. It changes it to a link where users can read more about the product that you think is flawed. I trust your post will make it very clear that you're not endorsing the product.

It's really not the big deal you're trying to make this out to be.

I actually think this can be a pretty cool feature with benefits to all. Some people have given some really constructive inputs and has made some great suggestions in this thread. I'm going to focus on working with them to see how I can ensure that this doesn't become a usability drag or create too much confusion, while still remaining fair to everyone involved.


(This post was edited by sangiro on Mar 20, 2006, 11:30 AM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 20, 2006, 11:42 AM
Post #23 of 64 (4199 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Quote:
And I appreciate that, but with all due respect, you were also one of the first to cancel.


Loose your source of income for a couple months and you might make a couple cutbacks as well.Smile

Quote:
It's really not the big deal you're trying to make this out to be.

Says you. To me it is, which is why I've said something.


Nightingale  (B 26984)

Mar 20, 2006, 11:47 AM
Post #24 of 64 (4197 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Since some of the paying members seem to have a strong dislike for it... What about giving paying members the ability to disable that feature in their posts, since they are supporting the site in another way? I'm guessing this would probably be really difficult to do, though.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Mar 20, 2006, 11:49 AM
Post #25 of 64 (4196 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Icon and Aerodyne links in posts [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
I actually think this can be a pretty cool feature with benefits to all.

I see it heading here. I don't like it.

The links are easy enough to work around for those who prefer to not have advertising inserted into their posts. Airodyne, ikon, etc...


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