posted by David Adams on Tue 10th Jun 2003 17:14 UTC
IconSome people have noticed that on OSNews feature articles, in addition to the normally-formatted green links on the page, there are also double-underlined black-green links, that link to offers from sponsors, like free .NET tutorials or a whitepaper on Intel Centrino. If you haven't seen these, it's probably due to the fact that it only works on IE for Windows. If you're using Linux, Mac, Mozilla, or another browser/platform you may never see it. Those who have seen it: don't worry. There's no strange spyware installed on your machine. "Read more" for more details.

The double-underlined links are from one of our advertising brokers, Vibrant Media, and we're trying it out as an alternative to larger banner advertising that you see on other web sites. It's just a bit of Javascript that picks certain keywords that sponsors have "bought" and links off to offers that are related to that keyword.

Some of them are quite telling. Microsoft, for example, at one point bought the keyword Linux to point off to information about .NET for some reason, but oh well. Keep in mind that these companies are not specifically buying keywords on OSNews, but across a whole network of technology sites.

If you really, really hate it, now's the chance to let us know in the comments. If you don't mind the keyword ads, we'd like to hear that in the comments too.

We really try to keep the advertising as unobtrusive as possible, while still making enough money to keep the lights on around here. I'm sure you've noticed the ads on the internet getting bigger and more in-your-face over the past few years. That's primarily because in 1999 a standard-sized banner ad like we have at the top of OSNews used to pay $.012-$.06 for each impression. Now a site is lucky to earn $.0005 for that same ad. We're trying to buck the trend as much as we can afford to do, but that sometimes requires a bit of creativity and experimentation.

If you do really hate the keyword ads, you can disable them. You can edit your Windows TCP/IP hosts file (C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and add the following line:
127.0.0.1 itxt.vibrantmedia.com

On the subject of advertising, we're grateful for your understanding that it's not cheap to run a web site like OSNews. Our site uses over 50 Gigabytes of bandwidth per month. If you hate ads, feel free to use the various methods to block them. But if you'd like to support OSNews anyway, one of the best ways to do it is to think of us when you're buying products online:

Use the OSNews Comparison Shopping Engine at http://osnews.pricegrabber.com
Try the NewMobileComputing comparison shopping engine, by Dealtime.
Or use this link when ordering from Amazon.com.

If you have any feedback, ideas, suggestions, or complaints about ads on this site, feel free to use the comments or email me directly at david [at] osnews.com.

I'd also love to hear from you if your company is interested in buying ads on osnews. We'll give special rates to OSNews readers.

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