ANNOUNCEMENT Advertisements on GMTNation


Original poster
Mar 24, 2014
United States
From time to time, the staff receive feedback from members about advertisements that are displayed globally on GMTNation. Most of the feedback, as you could imagine, is negative… and sometimes the aggression is even aimed at the staff when it comes to the content, placement, and frequency of those ads.

Let me start by saying that I am the only person who administers all aspects of the ads you see on our site. I do not have the ability to pick and choose what each person sees. All ads displayed are generated by the company serving them… in our case, it’s Google, Amazon, and eBay. Those companies generate ads based solely on YOUR browser’s cookies. We do have the ability to block certain categories of advertisements, but that option lacks the granular control needed to make it useful.

Why even display advertisements at all?
Without the advertising revenues generated by our advertisements, GMTNation would be shut down. The advertising revenue offsets the costs of properly operating a website/forum of any size.

Why do I keep seeing ads for “TEMU” or any other specific site?
Because your browser, your cookies have sold you out! At some point, you were browsing sites that caused these ad providers to think you’re interested in something specific and that you’re more likely to not only click a certain ad, but follow through and purchase a product. Again, that’s all generated by your own cookies in your personal browsers. Don’t believe me? Go into Incognito mode, or safe browsing mode and visit our site. You’ll have to login again (because cookies are restricted) but you’ll notice completely different ads being displayed.

Why are there so many advertisements displayed?
Ad placement is a tricky task. Depending on the “type” of website being operated, certain ad placements could be highly functional, but they can also be totally useless. Our website, of course, is a forum consisting primarily of vertical scrolling, like X or Instagram. For that reason, we have a lot of sidebar ad placements. Otherwise, it’s just a header and footer banner.

What if I use an ad blocker?
We won’t stop you! I mean, we could, but we don’t want to operate that way. You’re here benefitting from a service that we offer and information contributed by other members of the community… all managed by a volunteer staff. Why would it be too much to ask to let our ads display so can keep operating?

Is GMTNation sponsored by anyone?
No, we are not. The ad revenue, supporting memberships, and donations make up 100% of the income we use to offset costs associated with operating the site. This is, and always has been, a hobby. We don’t want to display ads! We’d love a nice clean look without advertisements… but then we wouldn’t be able to share our hobby with the community.

Advertisements on mobile devices are a mess, why?!
OK, my defense on this one is pretty weak, but still true. Desktop browsers are far more mature and consistent than mobile browsers today. When I make a change to any visual aspect of the site, looking at one desktop browser is going to give me a pretty good representation of what it will look like on other desktop browsers. However, that is far from the case with mobile browsers. There are tons of different screen resolutions on devices, and “browsers” render things differently. It’s almost impossible to discover and resolve issues… or to optimize what the user sees. In short, I may or may not have the skills to make it look better, but I certainly don’t have the mental bandwidth. Additionally, Google takes it upon themselves to exercise some of their technology when it comes to mobile ads and that further complicates the mobile experience.

Do I have to see advertisements?
No, there are things you can do if you feel it’s necessary. You can also upgrade your membership to hide ads properly.

I was just typing/talking about “xxxxxx” and then ads started showing up shortly thereafter… what the hell?!
First, turn off your microphone. This all goes back to tracking the digital behavior of people and using that information to serve relevant ads. It happens on all sorts of devices, not just browsers. You never know when Siri or Alexa are being nosey, and suddenly you start seeing ads for what you were just talking about (conspiracy theory). Just know that it wasn’t us. We have no earthly idea what advertisements are being served to our community.
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