Locus Online


On Buying Books

On Harry Potter

1999 Archive

25 February 2000

Banner Ads

I'll be the first to admit that I very rarely click on banner ads as I surf the web. Occasionally one will catch my interest and I'll click, but most of the time I look past them, look around them, ignore them. The only web ads that actively annoy me are the interstitials, or daughter windows, that pop up as you arrive at or leave a website. (If you're not sure what I mean, visit Time Magazine. The worst sites in this regard are the porn sites -- so I've heard...)

Nevertheless, Locus Online has given in to the trend, and has succumbed to the entreaties from the ad networks themselves, and signed up for one. Once I insert a couple lines of html code at the top of a webpage, it's self-maintaining; the ad agency provides the actual banners and links, and tracks the results. I've started by linking several of the most current pages, and will eventually add the links throughout the site.

You can purchase banner ad space on this site yourself. We tried this once before and got no reponse [thus, partly, my comment in previous editorial], but we've revised our rate sheet; you can place banners on several pages for less than the price of a hardcover book; somewhat more if you want the Homepage or the 'What's New' page (the two pages with by far the most number of hits), though. Inquire within.

If anyone has strong feelings about the banner ads, let me know. Magazines and websites in general get less feedback that you probably suspect, and this one is no exception.

Meanwhile, I've started relaxing the width of some pages, making them wider than the heretofore standard of 585 pixels, as this page is. The narrower size was common, and is still common on many websites, to allow for typical resolutions on older computers with smaller monitors. As technology marches on, more and more people have better monitors, and web publishers have adjusted to take advantage. I surveyed a couple dozen popular sites recently, and found that about a third have adjusted their dimensions to be substantially wider than 600 pixels; examples include the recently-redesigned New York Review of Books (680 pixels wide); Publishers Weekly (700); (760); and (780!). Locus Online doesn't want to inconvenience readers confined to small monitors, but the extra space is irresistible; the new homepage is 650 pixels wide [compare previous Homepage], and the Greg Bear interview excerpts page is 700 pixels wide. Again, reader feedback is welcome.

--Mark R. Kelly

© 2000 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.