How to take money from Wick

April 23, 2009

I wonder how Lauren Cureton feels about this “New FrontBurner.” She works in advertising at D Magazine and can’t be thrilled with the loss of page impressions sure to come from the No Comments era.

FrontBurner, like nearly every other Web site with advertising, charges advertisers based on page impressions. A page impression, of course is what happens every time you load a page. Here are some of their rates, courtesy of Lauren herself:

50,000 impressions        =          $1,437

100,000 impressions      =          $2,625

200,000 impressions      =          $4,250

There are two ads on FrontBurner: the banner and the tower. So let’s assume they’re both paid ads (though they frequently are house ads instead). That means that each time you visit FrontBurner, you could be giving Wick Allison nearly 6 cents.

50,000/$1,437 = $0.02874… multiply that by 2 (for two ads on the page) and you get $0.057 per impression.

Load the page 10 times in a day, and Wick has received 57 cents courtesy of you.

That’s the extreme example, since advertisers may choose for the better deal of buying 100,000 or 200,000 impressions. But you get the idea.

As you can see, it’s important for Wick that people return to FrontBurner throughout the day. I reloaded that page probably 50 times a day when I was commenting there, but, of course, I don’t do that now. The point is this: Less reason to return throughout the day will mean slightly less revenue for Wick. 

Want to really stick it to him? Use the RSS feed at the top right of LodoWick. Rather than checking back with FrontBurner to see if there’s a new post, just look there first. If there is and it looks interesting, sure, click and read it. If not, save the 6 cents.


Overcompensate much?

April 23, 2009

UPDATE (8:30 a.m. 04/24/09): Now with fresh numbers!

Without commenters to keep people coming back, FrontBurner writers have been working overtime to keep fresh content up on their site. I mean, Tim wrote a post at 8 p.m. yesterday. Shouldn’t he have been out drinking or something?

But seriously, take a look at the numbers from the past 15 days below. I didn’t include weekends, since nobody works on the weekend.

  • April 23: 17 posts
  • April 22: 14 posts
  • April 21 (The Day the Comments Died): 19 posts
  • April 20: 7 posts
  • April 17: 9 posts
  • April 16: 12 posts
  • April 15: 7 posts
  • April 14: 9 posts
  • April 13: 5 posts
  • April 10: 4 posts
  • April 9: 5 posts
  • April 8: 8 posts
  • April 7: 8 posts
  • April 6: 6 posts
  • April 3: 6 posts

So this is hardly a statistical sample, but in the most recent 13 weekdays of the YC (Yes Comments) era, we were getting 7.17 posts per day. Through the first three days of the NC (No Comments) era, we’re getting 16.67 posts per day.

To me, that says something. It says that they’re afraid of losing repeat readers who returned solely to read responses to their comments. What does it say to you?

Wick rewrites history

April 22, 2009

It used to be comments that would vanish out of thin air, but a post about the DMN’s online numbers recently disappeared as well.

UPDATE: He has now posted a corrected version. Apparently it’s OK to post something factually inaccurate and then later come back and correct it. As long as you cover your tracks.

Here was Wick’s first post:

Big Drop In DMN Online Numbers 

To be expected, considering the Texas presidential primary was last March.  The News is down 30%. Even so, that’s better than the Miami Herald (-85%), the NY Daily News (-71%), and the Raleigh News & Observer (-106%). So I would consider it a News victory, to have retained as many readers as it did.

Here was the rewritten post:

News Online Readership Way, Way Up

The DMN’s web growth continued in March year-over-year, despite the fact that last March Texas was engaged in a heated Democratic presidential primary. Overall, it was up 30%.  Even bigger gains were made by the Raleigh News & Observer (+106%), the Miami Herald (+85%), the NY Daily News (+71%), and the Seattle Times (+70%). [Thanks to the FrontBurnervians who quickly corrected my now-deleted earlier post, which was exactly wrong.]


Something’s different about those two posts, but I can’t tell what…

“Litterbug,” we want your response

April 22, 2009

If you were the “Litterbug” and Tim Rogers recently called you out (see here), we want to hear from you. We’d like you to have the chance to respond publicly. Contact us!

UPDATE: Now that Tim has taken down the “Open Letter to a Litterbug” we have also taken down the alleged litterbug’s name. No point in keeping it out there.

Open Letter to Tim Rogers

April 22, 2009

Dear Tim Rogers, executive editor of D Magazine:

On behalf of the City of Dallas, we want to thank you for keeping the streets of Dallas clean. By posting your Open Letter to a Litterbug you found a way to end littering in Dallas, and we applaud you. Here’s what you wrote:

Dear Driver of the Mini Cooper Registered to [redacted]:

This morning a little before 9 a.m., as I was waiting at the light at Mockingbird and Airline, I saw you throw a cigarette butt out the window of the snazzy Mini Cooper registered to [redacted]. Does [redacted] know you are smoking in her car and littering while you drive it?

This site will provide you some information about cigarette butt litter. Perhaps you are unaware that cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow and that they can take decades to degrade. Ick! Maybe you’re also not aware that throwing a butt out of your window is a Class C misdemeanor and that if you’re convicted of doing it more than once, under Chapter 59 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, you can lose your car — or [redacted] can lose her car. Inconvenient!

One more thing: you can report litterbugs on this site if you see one. Let’s you and I get on the same side of this issue and make the great state of Texas a more beautiful place to live.

Helpfully, Tim

Rather than writing a thoughtful post on the harms of littering based on your recent experience, you chose to make an example out of one person. Thank you for that. Just like “Wanted” posters and the death penalty have ended crime, naming the person responsible for one cigarette butt will put an end to littering worldwide.

That’s because everyone on the streets of Dallas will drive around in fear that Tim Rogers might be following them. This should also deter cheating husbands, texting while driving, and AIDS.

So you’ve done it. You found a way to clean up Dallas (on Earth Day no less) while still coming across as a nice guy and offending nobody. Keep up the good work.

Helpfully, RayRay

Open season: April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

It’s the first full day without comments at FrontBurner, but you’re welcome to comment here.

Personally, I always thought Leading Off was meant to “lead off” the discussion of the day, but now it just sort of sits there, collecting dust. After you read it, there’s no need to go back and add another click to the FrontBurner page impressions count.

Feel free to be sarcastic, off-topic, or informative in the comments.

UPDATE (10:31 a.m.): Tim has reached a new low with an “Open Letter to a Litterbug.” He saw someone littering and then decided to look up the person’s license plate and openly call her out by name. The conversation has started in the comments.

The FrontBurner comment saga

April 21, 2009

Man, the people at FrontBurner are mounting a relentless push to fill the entire front page of FrontBurner with stories about the new comments policy. Just a few more and they’ll have it!

Here’s a timeline of Tuesday, April 21:

11:51 a.m.: Wick ends comments forever. End of discussion.

12:41 p.m.: Tim can see both sides and posts responses from both sides.

2:02 p.m.: Wick, apparently, only gets positive e-mails from readers and posts four of them.

2:26 p.m.: Tim posts a link to Bethany’s excellent critique of the change. (But no shoutout for LodoWick?!?)

2:41 p.m.: Zac remembers that comments weren’t always bad/from RayRay.

4:20 p.m.: Tim gives props to the DMN (wait, what?) for giving FBvians a new home. (But wait, this is their new home!) Also worth noting on this one: Tim mentions the DMN City Hall blog, but he doesn’t link to it. Sneaky Tim thinks we don’t have Google. But we do!

5:01 p.m.: Some computery guy backtracks and tells us that we’ll see comments again real soon. So don’t go anywhere! Please!

5:06 p.m.: Wick finds some obscure site that agrees with him.

Wednesday, April 22:

8:03 p.m.: Tim finds some obscure site that agrees with him.

I’ll keep this updated as the saga continues.