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Fark NotNewsletter: Update on where our awesome, snarky Fark community stands today
Posted by DisseminationMonkey at 2020-03-25 2:21:42 PM (184 comments) | Permalink
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1314 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Mar 2020 at 8:27 AM (1 year ago) | | share:
A message from Drew Curtis:
TL;DR: If you can, sign up for TotalFark and/or BareFark ASAP - digital ad revenue cratered in tandem with the economy.
Back in January 2008, ad revenue went to practically zero for a little over a year. Interestingly, it preceded the worst of the financial crisis by about six months. That was the year that I learned that when financial times get tough, ad budgets get cancelled first.
The ad market hasn't been super strong this year, but as you're probably aware, the pandemic has kicked off a financial crisis. Although the online ad market is far more mature today than it was back in 2008, I suspected we'd probably start seeing a revenue drop starting next week after April 1st because ad budgets are drawn up quarterly.
However, something unprecedented is happening.
For some background context, in normal times, advertisers and ad networks are terrified of not paying out. Mainly because if you get the reputation of booking inventory and then running off without paying, you don't tend to keep repeat clients. It's not that non-payment has never happened to Fark, but it's extremely rare. To give you the dumbest example of this, we had one ad network in 2016 not only fail to pay for several months of ads, but actually suggested that we take payment in a cryptocurrency they had just created. But it's a rare occurrence.
Late last week, a fellow Farker who is CTO of an adtech company we've been working with closely hit me up with a warning. He said that as of last Thursday, they're seeing industry-wide cancellations. Companies aren't waiting until the 2nd quarter - they're pulling ads -now- on existing deals. Understandable given the current situation, but it doesn't help Fark at all.
The existing ads are still bringing in some revenue, although the advertisers I'm seeing are pretty strange - not sure what company is trying to sell me bikinis during a pandemic, but whatever, you be you Mr. or Ms. bikini retailer.
However, it's not going to be enough.
In 2008, we survived because you, the community, stepped up and supported us through TotalFark subscriptions. We need that again. If you've been laid off, hang onto your money. However, for the rest of you, if $5/month is still no big deal to you, we need you to sign up for TotalFark ASAP. You can also buy subscriptions for other Farkers if you like.
We may also have to consider blocking ad-blockers. 60% of Farkers use them, and there are many good reasons people use them other than not wanting to see ads, which is why we haven't taken this step before. If we end up doing this, for anyone experiencing financial hardship who needs ad blocking because of disability, technology restriction, or another relevant reason, just let us know and we'll activate BareFark for you at no charge. For those of you for whom $2.50 is not a significant imposition, sign on up to BareFark and you'll be right back to an ads-free experience. I've been asked many times if it's better financially for Fark to see ads or to sign up for BareFark - BareFark is by far the better option from a revenue standpoint. Even during a good economy, ads don't pay well at all. I wish there were a better digital revenue model, but that's what we've got to work with .
Meanwhile, I'll keep drinking from the news cycle firehose and keep you up to date on what's going on pandemic-wise. I'll try to keep it funny, but you know how it goes - we have to work with the news cycle we get. I would suggest if you need a break from COVID-19, check out the Geek tab. Pretty much everything not COVID-related is landing in there.
Additionally, Dallan and I are planning to start streaming a video and podcast daily update on all the tubes, so keep an eye out for that. We did a test run yesterday - I didn't link it on main Fark, but it's still on Fark's Facebook page if you'd like to see us muddle through while we figure out a format. It probably won't be exactly 5 times a week; today, for example, things are probably getting away from us.
I hate making this newsletter all about us - I hope you are doing well and are safe. Please check on each other and if you need anything, let us know. We'll be posting regular discussion threads on these topics, so keep an eye out. Feel free to submit them as well - I'll greenlight nearly any discussion tab topic, especially if they're funny.
On this week's Fark & Schnitt podcast, Todd and I compare notes on what it's like in middle America vs NYC as the COVID-19 situation rapidly changes. Turns out neither area has a monopoly on morons. Some New Yorkers still aren't doing the social distancing thing. Meanwhile, in eastern Kentucky, some folks are turning towards applying extra Jesus to the problem. And Todd's evacuation of his kids last week from NYC looks more and more brilliant with each passing day.
Next week, assuming everything doesn't go (even more) to hell suddenly, we'll be interviewing Peter Sagal from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Aside from the fact that he's a super cool guy, there's a really interesting and bizarre Fark connection to the show going back 20 years now. Tune in to find out what that is.
We now return you to your usual Fark NotNewsletter.
Some of the top-voted smartest and funniest comments from the past week
Angry Drunk Bureaucrat shared information about additional tests available in Germany
MrBallou wondered if a woman had completely thought through a reward she was offering
pkjun had a lot to teach the rest of us
JerseyTim figured out which team Tom Brady will play for
whatsupchuck showed us a photo of the ol' home office
ecmoRandomNumbers had a question about fatality rates of COVID-19 patients based on the type of treatment required
propasaurus explained why it was fine for spring breakers to party on Florida beaches
Gubbo pointed out that testing an antimalarial drug's effectiveness on COVID-19 might not take as long as you'd think
Farking Clown Shoes was confused by a Fark headline about smoking possibly playing a role in men's higher COVID-19 infection rates
ISO15693 predicted Donald Trump will manage to accomplish something no other U.S. president has done
Marine1 way underestimated how long it would be before this would become a serious argument
Circusdog320 is making excellent use of social distancing time
luna1580 figured that really bad times are coming for Florida
Chariset described what doomsday preppers and non-preppers might think of each other
ox45tallboy shared a photo of what one hospital is doing to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients
NobleHam showed one way to encourage social distancing
optikeye brought up another pandemic as an example of what can happen
August11 thought that prepper is in the eye of the beholder
Gonz summed up Tom Brady's decision to sign with the Buccaneers
Note: This section can only be accessed by TotalFarkers
Smart: Dance Party had a suggestion for someone who's still getting paid but considering a temporary delivery job
Funny: meg12279 wasn't going to let COVID-19 interfere with the most important things
Funny: merrillvillain wanted to know more about a good spot for photographing bald eagles
Funny: Mitch Taylor's Bro had everything you could want in a mate
Funny: MissFeasance had a complaint about a video of a naked woman with a dead rat in her mouth running down the street
MrBallou found evidence that a tweet wasn't authentic
Precious Roy's Horse Dividers asked an important question about Lou Dobbs going into self-quarantine
Jack Sabbath showed that Eric Trump was right about the stock market
arrogantbastich didn't think that August11's neighbor's job requires a lot of special training
Pocket Ninja explained that everything is Barack Obama's fault
Butterflew had questions about the website that Trump said Google is building to fight COVID-19
Tell Me How My Blog Tastes discussed when the Federal Reserve should cut rates and when it should raise them
Mr. Coffee Nerves suggested people who refused social distancing recommendations should be sent out to infect more people
blender61 gave background information about the U.S. Rep. who told the United Airlines CEO to stuff it
Unobtanium looked into the story behind an election day director who walked off in the middle of announcing changes to voting locations
Top Contest Entries
Some of the top-voted contest entries from last week, listed from highest number of votes down
hail2daking revealed an unpopular opinion of Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox
Kick The Chair discovered that someone is messing up the past
DarkJohnson showed that these costars haven't aged a day
Yammering_Splat_Vector got these guys some amazing cosmetic surgery
hail2daking made some moon rocks
Yammering_Splat_Vector showed us what all those people are doing with hoarded toilet paper
Thrakkorzog shared good news from the Doc
noazark proved that all's well that ends well
Yammering_Splat_Vector knew what to do with the torch if the Olympics are postponed
DarkJohnson found out what happens if you help the wrong person load an armchair into a van
From Caption the conversation between these two traders:
grokca gave a warning about a celebrity stalker
Grumpy Cat discovered that our subjects had become self aware
From Caption this underwhelmed emoji:
Pinnacle Point was inspired to sing about this creation
Weird Hal knew what this emoji was meant to convey
From Caption this sad guy on a trading floor:
Grumpy Cat figured that this fellow just wants to do the bare minimum
DocBubba could tell that this man had chosen poorly
From Caption this sunlit salutation:
ZAZ found out what it takes to get someone to perform a modern-day miracle
Snubnose revealed what really happened to Jack
whatsupchuck saw a forgetful dancer
Farktography Contest No. 776: "Phoning It In" ended in a tie between threnodyj's dewy autumn leaf and MorningBreath's Rhode Island sunrise
Farktography is Fark's weekly photography contest. If you would like to suggest a Farktography theme, please contact Elsinore.
Fark Weird News Quiz (brought to you by ox45tallboy)
Another good time on the Quiz, but the 1000 Club has been classified as "non-essential" and so remains closed to this week's victor. Still, congratulations to EasilyDistracted with the awesome top score of 1019. Denjiro came in second with 953, followed by Evildog in third with 842. sugaryvitamin and Hassan Ben Sobr tied for fourth with 831, and Burns like hellfire is our fourth place finisher with 828.
The hardest question on the Hard Quiz was over "Project Gesundheit," a tech company's effort to develop a cure for most varieties of the common cold. Only 21% of quiztakers knew this was actually an undertaking by Amazon, although I think it's a safe bet that this has kind of moved to the back burner a bit considering recent developments in infectious diseases.
The easiest question on the Hard Quiz was over which song former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin chose for her finale after being voted off of "The Masked Singer" while dressed, as one commenter put it, "in what appeared to be the dead carcass of Sully from Monsters, Inc." 73% of quiztakers knew that she picked Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" for reasons that are still unclear. As intros to a Presidential Oval Office Address go, I think this one will not be easily forgotten, no matter how hard we try.
The hardest question on the Easy Quiz was over the flavors of Chick-fil-A sauces that you can now purchase at select Florida retailers. Only 43% of quiztakers knew that the Polynesian Sauce was actually CFA's second most popular behind their signature sauce. For some reason, that sweetness appeals to people, especially in the Southwestern U.S. If you prefer the others, Barbecue, Honey Mustard and Garden Herb Ranch are available in bottles at Florida Chick-fil-A locations (not at retail grocers yet), but lovers of Sweet and Spicy Sriracha and Zesty Buffalo will have to settle for packets.
The easiest question on the Easy Quiz was about the latest chapter in the lawsuit saga between Led Zeppelin and Spirit over similarities in their music writing styles, an epic tale which has lasted longer than your last Zoom meeting with coworkers who can't figure out the mute button. 89% of quiztakers knew that it was "Stairway to Heaven" who Spirit thought was a bit too close to their song "Taurus." If you've heard the two together, you might say yeah, I can see some similarity, but Spirit didn't have John Bonham on drums, so their point is irrelevant to my interests.
Congratulations to the winners, and be sure to check out this week's Fark Weird News Quiz, where you can show off your knowledge of the weirdest news of last week.
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