It has been a very difficult decision on our part, but we have decided to try showing a small amount of ads on Overstream.net. We are very serious about your user experience and the influence of ads on it, which is why we have waited for so long and why we are going to proceed very slowly with this, listening to your feedback and trying to get it right. Please, please tell us your reactions, suggestions and feelings on this matter - either in the comments to this blog entry, in this forum thread, or via email.
As you can guess, the last thing we want to do is bombard you with advertisement. Currently, we will try showing a single ad, with the following properties:
- The ad is only shown on the video view page (on the upper right).
- The ad is only shown to users who are not logged in.
- The ad is styled consistently with the site so as to minimize distraction.
- The user has the option of hiding the ad (via the [x] in the corner).
We want to see if it’s possible to generate some revenue this way to be able to support ongoing development of Overstream. However, our philosophy makes us strongly opposed to showing you, our users, anything that is extraneous or unnecessary. As you have no doubt noticed, the Overstream.net site design is very simple and minimal, with little or no distractions from the site’s purpose: to add subtitles to online video. I have written the following in a post on our forum about a year ago, and I still stand by every word of it:
I think that simplicity is very important actually, and I am glad that you think overstream is simple. We now live in a world that is overloaded with information, new and awesome services are coming out all the time, every one of them chock-full of different features. As users, we are constantly faced with having to absorb the new possibilities presented to us, and when on top of that we add that the marketing can be pretty forceful in chasing after us to try out their new product, things get fatiguing pretty fast. Simplicity then becomes a necessity from a psychological perspective: a service that is easy to use and that does no more than needed is a respite for the tired mind.
And that is why we are very wary of contributing to the pollution of your attention, and will do our utmost to minimize its effects, so that Overstream.net can remain one of the places on the net to which you can come to relax.