PublisherSpot Updates: March 2008

March 11, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz
Paid Advertisement

I haven’t made a post in 4-days, but there is good reason for it: I’ve been working hard.

In my last PublisherSpot update post from three weeks ago, I had mentioned how I was starting to focus back again on my sites, in particular PublisherSpot.com. I’m pleased to say that I’ve indeed kept my promise, and have a fair bit to show for it, too.

It feels good to work again. I’ve neglected my sites for far too long. Blogging, while certainly being enjoyable, and at times rewarding, also takes a lot of time to regularly update and maintain. But blogging is not really an excuse to neglect my sites the way I have over the past year. So watch out, because here I come!

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New Features & Improvements Implemented

In my last PublisherSpot update, I revealed that I had commissioned a new programming team to undertake a number of tasks and improvements to the site. It was my first time working with them, so I was very apprehensive as to how things might go.

Fortunately, things went very well, and they completed all the tasks to my satisfaction (which is not as easy as it may sound). The improvements they made to the site included: Search Page Modification (Minor Improvement), Image Gallery Support (Major Improvement), Sortable Columns (Medium Improvement), and a bug fix.

The biggest improvement made to the site was the Image Gallery. All reviews now sport images and screenshots of their associated network, which really brings the reviews to life. Previously, they were rather bland when displayed as pure text, so the images really bring in personality and lure to the reviews.

Believe it or not, but it took me at least 6-7 hours to add all of the screenshots. There are 31 networks reviewed, which meant close to 100 images and screenshots had to be added. It takes time to log into each network, take screenshots, crop each one, blot out any sensitive details, watermark them, and then add them to each review.

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Upcoming Features & Improvements

I was happy enough with my new programmers that I’ve already hired them again for another batch of improvements for the site. Once these improvements have been completed, I will be undertaking another marketing and advertising campaign for PublisherSpot:

Staff Contributor Accounts (Medium Feature)

The administrator has complete access to all of the administration functions. Because of this, when hired freelance writers finish a review, the administrator is forced with the task of adding the review. This usually takes a fair bit of time, since it needs to be converted to BBCode, not to mention the extra feature details and images need to be applied as well.

Therefore, a manageable staff account feature is planned. For now, there will be two levels of staff access: Reviewer and Administrator. The administrator has the same access as now, but the reviewer has a limited access.

This works similar to how WordPress handles users; the administrator can set a user to Contributor status. The Contributor can then send in posts, and the administrator can publish it. In the future, PublisherSpot will likely add additional staff usergroups such as Editor and Member (in which Members have no staff access, but have access to features on the site such as commenting in reviews).

Editors Choice Feature (Minor Improvement)

While visitors can vote on any of the ad networks listed on PublisherSpot, there are some networks which are strangely rated higher than others. Therefore, the administrator will be able to reward/designate certain reviews with an “Editors Choice” designation.

Improved “Search by Ad Creative” Area (Minor Improvement)

On PublisherSpot’s Search page, the “Search by Ad Creative” area is much too cumbersome. In addition to being fairly long in height due to the number of checkboxes, the way the HTML and CSS is set up, it does not stretch. Therefore, when a new ad creative is added in the administration area, it gets cut off on the page. The only solution to this is to hand modify each of the CSS files (one for MSIE and one for FF since the render differently) to specify a new height for a couple elements.

All of this is very time-consuming and inefficient. Therefore, a better solution is needed. Ideas from the developer are welcome, but a possible solution would be to create the checkboxes horizontal, removing the second “cell” where they are currently placed, and putting them in the left “cell”. In the end, it’s all about usability for both the visitor and the administrator that is key here. Currently it is a big pain for the administrator.

Bold to Header Tag Conversion (Minor Improvement)

All of PublisherSpot’s reviews use the BOLD BBCode element as title/headings to separate sections. For example, the review of Casale Media uses BOLD for: Features, Controls, Available Types and Formats, Reporting, etc.

For SEO reasons as well as styling practicalities in addition to simply making the reviews more visually appealing, all of these BOLD subheadings will be changed to a special BBCode header tag (Ex. [H][/H] for Header). It should be noted that some reviews such as for NeverBlueAds contain the BOLD styling for areas in addition to the section titles. Therefore, a simple global text/replace will not work in this case, as it will break legitimate BOLD stylings. This is one of the reasons why this needs to be changed.

The new HEADER tags will have their own CSS styling applied, obviously, and will look different from their current BOLD styling. The new HEADER stylings will have the text much larger, and preferably have actual images (or CSS styling) separating them, such as a line or background.

Care will be taken to make sure they appear identical in MSIE, and FF, of course.

Newline Parenthesis Bug Fix (Bug Fix)

There is currently a bug within reviews where if there is a parenthesis in a list, it displays it on a new line. For example, in the review of SearchFeed, “(the default is mostly blue and purple)” and “(“partners”)” both appear on new lines, even though there is no newline in the BBCode.

Minor Image Modifications (Minor Update)

The image gallery’s image check function will increase the maximum image dimensions from 750×500 to 750×580. In addition, in order to help keep PublisherSpot’s loading times to a minimum, there will be a maximum image file size check.

More Networks Reviewed

Two new ad networks have been reviewed, bringing the total of networks reviewed on PublisherSpot to 31. The two new reviews are of RevResponse and Spottt.

In addition, two past reviews have been rewritten and updated to reflect changes of the networks since their original creation. The first was for AdBrite, because the original review was a bit outdated, and the second was for ShoppingAds. We had reviewed AuctionAds, but it was later fully bought out from Shoemoney by MediaWhiz which was part-owner, and then renamed ShoppingAds.

Suggestions and Requests Welcome

While I have a big list of ideas for improvements already, I’d love to hear your own ideas and suggestions as well. How can I improve PublisherSpot?

Also, if there is an ad network you’d like to see reviewed, or you simply know of any that we’re missing, please let me know. I’ll be sure to have them reviewed!

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Posted: March 11th, 2008 under My Websites  

15 Responses to “PublisherSpot Updates: March 2008”

  1. Looks nice, much better with images.

  2. Tom Beaton says:

    Pretty big project. Looks like it could ultimately be a great resource though. Do you include details about which country they work well in? For example, I live in the UK and would be interested primarily in UK affiliate opportunities.

  3. wow, huge project. great that it worked out with your first developers. usually it takes the 3rd offshore crew to get the job done.

  4. Flimjo says:

    The images make it nicer and more user-friendly. The work was a good investment overall.

  5. Was interested in RevResponse, I guess I’ll go ahead and read the review. ;)

  6. ANother says:

    Tyler, the issue you seem to have is you write too much when you blog.

    Try taking a leaf out of shoemoney’s book and post some short informative tid-bits now and again instead of an these huge a$$ articles.

    Just my 2-cents. GL

  7. joe says:

    Wow, Tyler Do you not know how the internet works? This site is beyond failure IT HAS NO REAL PURPOSE TYLER!

    there is no community back support. There are Hundreds of these review sites out there and thats what they are! JUST search engine bait material to get referral links.

    Your site brings nothing new to the table what so ever and there is no point anyone would even visit it. Nobody is ever going to get there affiliate network information off a site like yours. you know why? because no matter how old your site is, trust is a very big issue.

    Not to mention Nobody cares enough to read a whole page review there gonna go to like digital point and say “hey is blank blank any good?”

    Thats it, thats your whole market right there and you know how people get there answers for what your doing? they make a 2 second post on a major forum. Save your money…

    actually you know what, invest more into this terrible idea so you can add this to one of your major failure list.

    THE SITE IDEA IS SATURATED AND IT WAS DUMB TO BEGIN WITH!

  8. joe says:

    Oh btw, Dont even bother advertising this tyler.. seriously wake up and learn from your first mistake trying to advertise it. Even after these improvements which make your site still nothing worth looking at a second time. there is no substance to it tyler the reason a website succeeds is because people will come back.

    The ONLY way you can counter this is to have a steady flow of new traffic everyday and thats done through either daily advertiseing. even you could afford to keep that crap shoot site up and not even a million visitors sent over night would you get 1-10 bookmarks if your lucky…

    The next would be search engine optimization, you have already proven you know nothing about websites so chances of you knowing anything about search engine optimization are slim to none.

    That was the only chance you had and it wasnt evne a good chance it was a miracle chance if you could get that site into the search rankings where you want it. Like i said the search engines are already 20 pages deep of websites like yours fighting for top postions because of the referral link bait, you sir stand no chance getting to the top with this.

    I dont know why i am telling you this, i would love nothing more than to see you fail so far and fall on your ass which you are already doing with this site.

    I know you wont heed any advice because your one of those asshole prick kids who think they know everything. I know you wont listen thats why i feel good telling you how much your gonna fail with this project. I guess its just my way of saying 2 years down the line “i told you so idiot”.

  9. Am I the only one who thought those last two comments by a mysterious “joe” were friggin hilarious?

  10. David Chew says:

    Looks interesting but does it good.

  11. Jason says:

    Funny how good ole joe was too scared to give a link to his own website… maybe because it’s a lot of crap? ;)

  12. Will says:

    good to hear that it’s doing well.

  13. You have really work hard on it tyler, great job done.

  14. [...] programmers are still working on batch #2 (actually, they haven’t started yet. I just finished answering all of the project [...]

  15. [...] my previous PublisherSpot Update post back in March, 6 more networks have been reviewed, bringing the total of networks reviewed on [...]

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