College Sports in the
Realm of Bonesville
Thursday, July 27, 2006
By Danny Whitford
Publisher & Editor
Scourge of the cyber seas
Aggressive digital stow-aways
on Bonesville.net to walk the plank
While each new day has brought ever-evolving
content to Bonesville.net for the past five years, there has been another
aspect of the site that you could count on being unchanged each time the sun
Yep, pop-ups, the bane of every Web surfer’s existence, have become as
ingrained in the fabric of Bonesville.net as the punditry of the charter
members of our staff, Brian Bailey, Ron Cherubini, Al Myatt and Denny O’Brien.
As publisher of the site, I can only describe our stormy affair with pop-ups
as a love-hate relationship.
We have coveted the monthly checks from our pop-up advertisers
because they have helped us keep the site going without levying a
subscription fee on our readers. Yet, we generally detest these dastardly
little intruders on our otherwise smoothly-flowing site because they tend to
rudely interrupt our visitors' browsing experiences.
Since launching Bonesville.net in 2001, we’ve broken many big stories about
highly controversial topics and published a number of strong editorial
positions that went against the grain of what was “politically
correct” at the time. But rarely have these journalistic excursions provoked
the kind of vitriol fired our way on occasion concerning pop-up ads.
Some of the smoldering e-mail messages I have received over they years
about pop-ups have bordered on unrestrained rage. Seriously.
On some of the occasions when I replied to messages of this sort suggesting
that our economic alternative was to consider charging a subscription fee,
the counter-reply was filled with… more fury.
It’s enough to make a body consider hiring an entourage of bodyguards…
Or, better yet,
developing a new approach to advertising. Which is precisely what we're in
the process of doing.
Thanks to Hinton Media Group, owned by Greenville radio and television
executive Henry Hinton, we believe we’ve got a fix in hand. Hinton, a
regular columnist for Bonesville.net, operates East Carolina’s flagship AM
station, WNCT Talk 1070, and Cable 7 TV.
The apparent solution began to emerge when Bonesville.net, which also publishes The
Pirates’ Chest for the ECU Pirate Club, recently entered into an
agreement delegating to Hinton’s group the responsibility for marketing the
advertising in The Pirates’ Chest and in our own annual football
preview publication, Bonesville Magazine.
The results of this new print advertising arrangement have been promising
enough to prompt our two companies to strike a similar deal regarding
the advertising inventory of Bonesville.net.
One of the high-priority objectives Hinton and I discussed in planning the
strategy for this initiative is to replace the pop-ups placed on
Bonesville.net by Internet ad brokers with more conventional ads from local
The general intention is
to remove the invoking of these national agency pop-ups from the front page immediately and to
begin excluding them from future articles and features.
If you dig into our older
content, many of the articles in our archives will continue to spawn pop-ups
because it’s not practical for our coders to attempt to modify thousands of
HTML files, but we’re betting our readers will consider that a minor
nuisance in comparative terms.
While we're at it, we're
also going to attempt to reign in the proliferation on our site of some of the more
annoying non-pop-up ads, particularly those that flash like short-circuited
Ultimately, we must
depend on you, our readers, to help make this updated business model work.
You can do this by letting our existing advertisers know that you saw their
message on our site and by suggesting Bonesville.net as an advertising
platform to potential new sponsors.
If you happen to be a
merchant catering to the broader East Carolina community in general or to
Pirate sports fans in Eastern North Carolina and beyond in particular, we urge you
to check out our extensive array of advertising options for any and all
budgets. We are unaware of a more cost-effective way to target your message
to this demographic than through Bonesville.net.
Hinton Media Group has
indicated that it will also offer bundled advertising packages, allowing
clients to mix and match the most effective combination of advertising buys on
Bonesville.net, The Pirates' Chest, WNCT-AM Talk 1070 and Cable 7.
For more information,
please call Hinton Media Group at 252.355.8822.
On a related note, we are
considering the launch of some expanded features and one or two exciting new
Web concepts that likely will be subscription-based because of the
narrowly-targeted and expensive-to-produce nature of the content involved.
More on that later.
In the meantime, please
be patient as we commence the quest of tracking down the most bothersome ads
on our site and dispatching them to Davy Jones' locker.
Send an e-mail message to Danny Whitford.
Click here to dig into Danny Whitford's Bonesville archives.
02/23/2007 01:38:32 AM