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IB4 Beta Release

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2,163 posts
Member since Jun 11, 2008

Hi everyone,

We're finally getting IB4 out there for you to see, test and give us feedback on. But before I get to that, both Ryan and I would like to thank everyone for their patience (even though it was probably wearing a bit thin) and understanding.  I don't know of another place that has such a supportive, inclusive and dedicated community.

Now onto IB4

We're going to be putting the beta site out in the wild for the next month for anyone and everyone to take a look at.  If you have any feedback, run into anything weird, or just want to say it looks awesome, send us over a PM.

The site is online at http://beta.infobarrel.com

Don't worry about any duplicate content issues.  All articles on the beta site canonically point to their www version, and after we bring it over to www, the beta URLs will be forwarded as well.

When does it go live?

We plan to have a pretty quick turnover here.  So we're going to flip the switch on January 1st, 2017.

Tier 1 Ads

There's one major change that needs to happen to accommodate IB4. That is that all accounts need to be changed over to managed tier 1 ads. "What the ..." I can hear some people say but if you bear with me, I'll explain why. 

Under the unmanaged tier 1 ads system, we are using VERY VERY old AdSense code, think 2008, and that code allowed us to swap out AdSense account IDs while keeping the same ad code otherwise.  This worked great under IB3, 2 and 1, which all had defined ad spots with defined ad sizes.  IB3's mobile version is actually a completely different site, with it's own ad placements and code.  The key takeaway is that all ad sizes and placements are known before a reader ever gets to an article.

IB4, on the other hand, is responsive. Meaning it conforms itself, and it's ad sizes and placements, to the specific device that each reader uses each time they come to the site.  This makes ad sizes and placements an unknown until they show up on the site and we can ask their device what size it is, then IB4 goes and places the ads based on what will fit on their screen.

This is where the ad change is needed.  The old AdSense code can't be dynamic like we need it to be (and we tried and tried to get it to work).

How many ads are on an article?

Now this is an interesting question.  The answer is, it depends.  It depends on how long your article is, and it depends on what device it is being read on.

IB4 will dynamically place ads in you content until it runs out of space to do so.  The longer your content, the more ads you get.  The most I've personally seen is 21 or 22.

Hearing this, you might be thinking, "how are you possibly going to fill that many ad spots?" Well, a great thing happened in the last month or two, Google removed their 3 ad limit for AdSense ad blocks (as long as you don't over do it and make for a bad user experience). So now, we don't have to fill those spots, Google will do it for us.

What about tier 2 ads?

Since AdSense removed the 3 ad limit, we don't need tier 2 ads anymore and we've rolled them and tier 1 ads together.  We'll keep the terminology around in your account settings for a little while so as not to confuse anyone, but basically, we just have ads now.

What you'll see now for ads is, first, anything that we can sell to advertisers directly will appear first and then the remaining ads will be filled by AdSense.

IB3 pages?

You'll probably notice a couple pages that look exactly like they did in IB3 (like the article writer).  That's because they are those pages.  We decided that it's been long enough and we should get it out there and update those pages later.  Nothing left is reader facing, so anyone checking out your content is getting the IB4 experience.

Wrapping up

I think that's it, or at least, it's all I can think of right now. So head on over to the IB4 Beta and give it a try.

Thanks again for your support.
Kevin

1,548 posts
Member since Jan 26, 2014

This is great:

"IB4 will dynamically place ads in you content until it runs out of space to do so.  The longer your content, the more ads you get."

"A great thing happened in the last month or two, Google removed their 3 ad limit for AdSense ad blocks (as long as you don't over do it and make for a bad user experience). So now, we don't have to fill those spots, Google will do it for us."

"AdSense removed the 3 ad limit, we don't need tier 2 ads anymore and we've rolled them and tier 1 ads together." < Does this mean we have the potential to earn more, esp. with longer articles? 

Love it!

Thanks Kevin and Ryan,

R

1,548 posts
Member since Jan 26, 2014

Just checked out a Beta article of mine.

And I noticed my signature doesn't include the two links we were allowed before, will this be implemented?

Also, the text in my signature is all jammed together (previously, I had spaces between each point). It looks a bit daunting to read through right now.

And recently, I had one group on Facebook retort that "InfoBarrel is a blogger site" (which reallly chapped my hide, because I had over 30 citations in my article and they used that line to sort of "reject" my proof-based article).

So, I'm wondering if the line "Opinions expressed by InfoBarrel writers are their own" (shown at the bottom of our signature) could be qualified with something like:

"InfoBarrel is a writing platform for non-fiction, reference-based, informative articles. Human editors approve our articles prior to publish."

I am also thinking this clarification might help with those who had issues with Amazon rejecting InfoBarrel (based on some notion that this is a blogger site or something).

Any one else feeling similarly?

Otherwise, I love the layout of the articles, feels less crammed and even more professional.

2,141 posts
Member since Sep 17, 2009

So happy to hear from you guys!  Looking forward to checking it out :)

438 posts
Member since Dec 31, 2014

I have checked out a couple of my articles and the Google Map function seems to have been replaced by a "How to Get there" link. While this works for a specific destination, such as in my articles about Osoyoos or St. George, it looks quite odd in others, such as Goblecki Tepe or my article about London characters, where the map was merely intended to show the London street "maze".

10 posts
Member since Oct 21, 2016

I was just getting use to the IB3 look.  The new site looks like it will be easier to read the material as the layout looks cleaner. Cool!

I was wondering what platform you used (Wordpress or Drupal ?)

1,618 posts
Member since Apr 19, 2010

Welcome back, guys! I'm looking forward to IB-4. With that said, I'm having an issue with a broken link due to the title ending with a question mark (?). Here is the link: http://www.infobarrel.com/The_Wizard_of_Oz_%7E_A_Political_Statement%3F

Thanks!

 

2,141 posts
Member since Sep 17, 2009

I am loving how much easier it is to read the article..  I find the layout works well.  No problems with any of my articles that I can see.  Great job!  Looking forward to it changing over in January.

438 posts
Member since Dec 31, 2014

I also think the "Next Article" article link at the bottom is an excellent way to encourage readers to become more engaged with the site.

2,163 posts
Member since Jun 11, 2008
Introspective said:

Welcome back, guys! I'm looking forward to IB-4. With that said, I'm having an issue with a broken link due to the title ending with a question mark (?). Here is the link: http://www.infobarrel.com/The_Wizard_of_Oz_%7E_A_Political_Statement%3F

Thanks!

 

Can you post where the link is so I can take a look?

Thanks,
Kevin

438 posts
Member since Dec 31, 2014

I guess the only way to fix the odd-looking "How to Get There" links is to go through the articles one at a time.....

 

48 posts
Member since Mar 21, 2014
RoseWrites said:
 
So, I'm wondering if the line "Opinions expressed by InfoBarrel writers are their own" (shown at the bottom of our signature) could be qualified with something like:

"InfoBarrel is a writing platform for non-fiction, reference-based, informative articles. Human editors approve our articles prior to publish."

I am also thinking this clarification might help with those who had issues with Amazon rejecting InfoBarrel (based on some notion that this is a blogger site or something).

Any one else feeling similarly?

 

I think this is a great idea.

3,128 posts
Member since Oct 18, 2009
  • I can't find a way to leave comments on the beta site (I suppose that will be remedied when the switch flips).
  • Some authors' biographies have links, but the links aren't active (in blue, or clickable).
  • Clicking on a picture to take you to its media page gives you a 404 error (for example, http://beta.infobarrel.com/Media/Beethovens_Last_Will_and_Testament)
  • Advanced HTML tags (cite, etc.) show up as light grey text in Windows Edge browser.
  • Profile page links in author biographies don't work.
  • Blockquote in forum also shows up as almost unreadable light grey text in Edge browser.
1,982 posts
Member since Apr 13, 2011

Although IB4 looks interesting, I have to admit it's not what I'm most concerned about currently. What does concern me is income - it has suffered a catastophic drop, and there have reportedly been problems, but no update on what's happening. Also Amazon; just what is going on there. Finally admin involvement in the site; I'd really like to see regular activity again, not just the occasional post every month or two.

2,586 posts
Member since Jan 13, 2010
egdcltd said:

Although IB4 looks interesting, I have to admit it's not what I'm most concerned about currently. What does concern me is income - it has suffered a catastophic drop, and there have reportedly been problems, but no update on what's happening. Also Amazon; just what is going on there. Finally admin involvement in the site; I'd really like to see regular activity again, not just the occasional post every month or two.

Besides my agreeing with what egdcltd wrote, I would also like to be able to delete articles when I want to and not wait for admins to do this for me. 

I am looking at my articles and I am not thrilled with ads that run straight across the article every few paragraphs. It interrupsts the flow of how the article reads, IMO.  Ads should appear more naturally. 

2,407 posts
Member since Apr 14, 2010

Wonderful!  I'm just happy to hear from you guys and know that you are pulling together the new version of Infobarrel.  Glad we didn't give up on the site!

409 posts
Member since Sep 28, 2013

I like the presentation of the articles. They look less cluttered at the moment.  I do not like how it says next at the bottom -- simply because I thought it would go to another one of my articles - wrong it goes to another writers articles. 

Hope this will increase income as if this is the case I will start writing here again. Lost interest as earning 2c was not worth the effort

189 posts
Member since May 2, 2012

I've been too busy with other things to write here, but I did write an article shortly after the beta was released. I did notice one thing on that article though, the "reads" are higher than the "views," which might be something worth looking into because that's clearly not right.

1,982 posts
Member since Apr 13, 2011

And they're gone again.

Frankly, I don't care about IB4 until I know just what is going on with Amazon (no report back as to why people got their accounts deleted) and with income. Income is unbelievably bad, and has been since the attempted automation.

Here are my figures:

November 2015 Views: 4,006 Income: $21.09

November 2016 Views: 17,052 Income: $21.26

Whilst I'd expect a slightly lower CPM given the general downward trend, that's not a decline. That's a 75% plummit.

3,128 posts
Member since Oct 18, 2009
  • I'm not seeing videos in articles--just a blank space where the video should load.
  • The InfoBarrel blog link doesn't go anywhere.
  • I can't edit any of my account settings.
  • Using already-uploaded images, I can't select a featured image for my article.
  • Signatures still don't support links.
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