A New CTMQ – Please Read

This is the first in what will be an evolving series of updates on this initiative. None of this is set in stone. Please read it in its entirety, even if it’s disjointed – thanks!

mailI started this website in 2006 and continue to write original content on a fairly frequent basis. I love it. Readers seem to enjoy it. It has very rarely felt like work to me. Traveling around the state, meeting new and interesting people, learning cool stuff, forging new friendships and soon, hoping to develop new partnerships.

I write about far, FAR more than museums. This is an incredibly sticky site. People come here for one thing and end up staying for far longer than intended. I’m proud of that.

I have also been proud of the fact that I’ve never had advertisements on the site. I’ve been approached many, many times to create some revenue here. Or, “monetize the site” in proper parlance. I’ve resisted.

Resisted out of laziness as much as due to any integrity, I must admit.

To put ads on here, I have to (or have someone else) re-format the site. It was built with big sidebars on purpose, but I’m not sure they’re big enough. The whole skeleton of this monster is from 2006. It’s not responsive to your mobile devices – and it certainly needs to be.

Additionally, There are hundreds of dead links, typos, outdated information, general mistakes… you get the point. CTMQ is a hobby. I have written every single word on here. There are well over 1,300 pages of content as of today (December 3, 2013) and I certainly don’t have time to begin editing this site. It is a website and not a blog. Readers are as likely to land on any one of those 1,300 pages as any other. Noting is time-sensitive on CTMQ. That is a huge difference from a typical blog.

No one wants the AdSense ads or the Google ads here. Although that may be a first step, or integrated in some unobtrusive way, I would want REAL ads from REAL local entities who pay REAL money for the space. I believe CTMQ is worth it. (Ok, lots of other people have slowly convinced me of that, and I’d love to have evidence at some point.) Each content page is one page. I don’t play link-bait games or click-though games. I respect my readers too much – and I hope advertisers respect that.

Which brings up another problem: How in the world am I going to court and secure these theoretical advertisers? TBD at this point. (Although feel free to contact me if interested or have experience with such things!)

Oh, and no way will I ever write paid content. Period. Nor will I change or shape content based upon advertising dollars – the money won’t even go to me (keep reading). I just can’t ever do that and if you’re a business that asks for or expects that, please go elsewhere.

Several years ago I wrote the CTMQ Mission Statement. On that page I wrote, “When I figure out how best to do it, I also want this site to serve as a vehicle to increase awareness of special needs issues and rare genetic disorder support. I have used it to help me deal with parenting Damian (his story here) and it will ultimately encompass many years’ worth of his growth.”

Well folks, I’m now at that point. All of CTMQ’s advertising revenue and donations will go directly to the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research Foundation. I don’t know if this will be $2 or $20,000, but I’m eager to find out. My son has SMS and I am close friends with the Foundation. In its short existence, the foundation has raised over $200,000 – all of which has gone directly to research. Baylor College of Medicine and the SMSRF have entered into a partnership which is really just an amazing feat.

The SMSRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Perhaps CTMQ can become an official one as well. For now, it’s just me looking for you to donate to them. Once I implement ads and stuff, I may need to do this more properly.

I want to help the effort. I want YOU to want to help the effort. Please consider donating and/or advertising on the site. Please let me know if you have any ideas of how to make this effort work really well or if you have other revenue generating ideas. I’m all ears.

For now, you can donate through PayPal here.

7 responses to “A New CTMQ – Please Read”

  1. Dave says:

    I’m going to take a minute to defend Google ads. They’re context-sensitive to the topic of the pages they appear on, and you can opt for inobtrusive text ads or more flashy banners. And they really do bring in income.

    Besides, maybe a couple of context-sensitive ads will draw away some button and lock collectors before they can leave another inane comment.

  2. Chris K says:

    This is a great idea and your site is THE best source of information for just about anything CT. I wish you the best luck in making this as successful as the site has been. I’d be glad to help in any way that I can. Good luck!

    PS any thoughts on a name change? Since the site is SO much bigger than museums. Just a thought.

  3. Steve says:

    Dave – thanks. I’m (obviously) ignorant about this stuff and appreciate the input.

    Chris – yeah, I did think about that a few years ago; Connecticut Quest would be simple and more accurate, but I think I’m pretty married to the CTMQ name. It does bother me from time to time.

  4. A Different Dave Than the First One says:

    Most of us wouldn’t begrudge you keeping some ad revenue for you and family, but your willingness to use CTMQ to support SMSRF is really neat. And a good way to combine your interests. All the best with it.

  5. Steve says:

    I suppose I should start caveating now that if the dynamics of the revenue change or my personal situation changes or whatever, that it could become a percentage thing.

    I will amend the piece above – thanks Dave P.

    I should look into the LLC thing and what/how being a 501(c)(3) works with being an LLC, etc. I’m just a dopey observational humorist. Haha.

  6. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    I’d be totally fine with ads on the site. I’m going to keep reading and you’ll be able to harness the eyeballs for a good cause.

  7. Timothy Borkowski says:

    I’m with the others and think advertising is a fine idea – whether it’s to donate to the foundation or to support yourself/family. There’s definitely no shame in that.

    Google Adsense can be a mixed bag. I’ve used it since 2003 and it did decent from 2005-2007, but dropped off quickly after that. I now only use it on older archive pages. None of my new content has ads. My site is photography heavy and light on text. Since your site is full of good quality text you may have better luck. Other things to consider is placement. In my experimentation I often got the best click-throughs where the ads looked the worst aesthetically. There’s a lot of pro/cons to weigh through here.

    For broken links have you tried the WordPress plugin “Broken Link Checker”? It doesn’t fix them, but will help find them quickly.

    I found your site fairly recently when I was looking for photography locales and instantly enjoyed it. Keep up the great work!


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