About a year ago I took a poll to see if we really needed this forum or if we could use the Facebook fan page. Many here liked that it was not part of the more visible FB platform and asked to keep the forum.
Now Ning is going to be charging for the forums. I simply can’t justify paying for more ‘free’ services so I will be closing the forum on June 15th, Ning becomes fee based in July. I also spend an inordinate amount of time getting rid of Canadian drug and porn “members” who try to join this forum – to the tune of 100-300 per week!
If you’d like to read about Ning’s decision to make the change, CLICK HERE. As they so eloquently put it, “eyeballs don’t pay the bills”.
Every business needs to take time to evaluate whether the free services they provide are generating enough revenue by leading to sales of products, affiliate promotions, etc – ArtLicensingInfo.com is no different. The cost of free needs to be offset by sales – or I need to spend more time on my art which means less free… it’s all a balance!
There have been some great discussions and exchanging of ideas on the forum – but they can be done on Facebook as well. I encourage you to join the Art Licensing Info page and use it to ask questions and share ideas.
I posted the basics on the Ning site and one concern was about Facebook being too much of an open forum and giving too much information to advertisers.
Here is my understanding of how your information is used with advertisers on Facebook:
FB does share some info with advertisers but only information that you put on your profile. So if you fill out your age, where you live and if you are married or not – advertisers looking for married women of a certain age in your area will be able to target the ads in the right sidebar to you. You don’t get email from advertisers – it is how they generate targeted ad on your pages, instead of the Google AdWords we have here.
You can limit the details you add to your account to protect against that if it concerns you. Personally, I see it as more valuable than a nuisance. For example, I don’t have to look at Dominoe’s pizza ads every day like my 16 year old son says he sees – he is more likely to buy from them than I am so they target him. I think it’s similar to tv commercials you see on different shows – South Park will attract different advertisers than the Golden Girls because a different audience will be watching.
The way Facebook can target ads is also how they are monetizing the site and hopefully won’t have to resort to pulling all free services as Ning has. You simply can’t support a platform on Google Ads.
Also, from my research into ads, FB doesn’t give the average advertiser visibility of the individual – your name for example isn’t given out – just the ability to laser focus demographics. However, an artist shared the link to this article saying that FB will be selling some information so who knows… everyone needs to make the decision for themselves.
Here’s to your creative success!
– Tara Reed