Short version. We don’t track our readers in any way or allow any other behind-the-scenes shenanigans. We just serve useful, relevant ads in a simple, unobtrusive way to support independent publishers. Please white-list The Deck when using ad blocking software. Thanks.
We will never share your personal information obtained by tracking, either individually or in aggregate, with advertisers or any one else for one very good reason: we don’t have any.
Everything we know about our readers is what they have told us when filling out one of our very occasional and completely anonymous online surveys. For example, 58.8% of Deck readers say they are “one of those people who thinks they’re right all the time, and that if everybody would just listen to them, things would be a whole lot better.” Also, you may be surprised to know that 13.9% claim to have superhuman powers.
Keeping It Clean
As a network we have never issued cookies or tracked readers in any way. The only data we collect is gross impressions: the total number of times an ad has been served during a month. We have never known, or have had any way to know, who was served what ad. Basically, aside from our surveys, all we know is what we can learn from our server logs.
On rare occasions, we have allowed specific advertisers to use a simple 1x1 tracking pixel for limited periods of time. Given the current environment, we’re not going to be doing that any more. We have never allowed the injection of scripts, page takeovers, interstitial splash pages or any of the other tomfoolery that so frustrates readers. Smart marketers do, of course, use specific links in their ads, which in combination with the gross impression data, allows them to evaluate performance.
Three Chairs at the Table
At The Deck we have always felt that offering a straightforward lo-fi solution is best. We carefully screen advertisers, messages and affiliates and serve up attractive, static, truly relevant, non-obtrusive, non-invasive messages that work well for advertisers, generate income for independent publishers, and are of interest to readers.
Our record on tracking is pretty clean compared to what the industry standard has become. We’ve run somewhere north of 2500 individual monthly ad schedules since we began in 2006 and almost every single one consisted of ad units that included nothing but a static image, about 85 characters of text and a link to an advertiser’s landing page.
What all this new ad blocking technology means for the future of The Deck is up in the air. But it’s our belief that we will continue to succeed because our service brings value to all three parties involved in the transaction: the advertiser, the publisher and the reader.
If you agree with us we’d appreciate it if you’d consider white-listing us in your ad blocking software. If you’re making such software we’d like you to consider leaving us out as a default, and if you’re an advertiser looking to reach a large audience of curious, savvy readers, please consider booking a schedule on The Deck. Thanks.
A new reader survey is in the works and this time we promise, there will be no trigonometry question. Previously only 30.7% of respondents answered that one correctly, and we don’t really want to have to grade these things on a curve.