April 24, 2006

gapinvoid widget


[Click on image to enlarge etc]

Following my conversation with Michael and the Gillmor Gang a week or two ago, I've decided to build the widget.

Here's some ideas:

1. The widget will allow anyone to have regularly-updated gapingvoid cartoons published on their website or blogs, fed through via RSS.

2. The widget will be paid for via text ads- Google, Yahoo, or whoever, with some sort of revenue split between me and the subscribers.

3. The widget will come in two versions i.e. large and small. The big one [1] will be about 400 pixels wide, the small one [2] will be about 150 pixels wide,the latter good for fitting on blog sidebars. Visitors to the blog will click on it and the full-size widget [1] would pop up etc.

4. Because of the adult nature of some (but not all) of my cartoons, there would have to be some sort of filter, designed to suit the nature of the subscirber and his/her readers. Ergo, every cartoon will be tagged either "Safe", "Semi-filtered" or "Unfiltered", so that the subscriber can choose what level of filter he/she wishes to have.

That's the basic idea. Have I left anything out?

I don't know how feasible an advertising revenue split is, technologically. But I would prefer it if there was. If anyone has a friend at Yahoo, Google, or anywhere else that deals with this stuff, please let them know I wish to start a conversation.

Thanks, as always, for all your help and goodwill. Rock on.

Posted by hugh macleod at April 24, 2006 12:01 PM | TrackBack

I was thinking of just exactly this.
I was copy pasting your cartoon on to my post just now. I was finding it difficult locate the exact cartoon I wanted. Some kind of flickr like interface for gapingvoid. And volia you have this post.
From when did you get super natural ESP powers.
Now you can safely say blogging can make you supernatural!

Posted by: Balaji Sowmyanarayanan at April 24, 2006 5:20 PM

Balaji: I'm not sure that Hugh intends for the widget to let you browse the cartoons - do you Hugh? I understood it would rather be a way for blog authors to put the latest cartoon in their sidebars automatically.

However, you mentioned Flickr - that would probably be an excellent way of doing this. If Hugh were to add each cartoon to flickr and tag them with "gapingvoid clean" and "gapingvoid adult" etc. then, using Flickr's API, it'd be reasonably straightforward to pull off the most recent cartoon into the widget.

It'd also have the added benefit of making old cartoons browsable on Flickr, and Flickr integrates a Creative Commons licence automatically, so that angle would be covered too.

Posted by: Paul Farnell at April 24, 2006 5:55 PM

Brilliant. I'm sure to be putting one of these in my sidebar. The HughTrain rolls on.

Posted by: Scott Kingery at April 24, 2006 5:59 PM

Also, a point about the text ads... I'm not sure how that'd work if the author already had Adsense running on their site? Not sure if it's possible (or within Google's Ts&Cs) to run Adsense for two different accounts on the same page?

It might be smarter, maybe, for you (Hugh) to sell your own ads - or to advertise English Cut et al. - on the widget instead. It'd be easy enough to build a little ad serving system. The downside would be that it wouldn't be too easy to pay the blog authors for the clicks etc. that were generated. But then, they're getting free, regularly-updated, high quality content to add to their site, so do they really need to be paid as well?

Posted by: Paul Farnell at April 24, 2006 6:00 PM

Ok, sorry, final comment on this... :-)

If you do have Google ads, how about an option without ads? Some people might not want ads, but wouldn't mind forgoeing their share of the revenue as well?

Posted by: Paul Farnell at April 24, 2006 6:06 PM

mmmmhhh... bad post, Hugh, bad post. Don't know exactly why, it's related to advertising, I guess. Don't like, sorry. Why not the Flickr solution? Advertising again?

Posted by: Antonio Tombolini at April 24, 2006 11:52 PM

hugh, dint realy think ud pay heed to them on the podcast.U sounded so reluctant.Anyway just wanted to tell you , that if youre putting up ads,please use whatver Michael uses in his Techcrunch feed.Theyre very neat,small and are not the least flashy.

BTW ,, i really think u should do this.Wouldnt hurt anybody,,and u know what,im gonna click all of ur ads too ;)

Posted by: rishi at April 25, 2006 12:37 AM

I think it is a great idea. ... What about a little search of cartoons on topics?

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2006 2:58 AM

Hugh, I listened to the Gillmor Gang show you were on, and think it's a good idea to get more distribution for the cartoons but think that revenue sharing is going to make it too complicated, and doing it with feeds also complicates things too much (although of course I'd love to have the feeds, wait a minute, don't you already have a feed?)...

I think what Mike Arrington was talking about is a bit of Javascript that displays a cartoon that you put in a fixed location. When you change that cartoon all the linked-in sites display the new one. You can put a simple text ad in there, I'd just link back to gapingvoid.com for now, as a placeholder, again Keep It Simple. Once you get the flow up, work out a deal with someone like John Battelle and make sure you get a good enough advance so you can pay a programmer to do some server-side programming for you.

Posted by: Dave Winer at April 25, 2006 3:17 AM


I can whip up a Yahoo! widget in no time, free of charge. Ping me if your interested. I'd suggest you just ignore all these blokes, and throw something out there to see what happens.


Posted by: Jim at April 25, 2006 5:41 AM

Do you have a feed already set up with the cartoon in it? ie@ try using the Yahoo Media RSS namespace for the images (look at a Flickr feed)

Then you can use categories to flag up your filters, then a Flash widget/slideshow would be easy peasy.

Drop me a line if you like. I quite fancy some vino ;)


Posted by: kosso at April 25, 2006 8:49 PM

Well, looky here! :)


Posted by: Kosso at April 26, 2006 12:08 AM

I love this - ask and ye SHALL receive. I put up a question at Kosso - OK, so now how do you get text ads in? (They should be optional)

Make the widget free anyway because your art is your advert. So then on to Stormhoek advertising - stick a bunch of Stormhoek related cartoons together, a bit of hacking with Javascript and hey presto - another widget.

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at April 26, 2006 4:55 AM


bifsniff.com already do this, (sans the Google ads), with their cartoons (see the sidebar of my blog).

Posted by: Tom Raftery at April 26, 2006 11:27 AM


Daseek Searchengine

Posted by: Sniper at May 4, 2006 3:20 AM

Adult Personals

Posted by: Adult Personals at May 8, 2006 4:58 AM

I love the idea.

Posted by: mojotek at May 8, 2006 6:39 PM