Important announcement: UGO partnership comes to an end


Official Tahmoh Taster
Rear Admiral
Dear all,

The partnership between UGO and our sites is to come to an end at the end of 2011. It is an end of an era for us, as they have been our primary advertiser for 12 years since the start of TrekToday, and have also supported the defunct Get Desperate, SlipstreamWeb and The Trek Nation sites as well as CSI Files, Talk CSI and the Trek BBS.

What does that mean for the future of the CSI and Trek sites? At the moment, things are uncertain. Without the guaranteed level of income that UGO was providing we cannot continue running the sites in their current form. So we are actively exploring new revenue-generating opportunities. That could be through the form of a new advertising broker, sponsored editorials, advertising within the site (for example converting text to payable, clickable links). We will explore any opportunity that does not compromise the sites.

It is safe to say that the situation is rather uncertain. To have a guaranteed income like that from UGO will not happen in this business climate, which puts us at the mercy of selling advertising with varying returns. And as anyone with any industry experience knows, the cost of advertising has plummeted from what it was when the sites started and is exacerbated by the fact that is so easy for visitors to now to block a site's one source of income: its advertising.

So over the next couple of months we will try new things. Please bear with us as we try them to see if we can keep the site alive. You may not like them all, but we will value your feedback and also ask you to understand why it is being done when you do give us your opinions.

The issue of ad blockers is an emotive subject, but we cannot stress how much they destroy the lifeblood of a website. We will be trying to move to a model where we are paid per thousand impressions of an advert (CPM). That means if the ads are blocked by a visitor, we don’t get paid yet we will still incur bandwidth costs from that person's visit. It's as simple as that. So we ask that you find it in yourselves to disable it on this site if you are using an ad blocker, so that we can try and secure new revenue and see what works.

Finally, we want to thank UGO for their support of the sites. They have been our partner for 12 years, and brought these sites to you for free for all that time. Without them, we would not be here today having delivered news and communities to millions of visitors for over a decade.

Thank you