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FAQ – Cookies and advertisements

This oddly popular article (seriously, why ?) discusses our use of cookies, social media buttons, advertisements and affiliate links.

It has been updated as of September of 2022.

1/ Cookies ! Nom nom nom

This site uses the following cookies :

  • Google Analytics cookies to get statistics about our traffic.
  • A Google AdSense/DoubleClick cookie for their adverts.

The Google Analytics data are all anonymized.

You can parse the cookies load of any site via free services such as https://www.cookieserve.com/  .

The Google Analytics stuff will be removed in 2023. It should have been 2021, but removing it makes me anxious I’ll miss a sudden drop in readership caused by some weird indexation problem (that happened once).

2/ YouTube and social networks

Most pages have social media sharing buttons, and many pages have YouTube video embeds.

Normally, these come with trackers and scripts and stuff.

On writeups.org, these all have been neutralised for years. The buttons and video all load as inert images.

*But*, once you click on a video or a sharing button, they go live and load the resources from that company. Including their trackers and cookies.

3/ Advertisements – AdSense

Writeups.Org is authorized to display Google Adsense advertisements. All units are hand-placed, based on available space. All ad units are clearly preceded by the mention “Advertisement”.

We previously had a hard limit of three (3) AdSense ads per page. With the 2022+ article template, the limit goes down to two (2) – except for a few exceptionally long articles that can’t be chopped into parts.

Shorter articles normally get but one (1).

Yes, I’m only putting the numbers in parentheses to look respectable.

4/ Amazon.com partnership

Writeups.org is an Amazon.com affiliate. So we get a percentage on the sales, at zero cost to the buyer. All such links are clearly signalled.

(“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases” is the mandatory mention, I think.)

In July of 2017, we started redirecting readers in Canada and the UK toward the corresponding page (if any) on Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk.

So, every time you buy something (anything) after clicking on those links, Amazon makes a tiny donation to writeups.org. The moolah to us instead of Jeff Bezos. Cool, uh ? Remember that before you go on an online shopping rampage.

There are three types of Amazon.com links.

  1. A *manual* selection of Amazon products. Normally it’s selected material (comics, movies…) featuring the character. Sometimes there’s educational material about subjects discussed in the article (say, history books). Sometimes there are daft jokes, or something silly like a piece of clothing looking like the character’s.
    These manual ads are inert, in that they’re simply hyperlinks and images. There’s no script of any kind.
  2. An *automated* selection of Amazon products, mostly based on the page’s content. With the 2022+ layout for the site, we’re using that one less and less – in part because it now only shows up for US IP addresses.
  3. In-text affiliate links, always signalled with a glyph in the link. Mostly used under music videos. And occasionally when the text references a book, a movie, etc. – if only for people who don’t get the reference.

5/ Humble Bundle partnership

As of late August, 2017 writeups.org is a partner of Humble Bundle. They build low-cost thematic bundles that run for a limited time. Buyers can choose how much of the money goes to writeups.org, to charity, to the publisher, and to Humble Bundle.

The charity recommended by writeups.org as part of the Humble Bundle partnership is Doctors Without Borders a.k.a. Médecins Sans Frontières  .

Humble used to be quite popular. Some people soured a bit on it when they were bought by IGN. Furthermore, Humble is less active now. But heh, it’s still good money for charities.

There are two kinds of Humble Bundle affiliate links on WORG.

  1. Manual recommendations. On articles about video game characters, I’ll manually do a link toward the game on the Humble Store. Humble is one of the better, clean resellers of Steam video game keys. We get a tiny cut on those sales.
    These manual ads are inert, in that they’re simply hyperlinks and images. There’s no script of any kind.
  2. Once a month (unless I forget) there’s a mini-article about current, *relevant* Humble bundles. Meaning comic books, tabletop role-playing games, or the sorts of video games we cover.

6/ Role of ads in layouts

With the 2022+ format, ads and images play more of a role as separators between blocks of text. They’re an important part of avoiding a wall-of-text effect, and having the articles breathe.

So authorizing adverts for writeups.org makes the article look a bit better, by having a few more not-text spans as you read on.

The next version of the site will have clearer breaks before section headings, since I’m not happy with the 2022 ones. But said next version is at least 15 years in the future, since it’ll cost an arm.

7/ Others

Writeups.org doesn’t carry any native advertisingPaid-for content that’s presented as a normal article. Unless you count the occasional “Humble Bundle has something relevant to our interests” post, but these are plastered with mentions of it being an affiliate link and they explain who gets a cut.

Nor, to my regret, have we ever gotten money or goods from any publisher. You’d think I’d at least deserve a Wonder Woman lunch box.

The “Related articles on writeups.org” box near the end of the articles, as the name implies, only recommends content on WORG. There is no external chumboxLow-quality, lurid links toward crappy sites. Taboola, Outbrain, etc. content.

Having few, hand-placed, often hand-made advertisements mean of course our ads revenue is much lower than it could be. Donations are supposed to compensate for that. Do they actually compensate ? Ha ha ha no.