I am sad to announce - the final nail has been set
I am sad to announce that the final nail has been set in the fate of Persona Paper. This will be a long post describing the events, as everyone knows since the beginning we have tried to be as transparent as possible with everything.
Display advertising has changed significantly over the years, as the mass run for obtaining just "views" has resulted in a realization that they really do not convert to increase in revenue. As such, most of the money has been focused into a smaller conglomerate of sites that achieve higher CPMs and have much higher traffic than small sites like this one. Ad blocking has become a hot topic which has also changed the landscape of display advertising on the web. Additionally, the ad companies have done it to themselves by bloating and slowing down a page to the point of almost becoming unusable. This was the first series of nails that was set in our coffin.
What happened? Be specific this time
We had a great start with Google, and everything was looking up. However, they canceled our account based on the assumption that we had fraudulent traffic numbers. After that, some of our original members recall the battles of finding another ad agency that would pay at least to the point that we had established as a middle ground for the price per coin. We finally found a home at MadAdsMedia and they were great in the beginning and had a sufficient CPM to maintain the site. No one was getting rich, but at least it was sustainable. I had the hope that we would be able to eventually become profitable if the site continued to grow. However, as of about two weeks ago we received the sad news that one of their big ad partners have cancelled demand for our available inventory. This means they basically said "We no longer want to pay for ads tos how in this site". As a result, our CPM was cut to 75%. There is no way the site can sustain itself on this amount, as this would cover the hosting expenses and that's it.
The final nail has been set - What happens now?
As of this morning I have ceased handing out any additional coins. We are not going to just disappear with no prior notice, and we will keep everything up and give people time to make backups of their content. I will see if I can assist in this process if anyone is interested by zipping up the posts into something they can navigate locally on their PC (if interested, please comment below). We are due 1 final payment from MadAdsMedia in February. After that, we will first recover the money we put into the site. The hosting costs and the money we put out to cover payouts in the beginning due to Google cancelling our account. This will leave some money left over, and we will start with the members with the highest amounts and payout accordingly (obviously covering any current pending payouts requested). We do apologize but this is the best we can offer. At least we are not just taking the money and running :)
So will I receive any money?
I cannot say for sure who will receive a payout and who will not. It depends on how much is left over after the final payment from MadAdsMedia and after we recover hosting costs. If you have a high amount pending right now, there is a good chance you will receive something. But I cannot say for sure since there could be a number of people above you that would take the remaining money. Keep in mind, that we will not consider the minimum $20 payout for this. We will still pay via paypal if the amount is under that. But again, we cannot say who will and who will not receive payment.
I want to say thank you for everyone who has participated in this community. Many of you tried to make it work, and I loved the fact that many of you were so committed to our vision. Over the next week I will remove all advertising from the site (which means you should also notice a significant improvement in performance). I will transition the server over to a most cost-effective (ie: cheaper) server to reduce cost (which will come out of my own pocket). I'll leave the site up for the time being, just cease the advertising/payout portion of the site. I will post later about the timeframe for shutting down.
Again, thank you to everyone.