Trying out Kontera advertising

I just signed up for Kontera’s in-text advertising program. I’ve put it on the main Paint.NET website and on the help content. It seems pretty unobtrusive, and hopefully it will help out the bottom line. Maybe it will increase revenue 5%, 10%, maybe 50%? (That would be exciting!) Who knows! I won’t know unless I try.

I’m trying to convince Terrence to try Kontera on his blog, but so far he’s resisted my manipulative logic. So I pointed him to John Chow’s sage wisdom about when you should put ads on your blog. Maybe he can make double what AdSense is sending his way, which is to say … nothin’ so far. (which is fine since he doesn’t have much traffic yet) But at least it’s greater than or equal to zero.

And don’t worry, the Paint.NET software itself is still advertising free. One directive with Paint.NET is to provide software you can use without having to feel embarrassed about it. “Hey look, your paint program has ads! Haha!” Yeah, no. Having ads inside a client application is not something that’s really been done well yet, in my opinion. I have ideas on how to do this, but so far they’re not ones that I can share.


15 thoughts on “Trying out Kontera advertising

  1. Zian says:

    Please take the new ads away. I’d rather be forced to donate $10 for each build of Paint .NET than have to suffer through the spontaneous appearance of new bubbles every time I leave my mouse alone.

  2. Ian Whitehouse says:

    I hope these ads quadruple your income and that you become rich and famous beyond your wildest dreams because of them.

    Just, please, don’t ever put ads in your program.

  3. Dean Harding says:

    One thing I guess you need to be concerned with as well, though, is the number of people you piss off with excessive advertising. You might find that your revenue *drops* because enough people are scared off the site to begin with that they never download the software in the first place.

    Mind you, if all you’re concerned with is the bottom line, if you piss off a couple of people, it’s not so important as long as the majority don’t mind…

    I guess you’re kind of lucky, though, with the in-software updates and so on, I don’t think I’ve ever even visited since it started up 🙂

  4. I Like Pi says:

    Totally agree. Potential users could think that the software itself is adware after looking at the front page. It’s also possible that increases in ad revenue could be offset by less donations because people think that you don’t need them.

    But then again I could be totally wrong as I’ve never ran a website…

  5. Rick Brewster says:

    Zian — if you always use the built-in updater, you won’t ever see the Kontera or AdSense advertising. Or you can use the AdBlock extension for FireFox.

    Dean — From a business standpoint, one definitely has to weigh customers pissed off versus extra income. If my donations drop by 50% but my overall income is up by 30% (as a randomly chosen example), then the choice is clear.

    Matt — What about Red Eye Removal sponsored by Kodak? Yeah I can’t see in-application advertising working very well. It would just be entirely obnoxious.

  6. Dave says:


    Although the text ads are quite unobtrusive, I personally feel that they make the site look far too plain now and blends in too well with the page itself.

    My suggestion would be to add more colour to your site. You would likely want to use similar colours as seen in your Paint.NET logo (blue, green, yellow, red). Possibly colour boxes per section of page.

    Examples: (right hand side) (top) (bottom, quite subtle)

    Your Paint.NET program is fantastic. I would highly suggest an overhaul to the site to best represent the professionalism of the program itself.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Stuart P. Bentley says:

    If I had seen these ads on the page before I discovered Paint.NET I would not have downloaded it. I’ve never seen a respectable site that had these for more than a week.

  8. Michael Ragsdale says:

    Now I’m glad I use Firefox and the Adblock Plus extension. With Adblock Plus turned off, I didn’t mind the Google ads. I can’t stand the Kontera ads. Besides, what happens if Kontera covers up the download link with an ad?

  9. Ben says:

    Rick, man, I think you’re taking this whole advertising thing a little too far. I’m fine with banner ads and whatnot, but I absolutely hate the new in-text advertisements. I know you’re trying to make money off of this (and rightfully so) but I don’t really like the fact that a bubble advertising the new tech-smith screen capture everyone time I move my mouse around the page.


  10. Vered says:


    My name is Vered and I’m from Kontera.

    First of all welcome aboard Rick :).

    I’ve read your comments and wanted to point out a few things:

    Kontera’s ContentLinks are contextual ads; they supply your users with additional relevant information that is well in line with your content. ContentLink ads are unobtrusive as they are clearly distinguishable and are displayed only after users mouse-over them. This gives the user the choice whether or not to be exposed to them.

    The thousands of publishers who comprise Kontera’s ad network enjoy complete control over the number, location and color of ContentLink ads which are completely customizable to their sites’ content, look and feel. Kontera also allows publishers to block any advertisers and/or keywords from being linked to ads.

    Kontera’s In-Text advertising enables publishers to benefit from additional revenues without having to allocate additional space on their sites for advertising at their content’s expense.

    Please visit or for additional information. To join Kontera’s network:

    Publisher Services Manager

  11. Javert359 says:

    Vered – I have to say the ‘Only popping up on mouse over means you don’t have to see them’ is total BS. Kontera ads are some of the most intrusive on the web (second only to their cousin the flash popup).

    Rick – I think it’s bad enough you don’t offer an offline copy of the help (guess what – not all of my PCs are connected to the web all of the time), but now it’s full of ads? In my book you have added ads to the program.


  12. Anon says:

    Too bad micropayments didn’t take off. Would you pay $1 for a copy of the help file, say?

    Plenty of legitimate news sites have in-text advertising. I don’t know if Popular Mechanics is “respectable,” though.

  13. Javert359 says:

    Yeah, I would pay one USD for a copy of the help file for 3.10 if it was available.

  14. Zian says:

    I’ll have to second Javert359’s comment.

    In addition, I actively keep my list of browser addons as low as possible and adblocking extensions have too many false positives for me.

    I know that it’s up to me to control my experience and that I could simply avoid visiting the Paint .NET website completely (e.g. by using the updater and directing others away from the main site) but I’d rather not have to avoid the site.

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