Small Web Banner Exchanges

So we recently launched the 32-Bit Cafe’s Banner Exchange for the Discourse! Which I personally think is quite fun and was excited to join myself. I feel so darned official, lol.

Inspired by this project, I’d like to talk about other banner exchanges I’ve come across on the small web. These are all sort of faux advertisements–that is to say, they’re a way of promoting your website or project with a banner graphic. A bit like a webring, the code you put on your site displays a rotation of site banners/links much like an old-school banner ad. Except it’s not trying to sell you anything, lol.

At one point, NeoLink was a popular banner exchange specifically for Neocities sites, but it hasn’t been updated in… 3 years. So while I’m giving it a mention, applying for it is kinda pointless now. Pity.

There’s also WSMZ’s BannerLink Ads, which appears to be open to any small website… but which hasn’t been updated since late 2021. Well crud. I did email the webmaster to update my listing, so maybe I’ll inspire an update, or maybe not. We’ll have to wait and see. I’ll update if I get a response.

And finally I get to the good news!

Seeing how the long-dead NeoLink is still quite in-demand (there’s a ton of unanswered application posts on their Neocities profile page), Neocities user Tabby has swooped in to help! They’ve created TabbyAds, a brand-new Neocities banner exchange! Just create a 300x300 pixel graphic of your choice, upload it to your account, and either leave a message in their Discord (linked on the page) or email them to apply.

Now granted, TabbyAds are specifically for Neocities sites, which is a bit limiting, but I had to post about it in hopes it would catch on. Who knows, maybe someone will be inspired by it to create another banner exchange that’s open to anyone in the small web.

Maybe even you? :wink:

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I currently participate in two small web banner programs:

  • johnvertisements: Pretty weird banner exchange project. With wonderful rules such as:
    • ‘the ad should not contain earthly (or martian) capitalism’
    • ‘the advertisement should not depict a hand with 8 fingers’
    • ‘the advertisement should not depict nasal demons in a positive manner’
  • Improbable Island “Ads”: Straightforward project, much like 32bit Cafe’s. Though surprisingly run by some game creator who is enthusiastic about the small web.

Check them out!

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If somebody wants to start their own banner exchange there is Easy Banner. They have a free version. This is an old school php script that really is an exchange rather than just a rotator.

There may be some demand in the Small Web for a banner exchange that is NOT limited to NeoCities.

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Oh cool! I like johnvertisements, the page is amusing and I like it. I submitted my own site for that one already, haha. Improbable Island is a neat one too, though I dunno if it’s quite for me as I feel like I should be familiar with the game creator’s work. Maybe in future. :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing these!

Oh that’s handy, thanks for sharing! I can’t implement it myself as my webhost is static (Neocities lol) but maybe someone else will be inspired! :D

What a wonderful idea for a topic.

I love these old PHP scripts. I wonder if there is small web appetite to bring back Top 100 sites :joy:

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Why thank you! ^^

Oh geez, I haven’t thought of those in years, and even then it was just Minecraft sites/servers, not for websites. That’s even older!

YESS, i’ve been wanting to do that but i was trying to learn PHP in the process. someone who’s good at PHP should come up with a native script for it. voting system and all! all the ones i found were super out-of-date and pretty insecure.

having a space to discover as many personal sites as possible is such a cool idea to me! and of course i have some nostalgia about it :)

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Might be a legit use for a technomancer project :smiley:

I know @rknightuk is a competent php developer :smiley:

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It’s worth trying. Topsites did generate traffic, back in the day. I’m not sure it was very high quality traffic, that is, visitors stay and explore deeper into the site, but exposure - any exposure - is a good thing.

But it’s like webrings: one webring does make much of a difference for discovery in the whole Small Web, but having many webrings does make a difference. So too with TopSites. You need to be able to replicate them, just as we do with directories, blogrolls, button walls, link pages and banner exchanges. There is weight in numbers.

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Found a sweet guide for Ad Banner Design

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