Visitors to the Culture or Sci-Tech part of the site will discover that clicking on a link won’t take them directly to the story but instead will first take them to an advertising page and then on to the story.
The advertising device was developed by Wellington-based multimedia design company Oktobor.
“We ran a trial with the TAB about three months ago and the response was huge. People like them,” says Oktobor’s head of interactive design Gillian Vosper. She says the jump through ad is proving popular because rather than throwing up a pop-up window or pop-under window, it doesn’t open a new browser at all.
“They’re different to pop-ups because you can add “skip” buttons or whatever and it doesn’t overload the user’s machine.”
Currently the ads are advertising themselves, but Vosper says now they’ve completed the trial she is talking with a number of advertising agencies about using the jump throughs and expects to see the next stage “really crank up”.
A number of new techniques have been employed in recent months to encourage users to click on ads, most recently the TelstraSaturn mouse pointer ads running on several news sites. A line from the ad followed the mouse pointer around the screen. The ads were removed from the sites ahead of schedule and although web masters have denied there were any problems, IDGNet understands adverse user feedback was to blame.
The N-Ads don’t appear until a user has visited more than two stories on the Scoop site and are only visible to users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5 or greater.
Scoop has been under some financial strain of late - it carries little advertising and has put out a call for investors and for paid subscribers of various levels. However the site has gone from describing itself as "another casualty of the tech wreck" to reaching the conclusion that "with a bit of reorganisation and hard yakka (and your continued supported), it is probably feasible to keep the site running, just."
Scoop’s editor Alistair Thompson wasn’t available for comment.