There has, understandably and correctly, been quite a strong reaction to an article ("Things You Didn't Know About Marco Silva") that was published to ToffeeWeb early this morning and which was, shall we say, out of kilter with the rest of the website and our usual editorial.

It was erroneously published in the top position on the homepage of the mobile version of the site and in the "Recent Articles" section in the right-hand column on the majority of pages on the desktop version, lending the piece a wholly unintended and undeserved prominence and visibility. Most readers will have seen the piece for what it was but I wanted to acknowledge the disappointed reaction from readers and offer a brief explanation.

As I've mentioned a few times in the past, advertising on TW is a necessary evil that I honestly wish I didn't have to bend to but it's the difference between the frequently-updated site that exists today and a more bare-bones service that I'm not sure would survive given the competing options that exist.

I won't explain again the uneasy compromise that has been made over the display of web-based advertising (versus far more intrusive options that would turn ToffeeWeb into something more than a subsistence enterprise but at the expense of usability and your experience of using the website) but, suffice to say, the increasing use and availability of ad blockers means that articles like the one referenced above can be useful in topping up lost revenue.

The idea with most of them is that they are not surfaced in the recent articles list so they largely go unnoticed by you, the reader; the benefit to the promoter lies not so much in the readership of the piece but in the hosting of the link on a highly-trafficked website that gets crawled by search engines and boosts SEO.

Again, it's an uncomfortable compromise but, normally, the articles have some merit as a conversation starter and forum for discussion, even if the intent behind their publication is more commercial than editorial, which at least makes them palatable. However, the article in question, given that it is clearly about betting, would ordinarily have been posted to the General Forum and had no place as the lead item on ToffeeWeb so I apologise for the oversight.

I will be taking a much more discerning approach to this type of content in the future as well as exploring options that would reduce or remove entirely the need for them in the first place.

Reader Comments (22)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 22/08/2018 at 03:55:39
Thanks, Lyndon... appreciate the clarity.

Don't feel too uncomfortable with the compromises. Life is full of them. We all have to adjust to reality once in a while.

Erik Dols
2 Posted 22/08/2018 at 08:18:36
Thanks for the explanation, Lyndon, totally understandable for me. Don't worry too much about it.
Jay Harris
3 Posted 22/08/2018 at 09:02:53
Thanks for responding to this issue Lyndon.

As it turned out the comments were quite humorous and we can always just ignore the post.

And thanks for being such a great site, whatever you, Michael and the team decide to do commercially to keep the site viable will, I am sure, get the full backing of all ToffeeWebbers.

Brent Stephens
4 Posted 22/08/2018 at 09:19:36
Aye to Mike, Eric and Jay's comments.

All organisations, entities, websites have "problems" at times, such as this. What's more important for me is the nature of the response. 10/10 for this response.

Steve Ferns
5 Posted 22/08/2018 at 18:15:12
+ 1 for me too
Brian Williams
6 Posted 22/08/2018 at 18:42:15
Don't beat yourself up about it, Lyndon. The excellence of this site hasn't been compromised... much, lol!
Jay Wood

7 Posted 22/08/2018 at 18:43:39
As I said in the article's thread, I have no issue with TW generating necessary revenue from advertising.

Readers and Lyndon himself saw this article given a prominence that was out of kilter with the site profile and Lyndon has explained that this was an oversight which he will take steps to avoid in the future.

Moving on...

John G Davies
8 Posted 22/08/2018 at 18:49:52

It is the excellence of ToffeeWeb that made the article stand out.
You set the bar high; when a rare slip happens it stands out.

Gone, done and dusted.

Stephen Bird
9 Posted 23/08/2018 at 10:24:23

I'm fully with all the well-earned platitudes you are due for elevating this site to the "go to" prominence it now affords.

What can we do for you, are there avenues for financial contribution no matter how small, is there scope for a collective a la say crowdfunding ?

We should all be looking at ways of helping, for me TW is a daily point of reference and is so vital both for information and discussion.

Jamie Evans
10 Posted 23/08/2018 at 13:47:45
Quite understandable that some people were confused simply by the prominence of the article but thanks for clearing things up Lyndon. As someone has stated previously you and Michael do a fantastic job with the site.

Perhaps we should all start to give some serious thought about raising money for TW?

Brighter minds than mine will have some good ideas but in my experience anything involving alcohol usually does well.

Jamie Evans
11 Posted 23/08/2018 at 13:48:23
Quite understandable that some people were confused simply by the prominence of the article but thanks for clearing things up Lyndon. As someone has stated previously you and Michael do a fantastic job with the site.

Perhaps we should all start to give some serious thought about raising money for TW?

Brighter minds than mine will have some good ideas but, in my experience, anything involving alcohol usually does well.

Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 23/08/2018 at 16:45:00
Stephen and Jamie, Thanks – much appreciated.

One thing Lyndon did set up that is easy to do — you could become a patron.

"For around the cost of a pint a month you can upgrade your membership to Patron status and you browse the website free of all third-party advertising, sponsored articles and links."


Fran Mitchell
13 Posted 23/08/2018 at 16:52:27
Blame Fat Sam* and move on.

Fat Sam = $$$ - a necesarry evil in modern football/life.

Dennis Stevens
14 Posted 23/08/2018 at 17:09:50
Already done it, Michael. However, do not fret about my sacrificing a pint to fund it – quite the opposite, I've allowed myself an extra pint as a reward!
Gerard McKean
15 Posted 23/08/2018 at 17:36:29
Mmmm... as a result of reading this response I decided immediately to stop being lazy and sign up as a patron. I don't know Lyndon or Michael or anyone at the editorial team but I appreciate the tremendous work you do.

As for the article in question, I tried to read it but gave up as I haven't a clue about betting terminology and couldn't work out what the 10 things were supposed to be! Duh!!

Paul Turner
16 Posted 23/08/2018 at 18:00:19
Same here, I've been on ToffeeWeb (only posting occasionally!) for a few years now, so I felt it was time to put my hand in my pocket to show my appreciation in tangible terms for all the hard work Lyndon & Michael (and no doubt others...) put in to this site. COYB NSNO

Dermot Byrne
17 Posted 23/08/2018 at 18:04:34
What was great was seeing how TW folk reacted.

As someone coming to end of developing a website, I have no idea how just the two of you manage to produce this great website and forum.

Will register when I get home and like Dennis, have an extra pint to reward myself.

The Crowdfunding is a good idea. Perhaps done same time each year and for a set annual target so we can see progress.

JustGiving commission low(ish) or the BT one free I think. Easy to set up as you will no doubt know. No idea about how it all works internationally.

Also, a legacy link. Loads on here like me are getting on. Would happily make some little provision in Will as sure many others would.

Maybe for 2 weeks preseason when we are all hungry? You may be surprised. Also, my tip is email folk 9.00 p.m. Friday night!

Excuse all this, my job is income generation for a charity.

Stuff like above makes us all even more part of TW.

You have my email if you want any other ideas.

Amit Vithlani
18 Posted 23/08/2018 at 18:10:26
If Lyndon and Michael wish to set up a company and offer shares, I am in. No need for profits or returns or even a board.

The shares can be passed on to younger generations.

This is an institution. I also had hairs on my neck stand up when I discovered by pure accident an article I wrote 14 years ago!

Dermot Byrne
19 Posted 23/08/2018 at 19:37:11
"Institution" Amit. Agree.
Ian Burns
20 Posted 23/08/2018 at 20:20:57
John G Davies (#8) makes an excellent point Lyndon in that it is the excellence of the site which made the article stand out for its comparable lack of quality.

Keep up the first class work Lyndon (and Michael) – so many TW'ers get so much pleasure out of this site – I for one would be lost without it!

Stephen Brown
21 Posted 23/08/2018 at 20:51:52
Superb site!! Keep up the great work! Much appreciated!
Brian Hennessy
22 Posted 24/08/2018 at 19:40:42
Amit @18 "No need for profits or returns or even a board" – Sounds a bit like how EFC was run by Blue Bill before Moshiri arrived...

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