The Deck, one of those minimalistic and overly nice ad networks, is throwing in the towel. Founder Jim Coudal writes about the journey, which is interesting for those of us who’s been in the so-called blogosphere since way back when.
In 2014, display advertisers started concentrating on large, walled, social networks. The indie “blogosphere” was disappearing. Mobile impressions, which produce significantly fewer clicks and engagements, began to really dominate the market. Invasive user tracking (which we refused to do) and all that came with that became pervasive, and once again The Deck was back to being a pretty good business. By 2015, it was an OK business and, by the second half of 2016, the network was beginning to struggle again.
John Gruber and his popular blog Daring Fireball was number four in the exclusive network. He has a lot of good things to say about The Deck, but this snippet from his post underlines why The Deck stood out:
I was chatting with Jim earlier this evening. Someone wrote to him to ask, “Why didn’t you sell the network instead of shutting it down?” Jim’s answer: “The Deck was built exclusively on close, personal relationships. I don’t think those are mine to sell.”
Things do change, advertising isn’t what it used to be, and The Deck really shouldn’t have lasted this long. That’s a compliment, by the way.