Just some info on our ads. First, we talked to Phase One and we will hopefully tomorrow have static ads for their ad spot. While the idea of animated ads is good and fun it does seem to disturb some readers. We will install new ads when they are received. As far as the size goes, our ad spots are now adhering to standard internet size ads. This makes it easier for vendors to place ads with us based on standardized sizing.
As far as the left hand placement goes you said this in another thread Kevin....In regards to ads on the left or right. We opted for ads on the left because that was where they were on the old site. The old look we had a left column with menu selections and ads. So, we thought rather than shake things up too much we would use the left side as we had done for a very long time.
That's a really bad reason for doing something. If you alter things things to a way that is more functional/nicer to use you will get less hassle not more. Sticking with the old way simply because that it's the old way is not good. Though this probably explains why the site has not progressed as the internet has changed, moved on and improved all these years.
Now I have no problem with advertising being used as a means of revenue raising, but what advertisers repeatedly seem to fail to understand is that intrusive advertising is a complete turn off and not a sales aid. For example in the UK advert breaks on TV are not allowed to increase the volume compared to the programme, yet it is something that is very definitely done by some channels. Self defeating though as I've noticed that people simply hit mute because ads are now too loud and unpleasant.
Reading an article in say a US mountain bike magazine is really painful at times as you get a single page article scattered thorough several pages of ads. Now do advertisers really think we'll suddenly stop reading an interesting article to look at a dull advert [which they invariably are in those cases]. UK [cycling] mags do not do this thankfully and are much nicer to read as a result and because the ads are usually for products we are already interested in, we can look at them at out leisure and without irritation. Annoying web ads mean people use adblock, not more sales.
As for the ads on LL, I now find them annoying and placed poorly from a design perspective. On the right would be much better.