Reviving ConTel / ConTin

We’re going to revive con tel, we are just trying to decide in what format. Some of you had some issues with the previous design and how it worked. The main reason is continental telegraph provided a (small but steady) income. TW is google banned for ads (probably because we use the word cunt too much) so cant really be monetised, unless we use affiliate programs which use Java and Tracking (which 90% of you savvy lot arent using). So this begs the question… what format to we revive it in?

Would you like us to use the TW theme, so its familiar and simply has different content? (but with google ads).

Suggestions please 🙂

& also – we noted and listened regarding the redevelopment of this site.

20 thoughts on “Reviving ConTel / ConTin”

  1. Yes–and thanks again for listening Tim.

    I was never a Contins fan because of the sign in capers–but if it is to be a moneymaker for you some degree of compromise with vile socialist media scum is needed.

    The Contins format was OK apart from the sign in.

  2. TW is google banned for ads (probably because we use the word cunt too much) so cant really be monetised…


  3. See, the thing is you can have the free wheeling comment stuff, as on here, which people like and draws in the punters, but can’t be monetised because people like us (and our views) are non-persons in today’s society, or you can try and monetise it and have Mark Zuckerberg et al censor you and your audience.

    Face it, places like this are the equivalent of the samizdat pamphlets being passed around in the old USSR………………..we say what everyone thinks but no one can say in public.

  4. wot Jim said.

    Here you are a host: set the theme, provoke the conversation, the real content is in the comments, that’s what I come for.

    Contim? If the content-in-comments model doesn’t monetise then it needs to be something else.There was never much real content in the now defunct version, you were trying to get away with the sort of brief provocative opinion that works here but minus the ensuing conversation. You republished some economics journal material but minus the plain language populist exposition that you do rather well. To monetise it it has to have some value, to the advertiser, but also to the eyballs the advertiser will pay for.

  5. Google are surely over-reacting.

    I’ve only counted four ‘fucks’, seven ‘cunts’ and one mention of felching and they’re all in this post here.

  6. The original problems with Cuntinental T were
    – horrible horrible inserts with GIANT TEXT that used up all the visible space and were green
    – vast difficulty leaving a comment

    It may be worth copying someone. I don’t know how
    – Roon
    – PS Audio
    – Audiogon

    put their goodies up, but there’s quite a lot of comment, the sign-in works, etc. These are all commercial entities
    – Roon is software wot you run on your music server, so most of what’s on their site is selling info, support info, and comments.
    – PS Audio sells hifi equipment, but their owner writes a blog-like email and that can be commented on
    – Audiogon is a news/gossip/sell that unwanted stuff site, with lively (but oft times ill-tempered – it’s hifi) comments.

    I’d think that they have similar concerns to you, but can neither afford to update their sites very often (it confuses people, and that loses money) nor afford nasty security breaches.

  7. “…TW is google banned for ads (probably because we use the word cunt too much) ……”

    TW is google banned for ads (probably because we aren’t left wing)

    There. Fixed that for you…

  8. Contins gripes:

    1: Repetitive content, but I understand why. You have a different audience to your most loyal following at this place.

    2: Once an article had dropped off the front page there seemed to be no way of simply displaying articles in time order of posting.

    3: on mobile just the front page would eat a substantial chunk of my data allowance to be fair all the web has got very data heavy this year, with enforced autoplay video, no less than 6 autoplay videos in every google search, etc.

  9. Given the name “Continental Telegraph”, perhaps your target audience should be expats. Obviously it’ll have a negative slant, providing confirmation bias for readers who have left these shores. Beyond that, you have a wealth of life experience, so write about what you know. If you hire other contributors, find people with broad experience of life too.

    All articles should have date & time of publication, to keep the site feeling fresh. Get a Daily Mail style “sidebar of shame” with your most popular articles. Don’t assume that your readers already know the basic facts of a story – often you post about things that haven’t had much coverage in the national news.

    On the formatting, I almost exclusively read on mobile, so make sure the site loads well and fits the smallest screens. This goes doubly for the commenting system: full-width textarea for typing the comment, “remember me” functionality, and make sure the comments and replies read well on small screens.

  10. Making money is good because it pays for the content. The structural issue is that only Google makes money from advertising. Therefore it is necessary to sell something on the site with a high margin so you get 100%. I suggest that a set of ebooks suitable for students. Then use affiliate marketing (I use AffiliateWP) to grow sales and traffic. The problem with the male, pale and stale audience like me is that we are dying off.

  11. Please Tim (or Richard rather perhaps) could you just make it simple and uncluttered:
    A no nonsense theme (images are useful perhaps) but focused on the readability of the text.
    We mainly care about the content (and the comments)

    Also seconded BIGs comment that it is important to be able to view articles in order of publishing.

    For themes. Something like these examples but perhaps even less cluttered:

    You could just have us take a vote.

  12. Bah my comments appear to have been eaten.

    But what I would suggest is to have a very simple theme that puts the focus on the text.
    Make it light and easy to load and overlook.
    We pretty much only care about the text (and comments)
    I tried to add some suggestions in my prev post.

  13. Contel is too much of a one-man band. One presumes that your title of “Editor-in-Chief” is tongue-in-cheek. Get more contributors. You do have like-minded friends, don’t you? On the plus side, the pics make it possible to share an article on social media. The comment thread is so vastly superior to ASI that it’s like the difference between happy hour and a temperance meeting. Ask Anthony Watts which template he uses. It’s attractive and a pleasure to use, not that I often go there. Click-through is a must as it allows you to establish which stories get the most visits. Customer feedback, very important. You know that we’re all going to dump on you when you proclaim your lofty views on carbon taxes, so why do you persist? Trying to curry favour with Polly?

  14. @Andrew M October 6, 2019 at 8:55 am


    @Southerner October 7, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    +1 Esp misguided Carbon Tax – or is it CO tax or CO2 tax or Carbon containing food tax or Tree tax? Tim doesn’t know.

    Theme? Copy ?


    Why was site hosted by scammers ? Who sugested & approved that?

    Why didn’t you host on a VPS? Hell of a lot cheaper and you have full control, or is that too difficult for “Richard”?

    The VPS I used for several years was: Choice of OS, 100GB hdd, 1TB pm traffic, 10Gb/s – Euro [confidential] but <100pa

    Don't know why I'm wasting time posting as Tim & "Richard" have history of asking then ignorring and not replying.

    Is "Richard" Tim's Hyde?

  15. +Pcar Tim is good at ignoring comments from the peanut gallery. In your comment you can write the most convincing proof that black is not white, and next day Tim will start an article with “As I was saying, black is white.”

  16. I appreciated The Continental Telegraph. Aside from the annoying but necessary adverts, my only complaint would be that it wasn’t always clear which text was from the author and which text was quoted.

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