Starting yesterday, Daring Fireball joined A List Apart, Coudal Partners, and Signal vs. Noise as a member of The Deck, a boutique ad network geared specifically toward web and design professionals.

The Deck’s advertising philosophy is almost perfectly aligned with that of the homegrown sponsorship system I previously ran here on Daring Fireball, with the only significant difference being that my own sponsorship ads were text-only, and Deck ads include 120 × 90 pixel graphics. Otherwise, the policies are the same:

  • One ad per page.
  • Advertisers are limited to products and services we (the member sites of The Deck) have paid for or use.
  • Spots are limited (six, currently), and each ad in the rotation gets an equal slice of the total page views of the sites in the network.
  • Animation is verboten.

That The Deck’s policies are so similar to my own is not a coincidence; I forged my ideas on web advertising with the help of my friend Jim Coudal, and Jim is the mastermind behind The Deck.

Each one of these principles is contrary to the conventional wisdom in web advertising — most sites that draw revenue from advertising attempt to cram as many ads as possible on each page, in as big and garish a format as possible. Yet I feel strongly that our policies make for a superior experience both for you, the reader, who is neither distracted by animation nor insulted by “punch the monkey” nonsense, and for the sponsors, who do not have to compete for attention from other advertisers on the same page.

If you’re interested in advertising through The Deck, there are still a few spots open for March and April.


I want to express my sincere appreciation to the companies that supported Daring Fireball through my previous sponsorship system. These are all great companies, and their support for Daring Fireball has allowed me to spend more time writing than I would have without them.

Those last three, of course, are the three other sites in The Deck (Jewelboxing is from Coudal Partners). Jewelboxing in particular deserves special mention for sponsoring Daring Fireball continuously from the first day until the last of my homegrown sponsorships.