2006 - 2018
Thanks for being a member of Project Wonderful! We wanted to inform you of some sad news:
For over a decade, we've been so happy to be your choice for getting the word out about your comic, music, or anything else you come up with. And we've been so proud to represent our publishers, who have been creating some of the most interesting, exciting, and worthwhile things online.
But all good things must come to an end. When we started working on Project Wonderful in early 2006, it was with the hope that online advertising could be something good, something that you'd want to see. We were always the odd company out: we didn't track readers, we didn't sell out our publishers, and we never had issues with popups, popunders, or other bad ads the plague the internet - because our technology simply wasn't built to allow for that. We let you place an image and link on a website, and that was it. And we filtered the ads that could run on our network, so our publishers knew they could trust us.
We'd hoped that would be enough, but in the past several years, the internet has changed. Large sites like Facebook do all they can to keep readers on their network, rather than sending that traffic out to individual websites. As such, many readers - who used to visit dozens if not hundreds of websites a day - now visit only a few sites, and things like the indie "blogosphere" (remember that?) are disappearing. We're hopeful that individual creators can adapt - either by embracing these walled gardens in a way that protects themselves, or by finding other ways to draw attention to their work - but as a network founded on supporting independent websites, our options were limited. Some advertising networks have held on by adopting more and more invasive user tracking, forcing their publishers to sign binding contracts, or by trying to train publishers (and readers!) to expect that "sometimes a bad ad will sneak through", but that's something we always refused to do. We believed - and still believe - that you deserve better. We believed - and still believe - in a world where an ad blocker wouldn't be an obvious thing to install, because advertising would be good, interesting, and non-invasive.
Unfortunately, we're no longer in a position to supply that better option to you.
We know this may come as a shock, which is why we're giving everyone as much notice as possible. Here's the Project Wonderful shutdown timeline:
We want to thank you all: from the publishers and advertisers who have been with us since day one (and there are hundreds!) to those that joined somewhere along the road to today. We're so proud of the artists we've helped support and the good we brought into the world - and we still hope that we've managed to bring some change into an industry not typically associated with "decency". And to the readers who clicked our ads, and in doing so discovered new comics, new work, new ideas, new art, and new people through the simple act of peer-to-peer advertising: we think you're great too.
It really was a wonderful project. And it couldn't have happened without you.
- Team PW.