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Last post Author Topic: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking  (Read 19352 times)

Eóin

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2010, 05:54:56 AM »
I never tend to run any ad blocking software. There are really only two types of ad that bother me, those that scroll with the page and those which are decitful.

In the second camp I mean the type of ads on download sites which are only a big download now button image, or the types which disguise themselves as a popup warning of viruses and what not. Honestly I don't know how any site with self respect could display one of those types of ad.

40hz

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2010, 06:45:39 AM »
As Linus Torvalds say about Windows they should have been shot in the head 15 years ago :)
I'd rather have Linus shot in the head 15 years ago - perhaps then we could have a Windows alternative that didn't suck :-\

So...with all due respect, what's stopping you - or anyone else who feels that way - from writing one?  :mrgreen:

All it would take is a few thousand hours out of one's lifetime in return for nothing other than the satisfaction of doing it.

Woa! Slow down! Don't everybody come up at once! ;D

It's all well and good to say Linus very often has his head up his butt about a lot of things. I'll be the first to agree. But annoying as Linus Torvalds, Rick Stallman, and the rest of the 'old guard' can be when they open their mouths, I still feel they deserve a great deal of respect even though I often don't agree with what they're saying.

And that's because while others talked, and discussed, and complained, and debated - these people actually went out and did something.


Just my two cents. :)

« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 06:51:53 AM by 40hz »

rssapphire

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2010, 07:33:22 AM »
I'll stop blocking ads when the following conditions are met:

1) NO FLASH. NO JAVA. NO .NET. NO ActiveX. And no, I'm not going to uninstall FLASH/JAVA as it is useful on some sites. If you can't detect that it is installed but being blocked on most sites, that's the ad company's software problem not a problem with what I'm doing.

2) No 3rd party tracking cookies associated with the ads or any other way of tracking me across multiple sites.

3) No movement. Static text or images only. (Exception: Video ads at the beginning or end of videos, provided the video is stopped and starts to play only if I start it.)

4) No Sound unless I knowing choose to start it.

5) Ads from third party sites must never slow or block the rest of the page loading -- even if the third party ad delivery site is very slow or down. I should never have to wait for an ad to load to see the whole page.

6) No ads that expand, move or do other things if I happen to move my mouse over them.

7) No popups of any kind. (Exception: A css popup that appears over the page as it loads is okay provided it has obvious "close" button immediately available and immediately goes away when said button is clicked.)

Interstitial Ads are fine if they meet the above conditions. 
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wraith808

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2010, 08:33:01 AM »
I will gladly put a no filtering entry in any ad removal program I use for sites that I truly enjoy and have TASTEFUL ads. Betanews is an example of a site with tasteless ads. After removing their ads, the pages become so much more readable, less lengthy, and overall easier to work with.

But most people are too lazy to do this- it's an all-in or all-out way of doing things (I have to admit, I'm one of the lazy).  Things such as ad revenue become a big deal when you're doing something full-time, and not just as a hobby, just as content is a big deal when you're doing something full-time, and not just as a hobby.  There are some hobbyists that approach (and in some cases surpass) the level of professional blogs- but if their RL was threatened by the time taken doing the hobby, which would take precedence?

I'll stop blocking ads when the following conditions are met:

Do you selectively unblock sites that meet these requirements?  Or does *everyone* have to meet your requirements before you unblock anyone?

And to the micropayment idea, I quote this comment on the slashdot article:
Quote
The issue I have with the concept of many content providers going to a 'micropayment' subscription is that for the user, eventually, all the micropayments for the stuff they want to read ends up being one big MACROpayment.

I've got enough monthly payments to deal with between car payments, car insurance, rent, phone bill, internet, and so forth. I don't want to and am not going to add a bunch of $.99 micropayments on top of everything else.

$.05 an article? Micropayment? How many articles have you read on the internet today? How many this month? Let's see... in the past hour or so I read...

$.05 1-Article MMO-Champion.com
$.10 2-Articles WoW.com
$.10 2-Articles Slashdot.org
$.10 2-Articles ArsTechnica.com
$.10 2-Articles Cracked.com
$.05 1-Article NYTimes.com
$.05 1-Article NewsoftheWeird.com

Ok... that works out to $.55 in an hour. Let's say 3 hours on the internet per day or 21 hours per week... $11.55 a week multiplied by 4 to get per month... $46.20... multiplied by 12 for the yearly cost... $554.40. $554.40 a year on micropayments!!!

So... tell me again... are you willing to make micropayments for every article you read on the internet?

Also, if many websites go to a micropayment model users will get sick of having to enter their credit card or paypal account every time they want to read something. Someone like Rupert Murdoch will come along and offer a whole bunch of this content for one payment instead of a ton of little payments.

It'll be a reintroduction to an AOL type experience where everything the average user would look at would be through the filter of one giant corporation.

Yep... Micropayments is exactly where the big corporations would like us to go.

Pretty insightful on the monies paid...
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 08:40:00 AM by wraith808 »

f0dder

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2010, 11:24:24 AM »
As Linus Torvalds say about Windows they should have been shot in the head 15 years ago :)
I'd rather have Linus shot in the head 15 years ago - perhaps then we could have a Windows alternative that didn't suck :-\
So...with all due respect, what's stopping you - or anyone else who feels that way - from writing one?  :mrgreen:
Linux :)

All the potential free developer resources are pooled there - it's simply not realistic to introduce another OS to the market. If linux hadn't tied up these resources, perhaps they could have been utilized to write a decent and modern OS. Don't get me wrong, linux is quite an achievement and it works for a lot of purposes, but it seems like such a darn waste to copy outdated design and only after several years start duct-tape retro-fitting modern features to it.
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wraith808

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2010, 12:30:07 PM »
^ And it could also be the realization that you don't have the technical know-how to take on the task.  Linux is a technological achievement, and I don't think that most people say that it isn't.  However, something can be a technical achievement and a stepping stone, rather than a technical achievement and a final destination.  And truthfully, I don't think that Linux is a viable final destination, and most people don't take that into account when looking at it as a feasible wide-spread consumer level OS.  It's technically impressive, but it doesn't have to be a viable alternative...

rssapphire

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2010, 12:37:01 PM »
Do you selectively unblock sites that meet these requirements?  Or does *everyone* have to meet your requirements before you unblock anyone?

I will unblock the few web sites with ads that actually meet these requirements. However, while I did not mention it in my original post, I leave a few third party (mainly text ad only) ad servers unblocked even though they do not meet all the requirements. Google Adsense, for example. So if a site uses third party ad servers I'm willing to put up with, I see the ads. If they don't they have to convince me that they are not annoying and will not become annoying in the future before I will unblock.

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wraith808

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2010, 02:10:19 PM »
Well, you're better than like 90% of users out there (including me) :)

Dormouse

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2010, 05:15:11 PM »
Quote
If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue

This shows no sign of being bothered that their ads consume our bandwidth, distract our attention and give us nothing we want in return.

If you never click on the ads, even when you see them, there's absolutely no point in wasting bandwidth (both ways) by having them onscreen. So the argument isn't really about whether the ads are blocked but whether they produce enough revenue, and there's an assumption that adblockers will be clickers if only they could see the ads. I suppose the next stage, if there isn't enough ad revenue after eliminating adblockers, is to make bigger more intrusive ads or to ration pageviews to users who click often enough.

Stephen66515

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2010, 05:19:23 PM »
Quote
If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue

This shows no sign of being bothered that their ads consume our bandwidth, distract our attention and give us nothing we want in return.

If you never click on the ads, even when you see them, there's absolutely no point in wasting bandwidth (both ways) by having them onscreen. So the argument isn't really about whether the ads are blocked but whether they produce enough revenue, and there's an assumption that adblockers will be clickers if only they could see the ads. I suppose the next stage, if there isn't enough ad revenue after eliminating adblockers, is to make bigger more intrusive ads or to ration pageviews to users who click often enough.

"Please click on 5 of the links below to get to the section you originally wanted to see"

I can see, and feel it coming...it's already a fundamental piece of some websites I have had the misfortune of stumbling across.

40hz

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2010, 05:54:13 PM »
This shows no sign of being bothered that their ads consume our bandwidth...

Of course this is all made possible by the existence of unlimited Internet plans.

If Comcast and AT&T have their way and start metering bandwidth once again, these ad supported sites will have to drastically rethink their business plans. Much like the fax and email quasi-spammers were forced to do a while back.

You had the CAN-SPAM Act. I can easily see similar legislation that would require websites to put up a splash page notifying the viewer that the site they're attempting to access has 'advertising mechanisms' which may consume metered bandwidth and: "Do you want to continue?"

And then there's the issue of whether or not you would need to be an adult to legally agree to that... ;D

What a mess.






zridling

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2010, 10:39:57 PM »
But wait, if the ad never loads and is blocked from starting, how am I consuming their bandwidth? Effectively all I'm loading is text and a header file. No matter the site or its subject, content is king. Always will be. Like modern DVDs (pirate vs. paying customer), if you're going to frustrate my consumption of your content with ads, then -- for me -- your content is not worth reading.

app103

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2010, 11:20:38 PM »
This is not a new subject. In fact, I'd say this blog post had a better argument in favor of not blocking ads than Ars had.

But to that, this was my reply, and I still stand behind it, 100%. (the rest of the comments on this article are worth a read, too)

Quote
Purpose of the muzzle must be considered.

Is everyone that blocks ads actually muzzling an ox? Or are some people muzzling a rabid dog, in order to prevent themselves from being bitten?

How about if I am viewing your content on an old slow computer with a very slow dialup connection? Is it fair to make me pay a higher price than people with newer computers on a fast connection?

Ads slow down the loading of pages much more in the situation I described, and can potentially cause crashes.

For the better part of last year, the only computer I had was an old P1. It only takes a single flash based ad to freeze it and create a need to hit the reset button and reboot the computer, losing all unsaved work that may have been open at the time.

Is that a fair price to pay for anyone's content? What if I was working on a project that feeds my family and came to your website for information to help complete it? Should I lose my time and work for a glimpse of a small fraction of a page on your site? Should my family go hungry for a tiny useless glimpse of content that I never had the chance to use?

What about sites that use ad networks that do not properly screen their advertisers? Is it a fair price to pay for anyone's content with the security of your computer? There are a lot of malware infested ads out there and one can never be sure what website they will or won't be on.

Is it not unethical and morally wrong to tease people with things they can never have? What about ads attempting to sell things to people with no money? Does it even make any sense? I think it could even be considered cruel in some cases. Imagine forcing someone who is hungry and has no money, to constantly watch advertisements for food.

What about the visitors sensitivities to certain things causing an adverse physical reaction? Is it a fair price to ask of an epileptic, for them to have a seizure from the flashing ads on your site?

It is everyone's right to protect themselves and their property from harm, including the harm your ads may do. The fact that you didn't think of how they may harm someone when you pasted the ad codes on your site, and even if you don't agree with anything I have said, it still does not take away my right to protect myself and my property.

wraith808

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2010, 12:17:21 AM »
But wait, if the ad never loads and is blocked from starting, how am I consuming their bandwidth? Effectively all I'm loading is text and a header file. No matter the site or its subject, content is king. Always will be. Like modern DVDs (pirate vs. paying customer), if you're going to frustrate my consumption of your content with ads, then -- for me -- your content is not worth reading.

I think they mean the bandwidth from the content of the site- not the ads, i.e. the text and header file.  And though that may be small individually, collectively that can be a large amount.  Not arguing one side or the other- just pointing that out.  And I don't think they'd have a problem with the people who choose not to read the content because of the ads, just those that block the ads and still consume the content.

f0dder

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2010, 04:24:21 AM »
Quote
If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue
This shows no sign of being bothered that their ads consume our bandwidth, distract our attention and give us nothing we want in return.
Most consumers have unlimited internet plans, these days - and the size of an ad is hopefully going to be just a fraction of the content you want to view.

If you never click on the ads, even when you see them, there's absolutely no point in wasting bandwidth (both ways) by having them onscreen. So the argument isn't really about whether the ads are blocked but whether they produce enough revenue, and there's an assumption that adblockers will be clickers if only they could see the ads. I suppose the next stage, if there isn't enough ad revenue after eliminating adblockers, is to make bigger more intrusive ads or to ration pageviews to users who click often enough.
I was under the impression that you also get revenue just for displaying the ads? Might get more from a click-throug, though.
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Innuendo

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2010, 08:10:18 AM »
Spot on!  I actually liked ArsTechnica a lot more before it became 'successful'.

Oh! I'm glad you reminded me, 40hz! Before Ars was successful Fisher used to get on the forums and beat the donation drum about the high costs of running the site, how everybody needed to subscribe so he could pay the bills. This was way back years before Ars caught Conde Nast's eye.

I was actually thinking of giving the man some money to help him run his site since it was obviously such a huge financial burden on him. Then I found out he was a pretty successful lawyer.

Yeah, I'm sure Ars was decimating his six-figure annual salary.  :-\   Since then I haven't thought anything Mr. Fisher has said was worth the electrons it was printed on.

wraith808

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2010, 10:04:37 AM »
I was under the impression that you also get revenue just for displaying the ads? Might get more from a click-throug, though.

Larger sites get revenue for views.  And post #6666? LOL :)

Bamse

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2010, 03:29:02 PM »
Slightly different idea on how to mix community with business http://www.techdirt....306/1649198451.shtml or Ars employees are crybabies :)

Dormouse

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2010, 05:02:25 PM »
I was under the impression that you also get revenue just for displaying the ads? Might get more from a click-throug, though.

All depends on the ad and the contract you have with the advertiser, agency, Google.

Most consumers have unlimited internet plans, these days - and the size of an ad is hopefully going to be just a fraction of the content you want to view.

Not sure about the % of users, but most plans I see here are capped, not unlimited - and most ISPs throttle unlimited plans anyway, and most users have limited speeds (especially if the connection is being shared with a whole family), so I don't see that much unlimited really going on.

And it does make a difference. More than one site I visit, loads all the ads before the content (and often stutter/stall if the ads are blocked) and pages can take quite a few seconds to load. It can be a real irritation, if you then try to click on a link before the page has fully loaded just as it redraws and you end up on clickin on one of the ads. Of course, I tend to avoid those sites as much as possible or use a browser with heavy duty & effective ad blocking on those sites; I usually don't bother much since they don't distract me much on most sites & Google ads don't bother me at all.

Lashiec

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2010, 04:57:25 PM »
Some commentary on the pay-per-view ad campaigns, and why blocking ads on sites may not be such a bad idea in the end.

wraith808

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #45 on: March 16, 2010, 05:17:56 PM »
I don't buy it.  Their argument is that Ars is lying (basically) and that advertisers won't pay for impressions.  TV has done this for ages, and I can see where a firm would pay for impressions rather than clicks, as some sites generate loads of traffic and could bargain based upon that.

rssapphire

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2010, 04:43:14 PM »
A good reason to block ads:

Malware delivered by Yahoo, Fox, Google ads

Quote
"It's not just the small players but the ad servers connected with Google and Yahoo have been infected and served up bad ads," said Lyle Frink, public relations manager for Avast.

The most compromised ad delivery platforms were Yield Manager and Fimserve, but a number of smaller ad systems, including Myspace, were also found to be delivering malware on a lesser scale, Avast Virus Labs said.

Found in ads delivered from those networks was JavaScript code that Avast dubbed "JS:Prontexi," which Avast researcher Jiri Sejtko said is a Trojan in script form that targets the Windows operating system. It looks for vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Acrobat, Java, QuickTime, and Flash and launches fake antivirus warnings, Sejtko said.

Users don't need to click on anything to get infected; a computer becomes infected after the ad is loaded by the browser, Avast said.

Since the malware started spreading in late December, Avast has registered more than 2.6 million instances of it on customer computers. Nearly 530,000 of those were from Yield Manager and more than 16,300 from DoubleClick, Sejtko said.

{Read entire article}

I have no sympathy for any site that complains because their viewers use ad blockers unless they can guarantee no ads they place or allow on their site will ever contain or deliver malware.
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app103

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2010, 04:53:58 AM »
I have no sympathy for any site that complains because their viewers use ad blockers unless they can guarantee no ads they place or allow on their site will ever contain or deliver malware.

This precisely the reason why the only ad network I don't have blocked in Ad Muncher is Project Wonderful. They don't use flash ads and it is possible to place their ad codes on your site (or RSS feed) without the use of javascript, either in the code or in the ads themselves.

Besides, most of the ads they show are for small blogs, web comics, and sellers of handmade goods on Etsy. As a publisher, I have the option to check each site that wants to advertise on mine before the ads run, and reject and/or block the ads or the advertiser. They give you a lot of control.

Project Wonderful has to be about the most transparent, ethical ad network I have come across. I wish all the ad networks were a lot more like them.

40hz

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2010, 11:42:53 AM »

Project Wonderful has to be about the most transparent, ethical ad network I have come across. I wish all the ad networks were a lot more like them.

Very interesting approach. Makes perfect sense too. Thanks for bringing Project Wonderful to our attention.

 :Thmbsup:

Note: I just whitelisted Project Wonderful on my blocker. Looking at some of the ads and advertisers, I've decided I actually wouldn't mind seeing some of those.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 11:58:34 AM by 40hz »

JavaJones

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Re: Ars Technica on the problem with adblocking
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2010, 01:33:21 PM »
Yeah, Project Wonderful is super cool. Similar to an idea I had for a "better ad network" a few years back. Glad to see someone did something about it. :)

- Oshyan