Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th May 2009 07:50 UTC
Internet & Networking As we happened to be talking about advertisements on OSNews yesterday, and the use of Adblock, I stumbled upon a blog entry by Adblock Plus' developer, who is trying to improve Adblock in such a way that it is less harmful to webmasters. His suggestion is surely intriguing, but will it fly wth Adblock users?
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No user interaction
by spinnekopje on Wed 13th May 2009 08:11 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

Webmasters should learn that users should not be obliged to click or scroll before they see the contents of the website. As long as I can start reading what I want without those 2 actions I don't really care about ads.
A standard feature of browsers could be a database to 'remove' those annoying things from a website when displaying it. Making that happen asks for a lot of work and a good database, but it might help webmasters to create usefull sites.
I would like to add surveys to the list of ads, because some websites seem to like those very much.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No user interaction
by Liquidator on Wed 13th May 2009 09:13 UTC in reply to "No user interaction"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

If AdBlock Plus starts displaying nag screens always asking the users if they want to display ads, the cure will be worse than the evil. Maybe NoScript will update its engine to block AdBlock's nag screen? ;)

Reply Score: 4

Advertising Opt-in
by Vlad on Wed 13th May 2009 08:17 UTC
Vlad
Member since:
2006-03-23

I can't speak for everyone, but I find my online experience to be MUCH more enjoyable without ads, which is why I use ABP. IMHO ABP should not deviate from its current incarnation.

There are a few sites which I subscribe to - subscriptions on these sites remove ads, and even though ABP takes care of these ads I choose to support them. Far easier than clicking banner ads.

What I don't understand about advertising is why there isn't a better user opt-in system. There are products that are generally interesting to me - such as those I use at my work, in my hobbys, etc. I would not only be OK with ads such as these (so long as they're displayed in a tasteful manner), but I might even appreciate them.

I don't understand why advertisers feel the need to force ads on us, often for products we are not/will never be interested in, and often use underhanded techniques to harvest user information. It's stupid, it's wasteful, and it's ineffective.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Advertising Opt-in
by Jon Dough on Wed 13th May 2009 08:56 UTC in reply to "Advertising Opt-in"
Jon Dough Member since:
2005-11-30

I don't understand why advertisers feel the need to force ads on us, often for products we are not/will never be interested in, and often use underhanded techniques to harvest user information. It's stupid, it's wasteful, and it's ineffective.


Unfortunately, advertising (At least in the USA) is everywhere you look. The more there is, the more it fades into the background, and the more they have to SHOUT to be noticed.

Reply Score: 3

Advertising Opt-in
by rich97 on Wed 13th May 2009 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Advertising Opt-in"
rich97 Member since:
2009-05-13

You think it's bad in the US or western countries you should try going to one of the far eastern cities.

I went to Tokyo not long ago, there was so much advertising it was actually tiring. In the most over populated city in the world compaines employ people with megaphones to attract customer attention. Tokyo is literally a real life version of a website covered from <html> to </html> in obnoxious banner ads.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Advertising Opt-in
by Lennie on Wed 13th May 2009 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Advertising Opt-in"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The whole shouting business is just useless. I only read text-ads, sites with popups, etc. I just don't visit (again).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Advertising Opt-in
by Johann Chua on Fri 15th May 2009 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Advertising Opt-in"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Likewise. I enjoy reading print ads, but website ads annoy me more often than not.

TV ads are okay, as long as the network isn't so greedy that it overstuffs the timeslot, making shows go off schedule. (I still use a VCR, so recording space is a bit limited compared to a DVR.) This is mostly a problem with the big two networks in the Philippines.

Reply Score: 2

blocking just flash
by xfranky on Wed 13th May 2009 08:26 UTC
xfranky
Member since:
2006-09-19

Tried ABP in the past but it didn't take much time to realize that the only annoying ads I wanted to stop were the obnoxious and flashy ones. That's why I started using FlashBlock instead of ABP, whitelisting only the sites I really need flash for. It's quite a different approach, but the result pleases me (and my old pc) more than with ABP.

Reply Score: 3

RE: blocking just flash
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 13th May 2009 08:32 UTC in reply to "blocking just flash"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Agreed. I use Flashblock whenever I'm forced to use Firefox, and it's the only thing I would even remotely consider adding to Chrome if its developers ever sell their souls to the devil and implement a plugin framework.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: blocking just flash
by Dryhte on Wed 13th May 2009 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE: blocking just flash"
Dryhte Member since:
2008-02-05

Same here. I use Flashblock and NoScript and together they take the annoyance out of surfing for me ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: blocking just flash
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 13th May 2009 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: blocking just flash"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Seconded... er, fourthed.

I wouldn't block static image ads - if only because they're often a source of hilarity. Some ads contain great Freudian-slip typos ("ironic bracelet," instead of "ionic"), some are wonderful examples of Engrish ("Hey you dieting lady! How I lost 17% fat?"), and some are just plain WTF-inducing (the "USB humping dog" banner).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: blocking just flash
by Liquidator on Wed 13th May 2009 09:41 UTC in reply to "RE: blocking just flash"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

A quick search and you get the FlashBlock extension for Chrome: http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=Flashblock+for+chrome

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: blocking just flash
by Valhalla on Thu 14th May 2009 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: blocking just flash"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Thom Holwerda wrote:
-"and it's the only thing I would even remotely consider adding to Chrome if its developers ever sell their souls to the devil and implement a plugin framework."

Uh, in what way would implementing a plugin framework being equivalent to selling their souls? What would be negative with a plugin framework? It allows people to tailor their browser/browsing experience to their pleasure, what's wrong with that?

Reply Score: 2

Google ads please!
by sakeniwefu on Wed 13th May 2009 13:08 UTC in reply to "blocking just flash"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Swfdec plug-in has this feature built-in. However the ads I hate the most are Javascript "popups"(they can use flash too for great pain).
If everyone would just use Google ads, the web would be a better place. Google ads are both well placed(they are always somehow related with content) and unintrusive. The chances I might be interested in a Google ad are many orders of magnitude higher than with your regular flashy crap.
If you float over whatever I want to read you have guaranteed that I *will not* buy your product.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Google ads please!
by bibe on Wed 13th May 2009 18:28 UTC in reply to "Google ads please!"
bibe Member since:
2005-07-09

Oh yes, hate those from the bottom of my heart ;)

Reply Score: 1

F* the ads
by soulrebel123 on Wed 13th May 2009 09:28 UTC
soulrebel123
Member since:
2009-05-13

Am I the only here who thinks that the less profit there is in the Internet, the better?

Advertising is often tolerated as a necessary evil, but it's still lies and annoyances and produces nothing.
Make us pay directly for the contents if you want profit, or go non profit and put a donation button. The net takes care of the good things.

Edited 2009-05-13 09:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: F* the ads
by lqsh on Thu 14th May 2009 03:41 UTC in reply to "F* the ads"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Am I the only here who thinks that the less profit there is in the Internet, the better?

Advertising is often tolerated as a necessary evil, but it's still lies and annoyances and produces nothing.
Make us pay directly for the contents if you want profit, or go non profit and put a donation button. The net takes care of the good things.


You are clueless.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: F* the ads
by sbergman27 on Thu 14th May 2009 04:03 UTC in reply to "RE: F* the ads"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

You are clueless.

I disagree. The parent post to yours is a perfectly valid point of view. Another valid point of view is that we who take the initiative to learn at least enough about computing to install and use ad blocking are perfectly justified in letting the truly clueless users pay the bandwidth costs for web sites by loading and watching all the annoying, distracting, indescribably obnoxious, and unthinkably intrusive ads. If that revenue is not enough, webmasters do, indeed, need to be thinking about a new business model which actually *works* given the realities of 2009. You know. Sort of like we keep trying to tell the RIAA and MPAA?

Now, asking users to please lower their shields is valid. But good luck getting cooperation if you happen to be one of those sites whose editor is rude and egotistical, or in the habbit of summarily deleting posts which are at all critical of his/her site. (I shall refrain from naming names.)

And regarding the more general issue of it getting tougher to keep a site afloat... maybe, just maybe, everyone and his parakeet doesn't really need to run a blog? Maybe we'd be better off if they didn't?

Just a few thoughts. But while the post above yours might not be the most articulate ever, the sentiment is not "clueless".

Edited 2009-05-14 04:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Blocking is for suckers
by Soulbender on Wed 13th May 2009 10:21 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Too be honest, I find ad blocking a bit lame. If you like a sites content then just live with whatever ads they need to show to keep it going. Hosting isn't free, bandwidth isn't free and people don't work for free.
Besides, many sites disables ad for registered users so if you like a site so much just register to avoid the ads. If you're so annoyed with the ads just don't visit those sites instead of being a freeloader.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by IvoLimmen
by IvoLimmen on Wed 13th May 2009 11:13 UTC
IvoLimmen
Member since:
2005-07-06

I personally don't use any ad blockers - not because of my position at OSNews, but simply because I don't care (except for the audio/video ones). For OSNews, I have to visit the most horrendous websites in the world to get you the news, but for some reason, I'm never really put off by obnoxious advertising. Sure, I'd like them to go away, but I guess I'm too much of a realist to think that me using ad block will do anything to change that.

I am not sure if you qualify as a realist for not using Adblock (or a derivative). You can also qualify as masochist as a lot of Ads are very annoying.

I find it actually make browsing the internet a bigger pleasure site a more clean without them.

Sometimes my wife needs some help with her activities on the computer. I always have to looks twice before I recognize the website because of the Ads I don't see.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by IvoLimmen
by bibe on Wed 13th May 2009 18:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by IvoLimmen"
bibe Member since:
2005-07-09

I personally don't use any ad blockers - not because of my position at OSNews, but simply because I don't care (except for the audio/video ones). For OSNews, I have to visit the most horrendous websites in the world to get you the news, but for some reason, I'm never really put off by obnoxious advertising. Sure, I'd like them to go away, but I guess I'm too much of a realist to think that me using ad block will do anything to change that.


But it does change it for you and everybody else using adblock.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by haakin
by haakin on Wed 13th May 2009 11:26 UTC
haakin
Member since:
2008-12-18

Do webmasters get any money if I only see the adverts? I could set ABP to let me see ads in some sites but I won't click on any ad. I think that the only times I have clicked on a banner in the last years were accidentally.

I always thought that webmasters received money from the clicks on the ads. And that is the reason I use ABP. I'd change my mind if the money for the webmasters came from just seeing the ads.

Javier
PS: Today I'm writing a terrible English. For some reason I'm too tired to think in English. I just hope the post is understandable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by haakin
by cilcoder on Wed 13th May 2009 13:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by haakin"
cilcoder Member since:
2005-07-06

Then you should probably change your mind. Some websites do get paid per impression and not per click.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_Per_Impression

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by haakin
by David on Wed 13th May 2009 14:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by haakin"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Most banner ads are paid per-view (known as CPM or cost per thousand impressions), though if the advertising on the site doesn't achieve a certain click-through rate, eventually the advertiser will not renew their campaign. Per click ads were very common a while back, then fell out of favor, until Google single-handedly revived the practice. All ads from Google are pay per click.

Reply Score: 1

Other reasons to block advertisments ...
by MacTO on Wed 13th May 2009 12:30 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

A lot of webmasters are trying to change the AdBlock discussion from "advertising is a privacy issue" to "advertising is annoying."

Why?

It is much easier to convince people to deal with annoyances than it is to con them into selling their privacy to the lowest bidder. And let's face it, advertisers are very low bidders.

For those who have forgotten, here's a reminder of why advertisers collect demographics: they like demographics because it allows them to pigeon-hole you. Once they pigeon-hole you, they are better able to manipulate you to give their clients your money. Here's a reminder of how they collect demographics: these companies don't sell advertising to people like Thom and expect Thom to host the advertising on internal servers because that would strip away their demographic information.

To all of those who think that advertising is about supporting a website: get real. The people who do the advertising are supporting this website, and they want something in return.

Reply Score: 5

v The best approach
by lego on Wed 13th May 2009 13:28 UTC
RE: The best approach
by sj87 on Wed 13th May 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "The best approach"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

I wonder why these hyprocrits who want to use the content of websites / work of webmasters, without to have them be paid for their efforts, do not have the right approach when a site it too much annoying: using the back button.

And what is your prolem? No site I know has an EULA which demands user to disable AdBlock to use the site, and I'm not so sure if such a requirement would even be legal (in my country or anywhere).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The best approach
by lego on Wed 13th May 2009 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE: The best approach"
lego Member since:
2008-03-25

This is not just my problem. I have a such license on my site and it is logic. Not only because ads (I have few ads just as OSN) are here to pay my work, but also because Adblock modifies my pages before to display them to users, and surely it is not permitted by US laws.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: The best approach
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 13th May 2009 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE: The best approach"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

No site I know has an EULA which demands user to disable AdBlock to use the site, and I'm not so sure if such a requirement would even be legal (in my country or anywhere).


The admins over at ArsTechnica have (or at least had) a strict policy of banning any users who admitted to blocking ads on the site.

Reply Score: 4

Stupid flash and animated ads
by theosib on Wed 13th May 2009 14:39 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

I'm a notebook user. Flash is a nasty CPU hog, and even animated GIFs burn CPU cycles and joules of energy I don't want to waste.

These are the ONLY reason I installed AdBlock Plus.

If I could count on ads not using up my battery, I'd stop blocking them.

[And note that I'm reading OSNews in NetNewsWire, which doesn't block ads. Nevertheless, I see a flash ad as I type this. I'll be closing this tab soon.]

Reply Score: 1

RE: Stupid flash and animated ads
by Fusion on Wed 13th May 2009 15:49 UTC in reply to "Stupid flash and animated ads"
Fusion Member since:
2005-07-18

Here-here! I was reading a CNN.com article the other day, and the text/layout of my article kept moving literally 8cm up and down. Being unable to read it, I scrolled to the top of the page only to find a HUGE flash banner advertisement that kept expanding and shrinking itself...impacting the entire page. The ad literally forced me to interact with it (does forced interaction count as revenue too?) just to "close" it.

I've seen ads like that all over the web. No wonder Adblock is such a popular tool. If ads were static jpgs, I'd bet a good 50-75% wouldn't even bother with AdBlockers. I myself much prefer the unobtrusive Google text ads. For some reason, I end up actually clicking on those once in a while.

Reply Score: 2

Adblock is not that bad for sites
by Dr-ROX on Wed 13th May 2009 15:49 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

Interesting idea, but IMHO nobody will use it fairly. In this case all webmasters will put those meta tags to their sites - all they want is to show ads. So every site will show that Adblock info screen and ask to exclude site from blocked ones.

Also what type of people use Adblock? Those who don't like ads. Ads must be clicked to make profit. Now if visitors don't like ads, they don't click on them. So no profit for ad companies. Adblock hides ads but those people who use it do not click on them whatsoever. So there's not that big loss for sites if someone uses Adblock. Those people probably don't like clicking ads anyway.

I'm using Adblock, it helps to concentrate and see content.

Edited 2009-05-13 15:50 UTC

Reply Score: 4

bibe Member since:
2005-07-09

I think it's overkill to click yes/no for every site u visit the first time, just too much trouble. Better make a global white list like a counter to adblocks EasyList that is on by default and can be overridden, maybe even a system to vote down/up some sites.

Edit: Maybe it's better to have more categories of white list's like:

uses flash/animated
no flash only animated
no animated ads(would be mine)
text ads only

The advertising could surely adapt to that.

Edited 2009-05-13 18:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1

I block ads
by Sabon on Wed 13th May 2009 18:33 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

If an ad is animated, I block it.
If an ad tries to open a popup window, I block it.
If an ad is about a product/brand I don't like, I block it.

There is no ad blocker that works like this? I guess that's why I end up blocking all ads. Once there is an ad blocker that lets me decide what types of things I can block and what I can leave unblocked, then and only then will I start seeing ads again.

Do I want people/companies that run websites to legitimately make money off me? Yes. As long as the legitimacy is determined by me and not someone else.

Reply Score: 3

English m*****f*****, do you speak it?
by Erunno on Wed 13th May 2009 19:17 UTC
Erunno
Member since:
2007-06-22

Skimming through the comments here and in the comment section of the ABP blog it seems to me that most people simply don't bother to read Wladimir's proposal or the reading comprehension must be in the gutter. How else can one explain all the inane comments people make that have all been either addressed by Palant in the first place or in one of his many follow-up comments.

1) It's not planned that you'll be asked for each site if you want to unblock ads. An algorithm will keep track of sites you repeatedly visit and will only then ask if you wish to unblock ads. And this 1 times a week tops (provided history is enabled).

2) This will not be a popup but will use the same notification bar that is already employed by the password storage and popup blocker.

3) There will be an opt-out option for people who can't be arsed with ads at all.

4) The suggested meta tag will not disable ABP, only signal that the site has been marked as having "user-friendly" ads, a term which yet has to be defined correctly. If everybody abuses the meta tag without altering his site to make ads less annoying there's still the possibility to turn off the meta tag completely and ABP will return to its former behaviour. Talk about shooting in your own foot.

5) There talk about a second approach which will categorize ads (text, flash, image, etc) if solutions to some technical obstacles will be found.

6) Wladimir is looking into Weave for syncing decisions between different Firefox installations.

Reply Score: 3

What about a global ads black/whitelist ?
by nirwana on Wed 13th May 2009 19:53 UTC
nirwana
Member since:
2007-08-12

While reading this article and the comments I was thinking about a global black/whitelist for ads. Currently the AdBlock-project creates the software to block all kinds of ads. But what about a side project (by a community of people) that rates websites based on their ad policies ? This project should have clear guidelines about what is acceptable advertising and what is not. This could help webmasters in choosing what kind of advertising they will have on their site(s). When their ads become too annoying, more people will block this automatically (when they use AdBlock and are subscribed to a specific blacklist),

I am thinking about Google's service that identifies websites based on the malware they carry. However, I do not think that Google should also create such a black/whitelist for advertising on websites, because currently they are about the largest advertising agency on the Internet themselves ;-)

An AdBlock-user could get a choice about what to block:
- block in-your-face ads
- block pop-up / pop-under ads
- etc
A user should be able to subscribe to multiple blacklists/whitelists on the Internet. A community project could carry multiple black/whitelists for specific types of ads.

In this way a webmaster does not need to add a special tag and AdBlock will not become an annoyance of itself by asking a user for each site whether to display ads or not.

BTW, AdBlock is opensource, so there can always come a fork by people who just want to block all ads. This is just meant for the people who support the web, but do not like ads to become too annoying.

Oh, I do not use AdBlock myself. When I see annoying ads on a site I do not feel at home and will not come there any time soon. Then in the end only sites remain that know how to treat their users correctly. But that might be a bit too much wishful thinking from my site ;-)

Edit: now I see there are multiple pages with comments for this topic and a whitelist had just been proposed. So I second that idea for the future of Internet advertising ;-)

Edited 2009-05-13 19:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

i want to help...
by zeos386sx on Wed 13th May 2009 20:13 UTC
zeos386sx
Member since:
2005-07-18

just don't use intertextual ads or talking flash ads. then i have no excuse to enable adblock for osnews.

Reply Score: 1

ads
by hussam on Thu 14th May 2009 10:41 UTC
hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

I don't really believe the "ads are used to pay for hosting and bandwidth"
On the contrary, in 99% of websites that have ads, the site only exists so the webmaster to get actual revenue from ads. This is usually a LOT more that server/bandwidth costs.

In fact, many news websites exist because someone likes to get profit from teh internet.

if you make hosting/bandwidth free and remove ads, many news sites would close lol. It's ugly but it's a fact.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ads
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th May 2009 11:23 UTC in reply to "ads"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's ugly but it's a fact.


This is not Soviet Russia. We demand sources.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ads
by hussam on Thu 14th May 2009 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE: ads"
hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

" It's ugly but it's a fact.


This is not Soviet Russia. We demand sources.
"
I can't list websites in public but if there is a way I can send you a private message, I'd be happy to list a few.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ads
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th May 2009 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ads"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"[q] It's ugly but it's a fact.


This is not Soviet Russia. We demand sources.
"
I can't list websites in public but if there is a way I can send you a private message, I'd be happy to list a few. [/q]

OSNews has a PM system. Click on my username and you can send a PM.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ads
by Soulbender on Thu 14th May 2009 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ads"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I can't list websites in public


Uh, why not? Are the facts a secret?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ads
by Soulbender on Thu 14th May 2009 19:30 UTC in reply to "ads"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

On the contrary, in 99% of websites that have ads, the site only exists so the webmaster to get actual revenue from ads


Why do you go to sites with only ad's and no content?

In fact, many news websites exist because someone likes to get profit from teh internet.


Oh my God, someone wants to make a profit on teh intarweb! That's almost like why every single company exist.

Reply Score: 2

tsume
Member since:
2006-07-24

Everytime I use a non-ad blocked browser I feel weird. If a web master is wanting his income to be solely on ads, then he needs to figure out another business strategy. I don't like ads, especially Zango.

No ads here, sorry. I also block ads on business networks, ads are stupid. Find another means to annoy users.

Reply Score: 2

Security?
by coreyography on Mon 18th May 2009 15:35 UTC
coreyography
Member since:
2009-03-06

One thing I surprisingly have not seen discussed here is the security aspect of this (if it was, and I overlooked it, forgive me). There was a Flash-based exploit circulating not too long ago in bogus ads from some 3rd-party server that had not, apparently, been vetted by anyone. These ads IIRC appeared even on "big-name" sites (cnn.com?)

I do not run an adblocker per se, but I do use the NoScript extension for Firefox, which ends up blocking most ads as a side-effect. I feel for web site operators like Thom, and I too do not have an inherent objection to ads if they are not annoying or offensive, but my security concerns outweigh my sympathy and therefore I am not likely to turn off NoScript so 4 or 5 third-party ad sites can display their ads.

Reply Score: 1