Linked by David Adams on Fri 19th Mar 2010 21:07 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Online advertising has been a hot topic for the past week or so, with Ars Technica trying out an interesting, somewhat desperate experiment wherein they blocked access to their content for people using Adblock. Of course, if this were to become some kind of movement among publishers, it would probably just spark a technological cat-and-mouse game that would surely be reminiscent of DRM cracking or iPhone jailbreaking. But in their post-mortem, Ars states that it was a worthwhile awareness campaign, and I hope that's true. But I thought it would be a good idea to try to bring the collective OSNews brainpower together and crowdsource the idea of how to raise money for a web site in an age where advertising is increasingly un-viable.
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Ads are ok.
by m1cro on Fri 19th Mar 2010 21:55 UTC
m1cro
Member since:
2006-12-22

Ads in the form of static or unobtrusive animated GIF are fine. Ads are everywhere in real life, so one is used to it.

However, don't forget one of the most important features of modern online ads: Tracking. Tracking ads, tracking pixels, tracking cookies, tracking scripts. Google Analytics and all the rest. I find this really concerning and it's what makes a big difference from "classical" ads like those in magazines, on billboards or TV.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ads are ok.
by David on Fri 19th Mar 2010 22:01 in reply to "Ads are ok."
David Member since:
1997-10-01

And the advertisers are addicted to that tracking. It's what makes online advertising so much better than print or TV advertising. I think there's some room for everyone to get what they want. Readers could get privacy and not be visually assaulted and advertisers could target their ads to the people who should see them and get the word out. It would take some technological innovation, and some way for readers to push back constructively. But I think it could happen, unless the current situation proceeds on its current path, ending up with the ignorant seeing all the ads, the savvy blocking them, publishers squeezed for revenue, and quality advertisers seeing a spiral of poor performance while scammers continue to fleece the idiots.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Ads are ok.
by Kroc on Fri 19th Mar 2010 22:03 in reply to "Ads are ok."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I think the idea of letting a third party insert any old JavaScript they want into the page is insane. Where did this practice become acceptable? What happened to 'you send use a GIF file, and we’ll put that in place'?

I use NoScript because I will not have random third party JS doing what the heck it wants. That is a security disaster. If disabling third party JS kills ads, then that’s their problem, they didn’t learn how to do fallbacks properly.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Ads are ok.
by Zifre on Sun 21st Mar 2010 15:53 in reply to "RE: Ads are ok."
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

I use NoScript because I will not have random third party JS doing what the heck it wants. That is a security disaster. If disabling third party JS kills ads, then that’s their problem, they didn’t learn how to do fallbacks properly.

Same here. I used to use adblock because of the insane CPU usage and slowdowns that ads would cause. Then I tried disabling JavaScript and Flash in Chrome. Everything is so much faster and I really don't mind ads anymore. I do wish there was a way to disable animated images though. Static ads and text are fine, but animated one annoy me.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ads are ok.
by ssokolow on Fri 19th Mar 2010 22:06 in reply to "Ads are ok."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Agreed. There are three major reasons I block ads:

1. My internet is troublesome enough that blocking them at the DNS level results in a small but noticeable performance gain even in Chromium. (Firefox 3.x on Linux is so sluggish that AdBlock Plus and NoScript's "block Flash/Java even on trusted sites" are required just for an acceptable experience... and I'm on an Athlon64 X2 5000+ with 4GB of RAM)

2. I dislike being tracked enough that I'm go above and beyond ad-blocking and use extensions like GoogleSharing.

3. I have a mix of Asperger's syndrome and A.D.D. which combines a teaspoon of sensory overload issues with a dash of distractibility. I generally disable GIF animation altogether (regardless of how intrusive) when browsing because it's a non-trivial focus issue for me.

EDIT: Oh yeah. And the trust issues involved in running 3rd-party JS.

Edited 2010-03-19 22:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Ads are ok.
by bnolsen on Sun 21st Mar 2010 13:26 in reply to "RE: Ads are ok."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

I must have your medical condition too because the big reason I killed ads in the first place was due to flashing crap. That started with animated gifs (which drove adblock), then flash (which drove flashblock) and then javascript tricks (which drove noscript). Having learned better, I turn off gif animation and have recently experimented with turning off adblock plus. The result of that experiment wasn't bad, but mostly wasted screen space, some added latency, and crazy colors.

Reply Parent Score: 2