Tag Archives: ad-block

How Far Will Online Advertisers Go?

After watching a video recently where I discussed online ads with a caller, Max sent the following email to me. He makes several valid points about the state of advertising on the web and why we should all maybe look at things from a different perspective than what the caller presented.

First of all, I’ll tell you my thoughts on the matter. I don’t know who you were talking to but the part where he says people don’t look at ads are just wrong. Him, you, and I all probably skip ads and ignore them completely. But just because he skips and ignores ads doesn’t mean he speaks for the general population. The obvious statement which you pointed out is that “if advertising didn’t work, they would have stopped a long time ago.”

Obviously it works, and they’re getting LOADS more than a percentage of the population. Secondly, you mentioned how you purchased insurance for one of your dogs, and then insurance ads followed you around. This is part of a flaky system of advertising collection that basically targets YOU for specific ads. NPR recently ran an interesting story about this behavior which is both interesting and scary.

The basic gist of the article is that the Internet advertisers use cookies to target users. Websites can store cookies and those wonderful Google click ads that we love, with many more involved, can access those cookies which simply store a long number string that identifies YOU personally! They then compile lists of what you like and have those special algorithms that kinda sorta work and then target you with ads that will make you buy stuff.

This is avoidable by deleting cookies, other protections, etc. but the majority of average computer users don’t even know what a cookie is (although this is changing with the new generations) and they get followed around by these ads no matter what sites they go to. Not to give you a conspiracy theory vibe, but this is orchestrated, planned, targeted advertisement. Your ad A list is sold to lots of different ad companies without you even knowing about it in the first place.

Overall I hate ads, and would happily pay to get rid of them. Look at it this way: TV and Cable evolved with ads, and then we got premium channels like HBO and Cinemax which have no ads, but cost a lot of $$. Then we got DVRs which cost an extra fee monthly so we can record and fast forward our favorite TV shows. My guess is in the future we will just get TV shows on demand by purchase and advertisement will be phased out of television content. If it isn’t, I’d pay the premium fees for no ads.

Apple is pushing to bring interactive iAds which I love because they’re not flashing and annoying. They’re starting their iAd brand with the idea that you WANT to view these ads because they’re not inherently obnoxious from the start. As we’ve heard from some rumors, Apple is keeping a tight leash on their ad content. I believe their motivations are to move advertisement from something you mute and block to something you see and want to click on.

It seems that companies are used to the easy cheap Internet ads that flash and bother people while they’re trying to read an article or look at some Facebook photos. My point is, companies are going to have to sacrifice a little bit to remain in the advertising position that they are in. I disagree with your caller that only a small percentage of people actually look/click on the ads. However, I feel that if advertising companies continue on their current path for the Internet market, they will find themselves there.

What are your thoughts? Do ads really annoy you that much? What do you feel is a viable solution? Thanks, Max, for sharing your thoughts with us.

Are Ads Really That Bad?

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During live calls the other night, one person brought up the topic of online ads. This usually tends to spark a debate. Some people, like me, don’t mind ads. They help pay the bills for many sites. However, some of you out there become almost violent any time you see an ad on a page.

If Twitter ever became ad-supported, a lot of people will be angry. The caller was surprised that Google hasn’t influenced them into doing it. Just like when Facebook incorporated ads onto their site, people will gripe. However, they won’t leave in droves. Ads are a fact of life, whether it is in print, online, on the radio or on television. Hell, there are ads at the movie theater!

The ad economy only works when everyone wins. For instance, when I negotiate a coupon for the community, all of us win. The vendor may receive sales. You will save money. I may get a little bit of referral money or credit. That’s a complete win situation, no matter how you look at it.

There has to be a good balance between the advertiser and the people who are being advertised to.

Which side of the fence are you on?

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Use an Ad-Blocker Even if You Don't Want to Block Ads

Various ad-blocking extensions are darn handy – even if you don’t care to block actual ads. Not only can you block ads, rickrolls and things you really don’t have time to have to see, these browser addons can also warn you when a site contains malicious content.

When you first install most ad-block extensions, you won’t see the filters created to list domains used for spreading spyware and malware. This listing started out as a tool for DNS servers, but has been converted to a filter so people using ad blocking services can keep themselves that much safer when using Firefox or Chrome.

There may be a few ads on our software site but I can guarantee you there is no malicious content!

Kick Ass With the Best Browser Bookmark – EVER

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Pew pew pew! Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew! Pew pew! Okay, maybe I’m having too much fun with this browser bookmarklet today.

Scott Hanselman tweeted out the link to this site earlier today, and I haven’t been able to drag myself away from it since then. I’m always interested in bookmarklets that are fun. If you’re bored, you can click on this site to kick some major ass.

Drag and drop the link into your bookmark toolbar. If you’re browsing a web page and you’re annoyed by what you see. You want to kick some ass against the offending ad or content, right? Click your handy little bookmarklet and start shooting everything in site.

Control the Asteroids-like icon and hit the space bar to destroy various elements on the page before you. Thanks to Scott for letting me know about this. I will definitely be keeping it.

Instead of threatening to unsubscribe when you don’t like something we’ve done, why not just kick ass?

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Web Site Advertising Options

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This caller is wanting to set up his own web site and make money with it. He has a lot of questions as to how you get paid from advertisers, and how the process works in general. There’s a lot more involved than simply buying a domain name and slapping AdSense on it, trust me.

He’s thinking of making a web site with different types of art and wallpapers. He’s an artist, and wallpapers are in great demand if they’re unique and of good quality.

The first thing you have to do is think of all the ways you can drive attention to your site. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts are very worthwhile. You have to engage your community and keep them interested in what you’re doing before you can begin to make money. Without anyone to visit, ads won’t do you a lick of good.

On a web site, there are multiple ways of generating money. There are the traditional means such as with AdSense or Kontera links. You could also potentially land a sponsor who will pay you a set amount of money per month or quarter. That, however, tends to tie directly in with your website traffic.

As I already said, driving traffic to yourself is the key behind any form of advertising. Your best bet is to start the website and then get out there and network your rear end off. Visit other blogs with similar themes and leave comments – along with a link back to your own site. Don’t write something insipid or spammy. Leave a thoughtful message, one that may promote further discussion. People will naturally want to check out what else you have to say!

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Block Ads in Safari

Many people prefer to enhance their browsing experience by adding features such as AdBlocking. With Safari, that is more difficult to do than it is with other browsers. Several of you also choose to block Flash applications, using plugins such as NoScript. However, Alex wrote in to tell all of you about a much easier-to-use plug-in that can be loaded onto Safari.

ClickToFlash is a Flash-blocking plug-in for Safari on Mac OS X. By installing ClickToFlash, you will no longer have Flash-based applications load automatically on the computer. Instead, you can choose (or not choose) to click just once to allow the Flash object to play. This way, you get Flash only when you want it!

You can also configure ClickToFlash to always allow Flash to load on certain websites. In addition, ClickToFlash allows you to view YouTube videos in QuickTime, instead of Flash! You can also change your settings right in ClickToFlash to always (only!) display YouTube videos in H.264, no matter what video you’re watching! Simply go into Safari and ClickToFlash, then choose the “Settings” option. From there, just check a box to allow the default to change.

Thanks Alex, for sharing this with us. I hadn’t yet tried this out, but you can bet I’ll be installing it today!