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Will Mainstream Media Embrace Adblockers? 417

Blarkon writes "Slashdotters are aware of and often use Adblock Plus," and notes that "if newspapers wanted to hit the online content industry hard right now, they would be running non-stop information about how to obtain and use Adblock Plus.' That a scorched-earth approach to blocking Internet advertising through AdBlock Plus might collapse free online competitors by starving them of revenue. If more people are aware of Adblock plus, it will be more tempting for other browser manufacturers to include similar ad blocking functionality. Might Rupert Murdoch's apparent 'traffic killing' move to paywall content be a desperate gamble to avoid the impact of a future crash in the ad-supported online business model caused by everyone's browser including something like Adblock Plus?"
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Will Mainstream Media Embrace Adblockers?

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:14PM (#28973739)

    Users have shown that they will not pay for online content unless there is an actual value-add. News sites provide nothing that can't be eventually seen on TV or read elsewhere.

    Newspapers are done. Trumpeting AdBlock isn't going to help them make a cent.

    • I agree. My first thought when I saw this was, "I'm not going to pay for that." I'll either do without it or get it from a different source. Most sites are pretty reasonable when it comes to ads. I really don't mind having a few ads in the margins in exchange for content. Obviously there are exceptions where ads make up 90% of your screen real estate but I avoid those sites like the plague.
      • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:44PM (#28974371) Homepage

        I actually enjoy picking up a paper occasionally, although I don't have an active subscription and it's usually when I'm at a cafe or bar when I find one. It's a nice format for casual reading and contains a lot of local stuff that's difficult to find on-line. I've also noticed that the local papers (local being Los Alamos or Albuquerque) have largely started ignoring or at least not over-hyping the national stories that they know you'll get elsewhere (evening news,,, whatever). Not to mention the fact that they and the major TV networks fund most of the field-work that eventually turns into stories that are posted for free on the Internet.

        I'm not suggesting that we artificially prop up a dysfunctional business model, I'm just pointing out that once it dies we may notice a gap and see the pendulum swing back as we fill it.

        Also, more on topic, Adblock Plus is fantastic and I use it constantly (although I do white-list some sites - And now that I have a 'Disable Ads' check-box, slashdot is on that white-list). But if you want solid content on 'free' sites, they have to make revenue somehow. It's either going to be micro-payments, donations, or ads.

        This post brought to you by low-sodium, naturally sweetened Cranberry-Grapefruit Sobe Elixer.

        • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:35PM (#28975327) Journal

          >>>I'm just pointing out that once it dies we may notice a gap

          I doubt it. I really have no desire to know that last night a 7-11 store was robbed, or a murderer sent to life imprisonment. This stuff happens all the time and I'm tired of hearing about it. Plus it doesn't affect me - I'm interested in news that matters, like hearing Congress wants to fine me 2000 dollars for not having health insurance, and I can get the information off the television. I don't need the paper.

          As for advertising:

          Most people think I'm weird but I like ads. They provide all kinds of free stuff like television, radio, and internet. Without advertising I'd have to pay an extra $5/month to NBC, $5/month to CW, $1 to FM97, $1 to MIX106.5, and so on. I don't feel shelling-out all that money when I can have ads provide this stuff for free.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jackharrer ( 972403 )

            I don't like the ads. But similarly like you I understand their importance to get free content. That's the reason I would like to have option in AdBlock to load ads but don't show them. Win for everybody. People like me who *NEVER* click on them will be covered, but sites will be paid.

            • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:18PM (#28976025) Homepage

              I never minded ad's. in fact my income was based on ad's as I was an IT manager in an advertising company.

              Then I started paying with a new on the block kid called MythTV and Freevo. back when the TiVo first came out. I can skip ad's with a single button. Cool, then I discovered Privoxy and added that.

              within a year I became hypersensitive to advertising. I was annoyed when I was at friends places and you either had the internet advert crap everywhere or had to wait 5-10 minutes for the damn ad's to continue watching the game, etc..

              Remove advertising from your life and in short order you get annoyed by it when it's in your face.

          • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:46PM (#28976483) Homepage

            7-11 hold ups etc may not interest you but, just to pick a few things out of the Albuquerque Journal that I heard about nowhere else, are things like changes in local sales tax, bills that have radically changed local ordinances on how people can take care of pets (some strange ones), ongoing status/debates on the red-light cameras, and changes/strategies in DUI enforcement (a major problem in NM). Personally, I don't want to have to attend every city council meeting to find out that they're proposing a 2% sales tax hike or deciding whether or not I'll be required to RFID-chip and register my dog for fear of fines/forfeiture.

            I find all those things interesting and, although I could probably get the same information if I tuned into the local nightly news, a paper is easier to pick and choose how in-depth I want to learn about the various stories. There are probably local news web-sites too that would provide similar information, but I still consider the paper more convenient.

            And, although I only frequent Albq roughly weekly, those stories certainly affect local residents. And, if they've got a story about a 7-11 hold up that you don't care about, turning the page is even easier than skipping to the next story on your DVR.

            Agree on the ads though. If a small banner saves me a nickle per click, I'll put up with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

          I *DON'T* run Adblock even though I've known about it for many, many years for the very reason that you whitelist sites. The advertisements pay for my use of the site and I fully support that business model. If a site is to ad-heavy or worse yet those stupid pop-up flash things (and yes, I know about Flashblock, too), I'll just quit going to the site so that their view count goes down. I even click on ads occassionally if they pique my interest. I do appreciate /. for posting the "print" versions of art

      • by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:53PM (#28974579)
        Remember, this is the vision according to Rupert Murdoch. He's an old man, he doesn't own all the media, and he has a 20th-century vision of those that are left. So even if he did somehow have any sway over the others, the old "bums-on-seats" model of advertising just won't hold water any more.

        If he doesn't realise now that the "pay-per-seat" model for news content won't attract customers, he'll realise it later. If he misses his boat, there'll be tears before bedtime.

        Brought to you by the Mixed-Metaphors-Department. No charge.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 )

          But back to the scorched earth concept-- can he destroy revenue for his competitors to limit free online competition.

          I'd say it is a question Taco would be better off giving insight on-- how the checkbox for eliminating ads is working out.

          The challenge good will and adblock have are that once you block, you block for all sites, even the ones that don't over-advertise. The only time I minded /. ads was when I was connecting with my iPhone and it caused an excessive delay in page loading. It is a great exam

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:39PM (#28975419) Homepage

        The worst problem is not the small ads that are there and are static it's the flash (or whatever) ads that hogs 100% CPU when they are displayed.

        So it's not surprising that there is a market for AdBlock Plus.

    • by Baki ( 72515 )

      I can't watch TV all day now want to buy a paper (which also costs money b.t.w.) so I don't understand why you say that news sites have no value.

      If there would be no free alternatives anymore, I and many others would pay (a modest fee) for news sites.

      I would love it when advertisement would be gone and also nonsense-news intended to generate page hits (i.e. advertisement views) and instead would get better quality sites that cost a little. My time is too valuable to spend on &^#&^@# advertisements.


      • by slim ( 1652 )

        buy a paper (which also costs money b.t.w.)

        That's the second time I've seen this said on /. today. Don't they have free papers where you're from?

        (Admittedly, they can be crappy... you get what you pay for, whether you pay with your cash or with your ad attention)

    • by earnest murderer ( 888716 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:34PM (#28974161)

      There's certainly some truth to the idea that they are done, in their current form...

      But when I'm sitting here thinking over a cup of hot fresh Folgers dark roast coffee one thing comes to mind. That with quality content, public radio and TV stations have a (relatively) easy time getting people to *give* them money for their "free" content. Give as in some have the nicest studios in the area (and some I suppose squeak by in areas where facts have a liberal bias). And much like the free samples of Jiffy Pop and Movie Time popcorn available at Costco today, it may be abused but it does return a net positive.

      So while you are easing back into your Herman Miller "Aeron" chair (now available in "True Black!") consider that the era of $150+ dollar per year for a hand delivered stack of syndicated features and a few sheets of questionable local content may be over. The Gizmodo regurgitation engine doesn't have to be the end result. Some journalists are doing just fine with a new name tag and avoiding maintenance on a lavish building and fleet of trucks.

      • You know, I've always wondered about the Herman Miller "Aeron" chair (now available in "True Black!") -- isn't NPR not supposed to have sponsors? :\ How does this get around that?

    • Users have shown that they will not pay for online content unless there is an actual value-add. News sites provide nothing that can't be eventually seen on TV or read elsewhere.

      To the contrary, newspapers provide a lot-- they provide in depth reporting. And that's not free-- if it's to exist, it has to be paid for somehow.

      Unfortunately, now that news is global, there is a vast oversupply of news reporting; thousands of newspapers to chose from. The news sources are simply driving each other out of business.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      Users have shown that they will not pay for online content unless there is an actual value-add.

      Some users have shown that. What I want to know is: who is whipping out their credit card numbers at the pay porn sites? Because I know somebody is doing that, despite the ubiquity of free porn.

      They exist. For real. Who are they, and how can I get my hand into their wallet?

      Porn has broad appeal, but I suspect that whatever works for porn might work for anything else, just on a different scale.

  • We're all friends here, right?

    Also, the online medias fail to remember that any void they leave behind, the internet will never fail to fill in. Free news isn't all that hard to find.
  • Please don't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Necreia ( 954727 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:14PM (#28973761)
    If/Once Ad-Block becomes mainstream, companies will further and further integrate advertisements into the content. A good example is to look at how YouTube has ads baked into the flash.

    News and other ad-supported information sites would take steps such as inserting an ad jingle or statement in the middle of a paragraph.
    • Re:Please don't (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:18PM (#28973827) Journal

      They often already break up paragraphs to insert ads. That is also often the reason why articles are sometimes split up to, say, five pages.

    • Re:Please don't (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:20PM (#28973883)
      A sizable number of news stories these days are already just thinly-veiled press releases. Further starving news sites of revenue from labeled advertising will only accelerate this trend. Of course, given the generally accepted principle in our economy that anything other than constant growth in profits is failure, the move toward more and more advertising masquerading as news is probably inevitable anyway.
    • Plenty of sites do this already. Mid-way down a page is an ad (or what's left of a blocked one, if that makes any sense). Annoys the hell out of me, since I tended to think the article was finished when I first came across them, before I notice the "article continued after ad" notice in small print. Now I pretty much just scroll past them. I guess they think people are going to stop reading something interesting to click an ad just because it's placed there.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

        AFAIK ads no longer expect users to click beacuse they are mostly there to burn the brand name into your brain. Billboards and TV ads don't require the viewer to look into more detailled information either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      A good example is to look at how YouTube has ads baked into the flash.

      Those ads are still individual streams, and not part of the main video. Adblock Plus
      takes care of those without any problems - it sees "object subrequests".

  • There will always be un-configured browsers, users who don't know, and people who don't care. Will that be enough to keep advertising profitable? I don't know.

    I do know that running an ad blocker is a hell of a lot simpler than having to circumvent a retarded paywall.

  • Its only a matter of time before they figure out how to circumvent adblocking software. The more that use it, the more likely it will be that they'll find a way around it.
    • So what? People will find a way to block the news ads as well. Such has it always been.
    • Its only a matter of time before they figure out how to circumvent adblocking software. The more that use it, the more likely it will be that they'll find a way around it.

      Host all static files (including ads) on one server using Content Addressed Storage, all URLs look like http://hostname/sha1_hash [hostname] . Maybe have a program controlled by the ad company that either reads the server log file as it's written or proxies all http connections and counts the ones that correspond to the advertisements.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples ( 727027 )

        Host all static files (including ads) on one server using Content Addressed Storage

        And lose positions in the search engines, which use keywords in URLs to help determine relevance.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:16PM (#28973797)
    In general, the people who have an up-to-date browser and have an ad-blocker don't click on ads. And in general most ads are paid per click rather than per impression, meaning that they are losing no money when someone has ad-block plus installed because they wouldn't have clicked on the ads.
  • by goffster ( 1104287 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:16PM (#28973803)

    why not put ad-block on the router itself, you could then enable it for a whole organization.

    • It doesn't have to be on a browser. Try Proxomitron as a proxy an organization is configured to use, and you have your organization-wide ad blocking.

    • Because that usually has to be done with an up-to-date /etc/hosts file, and while it is possible, in general they don't block all ad servers and it is difficult to find an up-to-date one, I personally use an /etc/hosts file for most of my Linux systems because it is adblock for all services, but ad-block-plus blocks a lot more ads than my reasonably up to date /etc/hosts.
    • I have done this, but found it practical only for limited implementation. I know that Netgear, Sonicwall, and ZyXel all support some form of blocking, and I am sure others do as well.

      BUT... you certainly don't want to over-block, causing corporate peons to wonder why needed content is missing. They're not going to think to ask IT and instead are just going to do their job less effectively. Or worse, devise stupid workarounds. And even if they do ask IT, it still may be complicated to whitelist their content

  • by wherrera ( 235520 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:17PM (#28973807) Journal

    Look at paid cable service channels. Almost all those channels have ads. So would the paid news sites, I expect.

    • Yes, that is one of the many, many reasons you will not find me subscribing to a news site any time in the future -- I doubt that the ads will even get less intrusive. In fact, I could even imagine the ads getting worse as they see ad revenue plummeting when 98% of their users decide to go elsewhere upon running into a pay wall. When the money is not being made up by the 18 subscribers (read: idiots) who didn't realize they could get the same thing elsewhere for free, they will be forced to sell more and mo
  • First rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:17PM (#28973817)

    We should stop talking about ad blockers. If a majority of people start blocking ads, then a majority of websites will start finding ways around them.

    The first rule of ad blockers is the same as the first rule of that other thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      We should stop talking about ad blockers. If a majority of people start blocking ads, then a majority of websites will start finding ways around them.

      So? Internet will just route around the obstacles. It always does.

    • Are you talking about Project Mayhem, or fi-...

  • So 1 percent of us geeks use Adblock - who cares? It would be a waste of their efforts to try and work around us.

  • HTML 5? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NetRanger ( 5584 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:22PM (#28973939) Homepage

    I think Adblock may do more harm than good. With all the major browsers moving towards HTML 5, advertisers will have many more opportunities to inject intrusive advertising into web content with simple CSS commands. We have already seen CSS-layer popups that require JavaScript to be enabled to make them go away -- which then allows the other ads to display.

    At some point these industries have to make money, and they only make money from advertising. There has to be a decent middle ground here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Krneki ( 1192201 )
      There is, do not use flashy ads with some stupid sounds.

      I started to use Adblock and later Adblock plus because of the nasty "OMG!" ads.
    • Re:HTML 5? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:00PM (#28974701)
      The problem is that we already had a middle ground and then dumped it. The middle ground was that websites have non-invasive, relevant ads. I wouldn't go out of my way to block Google text ads, or even non-flashy image ads. But in the inevitable quest to maximize revenues, we got distracting ads, Flash ads, pop-ups, pop-unders, page-peels, random ads disguised as links that pop up when you mouse-over them, and other crazy stuff. We went from 2 ads on a page of content to 2 paragraphs on a page of ads.

      People get AdBlock Plus because of the annoying ads, and then blocking the decent ads is no extra effort. The default block lists for ABP already block Google ads, just because it's an extra line on a page.

      I don't mind an ad that's like "hey, you're on a computer hardware blog. Why don't you try this game?" in text, or even with a picture, over on the side. That's the middle ground. But I am gonna block a 1MB Flash ad that blocks all the content until I click it off and flashes boobies at me when I'm reading a news website (I'm looking at you, Evony).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chris Burke ( 6130 )

        The problem is that we already had a middle ground and then dumped it. The middle ground was that websites have non-invasive, relevant ads. I wouldn't go out of my way to block Google text ads, or even non-flashy image ads. But in the inevitable quest to maximize revenues, we got distracting ads, Flash ads, pop-ups, pop-unders, page-peels, random ads disguised as links that pop up when you mouse-over them, and other crazy stuff. We went from 2 ads on a page of content to 2 paragraphs on a page of ads.

        Oh no,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_womble ( 580291 )

      The decent middle ground would be to block only annoying ads, thus giving sites a very strong motive to carry ads that are not annoying.

      Unfortunately people either do not block at all, or the block all ads.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kabuthunk ( 972557 )

      Maybe, just maybe, companies should stop relying solely on advertising to get income. If the only reason you're still in business is because of something that pisses off most of your customers, maybe it's best if you weren't in that business any more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by internewt ( 640704 )

      I think Adblock may do more harm than good. With all the major browsers moving towards HTML 5, advertisers will have many more opportunities to inject intrusive advertising into web content with simple CSS commands. We have already seen CSS-layer popups that require JavaScript to be enabled to make them go away -- which then allows the other ads to display.

      What currently works with twatty sites that do shit like that is to just turn off the style.

      In FF, view, page style, no style.

      Well, it's a workaround really, but if they are really trying to cram spam in your face then it's a way to avoid it.

  • by SCHecklerX ( 229973 ) <> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:24PM (#28973987) Homepage

    ...had advertisers not become so obnoxious. There is no going back. They did this to themselves.

    • by slim ( 1652 )

      There is no going back. They did this to themselves.

      I think most reputable sites know that obnoxious advertising is going to drive away readers. People who aren't technical or motivated enough to install a blocker, that is.

      So that's the middle ground - sufficiently unintrusive advertising. I think a Google Ads sidebar is fine, for example.

      All media have the same balance to make. Magazines have to balance content against ad space. TV has to work out how many ad breaks it can get away with before viewers switch over.

    • by Necreia ( 954727 )
      I remember clearly the day I switched to an ad-blocker...

      "Punch the Kangaroo and win an iPod!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I disagree - ad blocking software was inevitable, regardless of how obnoxious the ads were.
  • Do you mind non-obnoxious ads from sites you actually like? Me neither, they're just fine.

    What to do:

    1. Make your ads not a goddamn pain in the arse.

    2. Gently ask adblock-using readers to add your site to their whitelist. DON'T MAKE THIS A POPUP, THAT'S DOING IT WRONG.

    • by chrylis ( 262281 )

      I came here to say this. On a few sites (Slashdot, Consumerist until the buyout, etc.), I have ABP turned off like the writers suggest. But it's staying on globally because of the obnoxious popups and similar behavior of so many sites.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dare nMc ( 468959 )

      I know the ad-block plus authors offered to add a whitelist, but I don't see the option currently. I would prefer a adblock option to "show one advert of maximum bandwidth/size/type..." perhaps even give websites the option to pass a flag to adblock for that one advert, and if they fall outside the rules, they get no adds through.

  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:26PM (#28974029) Homepage Journal

    This sounds like a slashvertisement.

    Firefox users should give NoScript a try, it does a lot more than just block ads.

    IE users should give Firefox a try.

    • True that. I haven't used Adblock in years since I found about NoScript.

      The only problem with NoScript that I've found (I guess it's not really a problem) is that it's nearly impossible to teach someone how to use it if they're a novice computer user. No, it's completely impossible. AdBlock's more of a "set it and forget it" kind of thing, and I can understand how the novice would like such a thing.

  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:26PM (#28974031)

    ...when you stop trying to hijack my autonomic nervous system by building ads that writhe, squirm and strobe insistently in my peripheral vision. That is, when they aren't flinging gobs of DHTML poop right on top of the content that I'm actually trying to read.

    • Preach brother! Not to mention there are still plenty of folks out there still trapped on dialup because the cartels don't think they are worth running a line to. Do you think those sites run a check like "if speed=slow then don't fling poo"? Nope, thanks to the pretty much constant craptastic ads everywhere dialup is pretty much unusable without ABP.

      I keep the latest ABP on my flash thanks to FEBE copying my setup from desktop to my Firefox portable, along with the latest Firefox version. That way when

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <{john} {at} {}> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:29PM (#28974079) Homepage

    I feel that I have an unwritten contract with content providers: you provide me with content I want, and in exchange I'll tolerate the ads. That's the quid-pro-quo, and I'm very happy with it. It's better than paying money.

    If the ads are so intrusive that they're intolerable, I'll go elsewhere. Effectively, I "can't afford" that content.

    I reckon using an ad blocker is *directly* equivalent to circumventing a micropayment mechanism.

    • Which I could do by checking one option box on my account. I don't do it because Slashdot's ads aren't (usually) intrusive or annoying. if Slashdot had rollover-activated ads, or ads with sound, I'd block them in a heartbeat.

      TopWebComics has a similar option box. I do block them there, because many of their ads are video clips that take time and bandwidth to load, and are noisy to boot.

      If web sites keep their ads relevant, non-intrusive, and down to a reasonable fraction of the total content, I won
    • Most ad networks only pay the content providers if you click on the ads, not if you just view them. If you block ads or don't click on them as many times as the ad network would count (which you have to do your own research to find out, since it's often against the TOS to inform visitors of this sort of information!), then you're depriving the content providers of income.

      So I block ads, since I'd only ever click on them by accident anyway, and most of them are intrusive enough to be distracting from the con

      • by slim ( 1652 )

        I don't buy that.

        My social contract with the site is merely to *see* the ad.

        If I don't click on it, that's fine. If I don't even see it, that's breach of contract.

        Some ads are not about click through, after all: some are about brand building. Just reminding you of a logo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 )

      I have always felt that site owners should be responsible for their adds that they show. Be it Internet, TV, Radio, Newspapers, etc... I am OK with adds however I want to be able to trust these adds. Just take a look at the Adds on CNN. A lot of them seem really shady, Content Owners should be responsible for damages that these products may produce from these adds as their advertisements are endorsing the product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by racas ( 633636 )
      I don't actively block ads on any of my browsing machines, though the proxy for work filters out the larger serving farms. I'm fine being served an ad, as long as it:
      1. Doesn't pop up,
      2. doesn't have audio unless I click (auto-sound and rollover sound are both very very irritating), and
      3. doesn't consume huge amounts of system resources (xtube ads fail here massively).
    • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:24PM (#28976105)

      I feel that I have an unwritten contract with content providers

      The whole concept of "unwritten contract" is a ploy by the powerful, who honor no such "contracts", and the masses whom they wish to control. Why observe an "unwritten contract" when you could act selfishly and gain without being exposed? The real world plays hardball so why fight with one arm behind your back?

    • by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:51PM (#28976611)

      If the ads are so intrusive that they're intolerable, I'll go elsewhere. Effectively, I "can't afford" that content.

      I reckon using an ad blocker is *directly* equivalent to circumventing a micropayment mechanism.

      I guess that's good, if your theory is correct that eyeballs on ads keeps content free. You keep tolerating the ads. I have no moral qualms about ignoring, avoiding or dodging them, so I'll just keep doing that. Everybody wins.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:31PM (#28974109)

    You block my ads, I sneak them past your adblocker. You adjust your adblocker, I adjust my ads.

    It's not going to "solve" the "problem" of free internet information by making it unprofitable. Instead, we'll see more sophisticated means to get past blockers. It's always been that way, from spam and spamblockers to P2P and P2Pblocking. You filter spam, the spammer changes his approach to make it past your filter. Your ISP filters P2P, you create/download ways to get past that filter.

    My solution was simply to "educate" advertisers. Your ads are obnoxious and in-your-face popups/popuners/flashcrap? You get blocked. Your ads are unobtrusive and targeted? I go out of my way and click it to generate revenue for you and show you (and the one advertising with your page) that this is a "working" way to get ads clicked.

    The key here is that ads have to be seen, but they must not be disturbing. If I have to close 20 popups when I surf to your place, I might just take my "business" elsewhere. If you offer information with a few good, topical ads, I might just as well click it, either because I'm actually really interested in what you're offering or just to show you that yes, I do honor your way to advertise and I think you deserve your money for playing fair.

  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 )
    Print is basically dead at this point. Online companies can find other ways to make money because they sell a product people want. Not so for print media.

    What's the point of printing information about Ad Block, since the users you want to target are on the web and rarely look at print? Are web ads really that annoying? I don't use any blocker, and I get around just fine.
  • He would indeed look into alternatives like add-block for his paywall.

    Mr.Murdoch makes most of his money by means of propaganda, political cloud and manipulation.
    The paywall will freeze his propaganda channel as he will lose a lot of eyeballs.
    With that he can lose a lot of money and thus political cloud and manipulation room.

    If I were him, I would leave that paywall idea go and think of alternatives.

  • The problem is intrusiveness, and we're in a nasty downward spiral of trying to outdo each other.

    People didn't care about ads until they started getting really intrusive, taking up way too much real estate, blinking, shaking... so people started blocking them. So the advertisers, instead of toning them down, made them even more intrusive.... and now people go to greater lengths to block them, with uninformed users caught in the middle.

    I don't know how to solve the impasse... if we weren't clicking on enoug

  • by xorsyst ( 1279232 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:33PM (#28974153) Journal

    I stopped using AdBlock when I realised I don't mind ads in principle, I only mind:
    * dodgy javascript (noscript)
    * flash (flashblock)
    * animated gifs (some setting in about:config)

    with these 3, I almost never see ads anyway, and the ones I do are inobtrusive and I don't mind them.

  • It'll just force advertisers back to an older style of ads. Back in the B&W days of TV, it wasn't unusual to have program sponsorships with product placement embedded in the media. There weren't any commercials as we know them today, the talent would switch to talking about the product, then go back to the script.

    I could see the same thing in new age media. Text based ads inside the article, not being injected from someplace like pointroll or doubleclick. It's not the ads people mind as much as th

  • Networks are self-similar. People who *rely* on ads are not going to block them. I never click on ads so AdBlock Plus makes sense for me.

    Targeted ads are the norm on the Internet and hence targeted ads can also be described as "search results", ergo Google is number one in online advertising by marrying ads with results as the most effective means.

    Given then that networks are self-similar, I just see AdBlock Plus as something those who would never click on ads anyway would logically use and are saving peopl

  • Slashdot keeps nagging me: "As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising."

    I like Slashdot, so why should I not offer my eyeballs to help pay for it? And maybe I need something being advertised here.

    How about offering me a checkbox: "Do you want to not see this offer to remove ads? The checkbox is also available in your profile settings."

  • While we're at ads and how webpages do it, something that I noticed a while ago and was honestly taken aback by its pure awesomeness.

    Slashdot came up with the idea (or maybe they didn't, I don't care, I think the idea is great) that you are allowed to block ads even as a "normal" non-subscribing user if your comments are topical and well liked. Seeing this felt awesome! I felt like /. really thought that my participation was an 'asset', enough to warrant giving me genuinely free content (not even paid by so

  • I run a small site, with a very focused community. People pay me to put ads because they work, and because people who read the site respond to them. They are clearly labeled as ads and adblockers can easily stop them. The problem is the huge number of jackassess on the internet (most of whom are big companies) that make irrelevant ads as noisy as possible. These jerks ruin it for everyone by crowding out legitimate ads. I should say something about the people who pay for ads, too - they want the tinies
  • Ironically, I find the local newspaper websites to be the worst. For example, When viewing it unblocked (Chrome for instance) it is awful - huge graphics and flash ads dwarfing the content. I actually blame Gannett and whatever yahoos they went with to produce their content. On the other hand, I find to present their news nicely.

  • I know Adblocker Plus...

    Even though Slashdot offer me an option to disable the Ad, I didn't check it...Hell, I do really find some Ad useful sometimes and I don't want to miss that. Ad has it place.

    If we promote the use of AdBlocker, Advertiser will find their way to squeeze in,...No please, I don't want intrusive ad to interfere with my web surfing experience.

  • I don't understand why so many people think that all ads are bad, they aren't. Yes there is annoying ones which we could do without, primarily anything involving a popup, popunder, and a lot of flash or animated gifs that cause seizures. But some ads actually do serve a legitimate cause/purpose and provide value to the user and site. For example, I more than likely would not have discovered RPGCountdown [] had it not been for one of their ads being displayed on a popular site [] I visit. Essentially, I was visiti

  • The summary blathers on about how newspapers should stick it to online media.

    Well, bad news. Most of those newspapers have most of their content online. So....????

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <{john} {at} {}> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:47PM (#28974451) Homepage

    One thing people miss is that paid content often contains ads, and advertisers are likely to pay more for those ads.

    The logic is, if you're paying for content, then you must be really engaged with it. Say I charge 10c to visit my page about SCUBA diving. I can tell advertisers - look, I don't get as many visits as those free SCUBA sites, but I can demonstrate that every visitor is (a) really into SCUBA and (b) prepared to spend money.

    That's the kind of eyeballs an advertiser wants to reach. In theory, they'll pay more to advertise on such a site than they would on a competing free page.

    This is actually the reason print magazines and newspapers charge a cover price. The marginal cost of printing and distributing them is negligible. But showing advertisers that the readership is commited, that's priceless.

  • (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mybrid ( 410232 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:48PM (#28974475) []

    Different people, different models.

    When I use advertising I want to see nothing but ads. That is what Sales Circular [] does. It is nothing but ads and competitor's prices are shown side-by-side.

    Personally I think everyone buys things on sale, wants to buy things on sale. However, for someone like myself I consume ads using a different model.

    My desired advertising consumption is analogous to the classified ads section of newspapers, or Craig's List.

    Online marketing needs to cover their customer consumption bases when it comes to consumer advertising. People like myself who perhaps use AdBlock Plus still want things on sale, we just would prefer to browse ads all-at-once when we are looking for sales, as opposed to seeing ads intermixed with content.

    At the end of the day, though, I'm still looking for things on sale and I still buy advertised product.

    I don't see AdBlock Plus as a threat, just an expression how different types of consumers like myself use different tactics to find what is on sale. This is no different in the past where Catalogs, Classifieds, Yellow Pages, Magazines, etc all had different audiences they were reaching.

  • Whose side are you on?

  • by da_foz ( 751028 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @02:27PM (#28976173)


    I don't mind ads on a page, I just wish they behaved more like prints ads and stayed still. As soon as anything on a webpage moves, unless I want it to be there (i.e. the moving item is the purpose of the page and what I am looking at), I get ride of it.

    The way I view items on a page that moves, is the equivalent of someone beside me jumping up and down yelling 'Look at me!!!'. I don't know many people who would stand for this. Webpages that behave like this I either modify with FF add-ons, or don't visit.

  • by Doug52392 ( 1094585 ) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:23PM (#28978179)

    Why, if the mainstream never bothered to embrace ad-blocking technology, would one think it's possible for them to embrace Internet adblockers?

    These days, TV ads are just as annoying and obnoxious as Internet ads, but guess what? Like Internet advertising these days, TV ads are obnoxious and interfere with the media you are trying to watch.

    Especially the cable TV networks such as TNT, FX, and TBS. When they show movies, there is always a 15 minutes ad break every 15 minutes. They always show movies that have the best scenes of movies cut out to show more commercials. The actual film or TV show's sound is often lowered, and the commercials themselves always use high audio compression to make the ads much louder than the TV, resulting in an awkward transition from a low-volume dramatic scene of a TV show to a loud and obnoxious ad for Viagra. Oh, and let's not forget those drug companies who advertise their shitty erectile dysfunction drugs (Viagra, Cialis) during sports games when they KNOW kids would be watching, and use sexually suggestive and coercive language and visuals to illustrate what they CLAIM these drugs will do.

    Although technology such as DVR has become more prevalent over the years, that's only because major cable companies started OFFERING DVR service... Therefore, the only way the mainstream would bother to embrace Interent Adblockers is if ISPs or browser developers actually made them built into the software.

He's like a function -- he returns a value, in the form of his opinion. It's up to you to cast it into a void or not. -- Phil Lapsley