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Will Mainstream Media Embrace Adblockers?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-crazy-it-might-be-true dept.

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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No problem. So what's the alternative? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973981)

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.

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (3, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974371)

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, cnn.com, news.bbc.co.uk, 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.

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (4, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:No problem. So what's the alternative? (1)

Baki (72515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974055)

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.

Of course, I'm talking only about a fraction of the price of a normal paper, since I glance through news sites (and more than one) and don't read them concentrated as I might with a newspaper. But, let's say, the 10th of the price of a normal newspaper for a few sites that I frequently visit would be ok.

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974227)

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)

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974271)

The DC CityPaper is outstanding, as is the Seattle Stranger. Both free.

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (5, Funny)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974437)

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?

Re:No problem. So what's the alternative? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974431)

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:No problem. So what's the alternative? (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974459)

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.

Newspaper and Online BATTEL o' DETH! (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973759)

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 (5, Insightful)

Necreia (954727) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973827)

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 (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974191)

A sizable number of news stories these days are already just thinly-veiled press releases.

This is a 200 year old trend.

Re:Please don't (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973893)

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:Please don't (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974223)

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:Please don't (2, Informative)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974131)

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".

interpret and damage and route around (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973777)

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.

Re:interpret and damage and route around (1)

memojuez (910304) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973859)

ABP also blocks some desireable content on WebApp driven sites like FaceBook. So some users will stop using it because of that.

Re:interpret and damage and route around (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28973923)

I wasn't aware of any desirable application content on Facebook. Takes all kinds, I guess.

Good to know the MySpace generation will keep clicking ads, though. Somebody's got to do it.

Its only a matter of time.... (2, Insightful)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973779)

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.

Re:Its only a matter of time.... (1)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973867)

So what? People will find a way to block the news ads as well. Such has it always been.

Re:Its only a matter of time.... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974149)

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.

How many times does the post say AdBlock Plus (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973781)

Sounds like someone schilling Ad Block Plus. it is such a deterrent people are scared of Ad block Plus. Content providers seeing their ad revenues decline because of Ad Block Plus. Aliens deterred from attacking Earth due to Ad Block Plus.

Re:How many times does the post say AdBlock Plus (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974187)

If more people are aware of Ad Block plus, it will be more tempting for other browser manufacturers to include similar ad blocking functionality.

Especially that line. Most browsers include that functionality, at least via add-on. Opera supports it natively.

Useful, sure. Unique, not hardly.

Not getting revenue anyways. (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not getting revenue anyways. (0, Redundant)

Jesse_vd (821123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974061)

my thoughts, exactly.

Re:Not getting revenue anyways. (3, Interesting)

Baki (72515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974101)

I don't agree. I run adblock most of the time, but when I don't and happen to see an ad, I occasionally see something interesting and click on them, yes even buy something.

Re:Not getting revenue anyways. (2, Interesting)

redJag (662818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974605)

So if you're finding these ads useful (an assumption based on your subsequent purchase..) why do you have adblock in the first place?

Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (4, Informative)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973803)

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

Re:Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973863)

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.

Re:Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973899)

Gahh, curse Slashdot for not allowing edits. Sure, Proxomitron is one, but Privoxy is the one that is kept being developed now.

BTW, this is coincidentally also a way to do efficient ad blocking in Safari 4 or Google Chrome. Granted, Safari has ad blocking as a plugin, I think, but I also think that plugin was Mac only.

Re:Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973887)

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.

Re:Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973897)

Because it does more than block the IP. It's actually rewrites the page and takes out entire frames. Also it's itneractive. You can right-click and block specific content.

Re:Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (1)

dimension6 (558538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974345)

It's certainly possible to make an appliance that does the page modifications on a proxy level, after the requested pages come into the router from the remote server (before getting NAT'ed to the hosts). You could sort the hosts by MAC or IP address to keep track of user settings, and this could be done with no local installation. The proxy-modified page would have controls for ad display permissions and switching it on/off could be done through a web interface. However, I'd guess that most companies would be concerned about circumventing the ads in this way for legal reasons...

Re:Why does ad-block have to be on a browser (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974169)

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. With some routers it may require a reboot, which is a no-no during business hours.

However, certainly you can have a router block some really clearly defined stuff without any damage.

But pay-fer sites will want ads too (4, Insightful)

wherrera (235520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973807)

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

Re:But pay-fer sites will want ads too (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974013)

Yes, I expect the paid sites will have ads as well. Greed is a wonderfully consistent that way.

I'm also fairly certain the ads on those pay sites will contain just as many scams and exploits. Oh and don't forget all the bright flashing ugly-as-anything crap they throw at you.

Personally, of the sites I use regularly, the ones where I can pay to disable ads, I do. The ones I can't, I use adblock.

Re:But pay-fer sites will want ads too (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974373)

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 more ad space and make it more intrusive. Just my $0.02.

Re:But pay-fer sites will want ads too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974505)

Doesn't mean we have to put up with it.

First rule (4, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:First rule (2, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974411)

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.

Re:First rule (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974415)

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

Oh...

Why care about the 1 percent? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973841)

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

EL OH EL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28973849)

Will the mafIAA's embrace file sharing? Cold day in hell, that'll be.

so stop using ad blockers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28973853)

A pop-up blocker is perfectly acceptable. Moving to an ad-blocker is a pretty stupid thing to do if you enjoy the free online content delivered to you. Most ads nowadays on respectable sites are pretty unobtrusive. If a site does have obtrusive ads, well go find a different site. I know you may think one person doesn't make much of a difference, but what if everyone thought the same thing. I like the web as free as it is, and I will do my small part to keep it that way by not using an ad-blocker.

Re:so stop using ad blockers (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973995)

There is little to no revenue being lost though. Most people who have a decent browser with adblock won't click ads, most ads are paid by click, not by impression. So there is no profit lost.

Re:so stop using ad blockers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974521)

You are right, MOST ads are paid by click, but not by any means all. Many of the larger and more popular content providers have pay per view ads.

Re:so stop using ad blockers (4, Insightful)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974093)

I'm sorry but 2 or 3 animated flash ads are not unobtrusive. They make the page load slowly and take huge resources to run all the flash player instances. Some websites bring low performance machines (like netbooks) to a halt if you don't use adblock.

Re:so stop using ad blockers (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974213)

The money has to come from somewhere. Having an ad on your screen does noone any good if you just ignore it.

Sadly, the quality control on many banner ads is lacking. Scams, attempts to exploit bugs, et cetera. This is the same industry that produces spam and most of the malware these days.

Maybe we should be trying to find better alertnatives for funding instead of relying on an industry which is usually best served by misinforming, tricking and ripping people off or at the very least intrusively forcing information on people.

Editors! (1, Interesting)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973871)

This summary is so much worse than anything I've ever seen here before. Let's try to standardize the name of the plugin (it's "Adblock Plus", by the way, not "ad block plus" or "Ad Block plus"), and remove the sentence fragment in the middle. Thanks!

Re:Editors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974289)

Hi, mathx314! You must be new here. Welcome!

Re:Editors! (1)

Time_Ngler (564671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974515)

It would save a lot of people grief if you just email the editors directly about the issues you have with a story. If they refuse to respond, they're not going to care if you address them in the comments of the story either.

By putting your gripes here you're just adding noise.

Adblock - no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28973927)

I got rid of Adblock becuase I really don't mind a few ads that support the content I view.

There is no free lunch, and if content providers cannot get their fair share through advertising, they will get it another way (or go under). Without income, how would a media outlet pay for a reporter to go across the world and spend a few months researching a story?

HTML 5? (2, Interesting)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973939)

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:HTML 5? (2, Interesting)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974317)

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.

ad blocking could have been entirely avoided... (5, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28973987)

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

Re:ad blocking could have been entirely avoided... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974171)

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.

Re:ad blocking could have been entirely avoided... (1)

Necreia (954727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974205)

I remember clearly the day I switched to an ad-blocker...

"Punch the Kangaroo and win an iPod!"

Re:ad blocking could have been entirely avoided... (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974229)

I disagree - ad blocking software was inevitable, regardless of how obnoxious the ads were.

How sites can embrace the AdBlock model (5, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974007)

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.

Re:How sites can embrace the AdBlock model (1)

chrylis (262281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974267)

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:How sites can embrace the AdBlock model (1)

backbyter (896397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974311)

I'd give you a mod point if I still had them!

Re:How sites can embrace the AdBlock model (0, Redundant)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974497)

Exactly -- on sites like Slashdot and Ajaxian, I never mind the ads. They're tasteful and usually directly-related to the field I'm reading about.

However, dancing fat ladies in an ad about home mortgages while I'm trying to read CNN.com? That's getting blocked.

Animated Gif/Flash (0, Redundant)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974011)

I'm very sorry, but if adverts on your site are animated. I'll block them or stop visiting you.

Re:Animated Gif/Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974391)

I'm very sorry but no one gives a fuck because most people to get so incredibly anal-retentive when it comes to things like this. I bet you still call Javascript internet cancer. Cool, meanwhile no one else gives a fuck. Have a nice day!!!

Too much credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974015)

I really think you're giving ol' Rupert too much credit here. If there's a crash coming, he's oblivious to it. How much did he pay for MySpace again? *sound of car tires screetching, everyone cringes...*

There are other ad-blockers (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974029)

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.

Re:There are other ad-blockers (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974543)

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.

Re:There are other ad-blockers (1)

racas (633636) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974545)

Came here specifically to say this. How many times did the name of the product appear in the summary?

I count five times. In only FOUR sentences.

I'll stop blocking ads... (4, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974035)

Even if they managed to get everyone on Ad Block, online ad pushers would just get smarter.

I choose not to block ads (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974079)

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.

I don't even block ads on Slashdot (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974327)

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't block them, and I suspect the vast majority of consumers would do the same.

Re:I choose not to block ads (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974399)

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 content I'm trying to read.

Re:I choose not to block ads (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974563)

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:I choose not to block ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974413)

Paying money is better!
Advertising distorts the content and make you tolerate crappy stuff you would never accept if you were paying. Ad based models ruin content because they disconnect the quality from the price in the mind of the consumer.

Ads (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974091)

Has it ever occurred to you that some of us know about Adblock and still don't use it, because we want to see the ads? Stupid discussion. Next.

That'll only spin the arms race some more (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

No (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974121)

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.

If Mr. Mudoch is smart (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974125)

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... (2, Interesting)

fredjh (1602699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974139)

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 enough ads then, we certainly won't be in the future, but if I had any suggestions for the advertisers it would be to start making ads LESS intrusive.

I stopped using AdBlock (3, Insightful)

xorsyst (1279232) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974153)

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.

Old Style Advertising (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974183)

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 the blaring, billboard-style, obnoxious Flash ads. Or the latest excuse us while we take over your screen for 15 seconds.

This article was sponsored by Pepsi would be a lot more effective than blasting banner ads that half of users never see or "take over" ads that irritate the daylights out of the viewer.

Self-similar networks (1)

Mybrid (410232) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974241)

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 people who pay for impressions money by not showing ads to people like myself who scorn them all. Advertising works because people appreciate them, not through some subliminal chicanery. I suspect that targeting of ads will be so specific and appreciated in the future that the ad targeting will surpass relevance over Google's generalized search results. After all, ads are paid for per word and other other demographic data, Google's search results not so much.

Self-similar.

Will Slashdot embrace advertising? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974247)

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."

The Slashdot way (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974283)

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 someone else but actually "presenting" me with a member function).

Sure, it's not like they pay me to write stuff here, they don't really lose a lot of money that way, mostly because I don't even turn ads off, they're not really in any way bothersome. But it felt really nice to be 'thanked' that way.

Tragedy of the commons scenario (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974319)

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 tiniest possible space, and then crowd it with flash, blinking text, and so on. Lacking any idea of a strategy, they insist on gilding the lily to their own detriment. What am I going to say, refuse their money?

I know there are a lot of people here to hate any kind of advertising with a passion, and fervently wish we could all pastoralize like in the ending of BSG. But when you deliver an audience, people will pay to get their word out. The real tragedy is scattershot ads that increase noise, without delivering anything of value, thus driving out the good ads, too. When an ad delivers something of value (information you wouldn't have had otherwise), that's a bit different. Yeah you say you'd google it if you wanted to know, but actually, you wouldn't.

Online newspaper ads are the worst (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974383)

Ironically, I find the local newspaper websites to be the worst. For example, lansingstatejournal.com. 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 mlive.com to present their news nicely.

Hell, sometimes I do see Ad I want (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974387)

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've been saying this for years... (0, Troll)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974421)

If you're the type of person whose mind is so fragile that it will be damaged by advertising, you're probably getting screwed over in life in so many other ways that you're not even aware of. The attitude around here that a couple ads on a site are a personal attack on your well-being is child-like. Slashdot itself has a "disable advertising" button I can press to turn off ads...how hard are you guys trying to go out of business by pandering to these types?

Not all ads are bad... (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974423)

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 [rpgcountdown.com] had it not been for one of their ads being displayed on a popular site [rpgbomb.com] I visit. Essentially, I was visiting a RPG Social site and saw an ad for an RPG related itunes show and now I listen to it when I can.

This is basically a perfect example of how ads should work. Unfortunately many unrelated or harmful ads sneak into places that they don't belong. We need to find a way to make the policing of ads better and not just remove all ads.

Summary Has Logical Failure (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974435)

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....????

Paid content == more expensive ads. (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974451)

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.

salescircular.com (4, Interesting)

Mybrid (410232) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974475)

http://salescircular.com/ [salescircular.com]

Different people, different models.

When I use advertising I want to see nothing but ads. That is what Sales Circular http://salescircular.com/ [salescircular.com] 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.

WTF? (1)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28974511)

Whose side are you on?

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974539)

"mainstream media" is still the local newspaper. in their minds, the more ads, the better.

even with the move to a paywall by some of the larger (less profitable) papers, there are still thousands of local papers that have their news up for free, with a large number of ads.

this is not going to change for a while, as advertising is a paper's bread and butter, and those that run the papers are "stodgy".

disclaimer: I work in the "newspaper industry".

Ads offer NO value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28974613)

I'm not some freakish _consuman_ constantly looking for "the great deal". Buying stuff is an annoying chore that sometimes have to happen. I do not require "help" to figure out what I need.

I grew up withouts ads on tv, perhaps this made me completely uninterested in brands and the aspirational tosh they peddle. Shoppers are pathetic.

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