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Power To the Pop-Ups

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the this'll-make-him-popular dept.

Advertising 204

Slashdot frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes a piece advocating for Pop-Ups and even more obtrusive advertising. But not for the reasons you might think. He says "Annoying pop-up ads have been a great friend to Internet freedom, by enabling the operation of proxy sites that would be too expensive to operate otherwise. With the rising costs of making new proxy sites to stay ahead of the 'censorware' companies, even more intrusive ads could be an even bigger friend to Internet freedom. Got any ideas for how those more intrusive ads could work?" Clicky clicky below to read his point.

Most news and information websites carry advertisements, but usually not more than one pop-up ad, if they have pop-ups at all. This is because the costs of running the sites are low enough that they can usually pay for their costs with revenue from regular ads. Surely the site owners would like the extra money that they could get from pop-ups, if their viewers had nowhere else to go. But if they tried to get away with too many pop-ups on a typical news site, visitors would just leave for their competitors' sites instead. Competition keeps the "prices" — in terms of the ads that you have to view in order to visit a website — low.

By contrast, most proxy sites [that's not a link to one of my sites, so quit yer whining] — sites that you can use to get around Internet blocking, by using a form to type in the URL of the site that you want to access so the proxy site will fetch its contents for you — are festooned with pop-up ads, sometimes on every page load. As I can easily attest, the bandwidth and hardware costs of running a proxy site are sufficiently high that there would be no way to pay for the sites with the revenue from normal banner ads and AdSense blurbs. It's no exaggeration to say that most proxy sites, which enable people to circumvent government filtering in countries like China and Iran (not to mention helping millions of students get on Facebook and YouTube from school), would not exist without the pop-up ads to prop them up. (This may not be true of a proxy site that your high school classmate set up for himself and some friends, but it's true of most proxies created to serve a wide audience.)

Unfortunately it's becoming more expensive to run an effective proxy service that enables users to get around most enterprise filtering programs. If it gets to the point where normal pop-up ads do not bring in enough revenue to pay for the service, we might need a new breed of even more intrusive (and better-paying) ads. More intrusive than the drop-down ads that play noisy videos. More intrusive than the Flash animations that crawl across the screen on top of the words you're trying to read. I'm going to argue that a company that figures out how to run the most intrusive ads of all, could be the new best friend of Internet freedom. But first a note about why the costs are increasing.

Two years ago, I thought the cost of maintaining a proxy site to help people get around Internet filtering, would steadily fall, as bandwidth and processing power got cheaper. But bandwidth and hosting costs didn't drop as much as I had hoped, and the cost of maintaining an effective anti-filtering service has actually gone up, due to some advances made by Internet censoring programs. In 2007, the then-current versions of filtering programs like Smartfilter, Websense, and the 8e6 R3000 would typically only download updates to their blacklists once in the middle of the night. This meant that I could mail out a new proxy site to my proxy mailing list just after midnight, and it would be accessible to the mailing list subscribers all of the following day. (You wouldn't be able to get to them if your local network administrator subscribed to the mailing list and added the new sites to the local blacklist as soon as they came out, but most network admins didn't bother.) As of 2010, though, the latest versions of most enterprise filters are configured to automatically update their lists every hour or two. So to stay ahead of the filters, I have to mail out several sites every morning to different portions of the mailing list, so that the filtering companies generally learn about them and block them at different points throughout the day. Just registering several .com domains every day is not cheap. (GoDaddy sells .info domains for less than a dollar apiece, but this proved to be an ineffective solution because too many censored networks simply block all .info sites.)

There are also the increasing costs of maintaining compatibility with complex sites like Facebook and YouTube. Accessing Facebook through a proxy is still a hit-or-miss proposition. (I steer my users toward accessing the mobile version of Facebook, http://m.facebook.com/ , through the proxy, because it's a stripped-down version built for compatibility with mobile devices, and this simpler version is less likely to break when accessed with a proxy script.) YouTube access depends mainly on whether the latest YouTube plugin for the Glype proxy script is compatible with the current YouTube interface, and likewise can be working one week and broken the next. It's not hard to run a proxy site that provides compatibility with the most popular sites that people want to access, but it takes real work -- you can't just upload the script and forget about it.

(Many users in censored countries also use tools like Tor and UltraSurf to bypass their country's filters, but some of my contacts in those countries say that those tools are often too slow for them, so they end up using proxy sites instead. Since UltraSurf and Tor are free services, funded by donations and staffed by volunteers, the demand for those services can easily swell until they slow down from the overload.)

So what happens if maintaining an effective anti-censorship service becomes too expensive to pay for using just pop-up ads? Well, you could charge money for using your proxy site, but that brings with it a whole host of other problems. You have to set recurring billing in order to be paid through PayPal or some similar service, and run the risk of your funds being frozen if someone files a crank complaint against you. If one user has a paid account, you have to worry about them sharing the account with their friends or posting the account credentials on a public message board. And there are many proxy operators (including me) who would like to think that the proxies do provide a valuable public service to the world, and wouldn't want to exclude people who can't afford the monthly access fee.

I propose that ads which are even more intrusive than pop-ups -- thus grabbing more of the user's attention and providing more value to the advertiser, thus enabling them to pay more to sites which run the ads -- would enable proxy site operators to fund more of the costs of their operation, and hence would be a Good Thing. The existence of such intrusive ads does not mean that they would suddenly be plastered all over every proxy site. If your user base can be served for a lower cost, then you don't have to "charge" as much (in terms of advertisement intrusiveness) to use your proxy service. Over 90% of the traffic to my proxy sites is to domains that have already been blocked a long time ago by Websense, Smartfilter, Lightspeed, and most of the rest of the censorware companies. Apparently there are a lot of users who are on censored networks and who need proxies, but whose network admins just haven't updated the blacklists in a very long time, or who haven't paid the subscription fee to keep downloading database updates. Since you don't need to register 10 new domain names every day to serve that audience, there would continue to be proxies for those users with less-intrusive ads on them. But the more-intrusive (and higher-paying) ads would also enable proxy webmasters to serve a "higher-end" audience, the ones who need several new sites every day, to stay ahead of the more frequently-updated filters.

I can think of several ways that more intrusive ads might work. My favorite would be a "quiz" model wherein a drop-down advertisement appears in front of the site you're trying to access, consisting of some promotional content, and a little form at the bottom. In order to make the drop-down ad disappear, you have to read the ad and fill in the answers to some one-word questions or multiple-choice questions about the content, to prove you actually read it.

Perhaps I'm biased in favor of this idea because I'm tired of ads that contain splashy graphics and expensively licensed music and never contain any actual information. The only television ad that I can recall viewing in the past year which prompted me to actually buy the advertiser's product, was the Pizza Hut ad announcing that you could get a large pizza with any number of toppings for $10. That's what I want in an ad. I give you $10. You give me a pizza. (And this extra plug for their $10 pizza promotion, can be considered a thank-you to them for running an ad that actually had something to say.) Most ads on TV are far less informative, serving mostly to give a glossy sheen to the advertiser's brand name. Yet these ads are paid for by corporations who do the market research and the focus grouping, so the ads must work. Many economists, including Tim Harford in The Undercover Economist and Steven Landsburg in The Armchair Economist, have explained why companies pay for ads that do nothing except look expensive: Because they prove to the viewer that the company intends to be around for a long time, in order to capitalize on the long-term exposure given to them by the ad. This has become so standard that making an ad which actually gives the user information seems tawdry by comparison. The most ghetto-sounding word in TV advertising is "infomercial".

But I think that some companies could benefit from greater exposure of actual information about their product, just as there are companies that pay for informercials. And if a company like Linksys really wanted to run a splashy ad that contained no actual information, and then make me answer some questions at the bottom like:

Linksys is:
(a) the leading manufacturer of wireless adapter cards
(b) the leading manufacturer of wireless routers
(c) the leading manufacturer of wireless monitoring cameras
(d) all of the above!!!

then that's their prerogative. The quiz-advertisement model only says that advertisers can require users to answer a question before closing the ad; it would be up to the advertiser to decide what question works best. I suspect that the actual-information model would work better for quiz ads, but advertisers could try both and see what works.

There are already some websites that require you to "complete an offer" (i.e. become a customer of some third-party company, at least for a free trial period) in order to use their services, but most proxy sites have so far declined to carry advertisements like these. Evidently their users consider this too high of a price to pay to access a proxy site. Filling out an offer is not just time-consuming, but leaves the door open to future problems -- will they sell your name or your e-mail address? Will they make it hard to cancel your "free trial", and then start billing you? The problem seems to be that there is too large of a gap between the "fees" associated with the two options -- a normal advertisement doesn't bring enough money to the proxy operator, but a complete-an-offer advertisement is such a steep price that most users won't pay it. The "quiz ad" is like a "fee" that falls nicely in the middle -- a smaller time commitment, and your worries are over after you fill in the quiz and hit submit.

If the very thought of such an ad still seems too annoying for words, then I think that objection misses the point. If the revenue from "normal" ads (pop-ups, drop-downs, AdSense widgets) is enough to pay for the operation of a "high-end" proxy service (catering to the people who need several new proxies every day), then such proxy services with "normal" ads will continue to exist. Indeed, anyone who tried running the more annoying "quiz ads" would not be able to get off the ground, because users would flock to the competing proxy sites using normal ads instead. If "high-end" proxy services flourished that were using quiz ads, it would only be because you simply can't provide a high-end service for less money than the quiz ads are bringing in.

It's possible that some advertisers would be reluctant to display ads in a manner that users would continue an annoying obstacle, but I'm not sure that's really a problem. The most intrusive advertisements currently in use on mainstream websites are probably the "premercials" that display before some news videos on CNN.com and other news sites. Unlike drop-down ads which can be closed with the click of a button, the video pre-mercials can't be skipped. Since you're actually expecting the news video to come up immediately when you click the link to start playing the video, you would think that many users would grit their teeth in annoyance upon seeing the "pre-mercial", and transfer that irritation to the advertiser's brand name, but there are so many big-name companies buying those pre-mercials that they must believe it's having a positive effect. So intrusiveness itself doesn't seem to tarnish a brand.

But I don't propose to micro-manage suggestions for how the more intrusive ads would look, or how advertisers should tailor their ads to fit the format. I'm just saying that a new breed of more intrusive ads, even more annoying than pop-ups, might be just what we need to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated Internet censors. It's still technically quite trivial to release a steady stream of new proxy sites that defeat most Internet filters, but it costs money to buy domains and maintain the service, and the money has to come from somewhere.

cancel ×

204 comments

So... (3, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087022)

Is he saying that annoying pop up ads have brought about the technology to get around censorship, and thats why we still have a Free Internet?

Wouldn't it be better if there wasn't a form of censorship at all except what the user wishes to?

Re:So... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087308)

Also, wars are bad, why don't we stop having those?

PROBLEM SOLVED.

Re:So... (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087812)

I agree with your trollish way of saying this:

Wars are not bad for everybody, hence they will never go away

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087330)

But if censorship isn't going away... and it isn't... then you have to look ways to deal with it. His premise is odd, but seems valid.

You response is like saying, "Why bother talking about all these laws to prevent gun violence? Wouldn't it be better if there simply were no guns?"

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087578)

Some people would say, "Yes banning all guns IS a good idea." They've forgotten that banning beer did not work in the 1920s, nor has banning the plant marijuana/hemp worked in the present day.

Anyway with governments like China censoring the internet, clearly there's a need for tools to get around it.

Re:So... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087582)

I just wanted to ensure I understod him correclty - a little too busy to read the full summary, but I gathered that from the first couple of paragraphs.

Though really, it would probably be better if there were no guns. We should go back to swords, because swordplay is awesome, and every good action movie has at least one swordfighting sequence. I'm getting a little side tracked here, what were we talking about?

Censorship! Right. It's not going away anytime soon, though thats not to say it isn't going to go away ever. It might seem a little idealistic but its not that hard to imagine some countries abolishing censorship, similarily to how they have stopped slavery and other things that were at one point acceptable but now considered attrocities.

Granted, it won't go worldwide, but the demand for this kind of technology could easily waver if Europe and North America abolish censorship - and then the unlikely scenario of a coup or something in China that causes major reformation.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087738)

Your argument is a straw man.

Banning legal firearms to prevent gun violence is to banning free speech to prevent censorship laws.

Equating a ban on firearms to a ban on censorship is backwards thinking. It is more correct to state, "There shouldn't be a ban on firearms, and there shouldn't be censorship on free speech."

Purchasing a legal firearm does not give you the right to murder a person or commit other crimes with the firearm any more than using free speech to infringe on anyone else's right to free speech.

Re:So... (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088440)

No, my argument is valid. My argument is that it's useful to consider ways around problems that aren't going away. Neither censorship or illegal use of guns are going away in at least some parts of the world. It's right to find ways to deal with either problems rather than wish they didn't exist.

The parent wrote off the discussion by claiming there shouldn't be censorship in the first place.

Bennet, you're a lazy, freeloading tool (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31088626)

So basically, you want to set up the easiest fucking 'service' it is possible to imagine, sit back, and watch the cash roll in. Only it turns out not to be as easy as or as lucrative as you thought, so you come up with some of the most hairbrained, intrusive, selfish rent-seeking I've ever heard of. To top it all off, you want free advice from Slashdot.

Get a real job to support yourself and set up a proxy because you want to, not because it is something you imagine you can just set up and make money off of without having to do any work. The name Bennet Haselton sounds like an inbred East Coast old money elitist's name. The kind of person who thinks the world owes them not only a living, but an easy, effort free living leaching off the backs of the less fortunate.

Fuck you, Bennet. The world does not owe you a living, and Slashdot does not owe you free information.

Re:So... (1)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087362)

We can speak ad nauseum about what would be better, but the thesis here is pragmatic. Oppressive governments don't care about what the enlightened world thinks about freedom of speech/expression.. But thankfully, we have annoying ads that force people in countries with free speech to develop the tools used in those without free speech.

Re:So... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087416)

Yeah, it would also be better if there was no war; everyone had basic necessities like food, shelter, and healthcare; and everyone had someone to love and to love them. I mean, if we're going to dream, might as well cover it all.

Re:So... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087978)

Once you have no war, you will have reached the Eloi plateau. No conflict and I bet you have stagnation.

Re:So... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087488)

I guess the guy doesn't like asking for donations or something.

Making annoying ads different doesn't make them less annoying. There is a well known trend away from online advertising being effective in any format. Really, people don't want ads and don't have interest in them. Have a proxy and a cost for that proxy? ask for it. Relakks does so with their vpn, and if you want a good proxy I see no reason not to have to pay them too. Maybe have the free option include ads as they are now, but trying to make the ads more intrusive will not gain the desired effect.

Re:So... (1)

city (1189205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087632)

That seems to be the point he is making, that we do live in a censored world and it is up to us to find ways to take these freedoms back. As a capitalist he finds opportunities to serve his consumers, and in this case he uses pop-ups. Sure it's kind of a hack, but hey, if I subscribed to his proxy list -and put up with intrusive ads- I could at least get uncensored internet (just kidding corporate overlords, I would never betray you!). It might even be less intrusive than my hundred $ unlimited data cell phone bill, which I currently use to do the same thing.

Re:So... (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087960)

His basic point is that free sites which have high operating costs are expensive to run, so they need more money to continue to offer services for free. His solution to getting more money for the free sites is to have more intrusive advertising. One example of a free site with high operating costs is a proxy site.

I'm not sure why he needed 14KB to say that, but that's what he's saying.

TLDR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087040)

Huh?

Re:TLDR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087744)

It is funny how some geeks are so proud to admit that they are functionally illiterate. It is like the common people admitting that they cannot do, and do not wish, to do math. Most highly literate persons, as geeks are a stereotype, are able to skim such drivel of this length in about 30-45 seconds. TLDR really translates into Im not l33t enough to skm.

Re:TLDR (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087810)

Regular readers will recognize Slashdot frequent contributor Bennett Haselton as the
contributor who writes essays on the most banal of topics. Today, he wrote us to
announce a name change. From now on he'll be known as Banal Tldr, or "Tilder" for short.

Click below to read his explanation of the name change.

Read 23872 More Bytes... [slashdot.org]

It's official. (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087066)

It's official -- Haselton has gone off the deep end.

Re:It's official. (1, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087164)

It's official -- Haselton has gone off the deep end.

So basically, you're a shameless freeloader. Seriously, I'm not trolling. Where do *YOU* propose proxy server operators find the money to operate? Bandwidth isn't free, you know.

Re:It's official. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087412)


Where do *YOU* propose proxy server operators find the money to operate? Bandwidth isn't free, you know.

Who or what pays for all the bandwidth used by Tor nodes or BitTorrent users? It certainly isn't advertising...

Re:It's official. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087514)

The users... but that model doesn't work with a proxy because you can't use your own bandwidth to access sites you can't access.... you're using someone else's bandwidth because yours can't accomplish what you want without outside help.

Re:It's official. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087548)

Note that the article specifically said that Tor has insufficient bandwidth.

As for BitTorrent, the downloaders themselves provide the bandwidth. You can't use that approach on an anti-censorware proxy unless you do something like make your home computer a Tor endpoint.

Re:It's official. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087440)

Isn't that the purpose of Tor? So anyone can set up a bridge/node and help?

Now that I have "unlimited" connection I'm going to set up my own bridge. Let's see how many GBs I can use before my ISP starts complaining :)

Re:It's official. (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087556)

Their day job.

Re:It's official. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31088358)

So basically, you're a shameless freeloader. Seriously, I'm not trolling.

No, of course you aren't -- you're merely jumping to wild conclusions then hurling unfounded allegations. That's not trolling at all!

Re:It's official. (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088584)

So basically, you're a shameless freeloader. Seriously, I'm not trolling. Where do *YOU* propose proxy server operators find the money to operate? Bandwidth isn't free, you know.

So if I don't pollute the web with popups, I guess I can't actually afford to make any charitable donations to various projects I believe in, because clearly there is no other way to get money. Is that really you're trying to tell me, Mr.Frosty Piss (770223)?

What popup ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087082)

I've never seen them. I don't have javascript.

Re:What popup ads? (2, Informative)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087216)

You're my hero. I browse with noscript, adblock, cookiesafe, greasemonkey, skipscreen and perspectives. They all together make the web more usable and somewhat safer.

Re:What popup ads? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088050)

You may wish to try RequestPolicy. It has a tendency to break online payment from sites which redirect to a random payment gateway and back, but other than that it's pretty nice. With RequestPolicy on, I can't tell whether Adblock Plus is on or off, except for looking at the icon at the bottom.

Windbag (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087120)


Slashdot frequent windbag Bennett Haselton spewed more self-important tripe... TL;DR

:P

Doing it wrong (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087124)

So to stay ahead of the filters, I have to mail out several sites every morning to different portions of the mailing list, so that the filtering companies generally learn about them and block them at different points throughout the day. Just registering several .com domains every day is not cheap. (GoDaddy sells .info domains for less than a dollar apiece, but this proved to be an ineffective solution because too many censored networks simply block all .info sites.)

Stop registering domains and just mail out the IP addresses with instructions on how to set them up as a proxy in your webbrowser of choice.

Re:Doing it wrong (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087608)

Seriously. I can't imagine why registering a domain would be necessary, or remotely effective. Especially if the proxy server is always on the same IP address, I would think all forms of censorware would filter by IP, not domain.

So registering a domain sounds bogus and stupid. On the other hand, bandwidth and hosting costs are still there, and they're not trivial. It's not hard to spend $300/month on such things.

Seems to me the only viable option is to figure a way to get costs down. I didn't read the whole thing either, but what I did read of it sounded like the service would degenerate into unusable crap. I suppose that's one way of getting bandwidth costs down...

Re:Doing it wrong (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087836)

my thoughts exactly... but then what if the ip gets blacklisted....

TLDR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087132)

TLDR ... idle?

Re:TLDR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087936)

Yarp

So is this a /vertisement or a serious rant? (4, Insightful)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087138)

Because seriously:

a) quiz-advert is stupid. I'm sorry, subvert my browser and change who's in control of the flow of information before either I or the information provider can have a say in the process? I would write the firefox plugin to stop that one post haste.

b) this sounds like a /vertisement.

c) does this REALLY solve a problem? I submit to you "gloves". http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Classic-WTF-The-Complicators-Gloves.aspx [thedailywtf.com]

Re:So is this a /vertisement or a serious rant? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087802)

You know, the gloves only work because there is already a complicated system of valves, tubes, and smaller tubes in the underlying architecture...

Re:So is this a /vertisement or a serious rant? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088242)

Thanks for the WTF link about gloves. It fits in with my current premature optimizer recovery program. And here I was thinking "removable grips that have water or other material you heat up before you ride".

Re:So is this a /vertisement or a serious rant? (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088436)

d) all of the above

Most multiple choice have four options, after all...

Pop ups... (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087146)

Go visit www.yzzzyrd.com in IE and tell me pop ups are a good thing, until then, crawl back under whatever rock from 10 years ago that you came out from. Popups are good like a geocities web address is good.

Re:Pop ups... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087838)

I tried www.yzzzyrd.com in IE and it seems to not exist. So is there some kind of point you are going for here?

Re:Pop ups... (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088244)

perhaps the GP meant www.yzzerdd.com [yzzerdd.com] ? (there is flash content there, don't know what else as I have noscript and no flash)

Re:Pop ups... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088654)

    It starts with two options:

    "Yes! Sign me up for your fabulous and intrusive service, including the Home Invasion Cam!"

    "No, I need another 90 days to decide, but I'm pretty sure I want this."

    It then goes along with a bunch of overly used sales pitches, with some interesting changes. They seem to be randomized. I've heard a few duplicates so far.

    There were dozes of popups stopped so far. I wouldn't recommend it if you are on a Windows machine, and/or allow popups. The popups seem to be for comedic value, but looking through them (on my terms, not the will of the page), it appears to flood your machine with popups until ... well, I'd assume your machine crashes, since there doesn't seem to even be a time delay on them. :)

   

Point? (4, Insightful)

HunterWare (128177) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087184)

I don't see the original thought here. Intrusive ads generate more revenue... yep. Some services need more revenue... yep. There are many ways to pay that increased cost of which intrusive ads are one... yep. That doesn't make them less obnoxious and isn't really new.

If you want to use those ads as a way to generate revenue then good for you. Maybe it will work, and maybe those customers of yours will enable popups and other crap to use your service. The rest of us will still avoid those boils on the ass of humanity as much as we can because that's what they are.

Re:Point? (1)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087494)

Intrusive ads generate more revenue... yep.

Is this really true, though? Every time a web site annoys me, I hit the Back button and go somewhere else. There aren't very many places that have content so compelling that I will consent to being badgered and interrupted. I cannot imagine that I am the only one who thinks like this. I would think that these sites would see in their web logs that thousands of people are leaving the site almost immediately because of in-your-face ads. And it gets worse because I will not embarrass myself by forwarding links to annoying places to my friends.

It doesn't surprise me that their are advertisers who will pay extra for ads that cannot be ignored and so that will generate a short-term increase in revenue for the site operator. But this comes at the expense of a negative view of your site and a depression on the number of future visitors. This limits the future revenue to be gained from advertisers since you will have fewer eyeballs to provide. I can't imagine that these ad campaigns work for the advertisers either. If these campaigns are not actually effective, then advertisers will spend their money somewhere else and this will drive down the price of annoying ads.

I can't see where trading future revenue for a small increase in current revenue results in a total increase in the amount of money received over time.

I think I see your problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087188)

You're trying to serve ads to people trying to get around government censorship. They're probably not interested in the new Maxi Pad with propellers. In fact, if somebody is using a proxy for privacy reasons at all, I don't think they're interested in buying, and thus giving out personal information, for anything. Your business model basically depends on the gullibility of your advertising clients. This is, as you're already finding, not sustainable.

WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087228)

God DAMN that was a rambling, boring, pointless, content-free soup of barely related words strung together to create something beyond annoying, moving into the downright infuriating. Why is it so infuriating? Bennett Haselton is a pompous douche, for one. Second, seriously, what is the point of this? Is it meant to be humorous? Informative? What? Third, Bennet Haselton is a pompous douche. Fourth, who cares? No seriously. Who cares? Whatever this is meant to be, it's a self indulgent wank fest, meaningful only to, I assume, Bennet Haselton. Fifth, did I mention he's a pompous douche?

See, now, I'm trying to pad this post out to mock Bennet's long winded style, but it isn't possible. Nobody can be as long winded as Bennet Haselton, the pompous douche. And I want to stress here that I have nothing personal against Mr. Haselton, except for the fact that he makes my fucking EYES BLEED when I read the crap he posts. I keep giving him the benefit of the doubt, too. I read as much of his crap as I can before the eye bleeding forces me to stop.

Does anyone have any idea what sort of person this story is meant to appeal to?

Re:WTF? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087684)

Shit man, you need to see some of the text-walls that Micheal Crawford has produced. The dude makes Barack "I" Obama seem humble.

Adblock Plus Rocks (5, Insightful)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087232)

Even slashdot.org has a nice little comment permantely in the upper right corner: "As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising." I get a real kick out of that.

The funny thing, is I like slashdot adds. It's that freaking girl in a bikini who really wants to meet me that requires the block. If I could somehow allow really well targeted adds, and block the spam, I'd enable it.

Re:Adblock Plus Rocks (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087606)

I would actually keep the ads on Slashdot unblock if they would just not take any animated ads.
I hate them and find them very disruptive

Re:Adblock Plus Rocks (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087748)

This is why Google dominated. Their adds are targetted, based on keyword matching your search, and they're just plain text. Why can't the rest of the internet do that?

Re:Adblock Plus Rocks (2, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087868)

'adds'? 'targetted'? Are you looking for ads for Parkinson's medication?

Re:Adblock Plus Rocks (2, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088478)

I've just finished my lovely dinner and I have a real craving for $10 pizza.

Re:Adblock Plus Rocks (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088178)

I've *never* disabled Slashdot ads, or do I have Adblock installed, and Slashdot is allowed in NoScript. Yet I never see ads of any kind. Go figure.

He's going to lose to Tor (2, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087252)

He said people do not use Tor because it is too slow.

Then he proposed making his own service slower by making the users do some stuff before seeing what they want to.

Then Tor will be the faster option.

Re:He's going to lose to Tor (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087920)

He said people do not use Tor because it is too slow. Then he proposed making his own service slower by making the users do some stuff before seeing what they want to. Then Tor will be the faster option.

Heck, ad-clicky version could be 2x faster, but people would still use Tor. I could set a connection up with Tor, go make a sandwich and come back, and read what I wanted, or I could set a connection up with ad-clicky proxy, go make a sandwich, come back, be forced to click a quiz, then read what I wanted. Which sounds better?

What nonsense (0, Troll)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087262)

The author is a retard. There is no need to go to a "proxy site" filled with annoying ads (although AdBlocker takes care of them). Just Google for a list of proxy addreses and put one of them into your web browser's configuration settings. If you are too stupid and/or lazy to do this then you should just suffer.

Re:What nonsense (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087526)

I have an extra special super secure proxy I want you to use, especially for logging into all your bank accounts. You can get to it at http://notcapturingyourpacketsiswear.com:8080/ [notcapturi...iswear.com] Seriously though, I have a hard time trusting anyone, but paid proxy service > random proxy nabbed from Google. At least with a paid one you know who it was that was looking at your data.

Re:What nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087564)

If you are too stupid and/or lazy to do this then you should just suffer.

I shall apply my mystic powers of mindreading ... you really enjoyed The Incredibles.

Re:What nonsense (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087566)

What if you can't change the proxy setting?

Re:What nonsense (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087702)

Then the whole discussion is moot, isn't it.

Seems to me like the whole discussion really will be moot in the next few years. The major audience that does expensive things is kids stuck behind schools running censorware on their links. Seems to me a great many of those kids will be carrying smartphones with unlimited data plans in the next few years. As long as daddy can pay, they're going to stop caring what the school censors.

Besides, the smart ones are running their own private proxy off their server at their house, which won't ever show up on the censorware lists because it isn't being broadcast on a mailing list.

The ones who aren't smart probably know someone who is. They may have to actually talk to the nerdy guy, and be nice to him to get what they want, but it's good training for their future careers as know-nothing management.

Mod parent up. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087570)

Mod parent up.

This is just someone whining because their somewhat lame business model is having problems.

Buy Lightspeeds! (2, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087270)

The idea that more intrusive ads are a good thing comes ultimately from those who are trying to sell stuff via the ads. They will invariably want the most intrusive ads possible reaching as large a group of people possible. That's what they'll pay the most for, and where there's a demand for it someone will sell it.

The only way to combat ads being absolutely everywhere is for the commodity being sold to advertisers (our eyeballs) to avoid or not pay any attention to the most intrusive ads. If we don't set limits (via technological means or just training ourselves to really ignore them), then what is "really intrusive" now will become the new normal, and a new even more intrusive ad will be created for when the marketer wants to be intrusive.

The Obvious Solution! (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087286)

Betrayal for money! Allow me to explain:

Proxies serve four broad classes of user: 1)Dissidents in the world's various despotic hellholes. 2)The bored cubicle slaves of the first world, who wish to stick it to the man by updating their twitbook instead of collating TPS reports. 3)Various flavors of copyright infringers, either trying to avoid the copy cops, or trying to access streaming sites that block their country of residence. 4)Kiddie porn enthusiasts who would rather not be raped to death in prison.

Here is what you have to do: Choose which of these markets you actually care about, either because they make you warm and fuzzy, or because they pay well and don't use too much bandwidth. Advertise your proxy to all of these markets. For all of these classes except the one you care about, secretly sell the users' identifying information to data brokers. For instance, if you care a whole lot about idealistic democracy activists in repressive hellholes, you can finance your great-firewall-of-china penetrating proxy by selling out the facebook users of corporate America to their HR departments. If you want to stick up for the beleaguered lower-white-collar class' right to check its friends page at work(because after they cut your health benefits, man, you have to fight back somehow) you can pay for it by selling out the democracy activists and paedos of the world to their respective governments.

See? A brilliant plan! Why Monetize your userbase when you could Judasize it?

Re:The Obvious Solution! (1)

BeardsmoreA (951706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087450)

You sir, must be a rich man, with ideas like that.

Mostly whining... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087296)

I have ZERO problems with all the mentioned sites through the Proxy that everyone here at work has to use. His whine is with his script that auto changes or inserts ad's for his proxy to spam the life out of you with.

If I was a site admin that a proxy site was trying to inject ad's onto, I'd code it to break their ad injection.

I have no sympathy for a proxy operator that whines about a site changing it's design to stop ad injection. I dont want my site looking like I support some scumbag company because a proxy company injected a ad into my site to an end user. I would have less problems with it if the proxy companies would inject their ad with "THIS IS NO THIS WEBSITES AD, IT WAS PUT HERE BY YOUR PROXY" but they wont do that.

 

Re:Mostly whining... (1)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088002)

If you care enough about hiding your IP to use a proxy, you should have Java, JavaScript, and Flash turned off anyway, in which case popups are not an issue anymore.

Even Pop-Ups are not enough (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087324)

The author is thinking too 'small time'. More Intrusive Pop-ups are just more annoying, and the website visitor will do the minimum amount of work possible to get past it. I propose a much more proactive plan.

Web technology is sufficiently advanced that the advertising company can now force a choice upon the ad viewer: either buy the products being advertised, or do some small amount of work for the company, right now, in order to get past the advertisement. Imagine if every viewer of an internet pop-up had to read through a short product manual, and then go right to work for five minutes as a "virtual customer service representative." These virtual workers could be evaluated on their expertise, call turnover, etc., just like actual employees, and then given the reward of getting past the advertisement and on to whatever content/service they were seeking. This would guarantee a more reasonable level of ROI for an advertiser, thus encouraging more companies to adopt this model and therefore funding further growth and support of the internet infrastructure.

Chatter, chatter, chatter (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087332)

Apart from the fact that the article is a lot of mindless, meaningless chatter for "internet ads pay for proxy services", I still do not see the need for proxy services. I know what they are [wikipedia.org] ; I do not understand why the administrator of the service can't foot their own bill, or make users subscribe to the service with an annual or monthly fee, if they think the service is that important. Dodging the expense issue with pop-up ads is a cheat that guarantees hostility towards the service.

Everyone will have to pay. (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087360)

The advertising model of American media is going to go away, either through self-destruction or consumer choice. Advertisement subsidized content is mostly worthless. You have a choice between low production value in niche markets, or high production value where the content is dumbed down and filtered through corporate "values" lenses so you can sell enough ads to pay for the production. In the first option you have marginally interesting but poorly presented content. In the second, it's a highly polished turd. There are a few outlets that manage to hit the middle, but not many.

You're better off trying to found some sort of non-profit to provide free speech services for proxy use. But it seems like you just want to help people fuck off at work, and if they're not willing to pay for that privilege, what's the point?

Everyone DOES pay (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087990)

Your argument is interesting but fatally flawed. I could substitute "direct paid content" for "advertiser subsidized content" and your argument still holds. Niche content = few viewers = low budgets. Mass market content = many viewers = high budgets. Whether the viewers pay directly or via advertising doesn't effect the outcome. Mass market content isn't dumbed down to sell ads; it's dumbed down because the majority of viewers are dumb. If anything, the advertising-based funding model actual favors high-quality content since high-income (generally intelligent) viewers are disproportionately desirable to advertisers and generate more income-per-view to the content creator.

Reading the f****ing post. (0, Troll)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087386)

I know a rule of thumb for /. is not to RTFA, but I can't be bothered to read this damn /. post.

Can someone summarise?

Re:Reading the f****ing post. (2, Funny)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087466)

"I like popups because..."

Re:Reading the f****ing post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087474)

I am just going to wait for the post to come out in e-book form and download it to my Kindle... reading in a browser is just nonsense!

Bite us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087434)

You're annoying. Nobody likes you or popup ads, so forget trolling here for new ideas to annoy us with popup ads!
Oh, and you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

This starts from a completely false premise... (1)

ericbrow (715710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087464)

The author assumes that advertisements are a good thing, and implies they are necessary. Ads may be necessary to his business model, just like prostitutes are necessary to a pimp's business model. I do not see how this shotgun effect of advertisements can continue to be effective. It seems that most sites that sell advertising space try to make up for decreasing revenue from ads by adding more ads. They aren't getting the reality that people don't like advertisements, don't click on advertisements, and those that do are idiots that are likely to fight any charges they may incur by inadvertently clicking on something. How about a totally different concept: sell a service that people want, and charge a reasonable price for it. If your idea is a good one, people will pay. If it's not a good idea, if your pricing is too high, it will fail. Don't try to subsidize your possibly good venture with advertisements. Thank you for letting me know about a service I won't be using. If you're determined to use advertisements, I'd try to do it like sites where it's more successful, like Google. I can tell you if Slashdot had pop-ups and ads screaming in my face, I would not be using it either.

Tor and I2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087472)

Pay-for proxy services are only as trustworthy as the company that runs them, and their security.
Decentralized anonymizing networks such as Tor [slashdot.org] and I2P [i2p2.de] do not require that users trust a single entity.

So why not contribute to those instead?

Advertising by any means necessary (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087496)

This is kind of a freaky argument. Sites need funding, so if a site provides a useful service and is not directly funded by end user payments, then it can do whatever it needs to generate advertising revenue.

Of course it is true. Without funding the site would not exist, so users should be happy to do endure whatever is necessary to support the advertising model, or be willing to cover costs and profits among themselves. In reality advertising is a heavily regulated system with many silly rules. For instance, during the superbowl I notice that the women in the adverts were wearing clothes. I am sure the advertisers and the majority of the viewers would have preferred otherwise.

Pop ups, and related 'browser hostage' ads, are more annoying. They are security risks. Furthermore, as the NYT fiasco a few months ago, interstitial and pop ups can destroy the creditability of a site and the advertising in general relatively quickly.

I realize that part of the argument is that 'proxies serve a holy purpose, and therefore are above the normal rules we place on society". This is kind of like saying that Baptists have a higher duty and can traffic children across national lines. I do not disagree on any particular point except to say no matter what higher power one believe you are serving, or whatever higher values ones believes one is serving, there are civilized rules on needs to follow. One can't say one is saving the world by allowing kids to play online video games at school, or circumvent their parents rules about not hooking up with 25 year old guys who will rape them, and then say these higher causes justfies something as repulsive, to most people, as pop up ads.

Advertising and Taxes (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087516)

No one likes either of them, but they serve a understandable purpose. The problem is that it's easy money to keep increasing the revenue that way, but people get more and more annoyed. There needs to be a proper balance, and sites that get it wrong are likely to be subject to less viewers and/or ad-blockers.

Have you considered a subscription (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087518)

You can always spin off a subscription-only alternative (with some added perks for subscribers like no ads at all). This may or may not make enough money to support the free version. If it does, great. If not, you could always shutter the free version and say "Sorry freeloaders." There are a lot of people willing to pay a premium for a good service (just look at all the subscribers to /.). But realistically, if someone is a freeloader and isn't willing to look at ads to begin with--you're not going to change their nature just by making even more annoying ads (you're just going to drive away a lot of other people who might actually be willing to pay for a premium ad-free version). If you have to dump the freeloaders at some point, I don't think it will be a big loss.

How to make more effective and invasive popups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087522)

Take an icepick and jam it as far into your nose or ear as you can. Now take a heavy object and hammer on this icepick until the world goes black.

For best results have a friend hammer on it for awhile afterwards, just to make sure.

It may also help to drink some antifreeze & eat broken glass beforehand.

Fail for buying from Pizza Hut after seeing an ad (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087534)

Ugh. And no. People already have the option of not blocking popups in most browsers. Let those who want to see the ads disable the blocking feature. Not me, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

And seriously .... Pizza Hut? Chainstore pizza = fail without exception.

Nobody likes intrusive ads (1)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087542)

If someone clicks in a pop-up or a similarly intrusive ad, it is probably either an accident or they are not used to navigating the internet. It is very unlikely they will see the advertiser in a positive view and end up buying from them.

An ad doesn't have to be intrusive or distracting in any way. Some people may be amused game, quiz and other flashy ads for a while, but they will end up ignoring them and/or considering them a nuisance. Being informative is important for an ad, but it needs more than that. It needs to be relevant to what its target is browsing.

Eventually, the advertisers may notice that intrusive ads annoy people and stop doing it. They are a flawed and unreliable solution for the free proxies' problem. However, this problem is complicated because payment services may compromise the anonymity of the user of paid proxies.

I don't support intrusive ads (and I use Adblock Plus), but I support internet freedom and anonymity. I don't think more ads are the solution, and they can compromise the superior speed of those free proxies, which is their advantage over alternatives.

Advertisement and anonymity (5, Informative)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087568)

Displaying ads is a very, very great danger to anonymity. A whole new network is "put into the loop" in the user's request, able to log IPs, see URLs in referral headers, and store cookies. Adding advertisements to websites in a proxy and then claiming that proxy to be anything but worse than useless for evading censorship is not honest. If you're in a repressive country and want to avoid being imprisoned, do not listen to advice like this and use Tor and hard crypto instead (and learn how to use them right).

use tor (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087590)

ok, it's slow sometimes. Well, do your part. Run a node (and ideally an exit node).

Fight the Customer and always lose (2, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087600)

If you want to see what happens when you don't fight the Customer see Google. Even though most of Google's revenue is from advertising, without the people using their tools then they would not make any money so the people using their tools need to be considered Customers.

Go4Et (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087602)

Is not better to sell something with real valor? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087636)

Instead of trying to force more and more to view ads, it would be better to offer something in this ads the people really like to buy?
Ads like "WinAntiVirus 2000 plus max, click here NOW!!" go immediately to the ignore/junk list. People have learned to ignore ads because 95% (or more) of them are pure garbage, dubious products or simply frauds.

I'd rather pay (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087638)

If I was going to make regular use of a proxy-site, I would rather pay a modest subscription fee and not be hit with obnoxious advertising. Especially since you know these new ad techniques will be moving out from just the proxy sites to the rest of the wild west web.

Are you kidding? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087644)

A proxy site that alters the content of the page so the proxy site can afford to operate?

This seems on its face to be an awfully spammy way to operate, and one that I would think would be easily defeated by the site owner. Just make it so that the pages can't be scraped in that manner and you are home free. Should be easy with AJAX and other tools.

Ads are not the answer. If the users absolutely will not pay for services, then the ads are a hoax anyway - you are serving ads to non-customers that never will be customers. The advertiser is going to catch on eventually and stop paying to put ads up that just annoy people who never buy.

And make no mistake about it, we aren't talking about poor oppressed people in Iran looking for a gateway to content otherwise blocked by their evil government. We are most likely talking about teenage porn surfers at the library. Or college kids trying to make a few bucks with online poker (and failing, much to Dad's dismay.)

For Iran and China and a few other places you might be able to get a real charity to support such an operation - but it would have to be able to prove it wasn't serving the porn surfers and poker addicts. Which isn't going to happen, so forget about getting any sort of sympathy for the poor oppressed people in China and Iran. This is all about the porn surfers and the like in the US and Europe.

Intrusiveness != Effectiveness (2, Insightful)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087658)

The key to running something that depends on advertising is providing an effective platform for delivering advertisements. Effectiveness means that people will actually take some time to actually see and respond to the ad. This is why advertisers are generally obsessed with demographics. They want to make sure they make their pitch to potential customers.

You have to find a way to match up the visitors to your website to an ad that may interest them. Of course, this is hard. Too bad. Throwing up intrusive, annoying ads does not suddenly make your advertising platform effective. If I'm not interested in something, then it doesn't matter how intrusive you are; I'm still not interested. Many advertisers suffer from the delusion that if people just payed attention to their pitch, they would all come running to hand over money. Bzzzt! Wrong! It doesn't work that way. If you can't find an effective way to deliver ads, then someone else will come along (like Google) and kick your butt, so stop being annoying and start using your brain.

Most annoying ads yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31087670)

I call them Gaping Maw Ads. It's where essentially part of the page drops down revealing the ad. CNN was an early adopter but stopped using them. Wired seems to think they are the second coming and has stuck by the offensive practice. I always scroll down until the ad finishes and ignore it as best I can. The problem is on top of everything I often try to click on a link just as the ad finishes and the page suddenly is in motion to close the ad. I wind up clicking on the wrong link, taking me to the wrong page, only to have to backtrack and once again face the gaping maw as it restarts. I really don't see the point of ads designed to piss people off? 1 in a 100 may fall for it and read them but the other 99 are pissed off and have a negative reaction to the product.

Just ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087686)

... remove the enabling technology from the standards and the browsers. Problem solved.

A better solution (5, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31087762)

I have a revolutionary idea. One that may seem totally outlandish but you know, it just might work!

Please understand; I don't intend to "steal"[sic] content. I understand your web sites need to make money. That is why until recently I never ran ad blockers; I made do with popup blocking. However, advertisements have become so $%&@ing intrusive that about a year ago I started using adblock, and haven't looked back since. See, you advertisers minimally test your ads; you don't test them integrated into all of the pages in your advertising network, and you don't test all the major browsers. In fact, I don't think you even test Firefox or Opera at all.When those $%&@ing "popover" ads started with the close button being inaccessible or nonresponsive, or when your $%&@ing ad is floating over DHTML, you are hurting my "web browsing experience." You are blocking my access to the content, and that is a major no-no. Instead of courting me as a potential customer, you are alienating me. Even worse are the audio-visual ads which play loud noises on mouseovers. That is incredibly irritating, especially if I am browsing the web at night when guests are over.

So, I installed adblock and haven't looked back since.

Now again, understand that I agree that content isn't free and has to be paid for. Believe me, I like to have a roof over my head, drive nice cars, and even eat on occasion. So yes, I do understand that and agree that you need to make a living. However, by negatively impacting my computing experience, you are not winning me as a customer. So, I now block your ads. Your eating is not more important to me than my computing experience. It's not that I don't understand, it's that I don't care. It is almost as if you are going out of your way to be completely obnoxious with your malfunctioning DHTML or Flash-based ads, which is malicious. So, it is my desire for you to go bankrupt and ultimately homeless, without Internet access, since you can't do your job responsibly.

What was wrong with text-based or banner ads? You can't say they don't work. If you claim that they don't work, I'll point you at one of the most valuable tech companies in existence as proof otherwise: Google: 99.9999%+ of their revenue is advertising revenue. I have small (2-3 person) manufacturing clients who make $20K (profit) per month (I wish I made that much!) and they promote their products world-wide through google adwords. I know that text-based banner advertising works!

I never worried about blocking text-based or banner ads. I never even blocked, uh, "adult" ads regardless of environment. I understood everyone needs to make a living. But, now that you have gone way, way over the line by negatively impacting my computing experience, I don't see any of your ads. Adblock takes care of that.

Bring back banner ads. You can even use animated GIF images; I don't care. Use text-based ads like google adsense/adwords. I have made purchase decisions based on being made aware of products via such ads. However, I refuse to be a patron of businesses which go out of their way to annoy me and to interfere with my web browser's functionality. Now your obnoxious ads don't reach me at all. Also, any time I work on client machines, I install adblock (I've been deploying it network-wide in business environments for 3+ years now, and now I install it on privately-owned computers as well). I'm not the only one deploying ad blocking extensions, either, so your outreach is becoming increasingly small. You are annoying yourself out of existence.

Obnoxious pop-over web ads are the new spam, and are just as annoying. It is your job to court me to fall in love with your clients' products; not to alienate me and make me hate your client and refuse to patronize them.

Re:A better solution (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088094)

I never fail to snicker at the mentality of advertisers like this. Real world analogue: Do people really buy from the companies who have a business card stuck under the wiper of their car, or a stupid doorhanger put on the door of your apartment? They must, I guess, but wtf.

I go out of my way to let them know that while before I had no idea their stupid club, real estate agency, or pizza joint existed, now I do, and between the annoyance of having to dispose of their garbage and the fact that they're creating said garbage to start, i won't be patronizing them.

I do use adblock, how'd you guess?

He's an idiot (0, Redundant)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088046)

Popups are bad!

WTF? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31088422)

Oh okay, let me try to re-cap what he is claiming.

A: I run a proxy so that people can access the internet through me and get around filters. Example: from China access cluelesssiteowner.com to read wikipedia.org.

B: This costs money.

C: I want to plaster this proxy experience with ads to pay for this.

D: If I make the ads annoying enough, I can pay to keep the proxy running.

Is this guy a marketing genius or what? His reasoning is straight out of the Internet bubble days.

NO SHERLOCK. People using a proxy to access a site are NOT people you can advertise to. Why would an American company pay for eyeballs in China? Especially eyeballs that want to be hidden for some reason? Shindlers List, now sponsored by Coca Cola!

Your proxy will either be used by privacy freaks who think that anyone cares what they do OR people who actually need it. In both cases, ads will not be useful at all. The first will freak out at the thought that ad company can read their mind because yes their penis needs to be bigger and in the last case, the people got better things to worry about.

Either find some alternative way of funding your proxy or just eat the costs out of the goodness of your heart. But no sensible advertiser will advertise on a proxy server. How after all are you going to track user identity? Proxies should be anonymous, so how do you track how many unique visits you have unless you keep records and that means your proxy is worthless from a privacy view point.

Really, is the web bubble back again? This is such a classic "I got an audience, advertisers love audiences, I can make some cash here!" idea.

Broken Window Fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31088676)

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