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Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the rather-enjoy-some-kinds-of-ads-myself dept.

Advertising 978

6 writes "Destructoid, one of the few remaining bastions of independent game journalism online, wonders what to do now that nearly 50% of their users run ad-blockers."

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It's a flawed way to keep a site up. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129987)

Swallow it.

Re:It's a flawed way to keep a site up. (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130007)

Care to elaborate?

Re:It's a flawed way to keep a site up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130153)

It's a flawed way to keep a site up.

Most of the websites on Internet are funded using advertisements.

Re:It's a flawed way to keep a site up. (3, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130261)

Flawed how? I will gladly see ads in order to get free access to a site.

I used to block ads (4, Insightful)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129989)

Then i realized exactly that without ads 3/4 of the internet would not exist. Now i simply manually block ads with my hosts file only when they are particularly annoying (autoplaying videos? Whose great idea was it?).

Re:I used to block ads (5, Insightful)

Flammon (4726) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130079)

Ads is a very expensive way to pay for content. Your cost of living is 9% to 12% higher because of Marketing. I think that if we took the money spent on ads and gave it to content creators instead, we would have more and better quality content. As an added bonus, no annoying ads that slow everything down.

Re:I used to block ads (3, Insightful)

spxZA (996757) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130129)

What you are describing is a website behind a paywall. We don't all want that.

Re:I used to block ads (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130163)

What you are describing is a website behind a paywall. We don't all want that.

We don't all want ads either. Why do the ones who want ads instead of paywalls get to dictate the rules?

Because you don't pay, you just complain (4, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130237)

Ready answer - nectar the ones who complain are not willing to pay a dollar even for some of their favorite sites. Slashdot allows you to choose to turn off ads by paying. Something like 0.001% pay. 99.99% won't pay.

Some time ago I wrote a shareware program that does something no other software does. 100,000 people downloaded it. It got top ratings everywhere. About 60 people emailed me saying how much they like the software. Exactly ONE person paid the $5 "donation" for it. Web sites are like that - people will visit daily, they'll talk about how awesome the site is, but no way they'll fork over $1. They just don't.

Re:I used to block ads (1, Insightful)

theduk3 (2598409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130187)

Where do your 9-12 % come from? Link please

Re:I used to block ads (-1, Troll)

perlith (1133671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130233)

Your cost of living is 9% to 12% higher because of Marketing

Link please or mods please do NOT mark +1 Insightful.

Re:I used to block ads (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130243)

This is the way I am looking at it:

For many sites, there is a significant circle-jerk between the users and the advertising. The site would not exist without the advertising paying for it, AND the site also would not exist if the users werent generating content for the site. You are using an example of this right now, good old slashdot.

In those cases, if a significant number of users turn to ad blocking then eventually they cut their own throats and the site will go away. Many forums and services on the internet are these circle-jerks.

The thing about advertising is that its essentially a pay-per-view model, a model that is ultimately one of the fairest models that could be crafted. Subscription models tend to trend toward a reduction of alternatives, towards market consolidation, and the more casual a user you are the more you end up paying per view.

Anyways, if this story is indeed about a site that has ended up with 50% of its users running ad blockers then there is a pretty good chance that the particular advertising they were doing was particularly annoying (possibly lots of malware delivered too.)

Re:I used to block ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130111)

And the remaining 1/4 would be much better, as it would be run by people who don't expect to profit from their visitors (and when they do, they do so openly).

Re:I used to block ads (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130145)

The Internet was ticking along very nicely before it was plagued with ads. If a few sites die, so what, they're only glorified bloggers and aggregations replication stuff from elsewhere under the guise of "reporting".

If the adverts weren't so obnoxious and stealing bandwidth, people wouldn't worry too much about them. Fix the ads, or shut up shop.

Re:I used to block ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130227)

Mod parent up

Re:I used to block ads (4, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130249)

By nicely you mean very little content compared to today. By nicely you mean not able to make money.
It's the obnoxious, intrusive and privacy-stealing ads that are the problem.

Re:I used to block ads (5, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130161)

I used to only block particularly obnoxious ads (those with sound mostly, or any form of popup that disrupts what your doing)... But then i found there were simply too many obnoxious ads that it was easier to block them all.
I never had a problem with simple banners or text ads, and would never have considered blocking them.

What i found particularly offensive was video ads for movies that started automatically playing (thus distracting me with the noise and wasting a substantial amount of bandwidth), and which were for movies that i couldn't even legally see in my location!

Incidentally advertisers generally pay per click not per view, and those who block ads are generally those who would never have clicked on them in the first place.

Get on a plane and fly to where it is showing (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130215)

video ads [...] for movies that i couldn't even legally see in my location!

They're ads for getting on a plane and flying to where the movie can be seen. Or maybe they're just ads for a movie that will eventually be released in your location, just as movies coming soon to theaters are advertised in the United States.

Re:I used to block ads (2)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130183)

Given that at least that much is crap, and a large chunk consists of stuff set up for no other purpose than to lure in ad revenue, shrinkage here may not be a bad thing.

At the very least it might get advertisers and those depending on them for revenue finally thinking about how to reach people. Traditionally it's by snatching your attention in the most annoying way possible because any exposure is good advertising, right?

And then you get autoplaying videos, or animated gifs, blinking tags, flashing flash, or whatever else they'll think up next. In short, "dancing rodents", in advertising flavour.

I block things when they annoy me and when I do I block everything on the page. That's using an ad-blocker, though without the prefab lists, I just grow my own. So if advertisers want their advertisements to stay visible, well, they better make sure the advertisements do not annoy me.

Annoying includes posing as real content only turning out to be vapid and snickering, having succeeded at wasting my time (adwords, say). Or as simple as burning too many cycles with js, ajax, whatever, especially when the real content could've been served up js-free. "Pingers" that track my eyeballing the site and phoning home every second get booted with prejudice.

Advertisers need to re-think, since "fighting" the audience for their attention has become a lot less useful because the audience can fight back, and rightfully so. For am I the product, or a "consumer" with no other rights than to "consume"? I don't think so.

The key to good business is to add value, and merely screaming loudest you're the best, really, is not adding value. Marketing needs to grow up.

I block SWF and only SWF (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130221)

Now i simply manually block ads with my hosts file only when they are particularly annoying (autoplaying videos? Whose great idea was it?).

I used to do that until I discovered the Flashblock extension. Now I block ads only when they're presented in SWF format. Chrome on my tablet doesn't even support SWF, and Firefox on my laptop and tablet makes SWF click-to-play except for a few sites on the whitelist. Text ads and still image ads still load just fine; an advertiser wanting to reach me should use those.

Re:I used to block ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130253)

Used the ABE feature in Noscript to strip any identifying data out of traffic going to the Google ad servers, and allowed scripts from those to run. Seems like an acceptable compromise.

ovo -hoot

i don't know... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129991)

don't use advertising as a business model?

Re:i don't know... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130109)

don't use advertising as a business model?

Care to propose an alternative? For how many of the sites you visited today have you paid a subscription? I'm sure your /. subscription is paid up, and you're just too lazy to log in

Re:i don't know... (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130229)

I have a simple and good solution. Allow visitors to pay some (reasonably small) sum to get rid of advertisements. You would send $5 via PayPal to disable advertisements for 6-12 months, something like that.

The website gets its funding and users get rid of advertisements. Maybe throw in some little extra goodies to subscribers.

Re:i don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130235)

Well, most of the sites on the internet (as well as most of the shows on TV) are just really bad crap. Those sites need to go away. They do not need to exist plain and simple. It's a mistake that they were ever created and the business model of ad-support is a mistake as well. So no harm done. Hopefully piracy and ad-blocking can fix this.

Re:i don't know... (3, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130241)

don't use advertising as a business model?

Care to propose an alternative? For how many of the sites you visited today have you paid a subscription? I'm sure your /. subscription is paid up, and you're just too lazy to log in

It's not for us to come up with an alternate. YOU are the one with the failed business model. You fix it yourself.

Re:i don't know... (1)

2fuf (993808) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130245)

How many sites offer the possibility without ridiculous recurring subscriptions that are way off the scale in pricing?

Re:i don't know... (5, Insightful)

spxZA (996757) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130255)

Newspapers rely on advertising as their main source of incoming. The few dollars you pay for a copy are for distribution costs. That being said, there has been a massive struggle to move that business model as-is onto the internet, for various reasons, including people running adblockers and a general lack of understanding of this new medium. As webmasters become more desperate for advertising sales, they come up with new (annoying) ideas to ensure visibility - popups, popunders, popins, and forced ads before videos. All of these just cause frustration on both sides and users use ad blockers, or just learn to ignore them. There's been a big topic of relevance. Users respond better to adverts that are more relevant to them. I call shenanigans on this. This is only partially true. If I am browsing a site related to financial markets, I am not interesting in Hobby King targeting an advert of a part that I looked at on their site a few days prior. My mindset while viewing this site is that of business, not play. In the same vein, Destructoid has the following adverts on their home page (probably targeted to me): Social Media Marketing from Vertical Response, Start your own gaming business from Game Wars, The frequent Download/Play belonging to some cellphone subscription service, Linode (even though I am a linode customer), Google Apps for Business, A conference for Data Center World. Maybe some of these are targeted to me, but while I am browsing a gaming site, I don't care about anything else that is not related to gaming. My point here is, relevance is true, but target something at me that is relevant to me AND relevant to what I am currently doing. I don't want to have to think about or reminded about work while I am on Destructoid. Back in the day before the rise of these ad delivery networks, people used to put adverts up on their site manually. And only adverts that were relevant to them and their audience. Nowadays, these ad networks do allow you to customize the type of adverts that appear on your site. It seems that this is not being done, and webmasters are using the shotgun approach, allowing any type of advert to be targeted to their users. This is just plain laziness. Also, where is the sponsorship that we see everywhere else? Companies pay a premium to sponsor a TV show (blah blah brought to you buy blah blah). This helps both the advertiser target a specific audience and the content provider pay for the content. If Destructoid want to continue to rely on advertising for their income (and please do), they need to do some serious work on making sure that the advertisers on their site are relevant to themselves and their users. Content producers off-line have very close relationships with their advertisers. Strike up a deal with Razer or EA to do some skinning just before a product launch. I'm not suggesting "selling out", but rather realize that you are running a business selling content to us. We buy it by looking at your adverts. If we don't like your adverts, we will block them. If we don't like your content, we won't visit your site. It is up to you to connect us with your advertisers via your content.

Start turning the cogs (2)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129999)

How about they work on creating something worth paying/subscribing to? Simple to suggest, hard to deliver. Perhaps that's the reason? I've been getting into Giant Bomb more lately and if I had a job I would consider trying out their premium service.

Re:Start turning the cogs (1)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130013)

opps never mind, RTFA and it's right there at the bottom :)

Re:Start turning the cogs (2)

zenith1111 (1465261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130061)

The problem with that (subscription) revenue model is that there are lots of sites with decent content that lots of people enjoy but almost no one is willing to pay for, I would only be willing to pay for just a couple of all the sites I view daily. I'm perfectly happy to tolerate a couple of ads per page, the AdBlock problem was caused by greedy people that filled the pages with lots of annoying and distracting flashing random colors, enough flash ads to make my laptop fan scream and even screaming loud videos that would autoplay.

Re:Start turning the cogs (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130247)

No the problem is a lot of the subscription sites want a subscription price that is far higher than the content value.

I subscribe to several sites. $5.00 a year for about $10.00 Value a year worth of information.

Slashdot? way overpriced for it's value returned.

The problem is most websites have people running them thinking they will get rich off of it. Your aim is to cover operation costs and then possibly a small profit IF you provide value.

Subscription model (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130001)

If the number of the users is not growing itself (which is not obvious from TFA) but only the percentage of users that use ad-blockers is growing, then don't you have to admit at some point that you have to change the business model and possibly try to charge a subscription fee? But in order to retain clients then you have to provide them with something actually tangible for their money. I have never heard of their site (I basically don't play video games, so I don't know much about the site), but I suppose they don't send out physical magazine or anything like that, it's a pure on-line business. But they have to figure out either how to go around the ad-blocking software or they have to figure out another way to get revenue, and maybe they should offer a subscription and bundle something extra with it (like an actual physical copy of their articles if anybody is interested)?

However I suspect that many sites facing the same problem will just shut down, since their model is purely ad based and technologically they can't really win, so it's their business model that will have to adapt or die out.

Re:Subscription model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130069)

If they find a way around the ad-blocking many people will likely leave forever.

Re:Subscription model (1)

Mithent (2515236) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130219)

I hope that we won't see many more sites moving to a paywall model. There are few sites that I'm sufficiently interested in on a day-to-day basis that I'm going to pay a subscription fee to access them - I'll just turn away. Just yesterday I saw what might have been a vaguely interesting article on a pay site (a large American newspaper, though I forget which - no, not the NYT), but I only got the first couple of sentences unless I signed up with a view to paying monthly. I never normally read that site and I'm not likely to start, so I'd never subscribe. Nor would I have paid for the article itself, microtransaction-style: opinion articles on Apple's future direction aren't important enough to me that I'd open my wallet. I'd much rather have read the article and given them their ad revenue (as I don't block ads).
 
A lot of the value of the Web to me is being able to flit between sites, not being locked out of most unless I make a long-term commitment or having to make regular judgments about the monetary value of content I haven't read. That loss of freedom and immediacy would be a significant one, for me, and I'm more than willing to tolerate some ads to keep that.

Well this is happening in Sweden ... (4, Interesting)

Picardo85 (1408929) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130005)

The swedish gaming journalism website FZ [www.fz.se] has started informing their users how the ad-blocking is hurting their business.
And I do think that most gamers who frequent that said site have started unblocking ads on said site so that they can continue to enjoy the reviews and other content on the site.

However, I don't think that this is a solution for EVERY site, but it might be a solution for sites with a large steady user base.

Re:Well this is happening in Sweden ... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130065)

Finally..."touch down for common sense."

Effective for now, but short sighted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130193)

Advertisers will eventually pay less or stop paying entirely when nobody inevitably buys their products. If they pay an agency, then the agency will reduce the payout or block the site entirely in favor of the higher performing sites. Nobody seems to consider that branding alone on the internet is not where the money comes from. Rich leads that end up buying products or signing up for content is normally the desired outcome of the advertiser. Take that away from them and they stop paying. Lose lose.

Is Flashblock "blocking ads"? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130231)

And I do think that most gamers who frequent that said site have started unblocking ads on said site so that they can continue to enjoy the reviews and other content on the site.

If I am viewing a web site, but Flash is click to play on my machine and HTML5 video in MPEG-4 format is not available, am I "blocking ads"?

How about a quick glance to a mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130009)

The culprit's there stares you back.

ad networks (5, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130015)

Pretty much the answer is to embed ads in the site code itself, rather than simply link to some dodgy advertising company's site.

I recall WebhostingTalk site had a pdf describing their site that they would use for potential advertisers, you paid your money and supplied some ads in the required formats and they'd put them in their site themselves. Nowadays, 'ads' are just a couple of clicks to the most annoying syndicated rubbish (along with all the tracking cookies) that have nothing to do with the site you're looking at, except an easy way to attract money.

So the solution for this site is simply to work at getting the advertisers and give up the ad networks.

Re:ad networks (2)

Yetihehe (971185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130039)

And no animated ads. I use adblock, but there are several sites which make unobtrusive relevant ads. I've unblocked them, and even sometimes I find something interesting enough to buy.

Re:ad networks (4, Interesting)

MickLinux (579158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130181)

Biggie here. I work at a concrete plant, and we sometimes need to check the weather loops. At our remote location, the only internet available is by way of AT&T through Verizon lines, so the latency is terrible. Maybe that's part of the problem, but when weather.com switched to running multiple ad loops, the weather loop page would reset and timeout -- then reload (starting with a whole new page of the ads) before we ever saw the first motion of the weather map.

We never got the content we came for!!!

So I don't go there any more. I go to a local TV station instead. I tried to notify weather.com, but they've isolated themselves very well from any feedback.

Re:ad networks (5, Informative)

hb253 (764272) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130217)

Use weather.gov. It's where all the weather sites and TV stations get their weather info. The big plus, no ads!

Re:ad networks (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130101)

Or they could sell subscriptions (to readers) and syndication rights (to other newspapers, and aggregators like Google). Presumably the original content has value. I'd be suspicious if the content was supposed valuable, but nobody but advertisers was actually willing to pay for it.

Simple Solution (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130017)

Post a Slashdot article about the site and boost its page-views x100. Jackpot.

People want better ads. (3, Insightful)

DCFC (933633) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130019)

Readers block your ads because they are crap.

Your advertisers only want to reach people that are useful to them.
Cross the two.
Facebook et al try to steal personal data, why not negotiate with users ?
Treat them like adults, say “you are going to get one ad per 5 page views, so why not tell us what sort of ad you want ?”. I care about storage, you probably don’t, so why not honestly ask the readers ? You’d have a higher quality product to sell and readers would be bugged less.

Also, make a virtue about only having non-irritating ads and be honest that having the ad pays for the content, so that people ad your site to their exception list.

The thing I hate about most ads is that their server slows down your page load, that's fixable, and would cause a lot less use of blockers.

Re:People want better ads. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130091)

No, readers block ads because they're capable of researching what they want on their own and don't want more crap foisted on them.

There is no such thing as a good advert to me. Adverts are inherently daft.

What they want isn't always what they want (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130239)

No, readers block ads because they're capable of researching what they want on their own

When automobiles were introduced, people thought they wanted a faster horse. How would the benefits of an automobile end up in such a person's research?

Maybe Make less annoying ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130021)

I think that the ad agencies just aren't thinking about how to make ads more appealing to consumers. Maybe they don't understand the technology, maybe they're trying to do it on the cheap. But the actually delivery of these things needs to change.

It's not the ads (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130023)

For the most part it's not the ads. If they're not blinking or obnoxious I can live with them.

It's the tracking intrinsic to the ads that are the problem.

Use a service that allows you to host the ads on your own servers, so that I know the only person collecting my data is the site that I'm visiting.

Re:It's not the ads (3, Insightful)

ebonum (830686) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130075)

Mod up parent.

It's being tracked that freaks techies out. Not the ads.

Re:It's not the ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130083)

well you see kid, it's like soap: when companies like dove make soap, they pull the (very essential for good soap) glycerine out and sell it elsewhere, replacing it with waxes and skin conditioners, making that bar of "soap" actually a bar of detergent.
Why? because the glycerine is worth more than the soap, of course. Just like advertisements where the collected data on your computer is worth more than your eye balls passing over the blinky stuff (as most people -never- click the damn things).

Re:It's not the ads (1)

eneville (745111) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130155)

That's not true. Dove soap does contain glycerine, at least in the UK it's right there on the list.

Re:It's not the ads (2)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130165)

It's also a security risk. Anybody can effectively pay a few bucks to have their active content downloaded and run on users of a giant network of ad hosting sites.

If ads were limited to images (and even then there have been some attack vectors against file decoders) or text, this wouldn't be as insidious a problem.

Things have changed? (4, Insightful)

vidarlo (134906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130025)

Ad blocking came about as a reaction on the huge multimegabyte flash ads with sound and moving images - at least for my part. They were slow to download on 56k modem, and waste of space. Then, google started tracking me across sites using google ads, and I don't particularly want them to track my browsing habits. So I blocked that too. But how much is lost to blocked ads? Did the people blocking ads click ads before blocking was common? I did certainly not. Also, a lot of the ads on the web is quite US-centric, and of less interest to me as a european. Is this really a loss? I'm not so sure. Maybe a clean advertising standard, with text ads and as little tracking as possible would be a better way to go?

Re:Things have changed? (1)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130093)

I agree exactly with you: I will tolerate non-moving ads if the delivery of the ads is such that I will not be tracked.

But quite honestly, I don't really see why the advertising community (and those that get money from it) is making a fuss. I can take myself as an example: when I watch the TV and the ads come on, I either change the channel or go and do something other than watch the TV. Thus all the advertising broadcast by the TV-channel I was watching is, in essence, blocked by me. The mechanism is different to that I use on my computer, but the end result is still that I don't see the advertising. What is so different?

Re:Things have changed? (2)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130191)

Ads aren't just for click-through. Advertisers also want their product simply displayed and put into the minds of websurfers, so technically they are losing that form of audience when adblocking is enabled. Yeah, many of the products won't be applicable for out-of-country users, but they still might want to show their ads to local people who would never even click through.

But it's my bandwidth I pay for, it's my machine to decide what runs on it, and my choice whether to ignore sites that prevent adblocked users.

Just tell your users what is happening (1)

cgimusic (2788705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130033)

I block all ads by default but if the ads are non-intrusive (non-flash and don't constantly reload every 10 seconds) then I am happy to whitelist certain sites I frequent. Just by making the assurance that the ads are non-intrusive may well reduce the number of users that ad block.

Re:Just tell your users what is happening (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130085)

1) that is exactly what the article is doing, and 2) he tried appealing to the users, and only 2.5% disabled ad blocking.

This is all in the article.

Re:Just tell your users what is happening (2)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130197)

It's far easier for a user to just take the shotgun approach and block everything than to manually cater to individual sites, even if they're otherwise supportive.

Also, lots of people have IT-savvy friends help out with their machine, so they end up with adblockers they have no clue how to configure, or even perceive that blocking is taking place.

Re:Just tell your users what is happening (4, Interesting)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130207)

Unless destructoid reverted any changes they made, I call bullshit.

Curious to see what the big deal was, I visited the article without adblock on.

When I clicked the article link, I was presented with one of the more annoying types of ads - the kind that takes over the screen and force you to click a link to go to the actual page I wanted. When I finally got to the article, there were no fewer than three animated flash ads that appeared, and there was a sprinkling of additional ads as I kept reading.

Worse yet: the manner in which cross-links to other destructoid articles is presented on the right is not significantly different than the ads, so to the uninitiated, it looks like the entire right 1/3 of the page is filled with ads.

Re:Just tell your users what is happening (2)

vidarlo (134906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130175)

The problem is that they still track you. For me, this is a show stopper; I do not want Google to track me in this fashion.

Doubleclick was marginally better in this regard, because they could only track me anonymously, but Google has my name and address already, so they can easily track me from a gmail session to surfing habits, if they want. By making anonymous ads commonplace, I'd stop blocking text ads

Another concern is that advertising has a cost. We spend huge resources on advertising, and what is the gain? If sites started enforcing more rigorous rules for advertising content, like no flash, not tracking me across sites and so on, maybe I'd not be so inclined to block ads? In short; keep the ads as a business model, but adapt it to those who don't like tracking. A static image with a link in the html of the page? I would probably not bother to block it. A text paragraph, statically in the HTML, and not loaded via JS like google ads? I'd do nothing about it.

Use "in line" ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130035)

Don't use ads from other sites/domains that are easy to block. Host ads from the same domain as your content; much more difficult to block.

Or go subscription only. Or have part-free, part-sub.

Or just stop. Is a business model that is demonstrably built on annoying your customers really viable in the long-run?

Ghostery hit an all time high score. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130041)

I have been running Ghostery for a while for this reason, and going to Destructoid it hit an all time high score of blocked content. 43 items blocked, even News Limited's news.com.au only gets 10 blocks and there is enough crap on there to annoy the hell out of most people.

http://i.imgur.com/a6gWxbN.jpg

Flattr (0)

Troed (102527) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130043)

This is exactly the problem Flattr was invented to solve. Users simply tip for content they like - and since each user has set the max size of their monthly tipping jar themselves they'll never tip more than they can afford.

http://flattr.com/ [flattr.com]

Disclaimer: While not associated with Flattr in any way, I know several of the people on the team. They really are out to make the world a better place for content authors.

Do you really need ad-supported websites? (5, Insightful)

louic (1841824) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130045)

I don't see the problem. Actually, I would be happy to see all those ad-supported websites disappear (especially those that make you click through 10 pages to read a single article). If the internet were to become a place where enthusiasts write their weblogs, scientists and hobbyists share results, and some really good content that is worth paying for hides behind paywalls, I do not have a problem with that at all. In fact, it would be a brilliant improvement!

Re:Do you really need ad-supported websites? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130073)

There's some really great free content and services out there. However, most of my favourite sites go back to the days before financial exploitation, or are ones I'm paying for already.

So on the whole I think I agree. Lets kill off all ad-supported sites. Except Youtube.

Re:Do you really need ad-supported websites? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130077)

It's funny to see you posting this on Slashdot, of all places, which is an ad-supported site, and for which much of the front page is links to other ad supported sites.
Who needs ad supported sites? Clearly YOU do, or you wouldn't be here going through the effort of making a post.

Re:Do you really need ad-supported websites? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130213)

Slashdot would do just fine without ads. It would mean the guys behind Slashdot would be a bunch of enthusiasts and not a huge company and the persons running it wouldn't drive around in fancy cars. Now go fuck yourself.

Re:Do you really need ad-supported websites? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130265)

If the internet were to become a place where enthusiasts write their weblogs

Who would pay for their hosting?

How much $$$ (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130049)

How much money would I have to pay to balance out my blocked ads? TFA doesn't seem to say, but it's kind of all over the place so I just skimmed it.

Sack Jim Sterling (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130051)

It's the only viable solution, in return we will all switch off our adblockers.

How About Rating Ads ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130053)

Like color-coding ads? And setting ad filters? By : type of content, length, bandwith stolen, duration, "noisiness", "flashiness" (intense to mild, continuous to intermittent, etc.), "naggingness", "greenyness", good-bad business practices, spam quotient, and so on. Just like entertainment. Your favorite chemo-mental hypnotist psychosis-inducing overlords could provide tailored filters to your particular flavor and saccharinity of koolaid. All those shiny choices.

It could even help self-regulate the internet ad scene. And add value to page real-estate. Like, big media x tabloids?

I wonder why... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130055)

Advertisers really only have themselves to blame. Huge-sized, CPU intensive Flash ads with jarringly annoying video & sound and which track you across different websites are extremely annoying. As ads get more intrusive, is it any wonder that so many people resort to ad blocking technology?

It is true that in the early days of simple banner ads that some people still blocked them. You are always going to get some freeloaders who block even text only Google ads, but it wouldn't be such a high proportion of viewers if ads were a bit more reasonable. I have always browsed without Flash (or at least with it disabled), and I always turn off GIF animations because I like stable web pages that don't give me a headache. But where ever possible I prefer to show ads to support the sites I use (I don't disable ads on this site). I have even been known to click on them and look at the advertised goods when they are of interest.

However, I would never support an advertiser or the hosting website that makes ads that look like they are legitimate parts of the website (eg. an ad with a big button saying "Download" on a freeware file hosting site). I will always disable sites that track where I browse (oh look, the linked article uses DoubleClick advertising). Be reasonable to your audience and enough of them will be reasonable back. It is not rocket science.

Ask Penny Arcade (1)

trout007 (975317) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130059)

They had a kickstarter and put a target up up remove all ads.

Simple solution ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130089)

... show double the number of ads to the remaining 50%.

Team up with AdBlock - they'll help you out. (3, Informative)

devitto (230479) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130099)

AdBlock has a scheme where if your Ads are place sympathetically, they're not blocked.

But this article (and TFA) reads as 'We don't understand or communicate with our readers, but this is somehow THEIR fault.'

Bite the bullet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130105)

Simply don't provide content to people who use ad-blockers.

If people don't want to unblock ads on your site, they can look at a simple, cheap to serve HTML page telling them to go away until they change their minds. Alternatively, offer a subscription to allow ad free use of the site for those who want to visit and not see the ads.

Even if you lose 30% of your readership, these people were simply a drain on your bandwidth and were basically expecting everyone else to pay their way.

Eventually, if ad-blocking rates keep going up, almost every place interesting will be forced into the same situation.

Plead (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130107)

People didn't install ad blockers to block your site specifically, they did it once because of some annoying ads or just the vast volume of ads everywhere. They don't really think about the fact that they're doing it and depriving you of ad revenue. I would make a box one pixel higher/wider than the ad (since many blocks are based on standard ad sizes in addition to lists) with a background that said something like "[website name] is funded by ad revenue. If you like the content you find here, please do not block our ads. Thank you." so that if you have no ad blocker installed the ad loads on top. If you block the ad they get that message instead. Start there, only take more drastic measures if you have to.

And a big chunk of the other 50% ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130115)

And a big chunk of the other 50% probably just ignore them and block them out mentally.

Better delivery mechanisms! (1)

Myu (823582) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130117)

I use a popup blocker, a flash blocker and Mozilla's "Do not track" feature. I don't mind if your webpage has advertisements at the side of the page or if I need to click through a brief commercial message after 5 seconds to get to the content I want to see, but stop throwing flashy movies at me, creating new windows and watching where I'm surfing. These are the tools of malware authors! I shouldn't have to make myself vulnerable to abuse just to help keep your website up and running.

Payola for the content (3, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130121)

Have the game publishers pay for good reviews

Site gets money
Readers get content

Some sites spoil it for everybody (3, Interesting)

putaro (235078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130125)

I ran without an adblocker for the longest time because the ads on the side don't bother me. Even the occasional interstitial I could deal with. Then, one of the sites I visit regularly started running that damned Meebo toolbar that manages to cover part of whatever you're looking at. It looks like it's been fixed but for a while it repopped up on every page you went to on the site. So, I installed an adblocker, and I've been a happy camper ever since. I don't even think about it running anymore.

This is sad for the sites who have not been annoying with their ads. However, even those sites that want to keep the ads under control apparently have trouble. The writer at Destructoid said that they try to keep the annoying ads out, like the ones that start running audio as soon as you open the page. Try is the operative word, though, and many other sites do not try, so it's always a possibility that something stupid will start blaring out of your speakers. The industry as a whole needs to stop looking at consumers as sheep to be milked instead of customers to be convinced.

People just don't want ads (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130127)

And no amount of begging or making ads "relevant" is going to change that. Not to try to put rose-tinted glasses on it, I remember when the internet before commercial interests took a hold, which consisted of mostly academia, and nobody made money off it - it was for the spread of information for the benefit (or bewilderment) of everyone involved. It wasn't a huge commercial success, because not everyone measures success by how much money you can make.

Nobody is stopping you selling real products on the internet, and if you have a service or information that people want to really *that* much then paywalling is an option. But don't kid yourself that you have a right to make money just by being "on the internet" somehow - when every single site and its dog is cannoned up to the gunwhales with advertisements, the value of said ads for any single site isn't going to be worth much to you, even when they're not blocked.

Perhaps if ads hadn't continued to dominate more and more of the content of an average website, and become more and more obnoxious, then nobody would have felt the need to create and use ad blockers. Now its too late - believe me, try using an ad blocker and you'll find that many of the large glossy sites look very, very sparse and lacking in real content indeed.

"But how will I support my site?" - I don't care, it's part of the natural evolution of these things, people get greedy when they see a way to make money, everyone jumps on the bandwagon, then the market collapses. It's always been this way and always will. Perhaps once a lot of ad-revenue supported sites have collapsed there will be a market (paywall or micropayment) for a small number of good quality sites (which presumably does not include the NYT), rather than the acres of glossy crap we have infesting the internet today.

use bitcoins (0)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130133)

There are several ways in which a site can gather funding using bitcoins.

First of all, this is exremely easy to use, because no banks are involved. Just a bunch of python scripts. Or a regular bitcoin client.

1) you can let people send donations with bitcoins, but since bitcoin is not too popular yet, that will not be big income, until it gets popular.

2) so make it popular. For example implement a bitcoin-based forum system, in which people can choose to participate. If they choose to participate it works following:
2.1) users pay a tiny amount, like 0.001 BTC to post a comment.
2.1.1) If someone who is participating liked their post, they can choose an amount of BTC they want to tip the poster
2.1.2) if someone replied to it, the poster gets 80% of those 0.001 that the replying perspn paid in order to post
2.2) forum users who did not choose to participate, can post comments for free, but also cannot earn any BTC for being a helpful community member.

the remaining 20% for each posted comment goes to the website.

Now bitcoins get more popular on the website, and the website can earn money without advertisments at all.

Re:use bitcoins (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130151)

oh, and of course the cost of Opening Post would directly go to the website earnings. While of course the OP would recap his initial payment from replies posted by other people.

It's not the ads. Its about not being tracked (2)

AndroSyn (89960) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130135)

See here's the thing, I don't have problems with ads, per-se, I have problem with ads being served by third parties that also serve ads on thousands of other sites as well and track me from site to site. Serve up your ads from your own servers, under your own domain, then I'll see your ads just fine. But if you expect to show me ads that track me, you can go get bent.

Re:It's not the ads. Its about not being tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130223)

Exactly.
I use ad blockers for 2 reasons.
1) javascript and flash are dangerous - I don't want them running
2) tracking my page views everywhere across the internet is a concern.

I don't just block ads, I block thousands of tracking networks too. These are blocked by DNS. Twitter, google, bing, doubleclick, facebook and 50 of their subdomains are all blocked. plus.google.com - blocked. If I wanted to be tracked online, I would click the "enable tracking" button.

Blocking flash and javascript stops all the really obnoxious ads. I used to be more selective about which websites I didn't block, but when linux.com started running 5 highly-obnoxious Microsoft ads, I started blocking all ads that I could.

I do make a point of contributing non-troll content to the websites that I block. That is my part.

a standard subscription button for web browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130141)

The answer to this is standardization of the subscription model across domains / projects / etc.

1. Get browser makers to implement a feature for subscriptions and small donations within the browser. Make it prominent the first time the users install the browser / or it starts up.
2. Make it easy to give a donation with a single click of a button- a small donation might even be just a few cents. But make it just like the Google + button. Cent transactions should not need user confirmation. Just let them pass. Nobody will contest small transactions like this even if it is a mistake. Its no significant loss. Larger transactions (say $5 or more, maybe there is a like button, and a really like button, and a feeling generous button with three different amounts, say .5 cents, 50 cents, and $2) should pop up a question that the user MUST confirm (or if it is a subscription). Then have these number be configurable for different regions. So users who are well off (say most people in the US and Europe) can have a default that makes donating quarters easy while people in say South America, China, Mexico, and other countries with a lower average income don't accidentally over donate.
3. The web masters can then decide what content or features to restrict. If your not subscribed (and this should be anonymous- bitcoins would be great here) maybe they would show advertising for example. If they offer some sort of commercial support for a product that section would be disabled to non-subscribers.

Make ads that don't piss people off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130143)

interesting ads, behaving nicely in a side bar. no sound without permission, no expansion without permission, no animation without permission. include a "brought to you by" splash when loading, and "click on them, they paid for this game" message.

Ask then nicely not to? (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130147)

One site I visit frequently gives me the option to see their ads or not.
I like that site and second, and they're very careful about how intrusive the ads are.
So I choose not to block them.

The How & WHY of why I block ads... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130167)

Adbanners (shown below) infect users & steal bandwidth paid for by users, out of pocket, in monthly ISP bills (and more/worse still, listed below):

(FIRST though - Showing you that advertisers aren't exactly "straight-up" with you either. Witness these events)

Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for (40% of your avg. webpage no less): ADBANNERS SLOW DOWN THE WEB: -> http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/30/166218 [slashdot.org]

And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web: PEOPLE DISLIKE ADBANNERS: -> http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

As well as this: Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It: -> http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

Even WORSE still, is this: Advertising Network Caught History Stealing: -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/22/156225/Advertising-Network-Caught-History-Stealing [slashdot.org]

Advertisters never intended to honor "DNT" (Do Not Track): -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/23/1334258/advertisers-never-intended-to-honor-dnt [slashdot.org]

AND, neither do others: -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/09/30/1435231/think-tanks-website-rejects-browser-do-not-track-requests [slashdot.org]

The webserver program folks even "jumped on the bandwagon" in Apache, as far as "DNT": -> http://apache.slashdot.org/story/12/09/08/0053235/apache-patch-to-override-ie-10s-do-not-track-setting [slashdot.org]

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Malware's present in the banner ads you click on as well, & here are some "examples thereof" over time:

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THE NEXT AD YOU CLICK MAY BE A VIRUS: -> http://it.slashdot.org/story/09/06/15/2056219/The-Next-Ad-You-Click-May-Be-a-Virus [slashdot.org]

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Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/16/bing_yahoo_malware_ads/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/24/malware_ads_google_yahoo/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/30/excite_and_rhapsody_rogue_ads/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Google sponsored links caught punting malware: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/16/google_sponsored_links/ [theregister.co.uk]

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DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/13/doubleclick_distributes_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/11/yahoo_serves_12million_malware_ads/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/23/real_media_serves_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge: -> http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/02/02/1433210/Attacks-Targeting-Classified-Ad-Sites-Surge [slashdot.org]

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Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware: -> http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/01/20/0228258/Hackers-Respond-To-Help-Wanted-Ads-With-Malware [slashdot.org]

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Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/12/microsoft_ips_hijacked/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web: -> http://it.slashdot.org/story/08/04/19/2148215/major-isps-injecting-ads-vulnerabilities-into-web [slashdot.org]

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Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware: -> http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/12/13/0128249/Two-Major-Ad-Networks-Found-Serving-Malware [slashdot.org]

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NY TIMES INFECTED WITH MALWARE ADBANNER: -> http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/09/13/2346229/new-york-times-site-pop-up-says-your-computer-is-infected [slashdot.org]

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MICROSOFT HIT BY MALWARES IN ADBANNERS: -> http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com]

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ADOBE FLASH ADS INJECTING MALWARE INTO THE NET: -> http://it.slashdot.org/story/08/08/20/0029220/adobe-flash-ads-launching-clipboard-hijack-attacks [slashdot.org]

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London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware: -> http://www.securityweek.com/london-stock-exchange-web-site-serving-malware [securityweek.com]

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Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/25/spotify_malvertisement_attack/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Demonoid Down For a Week, Serving Malware Laden Ads: -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/08/02/1427257/demonoid-down-for-a-week-serving-malware-laden-ads [slashdot.org]

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Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again): -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/24/doubleclick_distributes_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware: -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/13/doubleclick_msn_malware_attacks/ [theregister.co.uk]

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Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC: -> http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2007/11/doubleclick [wired.com]

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2013 - NBC website hacked and distributes malware - here's what happened: -> http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/02/22/nbc-website-hacked-and-distributes-malware/?utm_source=Naked+Security+-+Sophos+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2d8e67d091-naked%252Bsecurity [sophos.com]

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2013 - Google settles rogue drug ad claims for $500 million: -> http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20096624-93/google-settles-rogue-drug-ad-claims-for-$500-million/ [cnet.com]

Pertinent quote/excerpt: "The Web giant pays out one of the largest forfeitures ever in a settlement with the Justice Department over claims that it accepted ads from rogue online pharmacies."

(Thus, they aren't even CHECKING who or what is putting up those ads, ripping folks off &/or possibly worse, injecting them with malicious code for enslaving their systems into botnets + ripping off their personal information such as bank account numbers & what-not...)

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2013 - More dangerous to click on an online advertisement than an adult content site these days, Cisco said: -> http://www.securityweek.com/easier-get-infected-malware-good-sites-shady-sites-cisco-says [securityweek.com]

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As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less).

(Animats/John Nagle, a member here no less who himself contributed to the IP stack itself & I respect him immensely for it, unlike many here (especially trolls) said it best on advertisers & the web -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3359149&cid=42482289 [slashdot.org] )

APK

P.S.=> Here's how I generate custom hosts to block them (and known malscripted sites, or servers known to serve up malware/malicious content), easy as apple pie, from 12++ reputable sources for custom hosts file data online:

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APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

Which, if you read the list of what it can do for you as an end user of the resulting output it produces listed in the link above, you'll understand how/why...

"It's as strong as steel, & a 3rd of the weight" - Howard Stark from the film "Captain America"

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Especially vs. competing alternate 'solutions', noted below in AdBlock/Ghostery & yes even DNS servers, next, as 'examples thereof'...

Solutions that used to be good & I even recommended them in security guides I wrote up over the decades now -> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22HOW+TO+SECURE+Windows+2000/XP%22&btnG=Submit&gbv=1&sei=ka3yUKzxB-6_0QHLroCQCA [google.com]

That did extremely well for myself (and users of them), for Windows users, for "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" purposes - the BEST THING WE HAVE GOING vs. threats of all kinds, currently!

(Not anymore though, & certainly NOT far as AdBlock's concerned especially, not after this):

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Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/12/2213233/adblock-plus-to-offer-acceptable-ads-option [slashdot.org]

(Meaning by default, which MOST USERS WON'T CHANGE, it doesn't block ALL ads - they "souled-out"... talk about "foxes guarding the henhouse")!

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Plus, Adblock CAN'T DO AS MUCH & not from a single file solution that runs in Ring 0/RPL 0/kernelmode via tcpip.sys, a driver (since it's part of the IP stack & tightly integrated into it) which is far, Far, FAR FASTER than ring 3/rpl 3/usermode apps like browsers, & addons slow them down (known issue in FireFox).

To wit, 10++ things AdBlock can't do, hosts can:

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1.) Blocking rogue DNS servers malware makers use

2.) Blocking known sites/servers that serve up malware... like known sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malicious scripts

3.) Speeding up your FAVORITE SITES that hosts can speed up via hardcoded line item entries properly resolved by a reverse DNS ping

4.) AdBlock works on Mozilla products (browser & email), hosts work on ANY webbound app AND are multiplatform.

5.) AdBlock can't protect external to FireFox email programs, hosts can (think OUTLOOK, Eudora, & others)

6.) AdBlock can't help you blow past DNSBL's (DNS block lists)

7.) AdBlock can't help you avoid DNS request logs (hosts can via hardcoded favorites)

8.) AdBlock can't protect you vs. TRACKERS (hosts can)

9.) AdBlock can't protect you vs. DOWNED or "DNS-poisoned" redirected DNS servers (hosts can by hardcodes)

10.) Hosts are EASIER to manage, they're just a text file (adblock means you had BEST know your javascript, perl, & python (iirc as to what languages are used to make it from source)).

& more... as a tiny 'sampling' & proofs thereof!

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Same with Ghostery:

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FROM -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2931443&cid=40412193 [slashdot.org]

Evidon, which makes Ghostery, is an advertising company. They were originally named Better Advertising, Inc., but changed their name for obvious PR reasons. Despite the name change, let's be clear on one thing: their goal still is building better advertising, not protecting consumer privacy. Evidon bought Ghostery, an independent privacy tool that had a good reputation. They took a tool that was originally for watching the trackers online, something people saw as a legitimate privacy tool, and users were understandably concerned. The company said they were just using Ghostery for research. Turns out they had relationships with a bunch of ad companies and were compiling data from which sites you visited when you were using Ghostery, what trackers were on those sites, what ads they were, etc., and building a database to monetize. (AND, when confronted about it, they made their tracking opt-in and called it GhostRank, which is how it exists today.) They took an open-source type tool, bought it, turned it from something that's actually protecting people from the ad industry, to something where the users are actually providing data to the advertisers to make it easier to track them. This is a fundamental conflict of interest. To sum up: Ghostery makes its money from selling supposedly de-indentified user data about sites visited and ads encountered to marketers and advertisers. You get less privacy, they get more money. That's an inverse relationship. Better Advertising/Evidon continually plays up the story that people should just download Ghostery to help them hide from advertisers. Their motivation to promote it, however, isn't for better privacy; it's because they hope that you'll opt in to GhostRank and send you a bunch of information. They named their company Better Advertising for a reason: their incentive is better advertising, not better privacy.

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Talk about "crooked" & telling 1/2 truths (as well as making software that was ONCE quite useful & effective, NOT QUITE AS USEFUL & EFFECTIVE by default anymore!)

Yes, so overall? Absolutely - hosts are superior!

Vs. even DNS servers too (which hosts files can supplement to overcome THEIR shortcomings, as follows):

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A.) Running another program (sometimes in usermode no less, far, Far, FAR slower than kernelmode by many orders of magnitude & easily attacked) vs. the single hosts file (tightly integrated into the IP stack itself as part of it). ADDING COMPLEXITY & MORE "moving parts" room for error & breakdown!

B.) Wasting CPU cycles, RAM memory, & other forms of I/O to do what a single file can do

C.) Wasting ELECTRICITY (especially if the DNS server is setup as a separate machine) even if run as a service/daemon on a single system as user has

D.) DNS has NUMEROUS faults, & should anyone request a sampling of them? Ask & "ye shall receive"...

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Thus, using custom hosts files results in BETTER security AND better efficiency, in saving your bandwidth, + electricity even (CPU cycles, RAM, + other forms of I/O as well) & giving you FASTER host-domain name resolution locally vs. remote DNS servers, especially if a NXDOMAIN results (since you do it LOCALLY via verified hardcoded hosts file entries of your favorites, which also gets you speed too as noted, simply to overcome that 1/2 decade unpatched vs. Kaminsky bug worldwide on MOST DNS SERVERS still, in that flaw & yes, others!)

Hosts files hardcodes are not only faster, but safer too, simply since my program uses reverse DNS hardcoded entries tests, to the in arpa addr 'tld' that houses that information from the DNSSEC root 13 servers by ICANN & VERISIGN (to proof vs. the Kaminsky redirect flaw (that remains unpatched for 1/2 a decade now on MOST DNS servers worldwide, worst of all, @ the ISP level-> http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/012913-dnssec-266197.html?page=3 [networkworld.com] ) - which are secured vs. that flaw noted above in redirect poisonings & others)

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HOWEVER:

I don't "hate" DNS servers!

In fact - I use them myself (since I don't attempt to resolve 'every host-domain there is online' via hosts, only my favorites @ the top of the file, 20 of them, which beats hashtable indexing or b-tree binary seeks past 2++ million records no less).

I use specialized REMOTE (not locally here as a separate redundant wasteful recursive server or even as a service/daemon) FILTERING DNS SERVERS that help block out malicious sites/servers/hosts-domains via DNSBLs:

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Norton DNS:

http://setup.nortondns.com/ [nortondns.com]

198.153.192.1
198.153.194.1
198.153.192.60
198.153.194.60
198.153.192.50
198.153.194.50
198.153.192.40
198.153.194.40

OpenDNS:

http://www.opendns.com/home-solutions/ [opendns.com]

208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

ScrubIT DNS:

http://scrubit.com/ [scrubit.com]

67.138.54.100
207.225.209.66

Comodo Secure DNS:

http://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/switch/windows_vista.html [comodo.com]

8.26.56.26
8.20.247.2

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ALL in layered formation in both my network connection AND my Cisco/LinkSys stateful packet inspecting router.

(Again - for the concept of "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth": The best thing we have going currently vs. malicious threats online & otherwise...)

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(Resulting in security AND in saving your bandwidth & giving you FASTER host-domain name resolution locally vs. remote DNS servers, especially if a NXDOMAIN results since you do it LOCALLY via verified hardcoded hosts file entries of your favorites, which also gets you speed too as noted), simply to overcome that flaw & others!

Hosts files hardcodes are not only faster, but safer too, simply since my program uses reverse DNS hardcoded entries tests, to the in arpa addr 'tld' that houses that information from the DNSSEC root 13 servers by ICANN & VERISIGN (to proof vs. the Kaminsky redirect flaw (that remains unpatched for 1/2 a decade now on MOST DNS servers worldwide, worst of all, @ the ISP level!) - which are secured vs. that flaw noted above in redirect poisonings & others)

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* :)

(Beat THAT with a stick... or better yet? With information that disproves my points (to any 'naysayers' or trolls, that is)).

Fact is - I even "held off" on releasing my program noted above, & had it LONG before others like it were out!

(E.G.-> It's literally 10x smaller & does MORE than a competitor called hostsman, no less, & is BOTH 32 + 64-bit code in its single distro file I put out that malwarebytes' hpHosts hosts for me in fact, as part of the security community, hostsman isn't & neither is any other like it)...

Why?

Well - simple: I didn't WANT to hurt websites' revenue...

Not until I realized THEY & their advertiser paymasters were robbing me of speed/bandwidth I pay for OUT OF POCKET to my ISP monthly for online access by forcing me to download & process up to 40% MORE of what I was after to consume website data (on average, that's the 'mass' of adbanners forced on you)

Additionally, which also, in turn, leads to more CPU usage, RAM usage, & other forms of I/O used needlessly which raises your electricity bill as well, robbing you yet AGAIN... for starters!

AND

Not until the "malware explosion" online started (late 2004 imo) & also adbanners being found to house malicious code (data in near last link above WILL "enlighten" & perhaps SURPRISE YOU on that very note, from CISCO no less & others did the same this year recently also).

Thus, out she went to others, doing "the right thing"... since the resulting custom hosts file it produces as output from 10++ reputable & reliable sources for that type of data just clearly does the job on a myriad of levels for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent, better than any other SINGLE solution out there, bar-none!

Now - I truly KNOW this post will no doubt be downmodded, because Advertisers do NOT want this type of information getting out en-masse to enlighten users - they bought out Ghostery, crippled Adblock, but TRY THAT with a local hosts file (good luck!) especially one a user builds himself!

...apk

suddenly Infected Ad Servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130177)

Banning obnoxious adverts was a beautifully productive side effect of blocking a previous drive-by ad infection. Every time this comes up I feel like pouring hate on the complaining site and company. Host your own ads, negotiate sponsors, whatever, but do not blame your users who pay for their connections and are actively giving their time reading your site over the hundreds of other sites offering exactly the same damn content.

Why I block ads (3, Insightful)

LihTox (754597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130185)

I refuse to read ads. I refuse to click on ads. People trying to manipulate me piss me off, and now I'm reading your site and I'm pissed off. Ads are computer viruses for the mind (trying to rewrite the software to their own ends); if a website came to me and said "Don't install antivirus software because malware pays for our bandwidth" I would laugh in their faces and I hope you would too.

I'd be happy to load the ads if I didn't have to look at them. Perhaps I could have a special sandboxed browser where you type in all of your favorite sites, and it loads them up with the ads in the background every day (at 3am when I don't care about bandwidth).

But the real sin to advertisers isn't blocking the ads, it's ignoring them, right?

You ran bad ads. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43130199)

You and your peers ran annoying ads. So we blocked the hell out of them. There were 43 blocked items on your page when I visited it. To not get in the way, ads must be scriptless and not animated, and perhaps only text. You, on the other hand, run full-page interstitials and had to ASK your advertisers to not run ones that expand and stuff like that. Fuck that shit. You made your ads too annoying. You made a mistake.

Honestly, we won't cry if you do go out of business. We do not owe you a living. There are more than enough paid games journalists already, and there are plenty of very good amateur ones. And you're not top-tier like The Escapist or Angry Joe. If you take the route some are tempted by and try to block your site to those with ad-blockers, 50% of your readers will ignore you, and when the other 50% link to your site from the places traffic is driven and discover the other half can't see the site, they'll link somewhere else instead because there's no point sharing a site to someone who can't see it, the same issue sites which are geographically restricted face, and you'll fade into obscurity and go out of business. (Also, the next generation of ad-blockers will work around anti-ad-blocking scripts.)

Gamers are sometimes picky about who we give our money to. That will not always work in your favour. In short, what you need to do is suck it up and adapt. I don't know why your bandwidth costs so much, consider moving your hosting and reducing your costs. I'm able to run a site that gets way more traffic than yours without ads: hell I don't even ask for donations, and I'm not going to plug it here either. If your ads are no longer breaking even for you, you have a cashflow problem.

don' tell (1)

kwikrick (755625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130203)

the advertisers we use ad-blockers! Aw, now you've ruined it for all of us.

I block scripts not ads (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130209)

I don't have a problem with a simple graphic banner across the top of your page if it does not flash or play sound or grab my mouse context or jump to the middle of the screen and do an overlay of something i am trying to click on or if there are so many of them i have to scroll to get to the content I am looking for.

If you want advertising revenue, go back to a single simple ad banner.

the customer/vendor relationship (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130211)

I don't read Destructoid, but I read plenty of other gaming sites.

I run strict adblockers for the same reason pretty much everyone does: because the obtrusiveness of ads - popover, popunder, audible, garish, and intellitext ads all are simply annoying, not to say that some (scripts) are flat-out security risks.

The fact is - not as bad as broadcast TV, but close - the hook is too large for the bait. Few people understand the true relationship between viewers, content producers, and advertisers: the ADVERTISERS are the customers, the viewers are what are being sold, and the content producer is like a fisherman, throwing just enough bait (content) into the water to get the fish to swim closer (read the site and thus the adverts) to sell THAT to the customer.

50% of the users block ads? I think that's low, actually. I also put adblock on every computer in our family (it means less service work for me).

So, you ask, how is a site like Destructoid supposed to survive?
1) recognize that (contrary to the OP) you're NOT "working 2x as hard as anyone to survive"...everyone else's ads are blocked at the same rate.
2) you are in a market where there are a glut of suppliers because the entry-price is so low: a website is cheap to start and there are all sorts of budding writers that are simply happy to have their crap posted somewhere more official than their facebook page.. The sad fact of capitalism is that many of them will fail.
3) Sadly, whether you fail or not will probably have little to do with the quality of your content. Life's a crapshoot, and choosing a business with a zero-depth entry point means your business is going to be CONSTANTLY challenged by other people who think they can do it better. Further, it is overall a relatively puny business, something that a corporate giant (a Sony, or EA, or whatever) can 'blow' $$$ on with little/no hope of return, compensating writers more aggressively. The only thing you have to offer that beats that is neutrality - any corporate-sponsored site (if it's identifiable as such) is suspected of being biased in its reviews, or (at best) being a gross corporate shill (ala Game Informer magazine). But ultimately (as especially those of us having spent time in the industry know) you are hostage to your advertisers too. In point of fact, the agglomerated sites (Telefragged, etc.) are probably LESS hostage to a particular advertiser, although as I'm not sure how fast the zeroes pile up at that scale, I'm not certain that's true.

For what it's worth, there is no bad publicity; I'd never even heard of Destructoid having been in the gaming industry as a consumer and reviewer since 1994. I'll check out Destructoid for a while, see if it's worth reading.

I don't have any advice for you. If I could be certain that the ads provided through your ad-providers are never going to be minimally-obtrusive, sure, I' d suspend adblock on you pages. But I can't change the fact that your industry is easy to get into and you will always have lots and lots of competition...I doubt it will ever get easier for you.

Truth in commenting 1: I personally can't understand the advertising economy; the amounts paid for advertising seem to me staggeringly out of line for the benefit. I rarely watch/view ads, those I do see often dissuade as much as persuade, and I've never (as far as I can tell) made a purchasing choice based on an advert.
Truth in commenting 2: on Slashdot, I have deliberately left unchecked the 'disable adverts' box because I've never been annoyed at their ads; however, I don't make an adblock exception for them either.

Why people block ads (1)

stasike (1063564) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130263)

I block ads because some sites are *so* horribly infested with annoying, blinking, screaming, memory-hogging, loud crap that there is no choice but to install something.
I am willing to whitelist a site that asks nicely AND takes care that the advertisments do not make their site un-viewable. No popups, no animated crap that makes reading text impossible, no flash that bogs down entire computer, no loud sound, no articles divided to 20 parts so they can cram 20 times more ads down our collective throats, no double-underlined words that display a caption add when I move mouse over them. It can be done. Have a look at google site.

Please understand: the vast majority of users out there are too lazy and ignorant to mess with switching on the add blocking. They are even willing to use browsers horribly infested with unbelievable amount of crap. In order to make such user to go and ask someone knowledgeable to install an adblock for them they had to be extremely annoyed.

So, if you want to blame somebody, blame stupid webmasters and super-greedy advertisers that created sites that drove us to block ads.

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