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Ad blockers: Fighting back!

Phidoux Phidoux writes  |  about 5 years ago

Phidoux writes "http://stuff.blat.co.za/2009/07/14/ad-blockers-fighting-back/

I have for a long time considered ad blocking to be an extremely selfish practice. Of course those who use ad blockers find all sorts of twisted logic to justify their actions. I've never taken any sort of action to block content for those who block ads, till now!

Recently I started work on resurrecting the online help for Wizz RSS. This will be the fourth incarnation of the online help, and believe me, creating online help is one of the most tedious and thankless tasks anyone could undertake. Due to the fact that people have always complained about various aspects of the online help (Funny how people always whine about stuff they get for free), this time around I decided to take a slightly different approach: creating Flash help "videos" with Wink. Oh I'm sure there'll still be those who whine about it. They always do!

Anyway, I used MediaWiki for the online help, and I've been creating the help "videos" with Wink. I hacked the MediaWiki code to get it to display Google ads at the top of each article page. Even though AdSense is really paying pathetically badly at the moment (AdSense ads NEVER pay very much, and don't believe the bullshit Google tell you!), every little bit helps towards covering the costs of running the site.

When I saw how big some of the Flash files are that Wink creates, I thought: hang on a moment! I'm doing this for Firefox users, most of whom use ad blockers!? Why!?

There are over 100 000 people who use Wizz RSS on a daily basis. If all of them had to hit the help videos on a single day, not only would it bring my little server to its knees, but it would also chew up all of my bandwidth. Of course to those who block ads, none of this means anything at all. Their intrinsically selfish nature makes them feel that they have a right to block anything that might contribute towards covering the costs of the free service that they expect!

Right! Gotta do something about this! So I did!

I now detect if the AdSense ads are being blocked (Maybe not very well, but I'm sure it'll cover most cases), and if my ads are blocked, I block the content. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to work around my block, but I guess it's safe to assume that it'll be way above the ken of the average ad blocker :)

Oh and I'm sure that they'll bitch and whine about it too, but who cares?"

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