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64 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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64. Re: Metaverse Mar 9, 2010, 10:45 DrEvil
 
What a laughable crock of shit. Go ahead and block content with ad block detection, and see what that does to your user base. No site is worth the price of the type of ads that are the norm these days.  
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63. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 16:32 The PC Warrior
 
through that massive security hole in your web browser that we lovingly call javascript.  
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62. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 15:32 Overon
 
I think the people who are in favor of adblocking have presented a better reasoned and logical argument.

Also nobody has bothered to answer my questions:
I have a question though, how can a web page tell if I'm blocking some ad? The ad still gets downloaded right? It's just not shown? Or maybe it is not downloaded, they can tell that I'm sure.

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2010, 15:43.
 
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61. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 12:42 Prez
 
@ Beamer

I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I'll say it again. It is not the consumers problem that most webmasters decide to try to make a living by annoying their user base with ads. Any reasonable person will have a natural predilection to not be annoyed and a desire to block the ads. This does not make them a "dick".

The internet is a public place (with an entry fee to be sure - you are paying your ISP). Posting information on there on a website that gives access to all users is making it freely available. It's basically a bulletin board. Now, you have the right to make it a behind a paywall, which makes it more like a book store, where you have to pay for the information. Some non-profit businesses work on a "donations-only" principle. This is an option as well.

Whether or not either model makes for a viable revenue stream is the business owner's problem, not the consumers. Does anyone have a "right" to make enough money off running a web page to make it their full time job? Hell no. It is incumbent on them to make that work if that is what they wish to do. In cases like Bluenews, which is only one of 2 websites of which I'd consider myself a "regular", all it takes is for him to ask and I'll unblock him.

On a related note, I took Blue posting to that article as just such a request. So I whitelisted him. I used to have him whitelisted but the ads were so obtrusive that given the choice of coming and being bombarded with crapware or not coming at all, I easily would have chosen the latter. Now, here's the thing. I got a headache last night trying to read the site because of the animated flashing of that Dawn of War 2 expansion advertisement that was a HUGE distraction. (Yeah, I'm old). I am very close to going back to blocking, otherwise I doubt I would be able to use the sit nearly as much as I usually do. The consumer has choice, just like the webmaster.

 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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60. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 12:07 Verno
 
No, I don't. I clearly say in my post that we should be actively avoiding sites with annoying ads and going to sites without them, not blocking all ads and still going. Doing that would reward sites without frustrating ads and weed out those with.

Again, this puts the onus on the consumer instead of the site operator. I am not wasting my time watching ad rotations to figure out which sites I like based on what ads they rotate. I'm not going to get into "rewarding" site owners because that's just silly. I come to look at information, not reward people. Site owners will always have a problem with this scenario regardless of what a consumer does until people perceive information to have value on the web.

Instead we're weeding out everything. To take that metaphor further, it's like spraying your lawn with bleach to kill weeds rather than simply using weedkiller. You're getting rid of the good and the bad and promoting no growth.

It's not my lawn is the point. My neighbor let people put signs all over his lawn and I got tired of looking at it so we put up a fence. Getting out of the realm of ridiculous comparisons for a moment, Flash ads can have a tendency to crash browsers for example and that's not getting into security vulnerabilities and problems that have cropped up with ad networks letting in malware over the years. In the case of Arstechnica they specifically approve every single ad but I doubt thats the norm even around here.

But they pay for a finite amount of things, typically very small. If every site went pay-only you'd see the amount of people on SomethingAwful drop, as they'd spend their money elsewhere.

No you wouldn't. It's $10 for life and the site has steadily grown through out the years because it's feature base has as well. They have literally made a forum membership into a product and done so successfully. They also manage to survive despite having a tech-savvy userbase that's quite capable of ad blocking, in fact it was one of the primary motivators in starting it.

Did you even read the article? They get paid per click and paid per view. It's the views they're concerned about - adblockers prevent these. Have you seen the prices even simple sites charge? Some well exceed $15 CPV. If your site gets 150k uniques a day that's about $82,000 a year. In views.

Did you even read my comment, specifically the part where I said I fully read the article? I know all about CPM versus CPC and most adblockers do not prevent CPM. The "hit" is still delivered and registered in most adblockers that I've seen, if you know differently then feel free to link it up. The ad networks are starting to use JavaScript to detect Adblockers is the real issue here but ultimately it's all ignoring the fact that CPM is not a useful ad method for most websites OTHER than making revenue for the site operator.

CPM advertising is generally for incredibly high viewer membership websites and most of those tend to not be tech related, in fact I can think of less than 5 tech websites that would be doing ~$100k in CPM ads. CPM is most useful at brand awareness and general advertising. CPC is far better suited for small to medium sized websites and targeted advertising in general. The trouble with CPC is that you have to show content that people might ever be interested in clicking on and most ad networks manage to even fail at this basic concept. Hence our current situation.

If your business model is relying on people just to be nice and do something to that's largely to their own detriment, I'm sorry but you're a much more hopeful person I will ever be. I am simply more realistic than you about the situation. There are people who will whitelist Bluesnews because they want to "support" it but the vast majority will simply be indifferent. You cannot hope for anything from that portion, you simply cater your content to the casual crowd who probably makes up a huge portion of the viewership and try not to piss them off by showing appropriate ads, filtering out malware and etc. Alternatively you carve out a niche for yourself and charge for whatever you can get away with.

I can sympathize with small to medium sized website owners in many respects but that is the market they chose to enter. One with few barriers of entry and significant competition requiring no formal educational requirements. You take the good with the bad.

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2010, 12:27.
 
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59. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 11:51 nin
 
If the entire Ars website shut down the web wouldn't miss a beat. THAT is Ars's problem. They're not selling anything particularly unique. Their "product" is something anyone can get for free with a little Googling.

Could not have said it better.
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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58. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 11:42 Silicon Avatar
 
Ars is distributing their content for free in a public place. It's no different than someone handing me a newspaper for free and then getting mad because I throw the ad flyers away.

If they want revenue, they can go to a subscription model that forbids anyone but subscribers to view ANY of their content. But they know that they can't survive on their revenue, so instead they run an "experiment" and then throw a fit.

If you read the comments of the article the "tech supervisor" had a lot of interesting comments that put this article into light.

News sites have a million substitutes on the web. News is practically a commodity. I can get news on my phone for crying out loud. If the entire Ars website shut down the web wouldn't miss a beat. THAT is Ars's problem. They're not selling anything particularly unique. Their "product" is something anyone can get for free with a little Googling.

 
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57. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 11:18 Beamer
 
I use Ad-Block Plus on all sites. I also change channels on the TV when a commercial comes on and change radio stations in the car when commercials come on there, too.

But there's no way to monitor that you change channels on either of those. The fact that you viewed the show is enough for the program to get the revenues, although in actuality even that doesn't matter, everything goes by Nielsen ratings and they only sample 5,000 people. So what you do or don't do with your TV makes zero difference at this point.

It's entirely different on the internet. They know exactly what you do. If you adblock you go to a site, take their resources and give them nothing in return. No representation, no revenue, no income.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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56. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 11:15 Beamer
 
The content incentive argument never worked with TV and it certainly won't work here. You're again trying to put the onus on the "consumer", ignoring the fact that people block these things for a reason. You literally want a business model that is all about annoying your users and guilting them into doing something. Not to mention that I am not a consumer of this site.

No, I don't. I clearly say in my post that we should be actively avoiding sites with annoying ads and going to sites without them, not blocking all ads and still going. Doing that would reward sites without frustrating ads and weed out those with. Instead we're weeding out everything. To take that metaphor further, it's like spraying your lawn with bleach to kill weeds rather than simply using weedkiller. You're getting rid of the good and the bad and promoting no growth.

If you want me to be a consumer then sell me a product, otherwise revenue concerns are not really my problem.

The product is the website. You go to it. That's all there really is to it.

People will pay for things that they value.

But they pay for a finite amount of things, typically very small. If every site went pay-only you'd see the amount of people on SomethingAwful drop, as they'd spend their money elsewhere. This is why newspapers almost all overnight dropped pay walls, although a lot of good that did them. This is why we'll likely never see a la carte cable - the fringe channels that viewers enjoy but spend less time on would fold overnight. Some might say "survival of the fittest," sure, whatever, that worked really well with radio, letting ClearChannel take it all over giving us few options that aren't Nickelback.

Coming at it from another angle - Do you think advertisers are satisfied with users just letting ads show that they would otherwise block simply to satisfy a site owner? Having worked with them before I can assure they do not like that, in fact many if not most have a strict policy forbidding owners from encouraging users to "click ads to support the site" or etc.

Did you even read the article? They get paid per click and paid per view. It's the views they're concerned about - adblockers prevent these. Have you seen the prices even simple sites charge? Some well exceed $15 CPV. If your site gets 150k uniques a day that's about $82,000 a year. In views.

If all their users went the adblocker route, well, time to shutter that server. Which is why it's a dick thing. I'm not saying I don't understand it, hell I go a step beyond and use a host file to block malware which, in turn, blocks about 70% of ads, but I admit it makes me a really, really bad customer. In actuality it doesn't make me a customer at all, it makes me someone leeching their services.

 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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55. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 11:11 Burrito of Peace
 
I use Ad-Block Plus on all sites. I also change channels on the TV when a commercial comes on and change radio stations in the car when commercials come on there, too.

I don't want a free iPhone, a free laptop, a lower mortgage interest rate nor am I interested in meeting singles in my area. Similarly, I do not want to punch the monkey, shoot a chicken or anything else. I do not wish to be annoyed. Is it my right to not be annoyed? In general, no. However, it is my right to determine and control what content is displayed on my hardware as a property owner. You don't get to use my hardware against my interests.

Would I pay Blue for this site? Sure, I'd probably fork over $70 a year. I have an interest in supporting Blue, and his website, as I enjoy the content and community he provides. However, that interest does not encapsulate seizure inducing ads that do their best to deafen me and everyone around me.

I am not a pirate as I am not stealing anything. The content is, currently, being offered for free. To steal something, the object or service you are stealing must have a fair market value that is otherwise unobtainable without exchanging something of value for access to, or possession of, that object or service. You can't give something away and then arbitrarily determine theft has occurred when someone takes what you are giving away.

Personally, I can sleep like a baby at night with toon thinking I am a thief for using ad blockers. It is likely that I do not visit his site and, given his comments in this thread, it is also likely that I would not frequent his site if I knew what it was.

 
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54. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 10:42 Verno
 
I think we all need to admit that ad-blocking is a dick move on our part. Perhaps one we're willing to live with, as ads tend to be very annoying, but still a dick move. We'd be better off avoiding sites with obnoxious ads than avoiding ads on all sites, as we're only biting the hand that feeds us here. We're giving less incentive for high quality content. That hurts us as much as anyone. Much like skipping through tivo ads hurts us by taking revenues away from the broadcast networks, giving them less incentive to gamble on the next Lost and more incentive to put cheapass Jay Leno show on at 10 pm. Thankfully cable networks, which we both pay for and see ads on, have revenue streams to fill the void.

The content incentive argument never worked with TV and it certainly won't work here. You're again trying to put the onus on the "consumer", ignoring the fact that people block these things for a reason. You literally want a business model that is all about annoying your users and guilting them into doing something. Not to mention that I am not a consumer of this site.

If you want me to be a consumer then sell me a product, otherwise revenue concerns are not really my problem. SomethingAwful has been charging for forum memberships for years, $10 a pop. You might think "holy shit that site will go under!", forums are free everywhere else and its not like you can't find that content somewhere else, right? Guess what? People pay it because it's worth it. People get themselves banned and re-register, sometimes multiple times. People will pay for things that they value.

Coming at it from another angle - Do you think advertisers are satisfied with users just letting ads show that they would otherwise block simply to satisfy a site owner? Having worked with them before I can assure they do not like that, in fact many if not most have a strict policy forbidding owners from encouraging users to "click ads to support the site" or etc.
 
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Watching: Intruders, Coherence, The Rover
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53. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 10:13 Beamer
 
You seem to think that because you entered into this business, somehow you are OWED a revenue stream. That just isn't the way it works. Businesses and markets are forever changing without regard for those in said businesses. Should the mass production of the automobile for the average consumer have been halted because it was destined to put the horse buggy makers out of business? When your business model becomes obsolete or unsustainable, it's time to adapt. Good businesses know this.

Dude. C'mon. If people are still taking new horse drawn buggies then yes, the manufacturer is owed his revenue stream.

What you're advocating here is websites either charge admission or go out of business. That's a failing proposition. And you're also being Jerykk about it.

I think we all need to admit that ad-blocking is a dick move on our part. Perhaps one we're willing to live with, as ads tend to be very annoying, but still a dick move. We'd be better off avoiding sites with obnoxious ads than avoiding ads on all sites, as we're only biting the hand that feeds us here. We're giving less incentive for high quality content. That hurts us as much as anyone. Much like skipping through tivo ads hurts us by taking revenues away from the broadcast networks, giving them less incentive to gamble on the next Lost and more incentive to put cheapass Jay Leno show on at 10 pm. Thankfully cable networks, which we both pay for and see ads on, have revenue streams to fill the void.

That hasn't happened with websites. It never really will, as there are too many (unlike cable channels) and no easy way to split a unified charge (and people hate bite-size charges.)

Let's say Blue noticed every single one of his users was ad blocking, and his revenues therefore dried up so that the site was costing him thousands of dollars a year. In desperation he started charging $5 a year, hoping to offset it. How many people would pay it? How many others would just filter over to ve3d or some upstart hoping he'd have better success avoiding ad blocker and getting the Blues readers?

Not saying you should avoid adblocker, right now it's not at a critical point. But if we all used adblocker we'd have no free websites. That's what makes it a dick move. If it's something that, if everyone did it, everyone would suffer, it's a dick move. It's the Tragedy of the Commons.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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52. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 09:51 Verno
 
I read the article in full. I think it fails to make the site owners themselves accountable for their own problems. If your consumers are actively seeking out and turning off functionality contained on your website then maybe the problem is with that part of your website in the first place. You can't force people to like ads and you especially cannot do so by trying to guilt them into it. The article and "experiment" is almost childish, it seeks to affirm an obviously biased opinion.

ArsTechnica is a site I like but there are many like it on the Internet. I do not pay for it because it does not present anything unique I couldn't find somewhere else. Put simply, many websites cannot sustain themselves because they are in a market with limited demand and high competition. I'm sorry if the truth hurts to other site ops out there but trying to guilt your visitors into annoying themselves isn't a successful business model. The computer isn't like the television, advertisers and site owners need to start understanding that.
 
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51. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 06:04 InBlack
 
Prez says it best!!!  
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I have a nifty blue line!
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50. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 05:23 Brazor
 
I'm ok with general advertising and a few pop ups, as those can be clicked off quickly. They sole reason I run Adblock Plus is because of all the malicious software out there getting snuck in through Flash, hidden in ads, etc. It wasn't bad six years ago but (from what I've seen) thanks to the popularity of World of Warcraft and the black market value of in-game currency in many MMOs, I have to do it.

I have been telling people for 15 years that if it's connected to the outside world, it can be hacked into. Some scenarios aren't as likely as others but it can still happen. So I really don't want to spend time having to kill my partitions and the MBR or reloading an image of my drives to keep clearing my system. I will not place trust in advertisements on any website. Not until a strong solution is put in place.
Of course the problem is made worse by the current economic situation in many countries right now.
 
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49. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 02:35 Narf2029
 
I tend to agree more with toon here. Blue's would not be the same without ad revenue. Any high quality site without subscriptions would change dramatically if the people running them didn't make back enough money to keep that level of attention toward running it. The guy running it probably makes it so well because it's his primary or sole source of income. If his ad revenue falls off, it's not like he can eat less or pay less rent - he's going to go get another job, and your favorite website is going to get cut back or even disappear altogether. Websites don't exist simply because we viewers want to see them. Someone has to make them and that someone needs food.

I do vehemently oppose obtrusive/loud/flashy/obnoxious ads as well as ads that pop up over half the screen and block everything under them, so I use flashblock to turn them off. Static image ads and text ads get through just fine. Adblock, on the other hand, kills it all. If you never see any ad ever, how long until you forget to support even your favorite website? I try to click through ads here on Blue's but even with flashblock's icon over the flash element, it slips my mind a lot more often than I would like. At the same time, along the right edge of the page as I type there is a static image ad. It didn't jump out at me, but I know it's there and I clicked it because I figure Blue deserves a portion of a penny for all his hard work (or however much he really gets) and mainly because it did not drive me crazy to do it.
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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48. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 02:34 everyone
 
Sometime ago while I was using an old laptop, a pop-up ad on a popular gaming website downloaded multiple trojans onto my computer. Now admittedly, this old laptop wasn't secure, it hadn't been updated for a year or two and was running internet explorer. But the fact that it could be infected, despite only browsing a reputable website shows why many people choose to adblock everything.
 
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47. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 01:44 Pumas
 
I currently browse without an adblocker, but I have seriously contemplated using one due to the overt and just downright annoying ads that have become so popular as of late. I despise the animated ads on Blues, but even if I did use a blocker, Blues would be whitelisted since it's one of the very few sites I visit daily. One of the other sites I visit daily has no ads at all...I subscribe to the free site for minor perks, but mainly because I think it's worth my money just as I think Blues is worth a bit of annoyance.

As for toon...you put the site in a public space, not a private space. You want to force ads upon your viewers, by all means go for it. But don't expect the majority of people to give 2 shits about your site if you do.
 
How will I know limits from lies if I never try?
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46. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 01:28 Umbragen
 
I don't mind ads, I can even tolerate the occasional pop-up, but I fucking hate mouse-overs or anything that steals focus. I don't have the patience or interest in just blocking the annoying bits, sorry - I just shut them all down.  
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45. Re: Metaverse Mar 8, 2010, 00:55 ForgedReality
 
@toon:

Videogames: You purchase them because they are something that you want. You find them fun, entertaining, and sometimes even educational. Again, you buy them because YOU WANT THEM.

Nobody wants ads. Nobody asked to see them.

So you tell me: How, exactly, is pirating a videogame akin to blocking an ad? I'm waiting. Because, honestly, what you have to say on this subject has to be the most groundbreaking insight ever to have been conceived by a human mind. Obviously, sir, you are a far greater being than each of us.

Also, you mentioned earlier that if a game was pirated, the developers would be out of work. Inaccurate. They already got paid. It's the distributors who get pissed. The developers might have a harder time finding a distributor next time, but it is not the same as never seeing any income. The distributors are the evil axis of the videogame world, as your ad agencies are of the Web.

So, I guess, in a way, you're right. I mean, ad agencies are evil unnecessary entities that we would all be better off without, should a more elegant revenue machine be found for webmasters, and the same can be said of game distributors. But that's about the only connection I can see to games and internet ads. Again, I ask you to enlighten us, though, as I'm sure you undoubtedly hold the secret.

 
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