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Online Ads


Just a few thoughts on the subject of online advertising...

A fair number of web sites seek to support their costs by carrying online ads. In a small number of cases, the ads are appropriate to the context of the page in question, and not terribly intrusive. In a much larger number of cases, the ads are inappropriate, obnoxious, intrusive, and not the least bit targeted to the context of the page.

A lot of us do things like run the adblock plugin or similar in our browser, which to me is the same as using the mute button on my TV remote when there's something there that I'm not the least bit interested in. To counter this, some web sites are using various means to try and detect when a user is doing this and to counter it, most often by refusing to allow the normal content to be displayed or the normal functioning of the page.

My view on this is that you can put it out there if you want, but I do NOT have to pick it up and partake of it. And that if it comes down to it, I will simply not partake of what a particular site might have to offer if it's getting that obnoxious about things. It's a big 'net, and your content is simply not that unique or special that I've gotta put up with that crap.

See, there's one major difference between this and any other advertising medium. In most traditional media, the advertisers decide what they're going to put out there and "push" it out for the consumption of the viewers. This is the case with TV for example. But in this case it's a "pull" medium — which means that we, as users of the web, decide what we want in terms of content, and what we'll put up with. There sure seem to be a lot of web site administrators that don't understand this concept.

Further, there are a lot of places where the ad in question is simply inappropriate for the context. I don't know if these sites are claiming any "targeting" or not, but if they are, then the advertisers there are getting ripped off.

And even if it is appropriate, some ads are just flat-out obnoxious. I reserve the right to not see those, if I so choose. Maybe, if you continue to not get much if any response from these you'll get a clue?

There's a simple way to make this better. I'm not the only one who thinks that some choice in the matter is a good thing. In some instances, there's an option to "stop seeing this ad" and you're given the chance to select one of three possible reasons why. In another case, there's "set up your ad choices" where you're given some rather broad catetories to pick from. For some reason, I haven't found either one of these to be terribly helpful. In the first case, I still keep seeing that ad, even though it's totally irrelevant to me, so that particular ad buyer is wasting their money.

I heard tinder mentioned today, and from what I understand about that site (which I don't use) you can indicate yes or no simply by swiping right or left. I guess that's pretty much oriented toward use on mobile devices with touch screens, but it seems to me that it shouldn't be that hard to get something similar working on web pages displayed on desktop computers. A simple yes, I might be interested or no, I have no interest in this. Why is that so hard? Why is it so hard for "stop seeing this ad" to work?

Get that stuff working and adblock won't be that much of an issue...

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Last edited by Roy J. Tellason on 6/12/20 9:53pm EDT