Jimquisition: The Adblock Episode

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To try and contribute something productive to this mess:

If the ads on a website are horribly intrusive and obnoxious, and most people block them for these reasons, then that means the advertising policy that site uses is failing miserably.

One would think such a site would want to take such feedback on board, to avoid people adblocking or simply leaving the site altogether.

TheMadDoctorsCat:

Aardvaarkman:

That analogy doesn't really hold up for me. Most directors direct movies because they love the craft of making movies, not because they want to be rich. By putting it this way, you're essentially saying that The Escapist is in it just for the advertising dollars, not for the content.

You get that the Escapist staff and its contributors are PAID to do this job, right?

You get that Jim said he would do these videos for the love of doing it, right?

TheMadDoctorsCat:
You don't do a job to create something great. You do a job to get paid. If you get to create something great in the process, that's a bonus.

That's the exact opposite to how many creative people work. They want to do something great. If they get paid doing it, that's a bonus.

In fact, if you start out just trying to make money, rather than do something you love, you are unlikely to make something great (or get paid for it).

WeepingAngels:
I directly asked the moderator about this 5 posts earlier and the question was ignored.

Which question did I ignore?

IceForce:
I'm still puzzled about why that rule even exists. Do they think they'll scare people away from using that software?
Is banning people from your site really the best way of dealing with people who block your ads?

The core of why it exists is that people who block ads are leeching resources, encouraging/enabling someone else to do the same is close to directly stealing from those of us who make a living off of this website. While we would all like to have a mutually enjoyable discussion about our views on the topic, our rent money makes it less flexible then most topics. While there's plenty of misunderstanding or non-personal reasons for running an ad blocker, we're generally disinterested in spending money on resources for these self proclaimed leeches. Please respect this.

The core of why we still insist on enforcing the advocacy rule in a thread like this is because people who can't read and comprehend the rules, so still casually break them are not people we want cluttering up such a discussion. It's very closely related to low content rule tolerance - there's acceptable levels of "low content", but it very quickly erodes out of reasonable boundaries when exceptions are made. There's thousands of people here, the moderators do their best to filter out those who can't follow basic instructions or take the effort to adjust their important internet words to the topic at hand. There's no discussion spawned from such admissions, only cheer-leading, which does not help keep such a volatile topic readable.

If your argument vitally requires you to go against the policies we try to enforce for a readable discussion, please refrain from posting or maybe ask for assistance with phrasing your viewpoint from a neutral angle.

Also, moderators can make mistakes; because like most people, they are people. We do our best to be consistent (not having a litany of exceptions is part of that) Please make use of the appeals system linked in your warning message if you feel there was a legitimate error.

Warnings are just that, warnings. They don't do anything but collapse the one post (so others can hopefully see what to avoid) and send a message to the user. I'm sorry if that is unacceptable, but after many years of trying more lenient methods of dealing with large quantities of people having discussions and trying to get dissenting viewpoints banned, these policies tend to be the most reasonable/fair to all involved.

Sorry for any inconvenience. :(

IceForce:
One would think such a site would want to take such feedback on board, to avoid people adblocking or simply leaving the site altogether.

We hate bad/obnoxious ads and will report them internally if we see them. We often don't see every ad on the site, so if something is particularly egregious, please take a screenshot if possible along with the domain or URL of the ad and post the information in the Tech Team group. We'll forward it along.

We've managed to get many ads toned back in how obnoxious they are, or disabled entirely (occasionally we get "they paid for that", but at least that's idiocy we're aware of so it generally doesn't block site content/auto play/other terrible things). People VERY RARELY bother to mention an ad with issues rather then block everything and say nothing, so we appreciate it when things are said.

We want people to enjoy viewing the site, and do our best to make it tolerable in the face of the only real revenue stream that pays to host websites. If you enjoy our content, please let us know exactly when/how things like ads get in your way.

Marter:

WeepingAngels:
I directly asked the moderator about this 5 posts earlier and the question was ignored.

Which question did I ignore?

Why can't we have a single thread where people are allowed to speak freely on this subject?

Maybe I edited that in and you read the post before I completed the edit. Anyway, this thread should be immune to the rule about adblock. If we can't have an honest discussion, then the discussion is worthless.

WeepingAngels:
Why can't we have a single thread where people are allowed to speak freely on this subject?

Maybe I edited that in and you read the post before I completed the edit. Anyway, this thread should be immune to the rule about adblock. If we can't have an honest discussion, then the discussion is worthless.

Sorry. I didn't see that. If it was edited in that would be why.

The reason is because of the advertisers. I'm (obviously) not in marketing so I don't know the specifics but it's something to do with that. It scares them off, or lowers the value of the ads, or something similar.

It looks like it isn't only the Adblockers that is screwing over this site....I guess there is never any mercy when it comes to this. Do we dare say that this is entrapment? Funny how the content creators have so little control/say over their discussions.

Whelp, after visiting this site for over six years, I've finally made an account. And, of course, I had to pick a topic which may get me into trouble within minutes of account creation. I don't even know if I'm crossing a line. Ah, well.

Okay, so I posted some of this is the Facebook comment section, under the video but I'd like to repeat it here.

I whitelisted the Escapist half-way through Jim's video. I immediately got a video-ad (no sound, thank God) bunched up against the video in the upper right corner. There is so much movement in my peripheral vision that it started making my right eye twitch and began causing a mild migraine. I am not kidding. We've got bright colours, with a sweeping camera shot, that changes every 1.5 seconds. I had to go to full screen to watch the rest of the video. Not a good start.

Then, while I was registering to post on this forum, I got bombarded with ads that directly got in the way of me completing the registration.

"What, why is there an advertisement in the captcha, how do I turn it off!? Wait, I've seen this before. Is this a trick to get me to click on the ad? Is the real captcha elsewhere on this page?

It's barely been over an hour, and already it has begun to seriously grate on my nerves. The obnoxious video-ads, the insulting pseudo-articles that frequently employ breasts, steroid grown muscle mass and gross-out shock imagery and the stupid animated advertisements for the virus-laden "games" that plague the internet.

I'm going to try to suffer through it, for the sake of the site, and am considering subscribing but sweet, merciful Jesus, guys! If you want people to stop using ad-block you really need to set up some form of quality-control with your advertisers so people visiting don't feel that they need to scorch the earth and salt the fields in order to protect their sanity.

To be blunt, if I hadn't been visiting this site for years, I would have been convinced that this was a virus breeding ground and would have left and never come back.

You are lucky that you're such a handsome man, Jim. We'd never even try to put up with it otherwise.

Marter:

WeepingAngels:
You only want people who have never used adblock to be discussing this?

How about we have a conversation about beef and only allow vegetarians to talk?

I didn't say that. I said you have no reason to admit that you're using an ad blocker. To my knowledge we've not warned anyone who said they did use adblocker and then stopped. Past history isn't getting people warnings. Current admission is.

That... doesn't make any sense. How is admitting you currently have adblock worse than saying you used to use adblock? How about the people, including myself, who say we've added the Escapist to our whitelist, isn't that implying that we use that-which-shall-not-be-named? I'd figure that the reason the Escapist forbids mention of the unmentionable in order to prevent flame-wars but that's clearly not the issue in this case.

Kross:

IceForce:
I'm still puzzled about why that rule even exists. Do they think they'll scare people away from using that software?
Is banning people from your site really the best way of dealing with people who block your ads?

Warnings are just that, warnings. They don't do anything but collapse the one post (so others can see what not to hopefully) and send a message to the user. I'm sorry if that is unacceptable, but after many years of trying more lenient methods of dealing with large quantities of people having discussions and trying to get dissenting viewpoints banned, these policies tend to be the most reasonable/fair to all involved.

Sorry for any inconvenience. :(

Well that's not true. Warnings stay on your profile for a period of time and they accumulate.

I would like to know from one you why you think auto playing video ads are ok. Not talking about the ads before a feature video but Jeep video ads that run while I am typing a post.

Marter:

WeepingAngels:
Why can't we have a single thread where people are allowed to speak freely on this subject?

Maybe I edited that in and you read the post before I completed the edit. Anyway, this thread should be immune to the rule about adblock. If we can't have an honest discussion, then the discussion is worthless.

Sorry. I didn't see that. If it was edited in that would be why.

The reason is because of the advertisers. I'm (obviously) not in marketing so I don't know the specifics but it's something to do with that. It scares them off, or lowers the value of the ads, or something similar.

I can see how advertisers (being the scumbags that they are) would want to censor discussion about their practices.

Maybe there should be an ad "cover" than block, just cover it up in stead of out right stopping the content.
Good vid Jim, you gave me a lot to think about.

I honestly don't think I'd be able to use the internet without adblock at this point. The horrible, annoying, intrusive, nonsensical ads are what drove me away from TV to the internet in the first place, and now the ads here have become worse.

That being said though, I do want to see creators to be able to make a good living off of their creations, so when there is a reasonable alternative I will certainly do what I can to contribute. That's why I joined the publisher's club here, for instance.

DJamesBrett:
That... doesn't make any sense. How is admitting you currently have adblock worse than saying you used to use adblock? How about the people, including myself, who say we've added the Escapist to our whitelist, isn't that implying that we use that-which-shall-not-be-named? I'd figure that the reason the Escapist forbids mention of the unmentionable in order to prevent flame-wars but that's clearly not the issue in this case.

It indicates change. A bunch of people in this thread have said they've now turned off adblock/whitelisted this site thanks to the video. Why would we punish them? We haven't been punishing people who say they've whitelisted the site.

The reason has to do with the advertisers; it's not about preventing flame wars.

WeepingAngels:
I would like to know from one you why you think auto playing video ads are ok. Not talking about the ads before a feature video but Jeep video ads that run while I am typing a post.

If those ads auto play with noise (or pop out without mousing over), they are not ok, please report them.

It seems pretty straight forward to me. Websites needs adverts to survive, but people get annoyed with them and start blocking. Personally I'd lean towards sticking with the former, but when quality control slips and adds not only become overly invasive but also security risks for virus' and malware it becomes a bit more iffy. I work from my home computer so it is essentially my livelihood, so while I don't use adblocks I do block scripts to keep it safe. I can trust escapistmagazine.com, and get the adds it feeds me directly (banners, pre-video ads), but exelator.com or quantserve.com? Not a chance.

Really there needs to be a better way to do this, and I'm looking at the side of the equation that always seems to be ignored or overlooked whenever this topic comes up: the sellers. How does annoying a person with an autoplaying audio/video add when they're trying to watch another video help sell your product? Do you really need an interactive flash video take over the entire screen to let people know that a new Wolverine movie is out? These marketing people are basically running amok with this stuff but they seem to be the only ones available to pay a content creator like The Escapist money. We just need something that works better, kind of like what Valve did for digital distribution and DRM. Like rather than trying to track each person across the internet so you can profile them and feed them the same adds wherever they go, why not profile the websites themselves and deliver adds to the expected targeted audience?

And for the love of god I hope you guys at the escapist are receiving a cut when the friggen captchas starts sneaking in adds on you.

Kross:

IceForce:
I'm still puzzled about why that rule even exists. Do they think they'll scare people away from using that software?
Is banning people from your site really the best way of dealing with people who block your ads?

The core of why it exists is that people who block ads are leeching resources, encouraging/enabling someone else to do the same is close to directly stealing from those of us who make a living off of this website. While we would all like to have a mutually enjoyable discussion about our views on the topic, our rent money makes it less flexible then most topics. While there's plenty of misunderstanding or non-personal reasons for running an ad blocker, we're generally disinterested in spending money on resources for these self proclaimed leeches. Please respect this.

The core of why we still insist on enforcing the advocacy rule in a thread like this is because people who can't read and comprehend the rules, so still casually break them are not people we want cluttering up such a discussion. It's very closely related to low content rule tolerance - there's acceptable levels of "low content", but it very quickly erodes out of reasonable boundaries when exceptions are made. There's thousands of people here, the moderators do their best to filter out those who can't follow basic instructions or take the effort to adjust their important internet words to the topic at hand. There's no discussion spawned from such admissions, only cheer-leading, which does not help keep such a volatile topic readable.

If your argument vitally requires you to go against the policies we try to enforce for a readable discussion, please refrain from posting or maybe ask for assistance with phrasing your viewpoint from a neutral angle.

Also, moderators can make mistakes; because like most people, they are people. We do our best to be consistent (not having a litany of exceptions is part of that) Please make use of the appeals system linked in your warning message if you feel there was a legitimate error.

Warnings are just that, warnings. They don't do anything but collapse the one post (so others can see what not to hopefully) and send a message to the user. I'm sorry if that is unacceptable, but after many years of trying more lenient methods of dealing with large quantities of people having discussions and trying to get dissenting viewpoints banned, these policies tend to be the most reasonable/fair to all involved.

Sorry for any inconvenience. :(

Thanks for taking the time to make the post. I understand the escapist staff have their livelihoods at stake when large numbers of people are deliberately utilizing tools to block ads, and therefore revenue.

TopazFusion:

Aardvaarkman:
It appears that The Escapist's mods currently also have an "advocating vs. discussing" problem. Many of the people given warnings in this thread, were only mentioning that they used Adblock. They were not advocating.

Admitting and advocating is both against the rules.

I'll link the relevant section again, for convenience:

Did you even read the post and the one I was responding to? That statement was made in the context of an Escapist admin saying that people had a problem distinguishing advocacy versus discussion.

So, instead of understanding my post for what it is, you post a boilerplate link to the rules. Good job. Are you a real person or a script?

I know the rules. I have read them. I was having a discussion about them. Not to mention that Jim said there would be some kind of armistice on this topic. One would think that would at least allow people to admit to using the evil forbidden thing we must not speak of.

Kross:

WeepingAngels:
I would like to know from one you why you think auto playing video ads are ok. Not talking about the ads before a feature video but Jeep video ads that run while I am typing a post.

If those ads auto play with noise (or pop out without mousing over), they are not ok, please report them.

Wait, mouse over?

Oh I see, the Jeep ad plays when you so much as mouse over it. That is still not ok. I do not consent to watch a video ad just because my cursor floats over it. This is the kind of shit that gives advertisers a bad name.

Marter:

WeepingAngels:
Why can't we have a single thread where people are allowed to speak freely on this subject?

Maybe I edited that in and you read the post before I completed the edit. Anyway, this thread should be immune to the rule about adblock. If we can't have an honest discussion, then the discussion is worthless.

Sorry. I didn't see that. If it was edited in that would be why.

The reason is because of the advertisers. I'm (obviously) not in marketing so I don't know the specifics but it's something to do with that. It scares them off, or lowers the value of the ads, or something similar.

Sifting through this thread made me think that this kinda of discussion should actually be embraced by the advertisers. They would actually be able to use it to learn where the line is on the amount of ads people are willing to deal with when it comes to the ads as well as how to properly distribute them. If they would learn where that line is and how to avoid crossing it discussions like this would not really be necessary as Jim pointed out in the video.

Solo-Wing:
Sifting through this thread made me think that this kinda of discussion should actually be embraced by the advertisers. They would actually be able to use it to learn where the line is on the amount of ads people are willing to deal with when it comes to the ads as well as how to properly distribute them. If they would learn where that line is and how to avoid crossing it discussions like this would not really be necessary as Jim pointed out in the video.

The point is more that if a site is to permit (or encourage) its users to admit to or advocate adblock then advertisers aren't going to want to go there, because they know their adverts aren't being seen. It's more an image thing than a practical one, as far as I understand it, but that's why.

Kross:
/

Many thanks. That explains things very well. Appreciated.

Solo-Wing:
Sifting through this thread made me think that this kinda of discussion should actually be embraced by the advertisers. They would actually be able to use it to learn where the line is on the amount of ads people are willing to deal with when it comes to the ads as well as how to properly distribute them.

That was pretty much my point. Instead of being silenced, the complaints are actually valuable data for the site owners / advertisers.

Marter:

WeepingAngels:
Why can't we have a single thread where people are allowed to speak freely on this subject?

Maybe I edited that in and you read the post before I completed the edit. Anyway, this thread should be immune to the rule about adblock. If we can't have an honest discussion, then the discussion is worthless.

Sorry. I didn't see that. If it was edited in that would be why.

The reason is because of the advertisers. I'm (obviously) not in marketing so I don't know the specifics but it's something to do with that. It scares them off, or lowers the value of the ads, or something similar.

Then why is there a discussion space in a thread that is meant to be a frank and honest discussion of Ad-blocking and in which the contributor has repeatedly states he does not want this rule to apply? It is essentially a honey trap. By virtue of this official thread existing there is no way to have a discussion and NOT break the letter of the rules.

If you read the moderator user group i have given an example of my own post compared to a moderated post. In my post i.. well.. i basically break the ToS as much as that person did if you go "By the letter". If i was him i would be monumentally pissed off. I broke the ToS. I broke the ToS hard. In any other part of the forum i would not post that and fully expect to get moderated for posting it. But here it stands because of the nature of the thread. Like it or not these are already pretty exceptional moderating circumstances and handing out warnings for posts almost identical to other posts is extremely counterproductive.

I and many others have posted this way because the video and the thread seem to be an exceptional case backed up by Jim's own words and comments. This could basically be a "Scumbag Steve" meme; Has official piece about Ad-Block and it's virtues, suspends people for talking about ad-block.

This is one of those subjects that you don't really think about. I've been thinking of jumping on the "lets play" bandwagon, but when you realize where the money comes from, you're hit with a few expressions. Mostly negative ones at yourself for being selfish, and not quite bright for not figuring it out earlier.

My main concern with adverts are the ones that have been pointed out already. Those goddamn smileys, and some more, less scrupulous adverts drive me away. Furthermore, I don't want information saved on my computer from these advertisements, hence the need for Spybot's immunization function, which is likely driving some revenue from anywhere you go. Furthermore, some functions on these websites gather a bit more about my system than just my week-night pornography habits.

I'm sorry, but unless I know what modules are the ones that generate revenue without compromising my system, I have to take the blanket solution. Watchguard AV systems are worse than the virusses they protect you, and I prefer to keep my two month cleanup schedule at two months, and not once a day.

Is it okay to discuss (or admit to using) javascript blockers such as noscript?

From what I understand, noscript is completely different to adblock but some people still regard them as the same thing.

thread is extremely long, so sorry if i'm repeating what anyone else has said, but here's my two cents:

i use adblock constantly, and evidently i've been using it on this site long enough that i haven't noticed the particularly obnoxious autoplay ads. thing is , i started using it on this site back when the pre-video ads started up. understand, i didn't use it out of some utter hatred of ads, but because i didn't always get to catch all the videos the day they came out, so whenever i'd go on a binge i'd get to see THE EXACT SAME F#$%ING AD FOUR TO FIVE TIMES IN A ROW. i feel the same way about TGWTG where i'd have to sit through the exact same verison ad twelve times in a night(three per episode on those videos these days) just to catch up on all my favorite reviewers. all i'm asking for is some damn variety in the pre-video ads, and i'd happily sit through them to support the content creators i like. but it just gets grating to see the same ad three times a video over four or five videos in an afternoon.

Neta:
Is it okay to discuss (or admit to using) javascript blockers such as noscript?

From what I understand, noscript is completely different to adblock but some people still regard them as the same thing.

No, just don't state your opinion on this subject lest you incur the wrath of the gods.

I wrote a nicely though out post that I had to remove in order to avoid a warning. I wouldn't take the risk.

WeepingAngels:

Kross:

WeepingAngels:
I would like to know from one you why you think auto playing video ads are ok. Not talking about the ads before a feature video but Jeep video ads that run while I am typing a post.

If those ads auto play with noise (or pop out without mousing over), they are not ok, please report them.

Wait, mouse over?

Oh I see, the Jeep ad plays when you so much as mouse over it. That is still not ok. I do not consent to watch a video ad just because my cursor floats over it. This is the kind of shit that gives advertisers a bad name.

I'm not a fan of that either, but it's been deemed acceptable at some level. I think we charge a premium or something. :/

Also for those curious, video ads pay something like 3 or 4 times the value of regular banners purely because they have more of a captive audience for longer form messages.

Also, as far as HTML5/mobile site, we literally haven't had the dev time to make it happen. HTML5 videos in particular didn't have real ad support until semi-recently. And even then, the embed format is so basic that stripping out ads from a playlist was easy enough to do manually (unless the ad is baked into the video file directly, which makes it obnoxious to track/rotate/encode multiple formats without overpaying for some fancy video host or throwing more encoding hardware then we have at it. Never mind the inane "tracking" issues the advertisers impose to count impressions via a third party.)

So we enabled HTML5 on PubClub where that concern doesn't exist. One day we'll have a mobile site. One day we might have more then 1.5 web programmers as well...

I use a scriptblocker but not for the express purpose of blocking ads, that's more of a side-effect. I use it to guard my computer against malicious code in this digital wild west we call the internet. I've never really thought that AdBlock was something I needed, and always thought Firefox's NoScript was much better.

That said, using it has consequences both ways. It doesn't always make your life easier, because you have to whitelist quite a LOT of sites in order to make use of them properly. I still think it'd worth the extra work to get the additional protection because, frankly, I don't trust ANY site to be 100% clean. They can take all the precautions they like and tell me how safe it all is, but I didn't go 10+ years virus-free because of my trusting nature.

Sites get hacked. All. The. Time. The massive amounts cross-linkage and remote host accessing that're going on right now is pure heaven for makers of malicious code. I want each and every site I let my computer grant access to to properly identify themselves and their intentions before I even consider letting them run their code.

So, that's why I use a ScriptBlocker.
I've whitelisted The Escapist though, obviously. I read your stuff all the time, so it's only fair.

Scrumpmonkey:
Then why is there a discussion space in a thread that is meant to be a frank and honest discussion of Ad-blocking and in which the contributor has repeatedly states he does not want this rule to apply? It is essentially a honey trap. By virtue of this official thread existing there is no way to have a discussion and NOT break the letter of the rules.

If you read the moderator user group i have given an example of my own post compared to a moderated post. In my post i.. well.. i basically break the ToS as much as that person did if you go "By the letter". If i was him i would be monumentally pissed off. I broke the ToS. I broke the ToS hard. In any other part of the forum i would not post that and fully expect to get moderated for posting it. But here it stands because of the nature of the thread. Like it or not these are already pretty exceptional moderating circumstances and handing out warnings for posts almost identical to other posts in extremely counterproductive.

I and many others have posted this way because the video and the thread seem to be an exceptional case backed up by Jim's own words and comments. This could basically be a "Scumbag Steve" meme; Has official piece about Ad-Block and it's virtues, suspends people for talking about ad-block.

We're letting people discuss it, which is forbidden in the CoC. So this is an exception. People discussing it just need to not admit to using it on this site or advocate its usage. The majority of people in this thread have not received any wrath, which is just proof that you can discuss it without breaking the rules.

We haven't suspended anyone for simply talking about it. Admission and advocating is another matter, and I've said before and I'll say again that you can have a conversation about it without either of them.

(I absolutely hate that people have to "buy" a post in this thread for a warning, for admitting to adblocking this site. It's against the rules, fine, but this is content that takes up the issue and tries to deal with it and handing out warnings left and right in this thread is the same as not listening to people. Honestly, it's like watching a bunch of parking attendants just itching to write out tickets. What a fucking disaster...)

When you claim that you don't like the ads on your show, then you're legitimizing something you don't like, especially if you're avoiding other options. While I will not blame you for not sticking your neck out or seeking other options (because honestly, you have better shit to do and I fully sympathize) I do not accept your request as a fair one, however rational it is.

Denying responsibility, passing the turd along to the viewers and shrugging it off as unfortunate, is neither polite nor fair and if it wasn't as humble a request as it is in the video I might've considered it insulting.
So while I do sympathize and understand that we're all cogs in a machine and the world sucks, I don't think anyone deserves to take advantage of the fact and then be sorry about it. Either you don't like it and you do something about it, or you're no better yourself. That might be brutal honesty and I don't think Jim personally deserves it, but it's a fair point when arguing ad-blocking.

I hope sites and content creators will be presented with a different revenue source or method of income and hopefully avoid the slow death that television channels and newspapers are facing, as more and more people simply choose to circumvent ads.
In the mean time, I hope to god that you (The Escapist in general) are actually researching alternative methods so we can finally get rid of all the god awful commercials and ads. If the only way to go is through subscription, then so be it.
Not that I'll pay, the content simply isn't good, important or exclusive enough, but I won't judge the choice to follow that model.

Going back years now I decided that the content on "The Escapist" (for all my criticisms) was worth supporting so I subscribed to "The Publisher's Club" (and just fine tuned my payment options so my renewal will happen on schedule next month, barring some unforeseen problem). As a result I don't really have any ad problems or need to ad block this site.

That said, I generally find ads to be incredibly annoying in many cases, I realize people need to make money, but at the same time if I'm grappling with pop up windows that block my reading until I click on them to shut them off (or wait for a timer to expire), or listen to some repetitive voice clip, or whatever, yeah I'm going to ad block. For the most part though if the ads are tasteful, I'll just let them go, and to be honest some of the ads have actually gotten me to check them out. While almost universally every "Free to play" MMO I've checked out via a site related ad has been truly terrible (which has kept me pretty much committed to the couple of games I do play, namely Cryptic's stuff), they still got me to at least look at them and see if their product (which always amounts to a cash shop) was worthwhile.

I think a lot of the problem is a lack of common sense among advertisers, but also that the sites looking for funding in some cases tend to be indiscriminate in who they allow to advertise and how, going with whatever is the best deal for them at the moment, or just selling space to a firm without much in the way of specification on what they will do for it. In some cases webmasters have seemed genuinely ignorant of what kinds of ads were running on their site, and apparently even had to go running to ask their sponsors to change something if a pop up or whatever was preventing the site from being used properly. For the most part if your ads are tasteful and don't load people with tracking/marketing cookies (or try to) or detract from the core experience of the site there isn't an issue.

As I haven't seen much of The Escapist's advertising (for reasons I just explained) I can't say much about it one way or another, so please don't engage in any projection here, I'm speaking entirely in a general sense.

What's more I think advertisers need to understand that a failure to generate sales and/or traffic is not generally because they have not gotten attention, or been obnoxious enough, it's because people might genuinely not be all that interested in their product, which means that if you move from say a small box on the corner of a web page, to a giant pop up that literally screams looping audio in your face and can't be shut off for a full minute, your achieving nothing except making people go from being not interested in your product, to actively hating you, and if your part of a general ad service letting your customers post things like this through your service, it's your own bloody fault when people decide to block you in general. In short (and redundant with what's said above) I think it all comes down to standards, the entire "Ad Block" problem is something of advertisers own creation, they are supposed to win people over and get a positive reaction, yet they have turned it into some kind of war which I don't think they even know how to fight, by actively alienating the people they are supposed to be trying to impress. Adblock wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for advertisers taking things way too far.

That said, by all means if you like someone's stuff, don't just endure the ads, perhaps select a few, try a FTP game, maybe by a T-shirt or something once in a while. Jim is right in saying that guys like him need to good will of advertisers to stay in business while they do this kind of thing.

I'll also say that Jim might deserve the title of "bravest dude in the multiverse" added to his already impressive resume... to be honest I probably wouldn't be brave enough to publically put up a PO box like that while running a
show like this one. After a while I'd be afraid to open it, scared that something worse than dildos would be in there.... :)

Marter:
The point is more that if a site is to permit (or encourage) its users to admit to or advocate adblock then advertisers aren't going to want to go there, because they know their adverts aren't being seen. It's more an image thing than a practical one, as far as I understand it, but that's why.

I forgot about this point, but have heard it made several times as well.

It's also related to some of the reasons we ban piracy discussions (other then not wanting to talk about illegal things and deal with lawyering more then we have to), it scares away developers from wanting to associate with us.

Marter:

Solo-Wing:
Sifting through this thread made me think that this kinda of discussion should actually be embraced by the advertisers. They would actually be able to use it to learn where the line is on the amount of ads people are willing to deal with when it comes to the ads as well as how to properly distribute them. If they would learn where that line is and how to avoid crossing it discussions like this would not really be necessary as Jim pointed out in the video.

The point is more that if a site is to permit (or encourage) its users to admit to or advocate adblock then advertisers aren't going to want to go there, because they know their adverts aren't being seen. It's more an image thing than a practical one, as far as I understand it, but that's why.

By that virtue then the damage has already been done. What is the point of moderating people when an Escapist contributor has advocated on behalf of Ad-Blocking services? Wouldn't that put off prospective advertisers far more than a few random forum posts? That does more to the 'image' of the site than anything a forum post could do. This is an offical video in which Ad-block is not just mentioned, it is openly advocated in many cases and advertisers BLAMED.

But in the discussion thread of the video in which all this is done there are sill moderation of people who say "Yes i use Ad block and here is why. But i understand why i probably shouldn't". You must see how ludicrous and surreal this seems.

Jimothy Sterling:
The Adblock Episode

Jimquisition tackles the ever thorny issue of AdBlock, with the kind of humility and charm you've come to expect from this show.

Watch Video

Discussion of adblockers on this comment thread need to contribute to the discussion of or the purpose of adblockers. Keep in mind, saying anything about the use of adblockers or the advocacy of that use without contribution to the discussion will involve health meter ramifications.

For the sake of expediency, keep in mind that everyone's definition of what is and isn't tolerable will be different. We implore you that if you feel any wrath in this thread is undeserved, use the Contact Form to appeal. Fair warning, any discussion of adblocking is treading dangerous waters. -Mod

Like you, Jim, I wouldn't dream of surfing the internet without proper protection. That said, can we get a list of all the third parties we need to whitelist in order for the advertisements to work? Standard operating procedure is to block everything except what proves necessary in order to get the content to display.

Do you have a list of all the web domains or IPs I would need to whitelist in order to get the Escapist's ads to display properly? For some reason, when I've asked for this information in the past, companies have seemed reluctant to share it. Instead they say insane things like "whitelist everything and disable all your security software." One time a website even went so far as to suggest I disable my virus-scanner!

But since you "get it," and you're a respected staff member at The Escapist, I am wondering if just maybe you have that magical combination of intelligence and authority required to get anything accomplished that is so rare in our modern world.

This is my promise to you: If you tell me a list of the bare minimum I need to unblock in order to support you, I will unblock them.

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