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There's been some talk about whether people should use ad-blocking technologies or not. Putting aside my belief that technological problems require technological solutions, let's think about that for a little bit. There are really two main issues:

The pro side says that ads are obnoxious and don't do any good anyways.

The anti side says that ad revenue is what allows many services to be free and blocking ads is stealing and that if you use a site's services you should be happy to view their ads.

There are some variations on these two ideas, but those are the main points. Based on that, I have simple rules for my ad blocking, which I personally think everyone should employ:

If it's obnoxious, block it, if it's not, don't.

So what makes an ad obnoxious? Here's my shortlist:
  • If the word "flash" could be used to describe your ad, it's probably obnoxious.
  • If your ad covers more of the page than it should, it's obnoxious.
  • if your ad slows the loading of the content which is the reason I'm loading the page in the first place, it's obnoxious.
  • If your ad requests a popup or popunder window, it's definitely obnoxious.
  • If your ad is obviously disingenuous in any way(and what the hell is the point of being obviously disingenuous?), it's obnoxious.
  • If your ad hawks something for which I've been spammed, it's obnoxious.
  • If your ad has unnecessarily distracting or moving parts, it's definitely obnoxious.
  • Do you see the theme here? It's all about content. Get in the way of that and you're blocked as easy as a right click(thank you Mozilla!). Ad people, New York to California, Ad people, you weren't born on Jupiter. This is not a war. The point is not to cram your banal fucking message down everyone's throat whether they want it or not. (Except for msn.com, yahoo.com, or aol.com, where that is the point). With that in mind, I think that advertisers need to take into account that this is an interactive medium. It's not TV, where I'm forced to watch the same damn talking toilet bowl commercials over and over unless I want to take my chances on changing the channel and trying to estimate when the content for which I've tuned in comes back on. I can click away, I can block your server, I can get a google cache of the page, I can block you in any number of ways if you make it worth the effort. The key thing is blocking you takes less effort than changing the channel. So don't fuck with me. Don't make annoying ads that zoom across the page flashing yellow, blue, black, and green. I'll sic Dr Octaproctologist on your ass.

    Mr. Gunn : 11:57 PM : Monday, June 09, 2003 :

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