I must sheepishly admit that after years of railing against the use of apps such as Adblock plus that I in fact just installed it on my Mac. Ads are what help pay for sites, and for content creators to be able to pay their mortgages. Although I have always found ads to be annoying I felt that it wasn’t right to remove them and still enjoy the content. Sadly my view of this has had to change as I have taken my business on the road and am running it out of a travel trailer as I wander the country.
To be clear the issue that I have is not in standard banner ads, or the likes of Outbrain. The issue I’m running into is that so many sites are now pushing auto play video ads. The bandwidth cost of a banner ad is negligible, but the bandwidth usage of streaming video ads is a beast. The minor issue I run into is that many times the internet speed I am using is so slow simply loading web pages can be a pain so adding the burden of video ads makes many sites almost unusable. The major issue I run into is that I am using my Note 4 as a hot spot and it costs me $80 for 10GB of data per month. These autoplay video ads gobble up the data, and there is no “nice” way to get rid of them.
The problem I am seeing with the content creation industry is that instead of simply sitting down and figuring out how to produce a high quality product that users and sponsors are happy with they keep trying to “hack” their way to success by adding more and more intrusive ads to their platforms. They end up making their sites unusable for the people that want to support them, and force others to resort to apps such as Adblock Plus. This then harms the entire creator industry since once someone starts using Adblock for one site it’s darn hard to get them to ever turn it off again.
I have found that offering a minimum of painfully obvious static banner ad spots that directly relates to the topics of the website makes everyone happy. Above the fold ads are the most likely to be clicked on which pleases sponsors. And putting the ads in an obvious place makes readers happy because they don’t have to worry about what happens when they click what looks like a standard backlink.
When so many websites treat their readers as no more than organic click bots even people who abhor the idea of Adblock are forced to reassess their values.
I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of GeekBrainDump.com and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.
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