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posted by janrinok on Monday March 24 2014, @09:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the ads?-what-ads? dept.

An anonymous coward writes:

"Three weeks ago, video game reviewer and online columnist Jim Sterling used his weekly "Jimquisition" video column (warning: NSFW) at The Escapist to address 'the ever thorny issue' of viewers using ad-blockers while watching his content.

As Mr Sterling relies entirely on ads on The Escapist and his YouTube channel for his income and isn't exactly known for pulling punches regardless of topic, it may have come as a surprise to many that he expressed considerable understanding for those who choose to block ads [transcribed and slightly censored by the submitter]:

"No, I don't like it when someone views my work with Adblock, but I get it. I absolutely understand it, and I find it hard to judge anybody who does it. If I'm p---ed off at anyone, it's the advertisers; those reckless buffoons who brought up intrusive pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, and those f---ing banners with the smileys that scream "SAY SOMETHING" at you.

'There is this horrible cycle in place, if you didn't know, where the less ads that get viewed, the worse the ads are, because the less scrupulous commercial companies will go after the more desperate venues. What this means is, the more you ad-block, the worse the ads actually get.'

After asking his viewers to 'kindly consider' viewing his videos with Adblock disabled (and expressing some considerable distaste for those who publicly state that they block the ads and still insists on criticising his work), Sterling willingly conceded that ads on web sites can represent a real problem for users:

'When ads break web sites, when they ruin your browsing or are offensive to you on some level, how the hell can I blame you for wanting to obliterate them? I can't!'

Whether one likes Mr Sterling's videos or not, he no doubt has a point. Ads are the only available source of revenue for many web sites and content producers, but they have little or no influence over the kind of ads the ad provider serves through their site. As we all know, intrusive ads can significantly degrade the browsing experience and even be a malware vector. Besides asking their users to please endure potentially obnoxious ads, are there ways for web sites (like, say, SoylentNews) and content producers to make money from advertisements?

The story ends with an interesting twist: For those who wanted to support him but just couldn't stomach the ads, Sterling briefly published the URL to an Amazon wishlist as well as his P.O. box address at the end of the video. Last week he revealed that although he had done so in jest, several viewers had indeed sent him gifts (from 7:02 onwards)."

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Tork on Monday March 24 2014, @10:33PM

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 24 2014, @10:33PM (#20615)

    I actually don't mind advertising on the web to a certain extent. I like to watch the Nostalgia Critic, for example, and I'm okay with the commercial break in the beginning and *one* commercial break in the middle. The thing to understand, though, is that that show is a half hour long. What I absolutely cannot stand is when a 2 minute video gets a 30 second spot. And you know where this happens? News sites. Today I read a headline that a train crashed through a platform in Chicago and climbed the escalator to the upper level. Eep! I clicked on a link to watch a video report on it and... 15 seconds of some ad for a steak house. This is NEWS, right? Sometimes I click on a link to an article and after the page loads the entire content is COVERED by another layer of some nonsense they think I need to know about. ( is a big offender here...) Um, no, this is the sort of thing that makes me want to install AdBlock.

    I do think most understand that advertising is needed to keep a site alive. Heck, I even appreciate when asked nicely to respect that. (I vaguely recall a post on the Nostalia Critic forums about ad revenue and its impact on the show...) But please please PLEASE show some restraint. For example: Again, the Nostalgia Critic, the ads on that show are fairly limited in number. I've heard that stupid ass "sharing is caring" sony video about 6,000,234 times now. Why can't I just click a thing that says: "Yes, I know the Playstation 4 exists, can you acknowledge that and let me watch this in peace?"

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