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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: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Monday March 24 2014, @11:06PM

    by edIII (791) on Monday March 24 2014, @11:06PM (#20629)

    I have a crazy idea. Don't listen to the others and go with sponsored stories, with images, with a twist:

    It can be downvoted into oblivion and actually removed. It can upvoted and make it onto a list of stuff we just really like. The more informative about what it can do with examples the better.

    While I abhor marketing entirely, there might be some middle ground in discussing things we all clearly like a lot and letting the sponsors pay Soylent to capture our attention in the fairest way possible to everyone.

    You show us a Kardashian and be prepared for the Abyss. Show us Tyson giving us all the information and cool parts about some new 3-d maker and we might just want to talk about it for a minute.

    I mean if it's really a thing to were we just have to deal with the devil, we might want to try and it make it as pleasant as possible. Otherwise it's just back to the good ol' war with Adblock/Ghostery/DoNotTrackMe.

    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +3  
       Insightful=3, Total=3
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by everdred on Monday March 24 2014, @11:46PM

    by everdred (110) on Monday March 24 2014, @11:46PM (#20640) Journal

    Reddit actually does something like this.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by etherscythe on Tuesday March 25 2014, @12:05AM

    by etherscythe (937) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @12:05AM (#20646) Journal

    By way of example, if we had this set up, Fluke would be in a great position to take advantage of it what with the whole Sparkfun multimeters-seized-in-Customs thing. The story itself was likely to hit our frontpage anyway - but what if we got to hear from somebody at Fluke or maybe Sparkfun about the ordeal directly? It would be both interesting and probably marketing gold given the participants on this site.

    "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by velex on Tuesday March 25 2014, @02:41AM

    by velex (2068) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @02:41AM (#20702) Journal

    You're not quite +5 yet! Argh, my mod points were used too soon!

    However, that does raise a legitimate question. The goal of advertisement is essentially intrusion and the creation of a want (and its portrayal as a need) where no such want exists. Would advertisers even be amenable to such a system?

    The trouble is that the advertisers we want, well, we want because we already have the want. There is no creation of the want in that dynamic. Essentially, a system that enables the "audience" to downmod ads is antithetical to the very reason for ads to exist. (I.e. the premise that there even is an "audience," which I hope we're all here to demonstrate that we're not.)

    I guess what I'm saying is that the devil would not make a deal if there were no evil outcome (even if the outcome would be beneficial to him/her), at least as I understand devils.

    Perhaps a devil's advocate can offer a rebuttal.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mojo chan on Tuesday March 25 2014, @01:55PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @01:55PM (#20941)

      Advertising should be about offering something that fulfils a need. There is no need to create a want unless what you are peddling some POS that no-one wants anyway.

      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @03:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @03:29PM (#20996)

        >> ... unless what you are peddling some POS that no-one wants anyway.

        See: Advertising

    • (Score: 2) by Nobuddy on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:12AM

      by Nobuddy (1626) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:12AM (#21300)

      Ads that work are those that make me aware of a product I never knew existed.

      A Coke ad is not going to impact me, I am aware of Coke and know my position on that product. An ad for a product or service I have never seen will get a look, and if it fills a real need at a reasonable value for me it will be purchased.

      So, if you are Coke, or Ford, or some other major company that even Iceman knows about, quit wasting your money on ads. When you have a new product, then make an ad. It won't need to vibrate, play, popover, black out the page, any of that shit that makes us hate you all with the fiery passion of a binary supernova. A simple text and graphic is all you need.

      "Oh, Ford has a new electric vehicle. I wonder how much they cost...." CLICK

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30 2014, @12:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30 2014, @12:33PM (#23134)

        So why do they spend so much on advertising if they're already the number one or two?

        $48B revenue
        from 584B servings

        $4B marketing

        $8B profit ... They could increase profits by 50 percent if they didn't spend on marketing.
        How is that spend needed?
        For every $1 in marketing, returns $2 profit.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by tangomargarine on Tuesday March 25 2014, @02:59PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @02:59PM (#20980)

    Wouldn't that be vulnerable to shill upvoting, though?

    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by halcyon1234 on Tuesday March 25 2014, @03:52PM

      by halcyon1234 (1082) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @03:52PM (#21014)
      Let them. It should be easy enough to spot. Such unscrupulous cretins would assume this site is "just like all the others" and that "moar is better". They'll flood the ad with upvotes from a bunch of accounts that don't have an established posting history / karma. It's a simple SQL query to spot them. Flag those ads for human review-- either by staff, or in a subforum. With human eyes looking at it, it's incredibly easy to spot. Seriously, just look how quickly and efficiently Slashvertisments got called out-- twice as fast when they were shill stories planted by Dice employees.

      Let them self-identify as idiots, and then ban their ads. Oh, and no refunds. Thanks for the free money to support the site.

      Or, even better-- put in the advertiser's T&C (which will be ignored anyways) a Shadowban clause. Continue to show their ads-- only to their shill accounts. Or to actual users, but the ad is shrunk to 1px x 1px. Continue to charge them for monthly usage fees and impressions. See how long you can continue to get paid to not show their ad. =)
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