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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @04:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @04:15AM (#20777)

    > the Escapist has not only run some incredibly scummy ads/trackers in my past experience

    Really? I've been a member of their Publisher's Club for so long I hadn't noticed. It's funny: Originally I paid the $20 for all the other perks, but I stopped visiting and the $20/year became worth it to have videos delivered via RSS... without ever visiting the site.

    > consider discussion on the topic to be a bannable offense.

    It is in a lot of places. Actually one of the contributing factors to why I dropped one of my Twitch livestreams. I had a sub for it, but the place was getting more and more user-hostile, I found. Ultimately I not only stopped subbing, but stopped watching entirely and dropped their Youtube accounts as well. They lost the fiver and the ad revenue. I appreciate the need for some modding, but when you're undoing at least a ban a week because you banned an innocent person and got called on it....

    > Yes, even in the forum thread for that video.

    (Checks site.) Wow. Isn't he editor in chief or managing editor or something else big? Seeing him not being able to rein in the mods is... kinda sad.

  • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:49PM

    by GeminiDomino (661) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @12:49PM (#21455)

    The user-hostility was what made me decide that I would *not* ever be registering for the Pub Club, as much as I'd have liked to have access to the HTML5 videos, even though I only watch 2 of them anymore (Jimquisition and ZP).

    Isn't he editor in chief or managing editor or something else big?

    I think he's a big shot on Destructoid, and just a "columnist" on Escapist. ICBW though...

    "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"