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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, 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?"
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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by halcyon1234 on Tuesday March 25 2014, @03:52PM

    by halcyon1234 (1082) Subscriber Badge 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. =)
    Original Submission []