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December 30, 2008

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Not to mention that such ads make me much much much less likely to buy such product, assuming I can figure out what said product is.

Agree with Ugh.

It's like the promos that networks are running "in show" these days. They're entirely intrusive, and remove the viewer from the narrative harshly. My first and lasting reaction is: I'm not going to watch whatever show it is they're promoting.

What I don't understand is the lack of any sort of creative approach. It's not like it would be difficult to come up with an ad campaign that was functional and unobtrusive.

Like a little paintbrush that lets me draw a mustache on David Brooks' picture in a column and then take a snapshot to share with everyone. Brought to you by Adobe Photoshop! See, that would be a great ad campaign.

My theory is that too many marketing folks are conditioned for BIG SPLASH MAKE NOISE ATTRACT ATTENTION all the time. And the creative, off-beat people who might do a web-appropriate campaign aren't going to get tapped for a site's primo-grade-A take-over-your-browser level ads. No no no, we gotta go to the professionals for that. They'll put a little spice in it.

Amen to that. And may I add? The experience of annoyance (and potentially annoyance at the advertiser) is probably not what media-buying types usually think of as a "good environment".

Consider installing an adblocker. On my old PC, ad-aware was pretty effective at blocking annoying scripts; I could customize it to eliminate any content that was significantly slowing down my browsing.

On my new Mac, which is so much faster that the computer is better able to handle the ads, I installed GlimmerBlocker to eliminate most of the really obstreperous ads. It hasn't been quite as easy to customize, as of yet, so I'm still seeing a number of the annoying, distracting live-action ads. I have every confidence that with some effort, I could make GlimmerBlocker zap those away too; I just haven't gotten around to it.

I generally browse with plugins turned off. Occasionally I have to turn them on to get to the content, but 95% of the time it's fine and I don't have to deal with hyperactive ads.

In Safari it's only a couple of keystrokes to get the plugins back on (command-, to get the prefs up, and then tab to the second check box under "Security" and hit space).

In tandem, Adblock and Flashblock (both Firefox extensions) work pretty well for me.

Who sent the rockets streaking across my NYT article? And why? I have no idea.
Clearly, the Acme Corporation, maker of fine rockets to solve your roadrunner problems, needs to increase its brand awareness.

It's not just internet ads, it's the whole concept of interrupting my thought train and my life to try to get me to buy something. I know my cranky little one-person campaign is never going to matter, but just for the record....

I no longer give $ to, patronize, or buy things from, any organization that interrupts my home life by calling me on the phone. The only exception is that if I applied the rule to political parties, I wouldn't be able to vote.

I am heading toward removing myself from membership in any organization that sends me more than a couple of fundraising mailings a year.

This goes extra for organizations like UNICEF, which, the one time I let someone guilt trip me into contributing to it, started a few weeks later sending me biweekly notices saying that it was time to “renew." (Renew what? I gave a donation, not membership dues.)

We could go back to the ends/means discussion (if the end is allegedly to help children in need, is it okay to be dishonest in trying to get money from inattentive chumps?), but I’ve sidestepped having to worry about that by finding organizations that, as far as I can tell, have their ends and means in harmony. So now, any money I might have given to UNICEF goes to a local group of Quaker women who have teamed up with some Quaker women in Kenya to build an orphanage there.

I also ignore subscription and membership renewal notices that don't tell me when my current term expires. And while we’re on that subject, 6 months from now isn't "soon."

If I could find a way to acquire what I need by some other method, I would stop shopping at stores where the clerks hit me with a barrage of "would you like this" and "would you like that" when I try to check out. No. I am trying to buy what I came in to buy, please just take my money and let me get out of here. Of course, I don't say this, because my understanding is that the clerks are asking the questions under penalty of losing their jobs if they don't, and -- or so I have heard -- being fined, besides.

And no, the fact that I’m trying to buy something from your store doesn’t mean you have the right to my phone number.

Just for the record, I do know about the do not call list, and I think it works pretty well. I get many fewer sales calls than I used to.

I also know -- as my kids are fond of telling me -- that I'm fighting a losing battle, and that any privacy I am trying to protect was gone a long time ago.

I am heading toward removing myself from membership in any organization that sends me more than a couple of fundraising mailings a year.
I am almost pathetically grateful when a fundraising organization, in its request letter, tells me how much I last gave them, and when, because I don't keep great records (I'm not overly generous, and I'm in too low a tax bracket to itemize donations). I always wonder why more donation-funded enterprises (and one that really stands out is public radio/public television) don't follow this practice.

There are still some hyperactive ads that are part of the page, (see the weather channel website), that can't be blocked. I just put an envelope or post-it over the offending thing. Kind of counter productive advertising if you ask me.

This is one of the main reasons I switched over to Firefox.

Like someone mentioned install the Adblock plugin an internet advertisements will become a thing of the past. No fiddling with any settings either.

I'm now suprised everytime I use a computer not my own when I see ads on websites.

There are still some hyperactive ads that are part of the page, (see the weather channel website), that can't be blocked.

Firefox,AdBlock-Plus, and one of the free filter subscriptions: I don't see any ads on the The Weather Channel website. The only thing even remotely obnoxious is the window where they cycle the top couple of video clips and a weather map, and I suspect that script could be disabled without too much effort.

Warren Terra beat me to it. Flashblock is your friend. Don't surf without it.

1. Use Firefox.
2. Install Adblocker Plus.
3. Install NoScript (http://noscript.net/).

Some think #3 is overkill, but I appreciate the added control.

Add me to the list of people who pointedly refuses to give my business to companies/products with ads that annoy me. This goes beyond just the intrusive DHTML ads that are so epidemic these days, and includes ads that really egregiously insult my intelligence, TV or otherwise. I won't use software that has embedded advertisements, or is "advertising-supported" in some way that intrudes on what I'm doing.

Sorry if your site or application depends on this revenue, but I don't really have any sympathy--you bed down with dogs, you're going to get fleas, and I don't want your fleas. This is my computer and I don't consent to view any content that I don't want to, nor do I feel a moral obligation to do so just because you've chosen a revenue model that's dependent on pushing content at me that I don't want on my computer. Beyond the annoyance of it, I don't /trust/ whatever ad vendor you're using. I've seen--and had to fix, on an enterprise level--far too many instances of malicious or broken content being pushed out in web ads.

There are 1 pixel invisible graphic files all over your computer (well, in the temporary folder) that marketing companies use to track your surfing. You would be amazed at how much information is accumulating about you.

Scary, huh?

argo0, you forgot a step:

1. Use Firefox.
2. Install Adblocker Plus.
3. Install NoScript (http://noscript.net/).
4. Install FlashBlock

For anyone who's confused, the latter three are Firefox plugins, which modify the web browser's default behavior. You can install them by clicking on Tools -> Add-ons .

But if I can't tell what they're supposed to make me buy, they cannot be working as ads, just as total annoyances.

They are ads from competitors to the Times. They are working perfectly.

Anyone remember the dot-com meltdown? X10 ads? As ad inventory dries up, sites (which often use ad services which try to meet predetermined revenue goals) wind up using just about anything they'll get money for.

As our economic woes deepen it will only get worse.

The visual intrusions don't bother me as much as the audio ones. I've given up using ESPN to check scores, because every *(^&ing page comes with a video player that blares at me until I can find it and pause it. (It doesn't obscure the text, and would not be a problem if it stayed off until turned on instead of vice versa.)

Sitting right next to my rant earlier about the ways in which I dislike where the boundaries are drawn between me and proactive commerce, I am, in relation to the www, also aware that I get hours every day of information, education, and entertainment for the price of my internet connection.

It seems to me that this can't go on forever.

Maybe this question has been addressed before and I missed it, but in case not: what would be a good model for content-providers getting paid, and consumers paying something for what we get?

I have never sent any money to a blog, or subscribed to anything online that's behind a paywall. But I would be quite happy to pay something if the fee could be proportionally provided to the sites that provide me with things I want. If it's possible to spread revenue around because of the number of times people click on an ad, why not eliminate the middle"man" and spread revenue around based on the number of times people surf to your site?

Anyone running a site just as a hobby could opt out of the payment system, while anyone wanting to generate some revenue could opt in. I might end up paying some fraction of a cent to a site I surf to from here once, but never go back to, while quite a few bucks every month would go to my 3 or 4 favorites.

I suppose one immediate objection would be that such a fee system would put the web out of reach for some people. But people who can't afford to buy books can still use the public library; surely some creative thinking could generate a solution to this problem too.

If I had to pay by the hour, or the click, or some combination thereof, I might even be able to regulate my online time a little better. ;)

I'm with A.J.

Firefox with a few plugins and the ads are history.

WRT the paper form of this, along the lines of what JanieM was saying, I find I get what seems like a plea a day in the mail. I seem to have contributed to something that has sold my name and address to every do-gooder organization in the US if not the world. I'm annoyed, enough that I've decided not to give any money to anyone who asks me for money, at least until I stop feeling annoyed. Which I expect will take a couple of years at least now.

Well, it's clear who is rsponsible for all the annoying and ineffective marketing ;-)
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=YkTDDeuytM8
For those who understand German, here's the original:
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=uF2djJcPO2A

Ditto hilzoy (I knew you'd like that). And I still watch a little television and have noticed the ads are almost incomprehensible. I just assumed I was not the target audience at my advancing age, and that someone out there connects. Although it could just be the result of poorly educated new-hires by clueless advertising companies brought in silly Hollywood types with no clue regarding wage earner wants and needs. Probably just the curmudgeon in me.

I have no adblockers whatsoever. I never block ads unless they are obtrusive, like you said, and I just use NoScript to do it.

And as it turns out, 90% those in-front-of-the-content Flash ads are from one source - doubleclick.net. Which makes it remarkable easy to put an end to (most of) it.

There are 1 pixel invisible graphic files all over your computer (well, in the temporary folder) that marketing companies use to track your surfing. You would be amazed at how much information is accumulating about you.

Scary, huh?

1) Use Firefox (sound familiar?)
2) Under Preferences-->Privacy--Cookies, make sure all cookies get kept only until "I close Firefox"
3) Turn on all the options under Preferences-->Privacy--"Always clear my private data when I close Firefox"
4) Tell it to not ask before clearing (no irritating reminder every time).

This takes care of 1-pixel tracking images and cookies, but there's one extra step that's increasingly necessary these days:

5) If Flash is enabled, you also need to disable Flash web storage or else you'll end up with a boatload of cookie-like files that aren't controlled by the regular cookie preferences.

Presto -- most of the tracking crap is gone. The drawback is you have to log into your favorite sites every time you restart a browser, but for me that's not a big deal.

"In tandem, Adblock and Flashblock (both Firefox extensions) work pretty well for me"

Absolutely right. Use this combination and you'll never see intrusive ads again. The ad moguls will whinge about that, but stuff 'em.

ads on web pages aren't going to go away. and the annoyance factor is a desired feature not a marketing misstep or bug. they do what they're supposed to do.

there's a simpler solution. use the firefox web browser. it has a large selection of plug-ins you can install for many browser-based actions, data manipulations and much, much more. two are Adblock and NoScript that allow you to block any and all ads site by site or globally. NoScript allows you to block scripts as well in a similar way - frames iframes, embedded objects, javascripts etc.

and there are variations on these two plug-ins, too.

don't be annoyed and don't ask for something you won't ever get.

you have control from and of your browser.

hth

linuxchikk

"The dancing Wii remote that absolutely nothing can turn off"

This is absolutely not true. Use Firefox and Adblock. There's absolutely no reason to have any advertising visible via your browser on any page on the internet; I haven't seen any in in years, absent the occasional need every few months to take five or so seconds to add another source site.

Oh, and NoScript is also invaluable. I wouldn't want to use the internet without these things.

"Of course, I don't say this, because my understanding is that the clerks are asking the questions under penalty of losing their jobs if they don't, and -- or so I have heard -- being fined, besides."

It's absolutely true at many chains. I can vouch for the fact that a few years ago at CompUsa, if employees didn't get a very high percentage of 3 items sold for every customer, they'd be let go in reasonably short order.

Hmm, well, glad I got to those points before anyone else did.

:-)

i'm yet another guy who uses NoScript in addition to Adblock Plus. i've found NoScript does a good enough job of stopping flash ads, movies, and sounds from playing that i don't need any other flash blockers than it; flash only plays, now, after i specifically click on it to request it.

of course, there's a backdraw. i've used adblock for so many years now that i'm almost handicapped if i ever have to use anybody else's computer; i've lost the instinctive ability to read past the ads that i once used to have. i've sometimes carried a firefox and adblock install around on a flash drive, just in case.

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