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Wet_Pavement
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Postby Wet_Pavement » Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:37 am

jjoyce,

Your argument in support of advertising-- or should I say in support of some requirement on my part to view advertising even if out of the corner of my eye-- still doesn't pass logical muster, even if we agree that subscription based services are where things are headed.

The argument isn't "free stuff versus stuff you have to pay for." It's "forced advertising content versus being able to pass on advertising."

I got roped into arguing some "all things free" position which I never espoused. The subscription money ends up in the hands of someone other than the ad makers. And people still bypass ads and have been doing it for a long time.

The point is when you pay for a service-- whether it be internet or TV-- you're under no moral or legal obligation to watch the advertising.

Do you guys change the channel after or during a show so you don't watch the stupid ads? Have you ever used a VCR and fast forwarded through the ads? Under your logic, it's as if you are arguing that people have some kind of moral obligation to watch ads because if they don't the whole system will fall apart. Well, TV is still working just fine.

When I pay for internet, I'm under no obligation to watch ads. If I have a software program that blocks me from viewing ads, there's nothing illegal or immoral about it.

It's kind of funny that people are actually almost arguing that I have some moral obligation to have blinking lights and annoying ads for products I'll never buy on my computer screen, other wise the whole system is going to fall apart.

The subscription has nothing to do with the ads. I can still bypass the ads. The ads don't "pay for" my TV or internet.

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Postby Ducatista » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:58 am

An ad blocker is not the same as fast-forwarding through commercials. One effectively keeps you from having to view any ad content with no effort on your part other than the initial install of the blocker, while the other requires you to take an action to avoid ad content, and you still may end up with a snippet of a jingle or an image at the front or back end of your FF efforts.

Advertisers count on the laziness of the viewing public. Most people don't take the time to change the channel for every single ad (because when you do, you often land on... another commercial, imagine that). And they count on our susceptibility, even if we're reluctant ad viewers. I hate ads on websites. They're ugly and intrusive. But I've clicked on two on TDP: Sundance, out of curiousity, and Century House, when I suddenly thought, hey, I need a lamp.

Advertising most certainly pays for much of the content on your interwebs. You have every right to use an ad blocker if you like, but don't kid yourself that it's just like clicking the remote. It's not.

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Postby juanton » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:04 am

jjoyce wrote:You're telling me you don't make purchases from these kinds of businesses?


I purchase stuff from these businesses, but not based on these ads. I avoid the ads like the plague.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:56 am

jjoyce wrote:You might find surfing without ads "liberating" but I'm not sure you'd find a fee-based all that great.
Nice false dichotomy.

There are lots of ways to generate revenue for online sites that don't involve advertising or simply charging all users a flat-rate fee. Atariage, my favorite online forum other than this one, supports itself by selling merchandise. Many fansites for various media get by on donations - and folks are perfectly happy to zap $10 or so via PayPal once in while to keep those sites free of ads. Some gaming sites I've visited simply provide the forum as a free service for their customers knowing that it increases awareness and fosters repeat business. Other sites offer two versions - a free version with ads and an ad-free version available for a small fee, thereby allowing surfers to make their own choice.

Frankly, I agree that Isthmus does a good job of keeping ads unobtrusive, but you guys are the exception in that regard, not the rule. The real issue is one of usability and I truly believe that folks would be less likely to block ads if, instead of having to wait through ridiculous load times (I'm looking at you, Allmusic.com) the ads loaded after the actual content, instead of first. Isn't it possible that the amount of lost clickthroughs from those who leave the site before ads have fully loaded would be compensated for by the increased traffic from folks who no longer throw up their arms in disgust at the long waits caused by slow ad servers?

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Postby fennel » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:30 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Frankly, I agree that Isthmus does a good job of keeping ads unobtrusive, [...]

What?? The Isthmus has ads? Well, it's a good thing I don't see them, lest I feel morally obligated to refuse to patronize the advertised businesses. So ad blocking is good for local businesses.

Say, nobody has broached the question of whether advertising itself is ethical. Anyone care to wade in?

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Postby Ducatista » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:04 pm

Hell, I think signage crosses the line. Unmarked business only, please!

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Postby Wet_Pavement » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:08 am

Adblocker Plus is exactly like TiVo in this sense: you can set both to crop out ads completely and permanently. (I don't have TiVo so I'm relying on what I recall friends telling me.)

But the whole debate of the pro-ad crowd is based on a false assumption, that being that we need ads otherwise everything will become fee based, subscription service.

Guess what? Everything already is fee based, subscription service, and I have seen no reduction in advertising.

Their argument is "If no ads, then subscriptions follow." Well, if that's true, then how come I pay for services and I still have these annoying ads?

Once the content enters my home, I can choose what I view.

The one thing I wonder about Adblocker Plus is if I'm using it, does the website I visit know that I have their ads blocked and that I did not see them? I mean they could still count me as a "unique visitor" for the sake of bumping up their hits and use that info to promote their website to advertisers. But they and the advertisers would be none the wiser about whether or not I actually saw their ads.

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Postby Wet_Pavement » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:19 am

fennel wrote:Say, nobody has broached the question of whether advertising itself is ethical. Anyone care to wade in?


I'm not talking about the advertising on The Daily Page Forum here. But my gut response to advertising in general is that it's geared towards instilling an inadequacy in a viewer in order to make them feel some desperate need to buy a product to make them "whole." (This isn't an original idea on my part.)

I think some advertising can be done ethically with the aim to inform people about a product in a way that appeals to both their hearts and minds.

But the vast majority of advertising doesn't work this way.

The one case where I think advertising and our entertainment culture is most reprehensible is the kinds of body images it presents to young women. I mean I could go on but enough said.

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Postby magic moose » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:28 am

Ducatista wrote:Hell, I think signage crosses the line. Unmarked business only, please!


!!

Yes. Me too. From now on, I'll only frequent businesses I don't know about.

Wet_Pavement
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Postby Wet_Pavement » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:10 am

magic moose wrote:
Ducatista wrote:Hell, I think signage crosses the line. Unmarked business only, please!


!!

Yes. Me too. From now on, I'll only frequent businesses I don't know about.


Yeah in Madison it's just so hard to keep track of all the new businesses popping up. We're just like New York City with the 5 burroughs, except we don't have 5 burroughs and we're about 1/24th the size.

But other than that, it's the same.

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Postby Ducatista » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:56 am

Wet_Pavement wrote:...how come I pay for services and I still have these annoying ads?

Are you talking about your ISP fee? That pays for the conduit, not the content.

Wet_Pavement
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Postby Wet_Pavement » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:04 am

Ducatista wrote:
Wet_Pavement wrote:...how come I pay for services and I still have these annoying ads?

Are you talking about your ISP fee? That pays for the conduit, not the content.


Which hair exactly were you splitting?

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Postby jjoyce » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:04 am

Wet_Pavement wrote:Adblocker Plus is exactly like TiVo in this sense: you can set both to crop out ads completely and permanently. (I don't have TiVo so I'm relying on what I recall friends telling me.)


What a statement. My Ford is exactly like a BMW, however I've never actually driven a BMW but I have a friend who drives one.

But the whole debate of the pro-ad crowd is based on a false assumption, that being that we need ads otherwise everything will become fee based, subscription service.


In online publishing, that precisely defines the current setting. We're not likely to sell t-shirts to fund our online operation and asking for donations leads us down the road of operating like a non-profit.

But they and the advertisers would be none the wiser about whether or not I actually saw their ads.


The next step will quite likely involve creating ad serving techniques that get around these ad blockers, just like how marketers simply place their products prominently in television programming to get around people switching channels during commercials. Certainly, non-traditional (guerilla, inter-stitial, etc.) advertising annoys far more than ads located in places where you expect them to be. Ads don't appear in line with the editorial content on this site, as they do on other news sites in this town. We don't run advertorial features written by people paying for the opportunity, either. That kind of "content" won't be screened by your software.

The smug anti-ad types think their world is a better place without all these images clouding their thinking, but in reality, advertising is what has allowed alternative publications like Isthmus and the Onion (along with scores more) to operate in a market dominated by traditional media. Cutting off that revenue will reduce your media choices. It can't be replaced by selling t-shirts (which need, y'know, ad-style things to market them in the first place).

Maybe you don't care either way, which is fine, but that begs the question of why you're here in the first place. Could it be that an ad alerted you of this site?

Wet_Pavement
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Postby Wet_Pavement » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:07 am

jjoyce wrote:The smug anti-ad types ....


You lose.

Ducatista
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Postby Ducatista » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:11 am

Wet_Pavement wrote:Which hair exactly were you splitting?

It's not a hair. It's a whole series of tubes.

You do get the difference between the internet and what's on the internet, right? If not, the Techno forum may not be for you.


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