I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened a website on my phone, only to have to have a scrolling-down fight with all their f*ing pop-up ads. More than half the time, I’ve just hit the back arrow and bailed on the website because it seems to be a never-ending battle to read a simple, short article. In a small percentage of the time, I bail on the site and never return, their ads are that bad.
Then there are the websites that won’t let you in if you’re running ad-blocking or script restricting add-ons. So fine, I never visit those sites if that’s the way they want to be about it. (Psst: AdBlock or NoScript are sanity saving add-ons that I use for Firefox.)
But ads are a twofold nuisance that have both good and bad aspects to them.
The good aspects are that they help web entities defray costs or even help them just out and out make some money. And hence, if you like the websites, ads can help them stay around.
At times, (rarely, but trying to be fair) ads can be useful. If you’ve been surfing for some item on the web, but gave up, then while cruising along, an ad pops up with the very thing you’ve been trying to find, well, there you have it.
But ads can also be f*ing stupid in how they work or how they’re presented to the web surfer.
When I’m on my phone and click an FB link to an article, some times I find myself repeatedly trying to scroll past the top of the page while ads continue to load up on me, preventing me from scrolling down towards the bottom of the page.
At other times, it seems that ads on my phone is triggering off of words or events going on around me/it. A friend of mine had a conversation in the room with his phone, about something he never uses or even has any inclination to use, but then suddenly, he started getting FB ads related to his conversation. Or when my gardeners are hard at work outside my window, and suddenly I’m getting lawn more ads in FB.
Maybe it’s just coincidence, but the timing seems peculiar at best with these events.
But ads also seem to get pretty stupid. While they are farming for information with cookies and your web surfing or search habits, they also don’t seem to filter out those ads which mean nothing. For example, the other day I was looking for instructions on a product that has not been produced in a few years. I found something out on the web and got the info I needed. But then later that day and the next, I had Facebook feeding me ads about this discontinued product. Um, duh?
Either way, ads and marketing are important for websites and web surfers who like those sites.
I do not like ads in my YouTube videos. I do not like pop-up or pop-out ads. They deter me from staying at websites or even returning to them. And since I pay per byte for my bandwidth, I f*ing hate video ads shoved down my throat when I load a site.
Sometimes, I think there have to be better ways to present the ads. For me, since I hate pop-ups and video ads, I don’t deliver either from my own websites. I try to be as unobtrusive as possible with my income links. On most of my sites I will place interactive ads in sidebars that are out of the way. Or I will place my Amazon-based ads in an article as simple text links. That way, it’s your choice if you see something I’ve put up, if you want to go check it out, and not have it forced on you instead. (And I try to come up with what seems to be relevant ads to the subject at hand. Try, I say. Try! Eh hem, kind of like this following link between paragraphs. I mean, what with the holidays coming up and all. Right?)
Either way, the bottom line is ads are a necessity for most web sites. But how they shove them down or throats, or present them to us, can have much to be desired. The web is not television, where advertisers spend almost $20B a season on ads that we are loudly blasted by. This is the web, the land of those who fleetingly visit websites and links, looking for quick information and then move on. They need to figure out how to capitalize on that without pissing off the casual web surfer.
Or at least that’s my opinion, but hey, who am I? Right?
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