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subscriber help

since 1997 | by maryann johanson

on ads and surveys

As I’ve mentioned before (though not in quite a while), I’ve avoided running pop-up or pop-under ads here at FlickFilosopher.com, because I find them extremely annoying, and I know others do too. But at the moment, and for about the next week or so, you may see a small pop-up when you leave the site asking for your opinion in a survey: that’s something that blogads is running that will help hone some of the ads that come through that service. I took it myself (it’s about TV shows you may watch) and it’s kinda fun, so if you decide to take the survey, you can rest assured that it won’t be like having root canal.

The Blog Reader Project survey (also from blogads) is still running, too — that one is looking for more broadly based information, also as a way to make the ads more relevant to the reader. You can take that survey here, if you haven’t already.
In other ad news, I got rid of the annoying smiley banners, which were driving me as crazy as they were driving some of you. They were bringing in a bit of money, though…

Trying to find that balance, between ensuring that the site makes some money without annoying visitors to the point of distraction, is a tough one. It’s particularly frustrating to know that a not insignificant percentage of visitors to the site are not seeing the ads at all, because they’re running ad-blocking software. I’m not sure why so many people think they should be able to get something for nothing, but it’s the same problem commercial-TV networks are dealing with, though on a much larger scale than I am: If people won’t pay even in a passive way — not by doling out cash but by watching an ad, even at the periphery of their vision with no requirement to give it their full attention — then what revenue streams are left to pay for the work? On the Net, at least, we’ve learned that subscriptions don’t work and tips jars don’t work, which leaves advertising, targeted at the people who don’t block ads.

So, to those of you who aren’t blocking ads, I thank you. And I do respond when I hear that particular ads are particularly annoying (the smileys are not the first ones that I’ve gotten rid of, and not the first ones I’ve gotten rid of that were earning some income). So do feel free to let me know about them.



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  • I wasn’t annoyed by the smiley ads, in fact, I don’t even remember them!

  • Fett101

    and tips jars don’t work

    Not by themselves, but every bit helps. I donate to the many sites I visit each new year myself but can never do that here.

    Have you considered being an Amazon affiliate? You could append links to the DVD, Book, OST or etc. of the movie you just reviewed.

  • Have you considered being an Amazon affiliate? You could append links to the DVD, Book, OST or etc. of the movie you just reviewed.

    She already does that, Fett, and there are amazon links in the “now on dvd” section too.

  • Ryan H

    While I agree that if advertisement supported sites are going to be viable people need to see the ads, there is a second side to that social contract. The adds need to be the type that people are willing to put up with.

    MaryAnn, you do a good job keeping the ads on your site relatively tasteful and relevant. However, that is far from the default state of affairs on most of the web. And since your ads are not hosted by your site itself, it is very hard for a program to filter annoying ads on another site while leaving yours intact. It’s not possible to whitelist your ads without whitelisting ads all over the internet.

    And whenever an advertising company figures a way around the smallest loophole in ad-blocking software, the first ads they use are invariably of the loudest and most annoying variety. It leads to a situation where any blocking software tends to be overkill in preventing anything through because the smallest gap is exploited by the wort offenders. Sites like yours that are worth visiting and supporting are collateral damage.

    The problem won’t go away until more ethical advertisers show up. As long as the only way to block the obnoxious ads is to block everything, that’s what will happen.

    Personally, I don’t use any aggressive ad-blocking software. For me, the hassle of approving the few false positives is more of a pain than ignoring the junk. The only ‘ad-blocking’ I use is a block on Flash apps from automatically loading. It’s a usability issue. A single bad flash ad or site can more than double page load time as well as slow down the computer. The fact that it also prevents me from seeing the occasional flashing kaleidoscope advertisement is sort of a happy side benefit. So, in all, I figure I see about half the ads you put on your site.

  • JoshB

    The only ads on this site that bother me are the World of Warcraft ads, because I’m an ex-player and don’t need the temptation…

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