First internet changed the way we do business, then the internet became the centre of business, now the business of internet is changing.
Nowadays it’s standard practice to monetize your website, whether it’s a blog, a social network, a platform for one thing or another; people ‘want’ to pay rent and bills, doing what they love. People love the internet, hence, people want to live off the internet.
The easiest way to get this done is to plant buckloads of advertisements on your site, and hope that the steady stream of visitors doesn’t recline on seeing flashing ads all over their HD-monitors. The ad market was becoming more and more obnoxious, banners moved in filling entire screens, flashing, disguised as the native interface and drew attention with unwanted soundclips and animations.
So the people started using Adblockers – even my grandma can install one nowadays. If you don’t use an adblocker you’re as stupid and naive as having unprotected sex with questionable partners like all the time.
But this is not totally right, because what about all the sites we love to use for free? If we all block their ads, they won’t survive or at least not as a free service.
But if we don’t, the user experience is so horrible that we don’t want to use them.
And thus the internet shifts again to a new understanding that ads are a necessity, and (good) websites seem to understand that people are rather used to using AdBlockers nowadays.
So what do sites like Wired do? When you use an adblocker, at first nothing happens. Then, when you’re halfway through an article you’ll get a full screen notice with “The thing about adblockers”. They explain that you’ve been reading the content, and they love you for it, but you block their ads, and they can’t do the things you love them for when you do that. Maybe you’d be willing to pay a dollar a month? That’s not too much?
Meh. Not going to do that for a site I don’t use daily. But what I will do is whitelist the sons of bitches, they’ve earned that much by not accusing me of piracy, stuffing my face full of ads anyway or blocking my access completely based on the fact I have an adblocker installed which I already forgot about when I visited Wired the first time.
No, they decided to make me aware of that I was ‘killing their business’ in a way I can relate. So what I did was whitelist them, refresh the page, and voila. I see no obnoxious ads, no blockage.
But I did get another full screen layover. A thank you. A thank you for understanding and supporting. Now this is a mentality I can get behind. In fact, have my dollar, you lovely beasts!
Now just please quit it with your “SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!” layovers. All y’all, plz.
On a further note, this trend of handling ads and visitors is an expanding one, and that’s a good thing. Some sites just make jokes by still showing the ad-containers without the ads but with sly texts like “Oh, you’re using an adblocker. That’s okay, my son doesn’t need to eat tonight anyway” and more of those tongue-in-cheek-but-fuck-you-friendly messages. I can relate to that as well, I feel caught and have to agree to their terms.
And these are all “small” independent sites that I wánt to support. So I do whenever they remind me of it.
But whenever any site urges me to turn of my adblocker, then fills my screen with flashing full screen ads, they can burn in hell for all that I care, I’m blocking their address in my hostfile so they’ll never see me again.
Instead, let’s just be honest with each other. We need the websites, the websites need the money. We can all be a big loving family.