Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blocking Ads on Web Sites

For a long time I have been using Firefox as my default web browser, and I have been very happy with it.  One of the reasons I was happy with it was I was using an extension which blocks ads on the web sites that I visited.  I find ads to be annoying, and they can clutter a web page.  I almost never read an ad, so I was happy being able to block them.

A few weeks ago, I switched to Google Chrome as my default we browser.  I find Google Chrome to be a noticeably faster web browser than Firefox.   I was happy with it, but I was not completely happy because I could not find a way to block the ads I was now seeing on the web pages.  Then on January 3, I read an article by Craighton Miller on concerning Google Chrome extensions (click here if you would like to read the article).  I proceeded to figure how to get to the extensions on Google Chrome (it just takes two clicks of the mouse), and then I saw saw what I was looking for, an extension called AdBlock, which unsurprisingly blocks ads on web pages.  Ah, the holy grail!  Now I see no ads, no clutter, just the stuff I want to see.

But wait!  At the end of Craighton Miller's article on extensions, there is a paragraph on why one should not use an ad blocker.  Ads on web sites are sources of revenue for the people who produce the web sites.  Thus if you are using an ad blocker, you in effect are stealing from these people.  You are not getting that money, but the producers of the web site are not getting the money either.  That money helps to defray the cost of producing that web site.  I felt a little guilty after reading that paragraph, but not guilty enough.  I went ahead and installed AdBlock.

A day or two later on one of the The Lockergnome Daily Report (TLDR) videos, Chris Pirillo said that if you are using an ad blocker on the lockergnome web sites, you are not really a supporter of the lockergnome community.  Guilt, and more guilt.  Well, I wondered if there was a way to customize AdBlock so that I would not be blocking ads on the lockergnome sites.  Yes indeed, there is a way to not block ads on a particular site. So I am now not blocking ads on lockergnome web sites, but my guilt has not gone completely away.

What about the producers of other web sites?  Are I not keeping them from potential revenue (they only get the revenue if I click on an ad on their web site)?  Maybe I should not be using AdBlock at all.  Now this instant, I have just uninstalled AdBlock.  I am no longer blocking ads on any web site that I visit.  My guilt is gone.  I will see more stuff on the web pages, but I will learn to deal with it.  Perhaps I might see something that I might benefit from in an ad.  Maybe this change will actually be a win-win situation for both the web site producers and myself.  Certainly nothing wrong with that.

1 comment:

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Don't you just love guilt? LOL!

Ads can be very distracting and contribute to visual/intellectual overload, but if we can learn to ignore them...oh wait. If we ignore them and don't click on them, then we're hurting the economy and the Internet as a whole! Argh! The humanity!