@#$% Freeloaders!



  • I think I've ranted about the ad-blocking freeloaders here before, but some recent feedback I received inspired me enough to bring it up again. Here's a message some one just sent me that made me say "WTF" out loud ...

    From: Anonymous
    Subject: Hidden Network
    Message: Thanks for the heads up on your new blog-spamming [sic] service. I've just now submitted your adserver's URL to several shared filter lists.

    Now I know that this attitude doesn't represent the majority or even a notable minority. But seriously, WTF?!?!



  • There are certain people on the planet who simply don't understand that web servers cost money, and advertisements do not normally make anyone rich. At best, they cover the cost of your server and maybe compensate you (badly) for some of the time you spend working on it rather than doing your "real" job.

    Personally, I would rather see an ad that really matters to me than nothing at all. Oddly enough, I do buy things here and there, and it's truly helpful to be told about things that I might otherwise not have known I could buy.

     



  • I dont know about you guys, but the job ads on this board are better than other uninteresting, uninspiring and vague ads I've seen elsewhere. Ok, atleast not JoelOnSoftware.

    Too bad I've not across any postings near my place. But I think we'll get there.

    And Alex, I suppose the free loaders who provide such feedback will the ones who would appreciate the service, probably when the housing bubble bursts, and when they have to sucker up to WTF jobs.



  • I can understand blocking big flashing banner images, but text based advertising is fine.

    BTW some of your job ads (http://adserver.hiddennetwork.com/listing.aspx?Ad=Y&PubId=1001&JobId=1000034) don't include city/province/country.



  • kuroshin, I'm glad to hear that. I've declined atleast 10% of the ads submitted thus far because they weren't good quality.

    Albatross, thanks for the heads up about the missing locations -- that's an oversite on my part. The employer does have to enter a location by using drop downs and some have been writing this out in the job description. I'll just put the location they entered in the header below the job title.

     



  • While I agree that telling you that he's getting your ads blocked is bad form, people're gonna block ads whether you like it or not. "You (as a noncommercial entity)'re not allowed to block the ads on my site" is in the same category as "you (likewise, as a noncommercial entity)'re not allowed to copy this CD" – By the time it's on your clients' computers, no matter how hard you try to stop them, people will do what they like with your product, and conspire amoungst one another to do so. Change what you can, accept what you cannot, I say.



  • I don't click on ads anyway, so there's really no detriment to me blocking them. And as long as I don't see a donate button anywhere I really don't care if people dislike that I block ads. I wouldn't mind donating a few dollars every few months, but I'm going to continue blocking ads as long as I can.

    Maybe you should give visitors more choices in how they support TheDailyWTF.



  • I don't block ads, but the advertisements have offered nothing of value to me, and I'm not job-hunting right now.  Alex, you've put a lot of effort into this site and deserve to have some help; the option to donate would be a good idea.  There are who do refuse to request donations, but there's no reason to feel bad about doing so.



  • [quote user="HeroreV"]

    I don't click on ads anyway, so there's really no detriment to me blocking them. And as long as I don't see a donate button anywhere I really don't care if people dislike that I block ads. I wouldn't mind donating a few dollars every few months, but I'm going to continue blocking ads as long as I can.

    Maybe you should give visitors more choices in how they support TheDailyWTF.

    [/quote]

    Alternately, there's the slashdot model: 'subscribers' get a certain number of ad-free page views for $5.



  • Just to chime in with the rest of your loyal followers.  I would have to say that the adds you include on TDWTF are among the best presented that I've seen on the web.

    • No annoying sounds
    • No flash animations
    • No big pictures or banners
    • No stupid products
    • No monkeys
    • Cute Chicks grin

    They are non-intrusive and I certainly have no problem with them appearing.

     



  • I am not looking for a job (heck, I'm 16 and the ads being shown to me are at best several thousand km from me), so is billing others for showing me ads that I will never follow 100% justified?

    While blocking ads is a descision that's up to the user (note that if an ad is blocked, it should not cost the advertiser), it's a bit rude to tell the site owner so, and espescially rude to gloat to sthem that you've just listed your ads to be blocked by millions of users, some of whom may potentially benefit from your ads. Remeber, the point in ads is (or at least should be) to let the viewer benefit by being made aware of some service or product that they wouldn't have known of otherwise.


    That said, I find the "Freeloaders" mentality somehow objectionable. I run my server and let other people use my services because it's interesting to code them and I get great satisfaction if I know that there are actually people out there that find something that I've done useful.



  • [quote user="SpComb"]I am not looking for a job (heck, I'm 16 and the ads being shown to me are at best several thousand km from me), so is billing others for showing me ads that I will never follow 100% justified?[/quote]

    Better call the television station and let 'em know they're wasting their advertiser's money by running tampon ads while you're watching too. 

    [quote user="SpComb"]That said, I find the "Freeloaders"
    mentality somehow objectionable. I run my server and let other people
    use my services because it's interesting to code them and I get great
    satisfaction if I know that there are actually people out there that
    find something that I've done useful.
    [/quote]

    That model gets a bit pricey when you're serving tens of thousands of views a day.

     



  • Not much you can do about people blocking ads unfortunately, especially if its your ads being shown on a 3rd party site. If its your site and your ads then you can make the ads text only and inline them in the pages, stops them being blocked but not exactly practical for 99.99% of web sites.

    My site  (http://zints.co.uk/) uses inline text only amazon ads but it wasn't designed that way to avoid blocking, the idea was to avoid the use of javascript in general and keep overall page sizes down. Ofcourse the ads don't pay for the site, and the whole thing is really just a huge sandbox for experimenting with various ideas in HTML, CSS, SQL, etc. Although its quite useable, its distinctly unpolished.



  • One little comment about the ads in the "Non-WTF Jobs" sidebar: What's the reason for them not being real hyperlinks, but some Javascript-Thingy? In Firefox, I can normaly open a link in a new tab by pressing the mouse wheel. In this case it doesn't work.



  • I was wondering the same thing as AmmoQ.



  • I use the adblock FF extension because it improves the surfer's browsing experience but from day 1 I was unable to view the Job ads so I white-listed the site and they're showing up now. Together with the cute analyst/programmer/foosball girl :D

     Unfortunately so far only one add so far is showing that's less than 1000 Miles away...:(

     
    And I haven't seen them appearing on your own blog yet... ...or is that my add filter playing up again? ;)
     



  • @ammoQ said:

    One little comment about the ads in the "Non-WTF Jobs" sidebar: What's the reason for them not being real hyperlinks, but some Javascript-Thingy? In Firefox, I can normaly open a link in a new tab by pressing the mouse wheel. In this case it doesn't work.

    Javascript is superior to HTML. Duh. In the not so distant future, HTML will be completely replaced by Javascript, AJAX, Flash and miscellaneous other truely amazing proprietary hi-tech web technology, such as WMA, WMP and QT. Combined with DRM, this allows content creators to construct amazing do-nothing-links using nothing but Javascript and a specially crafted__doPostBack function, all contained in a DRM-protected WMJ-file (Window Media Javascript) to prevent unauthorized stealing of your valuable intellectual property.



  • [quote user="ammoQ"]One little comment about the ads in the "Non-WTF Jobs" sidebar: What's the reason for them not being real hyperlinks, but some Javascript-Thingy? In Firefox, I can normaly open a link in a new tab by pressing the mouse wheel. In this case it doesn't work.
    [/quote]

    This is on the task list to fix ....  



  • [quote user="grassfire"]

    Just to chime in with the rest of your loyal followers.  I would have to say that the adds you include on TDWTF are among the best presented that I've seen on the web.

    • No annoying sounds
    • No flash animations
    • No big pictures or banners
    • No stupid products
    • No monkeys
    • Cute Chicks grin

    They are non-intrusive and I certainly have no problem with them appearing.

     

    [/quote]

    Some of us would also like to see some cute guys!  Although maybe it's hard to find cute guy coders...



  • I must agree that a few cute guys would be a nice touch every now and then.

    Also, I don't care if people block ads on my sites, but for heaven sake's I don't want to be told about it. It's just not necessary and usually does nothing but really annoy the site owner.  



  • [quote user="DWalker59"]Although maybe it's hard to find cute guy coders...[/quote]

    Haha, you've just insulted so many people here. LOL



  • [quote user="DWalker59"]

    Although maybe it's hard to find cute guy coders...

    [/quote]

    ;_; 



  • @#$% Site owners with no backbone (not talking about TDWTF here)

    Most people probably don't mind being fed ads to support sites like TDWTF, especially when they are designed the way they are here: eye-catching when necessary, but minimalist and static.

    I browse most web sites with Opera configured with image animation disabled and all plugins disabled by default. This is unfortunate because I probably miss a few Flash-based ads that aren't all that annoying. I won't feel guilty about it though because I've seen sites out there that are positively inhospitable when viewed in unmodified IE or Firefox: ads floating around on top of the text; dancing, vibrating, gyrating Flash ads off to the side of the body text, making it impossible to focus on the text.

    When the average person encounters this type of advertising, they will either suck it up and ignore it, or they'll stop reading that site. A more tech-savvy person might find and install a one-stop kill-them-all ad blocker and never look back. Now that's very unfortunate, because it ends up hurting all web sites, even ones that aren't guilty of such indecency.

    So, it is my belief that because of stupid web site owners who cave in and accept or encourage all manner of hideously annoying ads that hordes of users choose to block all ads and unfairly hurt all commercial web sites.

    P.S. It is exquisitely annoying when a page renders perfectly Opera with plugins turned off, 120% Zoom, and "Fit to Width" except the ads... which go batshit insane when tweaked by Opera's end-user options. (Try viewing Fark with "Fit to Width" turned on in Opera. You'll see two copies of the top banner ad on top of each other; the second copy will obscure a top-level site navigation menu.) If you give us ads, please keep them standards-compliant. (Again, this bitching doesn't apply to TDWTF.)

    [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    I think I've ranted about the ad-blocking freeloaders here before, but some recent feedback I received inspired me enough to bring it up again. Here's a message some one just sent me that made me say "WTF" out loud ...

    [/quote]
     



  • I'm with most of the people on this thread and there isn't too many sites on which I have blocked ads. Some being sites which have Google's AdSense that breaks their layout, some having flash banners (for two reasons: I like to use remote desktop connection to browse web at school (since it's faster...seriously) -> animated stuff makes the connection slow and another reason being the fact that flashing stuff on the sides while just trying to read something is really annoyning), some having those javascript "popups" and usually the most annoyning one being either slow or broken webserver for some ad because of which page load time incrases a lot.

    And usually if I need to go in "content-filter" mode, I will just block all ads on the site.

    So in short:
    no flash ads
    no forced "popups"
    no slow remote servers
    no broken layouts
    and at least I will "see" those (let's ignore the fact that I rarerly check what the ad says). I doubt I need to worry about that here ever, but just as a sidenote for people that are considering of getting ads for their sites.



  • [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    I think I've ranted about the ad-blocking freeloaders here before, but some recent feedback I received inspired me enough to bring it up again. Here's a message some one just sent me that made me say "WTF" out loud ...

    From: Anonymous
    Subject: Hidden Network
    Message: Thanks for the heads up on your new blog-spamming [sic] service. I've just now submitted your adserver's URL to several shared filter lists.

    Now I know that this attitude doesn't represent the majority or even a notable minority. But seriously, WTF?!?!

    [/quote]

     

    I believe that banning their IP from not only the TDWTF server but your email server will shut them up properly. Also, signing their email up for 10+ gay hardcore bondage age60+ porn lists can teach a valuable lesson in tactfulness.

    Sadly, I have never done that to anyone, as I don't have the addresses of any of said porn lists handy. But you really can't go wrong that way.
     



  • [quote user="Brendan Kidwell"]

    Most people probably don't mind being fed ads to support sites like TDWTF, especially when they are designed the way they are here: eye-catching when necessary, but minimalist and static.

    I browse most web sites with Opera configured with image animation disabled and all plugins disabled by default. This is unfortunate because I probably miss a few Flash-based ads that aren't all that annoying. I won't feel guilty about it though because I've seen sites out there that are positively inhospitable when viewed in unmodified IE or Firefox: ads floating around on top of the text; dancing, vibrating, gyrating Flash ads off to the side of the body text, making it impossible to focus on the text.

    [/quote]

    I block Flash ads, popup ads, javascript ads, java ads, and any GIF image with four or fewer frames and an animation delay of 100ms or less.  As a side effect, this blocks static image ads from many websites that use javascript to try sneaking past ad filters, since it's not easy to tell filter evasion from an ad floating under the mouse pointer.  This makes the Internet a much nicer place.



  • I'm always among the first to block any and all animated or otherwise intrustive ads. No content is worth that, sort of a web site that increases your bank balance by £10 for every word you read, but I've not found such a site yet. With such sites, I have no issue reading adblocked stuff. You're obnoxious enough to submit to me that crap? I'm obnoxious enough to use your paid-for bandwidth freely. Ads that make noise... well you're just trying to piss me off now, aren't you?

     Sensibly targetted, friendly ads like on TDWTF and most google stuff I have no problem with. In fact, some are actually even (SHOCK!) useful. Screened job ads on a site where people come to share WTF horror stories about their current job, for example - that makes sense.

    Just a shame that some of them don't work without scripting. I work on purely whitelist-only terms with scripting in any browser, and on certain machines, it's no scripting at all. As much as I may or may not trust any site, I'm not going to enable scripting just to show an ad. Ads have no reason at all to be running scripts on client machines. Until that's fixed on the job ads, they'll only be showing on some of my machines.



  • [quote user="blirp"][quote user="ammoQ"]One little comment about the ads in the "Non-WTF Jobs" sidebar: What's the reason for them not being real hyperlinks, but some Javascript-Thingy? In Firefox, I can normaly open a link in a new tab by pressing the mouse wheel. In this case it doesn't work.
    [/quote]
    Javascript is superior to HTML. Duh. In the not so distant future, HTML will be completely replaced by Javascript, AJAX, Flash and miscellaneous other truely amazing proprietary hi-tech web technology, such as WMA, WMP and QT. Combined with DRM, this allows content creators to construct amazing do-nothing-links using nothing but Javascript and a specially crafted__doPostBack function, all contained in a DRM-protected WMJ-file (Window Media Javascript) to prevent unauthorized stealing of your valuable intellectual property.[/quote]

    You forgot about VRML, which is going to revolutionize your browsing experience next year. The idea was always a little ahead of its time, but now that XML is king VRML will return. I understand it will be Virtudyne's next great rollout.

     I have a proxy engine with which I extensively rewrite web sites, ads being only one causualty; I often strip out clutterred navigation and fritters or introduce nav where it's sorely lacking, change colors and fonts, and generally make the internet a more personalized experience. Sorry. But I tend to be in the minority of people that's perenially irritated by context-free ads and will leave instead (although it seems to be a majority of techies). On the other hand I'll quickly follow links put in the context of whatever I'm reading, blog-style, even if that means I get astroturfed occasionally.



  • Just remembered that adblock plus is still enabled for this site so I've just set it to never filter anything on the dailywtf.com.

    It's the least all of us can do, this site is a public service that keeps a lot of us sane when we think things are bad at work.

     



  • [quote user="RayS"]Ads that make noise... well you're just trying to piss me off now, aren't you?[/quote]


    That's one place where Linux's WTF of a sound system comes in handy: my browser is completely unaware of the sound-producing capabilities of my computer, so it's impossible for ads to make noise at me.



  • I'm always among the first to block any and all animated or otherwise intrustive ads.

    Wouldn't a better and solution be to just not visit their site? I find it unethical to consume ad-sponsored media without stripped ads -- obviously if everyone did that there would be no ad-sponsored media in the first place. I consider it somewhere inbetween software piracy and being the jackass who rides the berm in a traffic jam.

    I don't like intrusive ads, either. I avoid every single link to About.com specificaly because of their ads. I've stopped reading quite a few tech publications when they started the stupid <font color="#009900">in-text</font> ad stuff. Couldn't you just do that instead, or just suck it up and deal with the ads?



  • [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    I'm always among the first to block any and all animated or otherwise intrustive ads.

    Wouldn't a better and solution be to just not visit their site? I find it unethical to consume ad-sponsored media without stripped ads -- obviously if everyone did that there would be no ad-sponsored media in the first place. I consider it somewhere inbetween software piracy and being the jackass who rides the berm in a traffic jam.

    I don't like intrusive ads, either. I avoid every single link to About.com specificaly because of their ads. I've stopped reading quite a few tech publications when they started the stupid <font color="#009900">in-text</font> ad stuff. Couldn't you just do that instead, or just suck it up and deal with the ads?

    [/quote]

    The ads I block are those that are actively harmful to me, or to the proper functioning of my computer.

    Take rapidly-flashing animated GIFs: get one of them on the screen, and I have trouble reading the text.  Two, and I start to get a headache.  I'm afraid that if I ever find a page with four (header, footer, left bar, and right bar) I'll have an epileptic seizure.

    Flash and Java are both out because they let an ad slow my browser to the point of unusability.  Further, with Flash, there's no way I can tell if an ad will be blinking rapidly at me.

    Javascript ads are out because the advertiser almost never tests them in Opera, and I'll wind up with a pseudo-popup I can't close, or an ad that persistently hovers under the mouse pointer rather than following it around.

    Popups and especially popunders are blocked because they can appear in unexpected places at unexpected times, such as when I'm typing in a password.  It's not common, but I've seen at least one popup that appeared to be designed to steal usernames and passwords.  Popunders work by pushing the page that opened them to the top, and since I browse with many tabs open, that's rarely the page I'm trying to read.

    I can't just avoid sites that use these sorts of ads, since most of the sites I visit regularly aren't large enough to dictate terms to their ad distributors, and ad distributors generally don't care that advertisers are violating the distributor's limits on what sort of ads are allowed.  Further, I see no reason to let an advertiser do the digital equivalent of a mugging to tell me that I may have won a mysterious prize.



  • [quote user="HitScan"]

     

    I believe that banning their IP from not only the TDWTF server but your email server will shut them up properly. Also, signing their email up for 10+ gay hardcore bondage age60+ porn lists can teach a valuable lesson in tactfulness.

    Sadly, I have never done that to anyone, as I don't have the addresses of any of said porn lists handy. But you really can't go wrong that way.
     

    [/quote]

    Signing people up for spam without their consent is illegal in most countries, you know.



  • [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    I'm always among the first to block any and all animated or otherwise intrustive ads.

    Wouldn't a better and solution be to just not visit their site? I find it unethical to consume ad-sponsored media without stripped ads -- obviously if everyone did that there would be no ad-sponsored media in the first place. I consider it somewhere inbetween software piracy and being the jackass who rides the berm in a traffic jam.

    I don't like intrusive ads, either. I avoid every single link to About.com specificaly because of their ads. I've stopped reading quite a few tech publications when they started the stupid <font color="#009900">in-text</font> ad stuff. Couldn't you just do that instead, or just suck it up and deal with the ads?

    [/quote]

    Do you ever leave the room during a commercial break when watching television? Do you stare constantly at the ads on the bus? Etc.



  • [quote user="rsynnott"]


    Do you ever leave the room during a commercial break when watching television? Do you stare constantly at the ads on the bus? Etc.
    [/quote]

    (I'd just like to clarify that I have no moral objections to internet advertising, or anything. I make money off Google ads myself. I'm not at all bothered if my users choose not to see them, though; when it comes to it, those people would hardly be clicking on them anyway).



  • ... [snip a bunch of excuses] ... I can't just avoid sites that use these sorts of ads

    Sounds a lot like the argument for piracy: "well, I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so what's the harm." I'm not sure what sites you're visiting, but I rarely see ads like the ones youtalk about.

    <!-- End: CommunityServer.Discussions.Controls.PostDisplay.TextPost -->

    [quote user="rsynnott"]Do you ever leave the room during a commercial break when watching television?[/quote]

    This is fundamentally different that stripping ads. The metaphor you should be using is TIVO; and that's also unethical as far as i'm concerned. buy the DVD if you want it ad-free.



  • [quote user="rsynnott"][quote user="HitScan"]

     

    I believe that banning their IP from not only the TDWTF server but your email server will shut them up properly. Also, signing their email up for 10+ gay hardcore bondage age60+ porn lists can teach a valuable lesson in tactfulness.

    Sadly, I have never done that to anyone, as I don't have the addresses of any of said porn lists handy. But you really can't go wrong that way.
     

    [/quote]

    Signing people up for spam without their consent is illegal in most countries, you know.

    [/quote]

     It was a typo! I swear! The keys are like...right next to eachother.
     



  • Alex,

    For sites like yours I normally turn off the ad blocking.  Because you don't have the abtrusive kind of ads that are between every paragraph of an article.  You keep them in one spot so if I choose to look at them I can.  The sites I really hate are those that like I said force you to look at their ads by putting them between every paragraph, or the ones that intertwine them in a group of links.

    So keep up the good work, you really make me laugh my head off.

    And for everybody turning off ads on this site, maybe Alex should turn it into a pay site.  Where he charges a couple dollars a year.  I bet none of you would like that either?

    Nick
     



  • [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    ... [snip a bunch of excuses] ... I can't just avoid sites that use these sorts of ads

    Sounds a lot like the argument for piracy: "well, I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so what's the harm." I'm not sure what sites you're visiting, but I rarely see ads like the ones youtalk about.

    [/quote]

    Are you seriously saying I should put myself at risk for a photosensitve epiliptic seizure so that somebody can make a fraction of a penny?  Or have you never seen those flickering "you may have won our hourly prize" banner ads?



  • [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    ... [snip a bunch of excuses] ... I can't just avoid sites that use these sorts of ads

    Sounds a lot like the argument for piracy: "well, I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so what's the harm."

    [/quote]

    What I mean by this is that the forum for a web community I'm part of is supported by ads.  The website owner subscribes to an advertising feed that claims none of the ads will have sound, pop-ups, flickering animation, or ads that spill out of the banner area.  About 99% of the advertisers on this feed follow the restrictions, but 1% ignore them.  The operator of the advertising feed doesn't care, the owner of the website isn't going to change advertising feeds, and the community has decided against changing forums.

    So I've got two choices: I can cut off a major means of contact for a number of my friends, or I can block some ads.  Guess who wins?


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