Darren wrote up a post to discuss the idea that ad blocking software (like the Adblock Firefox extension I’m running right now) are potentially going to kill the current business model of the Web. That advertising would collapse if we all used Adblock and the like, and that free content (which is at least partially compensated for by viewing ads) would degenerate into the noisy crapfest of Geocities.
The point is a good one – we can’t have our cake and eat it too. If we want to get content for free, we should expect to pay something, in terms of viewing ads or something similar.
But the problem isn’t ads, per se. It’s evil advertisers. I use Adblock to kill the “punch the monkey in the nuts and win a free iPod” and “viagra makes you so huge that she’ll love you long time!” annoying/evil ads. I have no problem with tasteful, creative, even thoughtful ads. But the “You have an error! Click here!” vibrating fake-Windows-error-dialog bullshit has got to go.
That’s where Adblock comes in. If advertisers want to maintain relevance, at least to myself, they need to abandon the annoying flashing animated banner ads, and, oh, I don’t know… be creative? tasteful? interesting? relevant? funny? etc…
Disclaimer: I do run Adsense ads on this blog, but they should only be visible on old content, and only by people referred to the site by Google. Basically, if you are a regular, you shouldn’t see ads (if you do, there’s a bug in the system – let me know, and I’ll try to fix it).