Thoughts on ad-blocking and why I’ve now gone to the dark side
This weekend I moved to what some might call the dark side – I’ve installed an ad-blocker extension on my laptop and an ad-blocking browser on my phone.
Now I know some will say “what took you so long?” and others “the web will die without ads”… I have friends who work on ad-supported sites, so I felt at the least I owed them an explanation why.
I’m not opposed to adverts online, they form a vital part of funding for many websites but recently they’ve crossed a line, exhibit A:
An advert that stopped me from reading the content until I completed some ridiculous “quiz”, made even more inappropriate when it was a work-related news piece I was trying to read as part of my job.
Just so we’re clear: Dear Cadbury, this ad has absolutely guaranteed I will never buy this product ever.
And the real kicker… Monday night, I was returning from the excellent Dare Conference in London when tragically the train in front of us hit someone on the line.
Picture the scene…. we’ve just learnt that someone has died and have no idea when we’ll move on from Brockenhurst… I’m sat in the quiet carriage trying to work out when I’m likely to get home and finding out what I can about the incident… a news site starts auto-playing the audio of some pleb football commentator ranting on. No, just no.
And so I started looking at ad-blockers and I found out about the Acceptable Ads Manifesto used by some of them:
Acceptable Ads are not annoying.
Acceptable Ads do not disrupt or distort the page content we’re trying to read.
Acceptable Ads are transparent with us about being an ad.
Acceptable Ads are effective without shouting at us.
Acceptable Ads are appropriate to the site that we are on.
Now that was something I could support and so I installed the Adblocker Plus extension for Chrome and the browser for my mobile – something that wasn’t really a factor for me, that has also been interesting, is the time to load pages has got noticeably quicker.