I was chatting to a couple of bloggers over the weekend and I thought the discussion was divided and interesting enough to open up to you guys.
As we often do we got around to talking about cool sites we have seen recently. I mentioned “Why Digg is Blocked” and almost immediately regretted it. One individual launched into a rant about ad blockers “sucking the life-blood from the internet” 🙂
When the dust settled there seemed to be the following positions about the situation, let’s see which you agree with?
- All ads are evil – Advertising is annoying, distracting, and spoils my enjoyment of the web. I block ads because I don’t like to see them
- Information should be free – I disagree with people making money from the web. The web was started free and commercialization is ruining it.
- Ad blockers are selfish – People who block ads are spoiling it for the rest of us. Who is going to pay for their “free” information?
Now my own position is that while some ads really are annoying, especially the ones that take over the page, the noisy flash based ones like the smileys and the bug zapper or the ones that take advantage of non-technical users like the “your computer has a virus” or “10,000 visitor prize”. Having said that I do not block ads because I realize people have to monetize their sites. Yes there is a lot of so-called “free” information but I think there is no such thing, what you might think of as free is actually subsidized by the author, the authors employer or by customers.
Consider this blog. The reason I can post “free” information every day while still putting food on the table and paying my mortgage is because by clients pay me. The information is marketing. My content is my ad. Seth Godin can provide free information in the same way, his content advertises his books. Darren on the other hand makes a large percentage of his income from advertisements. Advertisers pay so you can get his information free.
So do you block ads? Which opinion do you agree with? Is there a position I have missed? Please tick the poll and share your thoughts in the comments?