Is It Time To Start Blocking Firefox Users?

All views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Connected Internet or its proprietor.

When you come to one of my websites you are absolutely welcome to not click any of the ad links. You are equally at liberty to not pay attention to the ads should you so choose. I will also make a promise to the user that the monetization of my sites will not be intrusive and will not draw undue attention to itself.

That said, if you block the ads on my site, pound sand. It’s practically like you are stealing from me.

I am sympathetic. There are websites that are so intrusive with their monetization that there is more advertising than content. Some sites you don’t dare move your mouse for fear of launching an inline ad link. I get it. I don’t like it any more than you guys do.

However, you don’t get the option to ignore monetization in the world. You get it on TV, radio and print media. You drive by it daily. You attend events in venues, whose very name is monetization, to see entertainment that is sponsored by a financial concern. People are wearing it. There is product placement on TV and in movies. There are ads in video games. It’s everywhere.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that people use the internet to try to make a buck. Let me tell you where I’m coming from regarding ad blocking:

The ads on my site represent the only way I have to pay for my hosting costs. Also, while I do web design and writing because it’s an enjoyable pastime for me and my main pursuit is to add value to the internet, my time is valuable and I would like something back. There is absolutely nothing wrong or mercenary about that. I do not own a single domain whose sole purpose is to make money. Everything I do on the web is about the content. If I want to stick a banner and a couple of AdSense units on my page, who are you to block them?

Look, regarding the sites with advertising so intrusive it drove you to run an ad blocker, boycott them. Vote with the only thing that counts to a web site, your unique visit. Enough people do that and sites will change their ways.

As for the sites you visit whose content you enjoy and who don’t ram monetization down your throat, why not click an ad link now and then? It’s a way for you to show your appreciation for the service the web site is providing. It helps the site make money. It took you about half a second.

The title of this article was purposefully inflammatory so you would read on. I am not about to block Firefox users or tell anyone how to do so. I want every Firefox user out there to hit my web sites. I would also like a few of them to help me make a little money by voluntarily clicking ad links. If no one is seeing my ads I may have to reconsider whether I want to spend my family’s money and take my time away from my family to continue to contribute to the web.

So think about that before running ad blocking software. Instead maybe you should turn it off and just stop visiting the sites you can’t stomach without it.

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151 Responses to Is It Time To Start Blocking Firefox Users?

  1. Ads are for housewives! October 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    What is the diff. between blocking ads and not clicking on them? The outcome is the same. I tend NOT to click on any ads these days anyways. And with the increase on virus and other trojans that are present on any websites, this is the only safe way to go. Ad blocking software make it more secure.

    • AJ00200 December 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      I am just answering your question. I use an ad blocker as well, so don’t flame me.
      The difference is that people get a small amount of money each time an add is loaded on a site, but a much larger amount when the ad is clicked.

      • PETO D. March 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

        RE: to “people get a small amount of money each time an add is loaded on a site, but a much larger amount when the ad is clicked.”

        Are you ok? sure no schizo illness? lol
        WHY schould WE care if you get paid enough from ur ads or not??
        That aint my problem, i aint getting no pennys from you , ,,it aint my fault u try to live with ur bloody ADS haha GET A JOB INSTEAD !!! u aint gon get rich from ads, get real FOOOOL,, u schould be ashamed for writing this article. BUT I GOTTA ADMIT, THIS IS THE BEST ARTICLE I EVER READ HAHAHHA U MADE MY DAY HHAHA —–GOOD LUCK WITH UR ADS CAREER HAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAH

    • Sam Bronson May 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      Actually, there is a difference: many advertising services pay a certain rate per “impression”; if the ad is never loaded, they don’t pay! So, my policy is to define my own blocking rules when the ads on a particular site start to really get under my skin, rather than subscribing to any of the pre-made lists.

  2. Thilak Rao October 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    AdBlock Plus doesn't block Google Ads anymore. So whether or not, Adblock Plus is installed, you'll still be showing Google Ads :)

  3. James Breckenridge October 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    I totally agree with Michael, if you don't click on the ads there might be some revenue being generated through CPM and some benefit to the advertiser through branding. How is blocking ads any different to piracy?

  4. felix October 8, 2009 at 12:35 am #

    Well good point, but my time is of great value, too.

    It just took me 30136ms too load this page with dsl 6000 and just 4 little words in operas “urlfilter”.

    Without blocking anything this site displays with an incredible speed of just 62971ms!

    Thats twice as much and by the way 1 minute of waiting with my new 6000 connection … two weeks ago i had dsl 386, that sucked even more :(

    your turn again

  5. Michael Lankton October 7, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    ??

    • Anonymous October 11, 2009 at 5:00 am #

      Michael Lankton is a f.ucking moron

    • Smooth_Thug87 March 8, 2011 at 12:02 am #

      The best thing u can do is just stop making that site, discard it , forget it,, u wasting too much time on it,, u working so much on ur site u get ill of it lol Seek for a job, go steal, try drugdealing,, anything,, but forget the ads u wont succeed with it! If you would share sumthing veeerry interesting lets say an hotfile account or similiar,,just THEN u could say “U can support me by clicking my ads” and believe me u would get much support.
      .
      U don even need to share anything like that, its enough to say,, “hey welcome 2my page, to support me u can click the ads”..
      .
      But not the way u doin it,, D Hampton is right, ure arrogant!! uneed balls to write sumtin like that.just makin it worse

  6. Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 2:45 am #

    I guess the EFF is reading Connected Internet.Too bad, like some of our hot headed commenters, they couldn’t be bothered to read past the title of the article in question before coming to a conclusion about what the message was.

    • Brianary October 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

      I’m sorry? We’re “theives”. We “don’t get the option to ignore monetization in the world” (I guess the world has to bend over backwards to preserve your business model). “If I want to stick a banner and a couple of AdSense units on my page, who are you to block them?” “maybe you should turn it off and just stop visiting the sites you can’t stomach without it.”

      I think we know *exactly* what the message is.

      “Look, regarding the sites with advertising so intrusive it drove you to run an ad blocker, boycott them.”

      I did that until the lowest common denominator became the norm. Some sites I do whitelist to show ads (though not many–I see advertising as inherently immoral), but not ones that threaten their audience, or call them childish names.

      “why not click an ad link now and then?”

      Because I don’t need malware, and I don’t intend to buy anything? You want us to lie about our intent, to pretend to be motivated by an ad, and *we’re* the immoral ones?

    • Ampersand October 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

      Write an inflammatory headline, get an inflammatory response.

      Sorry.

  7. Jamie October 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    Should I also give up my channel-skipping PVR?

    Give me a break – As others have stated: me not clicking gets you the same result as me not seeing the ads.

    FWIW – I came here from a RSS feed… which has no ads… just so I could comment on your rant.

  8. nigel October 8, 2009 at 3:31 am #

    The world owes you a living, eh?

    Do you plan to chip in to my DSL costs?

    I’m not obliged to look at any piece of your site, content or advert. Your bandwidth costs are your own concerns – I don’t ask you to publish this magazine, and it is a compliment to you that I visit it at all.

    This is a vanity publication, don’t delude yourselves otherwise. Calling your visitors thieves for blocking your adverts is not only an obnoxious display of your wounded sense of entitlement, it’s also a fast way to demolish a hard-won audience. I’m no more a thief for blocking your adverts than I’m a thief for walking past a busker.

    Sorry Everton, but I’m another who won’t be returning to this site. There are so many others in this identikit bracket I’ll barely miss it.

    • Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 4:03 am #

      I’m going to quote a comment I made in a thread on another site regarding this article:

      Lastly, it’s frustrating when you start a discussion like this, and instead of an intelligent conversation where people of differing opinions get together and share ideas in attempt to persuade or at least understand each other, it ends up in “f*ck you, it’s my web browser and my time and I don’t have to do a damned thing I don’t want to”. It’s a selfish, not very smart response.

      Some of these responses are disappointing, and really make me question if the commenters read anything past the title of the article.

      Finally, I only write for Connected Internet. The views and opinions I express represent Michael Lankton, not Connected Internet or it’s proprietor.

      If you want to be mad at someone don’t read my articles, but don’t take it out on Everton.

      • Brianary October 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

        “Some of these responses are disappointing”

        You set the tone by calling us “theives”. Please don’t be surprised if the level of discourse doesn’t magically elevate on its own.

        • Questionable Poon October 12, 2009 at 1:39 am #

          Heh.

  9. Michael Lankton October 7, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    Hear that Everton? Time to monetize the feed. :)

  10. Everton October 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    no money in it ;-) on a serious note as someone who relies on the revenue from ads and who recognises that other site owners are in the same boat, I would never block ads. Funnily enough I just came home from my leaving drinks from my old job and one conversation revolved around how we were happy to donate money to individuals who had taken the time to release great freeware because the money would mean more to them, than a big organisation who wouldn't even notice the transactions. I think of ads the same way – getting the rev in is more crucial to small people like us than say a cnn.com, so why would you want to deprive people of the vital income?

  11. Kevin_Carson October 8, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    Well, I have to say this is the logical development of the whole idea of “intellectual property.” If someone’s right to make money off something that really isn’t property (i.e., the ability to replicate information) trumps my real ownership rights of my tangible property, to the extent that even wearing a T-shirt with DeCSS on it is a violation of “property rights,” then it makes sense that your right to ad revenue trumps my right to do with MY computer and MY browser whatever the hell I want.

    Yet another illustration of the idea that “intellectual property” can’t exist except by violating REAL (i.e., tangible) property rights. IOW, intellectual property is theft.

    I surfed here via the EFF link, BTW.

  12. Anonymous October 8, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    By this logic, everytime you don’t sit throught an ad when you see television you’re stealing. And I really doubt that you go through the commercials just to support some company.

  13. Mike October 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    You’re an ass, and I’ll do my bit by avoiding your crappy, self-referential site, you whiny little pukebag.

    • Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

      These are the sort of compelling arguments that make me glad I wrote the article.

      The only regret I have is that none of the rabid electronic freedom crew seemed to actually read it before they left a comment. I would have loved to engage in a discussion of what I said in the article vs. your opinion on why I was incorrect, but instead we get this.

      • Brianary October 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

        I guess we reap what we sow.

      • Mike October 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

        Have you thought about the possibility that the EFF crew read your argument and saw it to not worth their time to discuss it with you? Especially with the name calling you are participating in with the people who you attempt to make money from, your users.

        But here’s a real question for you. You complained earlier about the fact that for every 5 minutes of television, it feels like you get 5 minutes of commercials. Do you believe that analogy should carry over to your website? If we apply that standard to your website, it seems that the screen space allocated to your written content and to advertisements are pretty even. By a quick count, you currently show almost one advertisement per paragraph of written text. If you want loyal readers who participate in honest and intellectual conversation, perhaps its best to do it without showing them large photos of people’s teeth while trying to read your content.

        Well integrated advertising isn’t the problem here, it’s the fact you’re willing to show any type of advert that is.

        • Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

          Point out one instance of name calling on my part in this discussion.

          I’m waiting…

          • Name October 13, 2009 at 1:50 am #

            Ummm…you engaged in the name-calling RIGHT BEFORE you asked to be shown where you were name calling. You said:

            “…the rabid electronic freedom crew…”

            Now, unless you have proof that the crew at the EFF have rabies – I’d say that was name-calling, genius.

      • Mr. Gunn October 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

        Michael, I understand your desire to get money for what you’re doing, but if you’re really adding value, I don’t think you’d have to be here begging. You’ve the right to believe that there’s a moral or legal compulsion to leave your page looking the way you want it to look, but if you do believe that you’d better turn off your RSS feed and start blocking the 50 or so bots that are scraping your page for various reasons other than your page showing up in search results. You’ll want to tell Skyfire to not index your site and tell Google not to have you show up in mobile search results. I can give you a bunch of IP addresses for your robots.txt file, if you like. You might also want to start having a fit about sidewiki now, too, since anyone can leave a nasty comment on your page that shows up for all other sidewiki users, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Sidewiki isn’t even the first or only project of its kind, so you’ll want to block all the stumbleupon and digg and ow.ly traffic you get as well. Then you’ll want to do something to detect the use of greasemonkey and stylish, which can be used in all major browsers now.

        There, I made a sensible argument without personal attacks and with as little sarcasm as I could possibly manage to hold back. It’s worth noting, however, that not all ideas are created equal and if people aren’t giving your ideas the respect you feel they deserve, well, sometimes there’s a reason for that.

  14. Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Well, this article doesn’t have anything to do with intellectual property. It’s about realizing that some people make a living off the content they publish on the internet. It’s about people who contribute time to making available resources that can be found useful. The point was to illustrate that advertising revenue was a means for some to make their very livelihood off the content they made available, and a means for others to receive some small amount of compensation for the efforts they put into making web content available.

    I have seen a couple of arguments here for ad blocking that do make sense; limited bandwidth and content restriction for minors. The rest of it is either people calling me an ass, or defending their right to do what they want with their computer, which would be the category your response falls in.

    Since you don’t believe in intellectual property, do you also advocate that we all go download copyrighted entertainment and software which is available on the various torrent sites, because your right to unrestricted access and electronic freedom circumvents copyright laws?

    I am hearing a lot of chest thumping about computer rights, but nothing intelligent to back up the argument, so my mind remains unchanged.

    • Brianary October 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

      “I am hearing a lot of chest thumping about computer rights, but nothing intelligent to back up the argument, so my mind remains unchanged.”

      Nor are we hearing any argument from you. You simply seem to assume your conclusion that we should not have control over our computers. That seems a pretty controversial position to accept without justification.

      [torrent flamebait ignored]

  15. Anonymous October 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    I believe your comments in the post are based on exactly the same assumptions that are behind “intellectual property”–that your right to a revenue trumps my control over my own physical property.

    And in fact I do not, in a literal sense, “visit” your website, any more than I “visit” a sitcom when I watch it on my TV. Your website, for me, is a stream of data that passes through my hard drive. And I have the right to alter anything, as it appears in my browser on my physical computer, in whatever way suits me. You have every right to block any traffic you choose to your site for whatever reason, but until you do I have no moral obligation to read your ads.

    And as a matter of fact, I am fanatically supportive of the torrent download sites. Copyright has no moral legitimacy whatsoever–it’s just a state-conferred monopoly.

    • Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

      Thanks for making my point for me.

  16. ReaderX October 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    I agree. What a load of unmitigated horseshit. Sorry, d-bag, but when technology allows ME to control advertisements, that’s exactly what I and millions of others will do despite the crocodile tears of a few ignorant rantspewers.

    Technology is also available for content providers to make a walled garden, if they so choose. Put your ever-so-valuable content behind lock doors and charge an entry fee. Or are you afraid that won’t work out too well for you?

    Of course, it won’t. You need a new business model. And that’s the point of my comment: rather than tirade about the need to control people’s minds by forcing them to endure your ads, get your head out of your rear and figure out how to make a buck by HELPING people instead of HURTING people.

  17. cfh October 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    I am stealing nothing from you by using Firefox and AdBlock. I absolutely reject any such notion. When _you_pay for my computer and browser then maybe you have some say over the matter, but not until them.

    I find that the flickering ads on the side of a page to be extremely distracting. It is very hard for me to concentrate on reading while they are active. It is a great relief to be able to read websites without them.

    If you want me to read your work, I will do so in Firefox.

    If you don’t, fine, there are plenty of others.

  18. Dave! October 8, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    “However, you don’t get the option to ignore monetization in the world. You get it on TV, radio and print media.”

    Yes, yes I do. When an ad comes on a TV show I’ve recorded, I hit “fast forward”. When I hear an ad come on the radio after a song, I change the station. You are correct that ads are everywhere now, but I can choose to ignore any of them that I want. That’s the beauty of free will.

    I’m not “stealing” anything from anyone. Your advertisers pay you for people who *click* on your ads… and I guarantee, adblock or not, I’m not clicking on ads. Period. So you are losing absolutely *squat* from me visiting with adblock enabled.

    • Michael Lankton October 8, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

      Of course you are within your rights to ignore advertising. The whole point is that ad blockers take it to the next level.

      Do ad blockers cross that blurry line and enter into the realm of theft? No, but they are on the path toward it. From my perspective they are a deliberate attempt to circumvent a promise a publisher makes to an advertiser; that every reader who visits will see their ad.

      I appreciate every reader who took the time to leave a considered comment, whether we agree or not.

      • Brianary October 9, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

        Taking ignoring to the “next level”? That’s nonsense. Is that like taking pregnancy to the “next level”?

        There is some very odd rationalization here, because you want to be paid.

        • Michael Lankton October 10, 2009 at 12:02 am #

          Ok, let me put it this way:

          A recurring argument in this discussion has been that once property is yours, you are free to do whatever you damn well please with it. No argument here.

          Now consider web content as a product, or “property”. Since web content is freely available without you having to pay for it, excepting the minute number of premium sites on the web, web publishers monetize their content to get a return for their product. This is what pays for the time and effort devoted to the site, since the site isn’t charging you a membership fee. So, you get all this great information and entertainment for free. Except it isn’t free. People’s time is worth something. I can work a single overtime at my day job and make more money than most moderately trafficked blogs make in a month.

          So this content is being brought to you via these ads, whether you utilize the ads or not. The issue is that ad blockers subvert that, rendering the content free of ads. It’s cheating the system the web publisher has put into place to bring you his content. Ad blocking users are utilizing the content without “paying” for it.

          The technology exists that allows you to circumvent all these annoying ads. Does that make it right?

          • Brianary October 10, 2009 at 1:06 am #

            I guess my point is that it doesn’t *make* it right, because it isn’t wrong to begin with.

            If you want to say “Hey, I gotta eat. If you like this content, you’ll keep it going by whitelisting my site.”, I’m cool with conspiring to defraud marketers by feigning interest. I also donate to sites that ask (to the tune of about $20/month, split among various content sources).

            What makes me immediately defensive is when, instead of a PBS-style pledge drive approach, someone tries the Clockwork Orange approach of forcing or strong-arming an audience (“Ludwig vaaaaaan!”), or using moral arguments against any alteration of web content (I like your print CSS, BTW). Especially when so many ads are objectionable and occasionally contain security exploits (particularly from smaller sites).

            This whole discussion came up a couple of years back when someone registered whyfirefoxisblocked.com (which ran from Aug 17, 2007 until Jun 25, 2008, according to Archive.org), and was much more serious about the notion of blocking Firefox with basically the same rationale. Firefox was young at the time, but was finally gaining traction with normal users, due to constant IE security issues. A movement like this, if it had been successful, may have prevented Microsoft from having to re-form the IE team and release IE7, thereby dooming the web to the dark ages for years longer. As a web engineer, this would have seriously impacted me professionally, and it would have crippled many of the more ambitious web apps we all use today. It’s a good thing it didn’t work then, and it has made many of us pretty touchy about it.

          • Michael Lankton October 10, 2009 at 1:24 am #

            Yeah, well sometimes you have to be a little stronger in your statements to get an audience to share your sentiments with. I would never block any browser, IE included. I have an IE6 upgrade javascript nudge on pseudoexpert, but that’s about as far as I would go. In fact, I have gone to great lengths in the past getting standards compliant websites to display and function properly in IE. Feel my pain.

            I’m actually a big fan of Webkit. The Webkit browsers are a little preference-light when compared to the Mozilla family, but damn have they gotten fast. I also appreciate that they consume less CPU and memory than their Mozilla counterparts. Even on a fast box it’s nice to have a browser that doesn’t eat up unnecessary cycles. I’ve been using Webkit as my everyday browser for about one year, when I started using OmniWeb again. Since then I’ve gone to Safari, mostly because it’s the only 64 bit browser for Mac right now, but they all work great and have really good compatibility. It’s super rare I need to fire up Firefox for a site anymore. I always try to recommend Safari and Chrome to people, but look what an uphill battle Firefox had, and they still only have approximately 25% of the browser space.

            Use whatever browser you like, just make my ads convert ;)

          • Name October 13, 2009 at 1:57 am #

            Go mow lawns if you need extra money. That’s not OUR problem – it’s yours. If you don’t like the rules of the game – don’t play them. Take your ball and go home. Nobody is forcing you to put this content out there. You do it because you have an ego and because it makes you a few dollars on the side. If the monetization model you’ve been using begins to fail you – switch models or go away.

      • Charles October 10, 2009 at 2:13 am #

        Theft is taking a resource for my own and withholding you from it.

        By browsing without ads on I am not taking anything from you as I wouldn’t have clicked on the ads to begin with. There is no “lost sale”.

        “My computer, my rules” vs “My website, my rules” arguments are moot because overall you need your readers more than they need you (otherwise you wouldn’t need advertising). I have signed no contract upon visiting your site to agree to view it in any form you wish or not at all nor would I if asked too.

        If you believe that your time is truly worth something and you should be compensated for it, place a subscription or purchase per article system in place and let the free market prove your argument hilariously inadequate. Judging from the site though you would probably find more success with a simple paypal donation button or equivalent.

        Regarding “The next logical step”; there is no person on earth who would not install “AdBlock PLUS PLUS” in their car’s windshield if it removed billboards and radio commercials. There is nothing wrong with that as I should not be forced to view ads on my daily commute simply because someone has paid a local land owner a fixed sum of money per month to display ads along the highway. If I had in my power the ability to “filter” that without altering that persons property I would do so.

        “That every publisher makes to an advertiser”: It’s not my fault you promise what you can’t deliver, your content isn’t fixed and so it can be altered as it hits my screen. I was not a party to your promise nor should I be bound by those terms.

        I think that’s enough points for now, I’ll leave my email in the comment if you should choose to engage in further conversation.

  19. Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    You mean the point that I oppose intellectual property? I thought that was one of the points I was making in my original post. But if you were also interested, for whatever reason, in making the point that Kevin Carson is against intellectual property, then I’m happy to oblige.

    Or is the point that I oppose copyright law and support measures like bittorrent that make it easier to evade? Because it seems to me that’s a fairly obvious deduction; it’s a bit like saying if I’m against copyright law, then I must be against copyright law. If I’m against slavery, then it stands to reason that I favor anything that makes it easier to evade the Fugitive Slave Law. And if I think copyright is morally illegitimate and extortionate, then it stands to reason I sympathize with those who break copyright law.

    Do you ever make any points that DON’T evoke a reflexive response of “Yeah, duh”?

  20. Free iPad October 9, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    I haven’t read every comment but can see from the final few that this post caused some inflammatory reactions. In a way, I agree with Everton – the guy has a business to run and that business is financed by adverts on this site. However, the nature of the internet is that whatever you post, you are basically giving away for free (plagiarism excepted) – to say users are stealing by blocking ads is, IMO, inaccurate. If people don’t want to click the adverts, they shouldn’t feel the need to – and I would assume it is these people that install ad-blocking software to improve their browsing experience.
    Those of us that understand they can reward a webmaster for their thoughts by clicking an advert every so often wouldn’t bother using any kind of ad-blocking. Therefore I don’t think this software would actually affect your ad revenue very much.

    • Everton Blair October 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

      hi SiphonerI didn’t write this post! My views on this is that basically it’s my site, so it’s my rules. for instance if my site were a cable channel I would dictate how the content would be accessed – free, subscription or ad funded, so I don’t see how this is any different.I would never personally go as far as blocking firefox users as proposed by this post in an attempt to get a ‘good’ conversation going, but I would understand the logic behind a site owner displaying a message requiring users to turn off adblockers if they want to see the content. if they don’t want to fine and they would be within their rights to do so, but I don’t think it’s right for consumers to change how the ‘product’ is consumed to suit them. How products are used is always determined by the ‘retailer’. These terms may put off certain customers (pricing too high, not available in right colour, anti-copying etc) but it’s still their prerogative.

      • Brianary October 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

        “How products are used is always determined by the ‘retailer’.”

        Dead, totally, completely, utterly, self-servingly wrong.

        Retailers determine how products are *sold*, certainly never how they are *used*. The relatively new notion of enforced artificial scarcity aside, I can do whatever I want with something after I buy it. That’s the very definition of ownership.

      • Free iPad October 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

        Sorry Everton, I assumed it was your post! I think we are actually in agreement here, making a request for users to browse the site in its entirety, ads and all, is perfectly acceptable and perhaps should even be encouraged. But I still believe that the people that are ‘anti-ads’ wouldn’t click on any adverts even if they could see them so it’s no real loss if they are using ad blocking software.

        • Michael Lankton October 10, 2009 at 12:06 am #

          What about ads that pay per impression?

          • Free iPad October 10, 2009 at 12:58 am #

            Hi Michael,
            I actually thought that these type of ads would still generate you revenue as it is only the end user’s PC that’s blocking them from being displayed – surely the server end of the connection still thinks the ads are being served?
            If this assumption is incorrect, then I guess that is the price you pay for publishing content on the net and as webmasters, that’s just a loss we all have to accept.

  21. Wow October 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Came here from a the EFF link after heading there from a SLYCK link. See how word gets around?

    Wow talk about bad publicity. First, pointing the finger at your users is never a good idea. Second, you have every right to TRY to make money from ads but thats no guarantee, sorry. Nobody is stealing from you. If you want to force ads down peoples throats, then by all means do it. Don’t argue with them when your mind is obviously made up, but simply go to a subscription model and gain revenue that way. (Yeah I know you write, it’s not your website, but you know what I mean.)

    “…ad blockers… are a deliberate attempt to circumvent a promise a publisher makes to an advertiser; that every reader who visits will see their ad.”

    That is absurd. Now your readers are breaking the promise a publisher made? I hope nobody goes around breaking my promises.

  22. Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Instead of inviting all the negative publicity over this, why not straightaway use the paypal tipjar method to solicit donations? That’s quite reasonable and people would willingly donate if they like reading your site.
    Your views on advertising as a means to defray costs are still out of date- The internet is not a passive medium like TV/print media. Users are in total control of their experience and well within their rights to decide what they will see or block. You will have to come up with a different business model than pure reliance on ads.
    These days there are plenty of sites that offer differentiated free vs premium services or paid personalized services- something along those lines would help rather than stir up controversy with a post like this.

    • Michael Lankton October 9, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

      I find sites that require membership to access content, premium or free, more intrusive than I’ve ever found advertising. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. It’s not a good model.

      • Michael Lankton October 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

        I recently had to register on some Joomla! site to download a Joomla plugin. I remember resenting it immensely, but there was no other option available. I was much more annoyed by that than some ad that I never would have noticed in the first place.

      • Anonymous October 10, 2009 at 5:19 am #

        I meant more on the lines of free content for anyone, paid content for subscribing users.
        I agree, it is quite annoying to have to login to read something (as the NY Times website does, prompting the creation of services like BugMeNot.com)
        Since this is a tech news/tips site- you could aggregate some of your popular articles or tips under categories, and offer them for sale as a downloadable ebook for quick reference. For example, an ebook on converting video formats, or troubleshooting Windows.
        Or offer services like fixing people’s PCs over the net.

        The only people who can afford to put everything behind a paywall are those with an exclusive lock on content- a Gartner industry report, or some highly specialized whitepaper that can’t be obtained anywhere else.
        Since your site is little different from a million other tech news sites, your only option is to figure out a business model that works and does not annoy visitors.

  23. Marius October 9, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    How about you just use common sense and stop making your ads so intrusive?

    Does it really have to be straight in the middle of your page before AND after an article AND the whole visible right side of your screen filled with ads?

    If you don’t give people reason to block the ads (keep them non intrusive) they will most likely keep the ads on the site.

    In your case, do you really think users will be patient to wait about 30 seconds so that your stuffed blog will start to show something on screen and about 2.4 minutes to have it loaded completely?

    Have a look at this screenshot, of how your page was loaded by my browser on a 24 mbps Internet connection…

    http://savedonthe.net/image/358/firebug_trafficlog.png

    Seriously, about 230 requests and 3 MB of bandwidth wasted of which more than half are ads? No wonder people resort to Adblock in your case.

    seriously

  24. JustMy2CentsWorth October 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    i use privoxy and don’t see any ads. Don’t forget to block us too! Don’t want to be left out of a good thing…

  25. Citizenland October 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    Notice how the author ignores well thought out, reasoned posts like the above? The simpler posts he DOES respond to are mostly with sarcastic one liners.

    • Michael Lankton October 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

      No, I thanked everyone who left a considered response in one of my comments. You have no idea how much I appreciate the few there were. I would have liked to have received 40 like that so we could have had a debate on the subject and come to a better understanding of each side’s perspective, but you saw how fast it turned into so much noise.

      • Ken October 14, 2009 at 3:25 am #

        Yet you never respond to darrens comments

        • Michael Lankton October 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

          I appreciate Darren’s comments. I disagree with his overall position.

  26. Citizenland October 9, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    AHAHAHAHA….I’m stealing your content and there isn’t a thing you can do about it you sh*tbag……

  27. Internet User #93949032 October 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Um, sorry, I simply do not get the point of this. You’re going to block people who block ads? Who likely weren’t going to click on the ads anyway? I don’t use AdBlock Plus just to block ads because I feel like destroying the webmaster’s income (from an extremist point of view). I block them because 1) It drastically speeds up a webpage’s loading time and 2) Most of them are annoying scams that I prefer to call “idiot bait” and therefore don’t want to look at.

    If the website is good, I donate to it when possible using PayPal or the equivalent, or at least visit it often, support it, and recommend it to my friends. When I use adblock, I tend to like the website more because it doesn’t have those annoying ads and it loads faster for me. If a webpage is covered in ads, even if the content is good, I tend to scrap the entire website as stupid. And I’m sure I’m not the only internet user that does this.

  28. Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    First off, I commend you, Mr. Lankton, for allowing comments without having to register. I agree 100% that forcing users to register just to comment, download, etc. is, in many cases, more obnoxious than a few ads.

    With that said, I have to agree with whoever it was that stated that you should be GRATEFUL that people consume your content at all. I use Adblock Plus. If, for whatever reason, you chose to block me, I’d simply go somewhere else and spend my time there. You are merely one tiny drop in the Internet ocean. My question is this: when did content creators develop this attitude that “my content is amazing, and everyone has to do exactly as I say if they want to get at it”? Whatever happened to businesses finding ways to ENTICE customers into paying for something of value? You cannot put in place a business model that expects the consumers to behave a particular way (and then get mad when they don’t).

    If the site is profitable, stop complaining. Enjoy the revenue. If the site is not profitable, adjust your business model. You honestly think that sending visitors on a guilt trip is going to win support?

    Even though the site title is merely meant to provoke, I defy you to follow it through to execution. Watch your reader base plummet into oblivion. Even if you find a way to block all Adblock users, people will learn to start blocking ads at the /etc/hosts level.

    • Michael Lankton October 9, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

      Now remember that Connected Internet is not my site. I am merely a contributor.Regarding slow loading ads: Agreed. I have dumped more than one program that caused noticeable load delays. If the ad doesn’t load as fast as my content, I’m not interested.You guys have to remember too, if a guy is trying to make a living off of his monetized web sites, he is much more likely to have a more obvious ad presence on the page. It’s his livelihood. Have I ever found inline ads annoying? Sure, but I know they’re a necessary evil and I do my best to ignore them, just like most people do. Annoying, yes. Enough to make me froth at the mouth and engage in hostile, anti-social behavior in blog comments sections? No.

      (IE6 attached this reply to this comment instead of the preceding comment, which it was intended for.)

      • Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

        But this is where our opinions seem to diverge a bit. You somehow feel that if doing something is someone’s livelihood, they are entitled to being paid. They aren’t. Hard work is important in any business model, but hard work does not ENTITLE someone to payment.

        You say that ads are a “necessary evil”. They aren’t. If you have them, and they prove profitable, more power to ya. If not, that’s where you start innovating and giving users a reason to pay.

        I would pay attention to that comment earlier pointing out how dishonest it is for you or anyone else to say, “If you like the content, show your appreciation by clicking on an ad or two.” That is far less honest than users enabling Adblock Plus. Forcing advertisers to pay for false leads is terrible, and you should rethink your position on that issue.

        • Michael Lankton October 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

          As a publisher, when I secure a relationship with an advertiser I go after product that I and presumably my readers would be interested in. Now that’s easy enough to do with private sponsors.

          Contextual ads are another story. Google actually does a pretty good job if your content is specifically targetted. If your content is eclectic, you get some goofy ads.

          Pointing out that I was essentially telling readers to mislead advertisers with “endorsement clicks” is absolutely correct, and it was a stupid example for me to use. Thanks for the heads up, I was in the wrong on that one.

          • Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

            What do you tell advertisers relative to ad-blocking technology? That’s another concern I have. You sounded upset that consumers “circumvent the promises made to advertisers”, but this is another situation where consumers never agreed to anything. They don’t owe it to anyone to make sure their promises to unrelated entities are fulfilled. Are advertisers aware that users are so opposed to excess advertising?

            If your work truly is valuable (and I think it is; you’re a fantastic writer), I promise you there is a way to monetize it. Think outside the box. Connect with your fans more (you’re doing great with direct feedback in the comments). You would be SURPRISED what fans are willing to pay for. Advertising is the popular path to riches online, but it is not the only way. Trust me. ;)

  29. sid October 9, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    or maybe you could get a job and then you wouldn’t have to rely on ad revenue.

  30. Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    I find a few major problems with this, the primary one being your pretense that consumers should somehow feel obligated to pay you for your content. You pretend that they’re somehow being dishonest by blocking your ads. How can I be dishonest by doing something that I never agreed or even hinted I wouldn’t do? If the ads are bringing in enough money, then great. If they’re not, then the problem is that you need to find something people are willing to pay for. You don’t blame your customers when they don’t buy, you blame your business model.

    Another issue I also have, you say everything you do on the internet is done for the content, not the ads, yet your pages are fully 1/2 ads, and that isn’t even taking into account the inline word ads you have. Somehow, your words don’t match your actions.

  31. Name October 9, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    lol here lemme refresh a few times so I can “steal” from you some more. Jeez.

  32. wheezyg October 10, 2009 at 2:39 am #

    “How is blocking ads any different to piracy?”

    I ignore billboards (really, I DON’T look at them), change the radio during commercials, block adds, mute (online & offline) tv commercials, etc. That makes me a pirate? No one has the right to FORCE me to pay attention to their content/add/etc.

    Block firefox users! I dare you. @$$

  33. Name October 10, 2009 at 6:18 am #

    I’ll decide which parts of any site I visit are visible to me, thanks.

    If you don’t like it, stop “adding value” to the web.

  34. shadeovblack October 10, 2009 at 2:00 am #

    thank you for alerting me to this “ad block” :D

    • Part Time Jobs September 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

      Yes, I too want to say thanks for this.
      Pritam Nagrale

  35. Truth October 10, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    It’s my browser and i’ll block your ads if I want to.

    Bite Me.

  36. Michael Lankton October 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    No advertisement ever gained your attention in a positive way? You never went and bought a box of Oreo-O’s that you may not have because of a commercial? Never went to an entertainment event that you first heard about via a commercial?

    I don’t know about you, but I could watch the old Kari Wuhrer Doritos 3D commercial all day long.

    Ultimately, advertising isn’t going anywhere. Advertising can be both useful and annoying. Advertising is simply an inevitable part of the media-enamored world we live in.

    I’ll tell you what advertising isn’t:

    It’s not something that deserves such an extreme, negative response. Of all the issues in life that someone could invest passion and emotion into, I can think of things a lot more deserving than aversion to ads. People have way too much time on their hands.

    • Jazz October 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

      Of course SOME ads have, such as WWE saying it’s coming to my town. That’s great I want to know about stuff like that but the difference is- I’m LOOKING for that not having it shoved in my face such as Playtex bra, Dawn dish detergent, some stupid movie that shouldn’t have been thought of nevermind even being MADE into a movie- not at all, won’t see the movie, don’t buy Dawn or Playtex and what do I do during commercials? Go get food, turn the channel, go to the bathroom. I don’t HAVE to watch them and the TV doesn’t pin me down force it to happen either.
      That’s the point. Advertisement are a major annoyance 8 out 10 times unless it’s what the person is searching for. If I want to know about the latest games, I have a game informer subscription and I’ll read it and go look online for footage (real gameplay) and opinions, not have some stupid commercial force feed it to me. Mainstream/NameBrand is not everyone’s cup of tea anyway. If I want to know about computer components, software and other sites, I read through websites like yours for information not click random Ads. Ads online are annoying and intrusive, especially ones that leave trackers or alert beacons.
      And people may have too much time on their hands, but its their time and their dime and if they don’t want to spend it with adverts then it’s their choice. I do hope I didn’t come of sounding pissy. I didn’t mean to offend but I just wanted to offer up another viewpoint to your debate that you might not have considered and why your other commenter didn’t feel your “thief” comparison was fair… because it’s not. I can understand your view of “I’m doing something “great” and for “free” and all I ask is that you not block the ads so I can help pay for this place” I get it I really do. But with so many people still running around ignorantly using IE and without ad-blocking software, who don’t work tirelessly to keep such an expensive item clutter/virus/malware/spyware free, why did you have to smack FF users across the face and anyone who doesn’t agree with you because seriously some of your comments to me I’m finding a bit offensive but but that neither here nor there. The real question is: you really didn’t expect a backlash?

      • Michael Lankton October 10, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

        I wasn’t directing that at you, but if you read through the comments I think you’ll agree that some of the responses are a little over the top. It’s not a life and death issue.

        • Jazz October 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

          Yeah, you’re right, some were a bit too much. And I’m glad that wasn’t directed to me. Well I’m going back to lurking around here now. Have a nice day.

        • Anonymous October 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

          From your own words:
          “Some sites you don’t dare move your mouse for fear of launching an inline ad link.”

          So says the guy using those very things on his site.

          Here’s some news, “value-adder”, Firefox isn’t the only browser with AdBlock, nor is AdBlock the only way to block ads.

          Moreover, don’t whine about the negative attention you’re getting here… this is EXACTLY what you set out to do. You wanted attention, now you’re getting it.

          Unfortunately, you’re getting PR, attention, and pageviews from people with AdBlock. Net gain: 0. And everyone thinks you’re acting like a douche.

          • Michael Lankton October 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

            And everyone thinks you’re acting like a douche.

            I can’t tell you how flattered I am to finally get an audience with the person who speaks for everyone. There are a few things I’d like discuss…

          • Anonymous October 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

            My bad, not everyone. Just the majority of people commenting here.

    • Brianary October 12, 2009 at 3:10 am #

      In the late 80′s/early 90′s, Florida had a real problem with tourists getting shot. It was the (then) prominent rental car logos on the cars (an advertisement) that made them targets.

      Offered as an existence proof of people dying due to advertising.

  37. Rain Day October 11, 2009 at 5:40 am #

    If any part of an ad is intrusive, if it jumps, rolls, or is animated in any way, it WILL be blocked on my browser, no exceptions. I alternate between FF and Opera, depending on my mood (though never, ever, ever do I use any version of Windows IE). I don’t mind seeing ads occasionally, and if the ads are for something interesting maybe I’ll read them. Might even click on one, if I’m in a shopping mood.

    However (and this is mostly aimed at James Breckenridge’s comment above), comparing ad-blocking to piracy is just pure silly nonsense. James can’t possibly believe what he wrote, much less think that anyone else (outside of a few MPAA/RIAA mobster-types), might actually agree with him.

  38. I_Love_Adblock October 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Go ahead and block all the firefox users, you’ll lose about 20% of the users (and growing), but I think you can cope with that.

    Fortunately, there are hundreds of other sites that offer the same content, so we won’t miss your site.

    By the way, I absolutely love Adblock plus. It’s quite easy to use.

  39. Dan October 12, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    I will take issue with two of the statements in your article:

    1. It’s practically like you are stealing from me

    No, it isn’t. You seem to believe there is an implied agreement between a website owner and the visitors to that site to view ads – there isn’t. I didn’t sign or click anything that said I agreed to view the ads in order to read the content. And even if there was, I doubt it would be enforceable in any way. Stealing is the unauthorized removal of property – nothing even close to what happens when a browser blocks your ads. Nothing was removed, the website just wasn’t viewed the way you would prefer.

    2. However, you don’t get the option to ignore monetization in the world.

    Not true. The other mediums you cited – television, radio, print, etc, are nothing like the internet or a web page. A web page is essentially an openly editable text document that is interpreted on a visitor’s computer. Ad blocking does nothing more than take advantage of the very nature of the internet, and simply modifies that text document before it is displayed. That being the case, it’s perfectly possible to ignore an attempt to monetize something if there’s a way around it. A flawed business model is not entitled to survival. And to answer a previous question from the comments, using Adblock Plus, the ads are never downloaded.

    I understand the desire to make money from a web page. But your argument is essentially that technology is rendering your chosen business model obsolete, or at least less effective than you would like. And while blocking ads might not be in the best long term interests of a site’s visitors, it’s going to happen. Drawing attention to the fact might convince a few people to turn off adblocking on your site, but it also provides more publicity to plugins like AdBlock Plus, leading to more installs.

    Trying to turn this into an argument over whether adblockers somehow immoral or not strikes me as particularly pointless. Morality doesn’t enter into it – it’s a financial issue. Advertisers are now in a cat and mouse game with adblocking software, which throws the long term sustainability of ad-supported web sites into question. That being the case, complaining that your business plan is ineffective is useless; it needs to be adapted. One such adaptation is, as you pointed out, blocking firefox (or at least adblocking) users, which might temporarily provide some amusement as people visit the site merely to see if they’ve managed to defeat your user-blocking measures, but will ultimately lead to a lower viewership.

    Will some websites disappear if adblocking software becomes increasingly better and more widespread? Yep, definitely. Some sites will adapt, while others will refuse and die. Of course, sites disappear or become stagnant all the time anyway. But that’s change for you – you don’t have to like it, but you do have to deal with it. Adblocking won’t be the death of free internet content. Complaining and insulting visitors (yes, telling adblock users to “pound sand” is slightly insulting, and calling them practically thieves definitely is) doesn’t help anyone.

    You’ve already said you won’t block firefox users, and pleas to conscience over a financial issue probably won’t convince many either. So beyond increasing viewership with the ludicrous notion of blocking a popular browser, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to get across. No one ever said the ad supported website model would always work.

    • Michael Lankton October 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

      You’re right on point 2. Instead of “ignore” I should have said “remove”.

      • Dan October 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

        I’m right on point 1 as well, and you’ve already admitted as much in your other comments.

        As for point 2, correct – we don’t get to remove all monetization from the world. But we can remove some if not all of it from web pages, because of how web pages work. If you insist on drawing comparisons to other media, I would point out that it’s possible (and legal) to autoskip commercials on a DVR recording as well. Simply put, there’s nothing wrong with removing ads – we didn’t agree to view them, you just assumed we would.

        Complaining about adblocking is complaining about how web pages work – the browser interprets the web page, and the visitor controls the browser. Adblocking plugins just make what was always possible to do easier for more people. If you want more control, switch to something proprietary like flash.

  40. Brian Noyb October 12, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    So lets apply your way of thinking with telemarketing, if I refuse to answer a call because of unwanted telemarketing, is it my fault because I don’t want there calls in the first place?
    I pay for the phone service, not them! It should be my choice what I allow through my phone and or computer.

    • Everton Blair October 12, 2009 at 7:23 am #

      very poor analogy Brian! In this case YOU’RE the telemarketer as you ‘called’ the site – we didn’t call you! Basically you ‘walked’ into the shop – if you don’t like what you see you are more than able to turn around and walk out and would be well within your rights, but you can’t walk in and start re-arranging the shelves!

      • Gabriel Ramos October 13, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

        “… but you can’t walk in and start re-arranging the shelves!”

        Oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t know I was messing up the arrangement of your shelves! Didn’t know I had that power! So your site must be looking pretty different to your original design, now that I’ve made all these modifications. Hope you have a backup…

        • Everton Blair October 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

          lol Gabriel – I’ll have you arrested for shoplifting and causing criminal damage if I see you here again ;-)

        • Michael Lankton October 13, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

          actually head over to my personal blog pseudoexpert.com

          most of the individual elements of the page and in the sidebar are modifiable by the user via javascript

          rearrange the shelves all you want!

      • Name October 14, 2009 at 2:46 am #

        WRONG AGAIN! Basically, I “walked into the shop” with my hands blocking the sides of my eyes so I could only see exactly what I looked at and not all the JUNK in my periphery. I walked down a couple of aisles, read the instructions and ingredients on the back of a few products and then “walked out of your shop” without buying anything, mostly because the guy behind your virtual counter was being a dick.

        What you keep saying is that you have the right to FORCE me to look at the items you specifically want to peddle.

  41. Questionable Poon October 12, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    Yea but he never said he was blocking Firefox. Did you read the article?

  42. Questionable Poon October 12, 2009 at 2:32 am #

    I doubt that.

  43. Name October 13, 2009 at 2:09 am #

    I’m pretty sure this is the first time in my life I’ve been accused of stealing – specifically because I REFUSED to take something. Time to change the dosage on those meds!

  44. Tom October 13, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    Hahahahaa.

    Unsubscribe.

  45. Anon October 13, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    If you don’t like ads on TV you CHANGE THE CHANNEL
    If you don’t like ads when walking on the street, you IGNORE THEM

    You’re a retard

  46. Name October 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    You just shot yourself in the foot. This is all over the web now, and tons of average non-techy people who never had any idea they could block ads now know that they can. Way to go!

  47. nobody of consequence October 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Going after the people who block ads instead of not clicking on them is a little ridiculous in my opinion. The people who set up their browsers to block ads are not the people who would have clicked on your ads in the first place.

    I visited this post on a public computer and I couldn’t even tell you what ads are running, nor will I scroll up to read them.

    Am I a pirate for not clicking your ads or even reading them? or am I only a pirate when I set things up so I don’t even have to see them?

  48. Guest October 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Get a real job, chief. Way to provide free publicity for those Firefox addons that you will never, ever succeed in getting banned, though.

  49. Name October 13, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    If blocking ads is stealing….then pop ups are trespassing….this dudes a nut job.

  50. sam October 14, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    what ads? hehehe ff forever!!

  51. Name October 14, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    Stealing from you? Are you kidding me? I’m stealing from you because I choose to block something that was forced down my throat? Something I didn’t ask for? I think you are stealing from me. You are stealing my time. I don’t visit your site to view ads about iphones and American Girl dolls and low financing on my car. I already have an iphone. I already own a car. I don’t care about American Girl or it’s ridiculously overpriced merchandise. Take your site down. But don’t expect me to click through an ad to support you. Your financial position is YOUR responsibility, not mine.

  52. Anonymous October 15, 2009 at 7:11 am #

    Although I use AdBlock on my FireFox I don’t use a one of the automated lists. I prefer to set my own rules for ads to be blocked and then I try to block ONLY those ads that are troublesome. Here’s my basic set of questions that I use to determine if a site’s ads get blocked a yes to any of these will get an ad blocked:

    1. Does it produce a pop-up or a CSS type (not a new window but a block that covers the content) pop-up?
    2. Does the ad produce any sound (even if it only does so when my cursor crosses it)?
    3. Is the ad completely in appropriate or possibly illegal?

    If ads on your site answer NO to any of the questions then they are safe and I don’t block them, so no need to worry about my Firefox AdBlock. So blocking permission to visit your site because I use Firefox is a bit presumptuous.

  53. Brad October 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    I get what you’re saying, actually. Why use AdBlocker to mass block every ad on the internet when the vast majority of them are by and large ignorable in the first place? If a web site has to make advertising images and videos fly over the content you’re trying to consume, then the content creator is implicitly saying that the advertising is more important than the content. In those cases, I generally find that the content isn’t even worth the effort of blocking the ads. Much easier to clear out the several dozen tracking cookies I just accumulated and never go back to that site again.

  54. D October 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    I’m stealing from YOU??? No, YOU are stealing from me. You are stealing my bandwidth to pull up these crappy ads, that I DON’T WANT TO SEE!!

    Now it’s time for you to pay for your lousy web design. Get rid of the pop up ads, side bar ads, pop under ads. You don’t deserve anything from us visiting your site, other than the specific reason someone visits it – and it is not for the ads!

    • Michael Lankton October 18, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

      Once again, not my site, not my design. Yes I understand the irony of stating I won’t put intrusive ads on my pages when the article is published on a heavily monetized blog. One last time: not my site, not my design.

      Maybe try reading everything next time before you fly off the handle. Ultimately, you’re here reading the article no matter what your opinion on the topic, so excuse me for not being sympathetic to a hostile reader. Thanks for stopping by and keep reading Connected Internet!

  55. amy October 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Wow- I had no idea the ad-block software existed. I just downloaded it- it’s fabulous. This webpage looks so much better without all the annoying boxes. I hate having my mouse stray over a word and a window pops up and blocks everything I’m reading and then I have to be super careful not to click until the balloon goes away. This is so much better, I can actually read the whole article! I was having trouble with another page- because I didn’t realize that the reason none of the links worked was because while the little movie-ad was running and things were dancing all over the page it turned off the links. Now I can use the site with ease. Thanks for the heads up on ad-blocker. I may now switch back from Safari to Firefox.

  56. rcgreen October 23, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    I'l give up my ad blocker when they pry it from my cold dead fingers

  57. Mase October 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    Just got to your website from a news snip from cnn. Thanks for ranting and alerting me to the very feature you despised. I will install it right away :)

  58. Mase October 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    oh guess what let me also spread the word to facebook and twitter.

  59. Les Jacobs October 31, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    FYI: Firefox isn’t the only browser with ad-blocking capability. You can block ads with IE by downloading IE7Pro, for example (ie7pro.com). You can even fix Google Chrome so that it blocks ads (for more on this, see: http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2009/03/25/block-ads-in-google-chrome/).

    People use ad blocking technology b/c they hate ads. You hate ads too, Michael. Admit it. Do you sit through every ad on TV? Do you fast forward through them using your Tivo/DVR? You do, don’t you? Of course you do, b/c you’re a normal human being.

    A major reason why people use DVRs, rent movies from Netflix/Blockbuster (instead of watching them on TV), download serials from the Web, etc., is b/c they hate ads and try to avoid them whenever possible.

    If you’re annoyed with people blocking ads, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This is just the beginning. Google is going to see its revenue from Internet ads collapse once add-ons like Adblocker go mainstream. Then it, and every other entity that earns money from advertising, is going to have to do what companies have done since the dawn of commerce: find another way to make a buck.

    Shoving your product into people’s faces — most of whom aren’t interested — just won’t cut it anymore.

    • Michael Lankton October 31, 2009 at 1:46 am #

      Don’t forget Safari, they have an ad blocking solution as well.

      While I probably have the same ad filter in my brain that everyone else does, I don’t hate them. I am not above being influenced by an ad. I appreciate when an ad steers me toward something I may be interested in. I love the new Brutal Legend/Dethklok commercial. I have seen loudspeaker ads on hi fi sites that led me to look into a company. I ate Black Jack Tacos at Taco Bell two weeks ago, because I saw an ad.

      People who don’t want to see ads aren’t going to see ads, anymore than people who don’t want to pay for music and movies are going to pay for them when they can download them free of charge. I respect that people are trying to make a living or a buck off whatever it is they are monetizing. If I like their content, it’s a small price to pay to have a couple of AdSense units on the page. If I don’t like their content it has nothing to do with the ads.

      It’s not like spam. Spam ends up in your mailbox, and you didn’t ask for it. Blocking ads is subverting a means of income someone has in place in lieu of not providing the content at all.

      Which internet do you want? The internet that is full of crap, but that also has a lot more good content because people are successful at generating some income from an ad based model, or the internet with less of everything because of people who value their own comfort over the efforts of the people who provide a product they are interested in, the content?

      • Anonymous March 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

        I’m not going to click on the ad in any case, PERIOD, so what difference does it make?

      • Anonymous March 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

        I’m not going to click on the ad in any case, PERIOD, so what difference does it make?

      • Anonymous March 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

        I’m not going to click on the ad in any case, PERIOD, so what difference does it make?

  60. Les Jacobs October 31, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    FYI: Firefox isn’t the only browser with ad-blocking capability. You can block ads with IE by downloading IE7Pro, for example (ie7pro.com). You can even fix Google Chrome so that it blocks ads (for more on this, see: http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2009/03/25/block-ads-in-google-chrome/).

    People use ad blocking technology b/c they hate ads. You hate ads too, Michael. Admit it. Do you sit through every ad on TV? Do you fast forward through them using your Tivo/DVR? You do, don’t you? Of course you do, b/c you’re a normal human being.

    A major reason why people use DVRs, rent movies from Netflix/Blockbuster (instead of watching them on TV), download serials from the Web, etc., is b/c they hate ads and try to avoid them whenever possible.

    If you’re annoyed with people blocking ads, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This is just the beginning. Google is going to see its revenue from Internet ads collapse once add-ons like Adblocker go mainstream. Then it, and every other entity that earns money from advertising, is going to have to do what companies have done since the dawn of commerce: find another way to make a buck.

    Shoving your product into people’s faces — most of whom aren’t interested — just won’t cut it anymore.

    • Michael Lankton October 31, 2009 at 1:52 am #

      btw, I just noticed that whatever inline text ads Everton is using on Connected Internet is injecting ads right into your comment. I love it. Made my night. :)

  61. Andreas Siregar November 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    my time is important.
    your’e wasting my time by showing ads.
    i should sue you for wasting my time.
    or i can block your ads so that would not wasting my time

    which one?

  62. BW December 19, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    The problem is, it is a rare ad that actually manages to interest me. I’m suspicious of ads, suspicious of what they aren’t saying, suspicious of what they are hiding and their motives. I’d rather read a review by a trustworthy and knowledgeable reviewer.

    That said there are sites which I whitelist. The ads have to be unobtrusive and the site has to provide content I really want. I sometimes even click on the ads… just because I feel sorry for them.

    Adblock is the moral equivalent of a labor union. If the controlling class pushes too far, the subjugated class pushes back, they often try in turn to subjugate the controlling class, stripping it of power and punish it’s supporters. One way of punishing a supporter is to ensure they get no income – boycott. For the particularly spiteful, there is also resource wasting – sit-in. When the public trust is abused, the public gets the idea that is ok to abuse the abusers; what goes around, comes around.

    Now only if there were more folks who were moderate in the ads they displayed. Recently I was at MSN (I haven’t bothered to change the homepage for IE, I rarely use it) where there was an ad on the front page for a service that after digging through the promotional material and website became plain that it was a scam, bait and switch, it wasn’t evenly cleverly disguised but you could fall for it if you weren’t really really through and read between the lines. That sort of thing really irritates me. The law may absolve M$ of any responsibility but in the court of the common man they are complicit. Rarely do those who profit from ads try to make amends for the damages those ads do, they just brush it off.

    Its not enough to promise to be good, any child can do that, they have to be held accountable, their have to be repercussions. Until the industry can protect users from their unethical clients, the industry will have to live with ad blocking.

    P.S. Firefox isn’t the only browser with adblocking, all the major browsers via hook or crook can do it. Even those that can’t internally can access the internet through a manipulation proxy like Proxomitron.

  63. GrifterMage January 4, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Place me firmly on the pro-AdBlock side of this debate. When my browser contacts this site’s server and requests a copy of the particular document that is this article, it makes no promises about how or even whether the content of said document will be displayed to me, the end user. Just as I am under no obligation to read or even display your entire article merely because I clicked a link leading here, I am under no obligation to view or even load the portions of the document that are comprised of ads.

    It is not my problem that you have based your business model (‘you’ as in whichever shadowy group of people did the structuring, not you, personally, Michael) around the (mistaken) _assumption_ that everyone who downloads copies of the site’s pages from you will also choose to download all of the other documents (ads) those pages reference, any more than it is my problem that people who put their sites behind paywalls base theirs around the assumption that everyone who wishes to view their content will be willing to pay to do so. It is your problem, not mine, that reality is not in accordance with your assumption, and it is your responsibility, not mine, to act to solve that problem.

    Evidently you have decided to attempt to solve your problem by accusing your users of being in the wrong in order to guilt them into acting in accordance with your poorly-based business model. Don’t be surprised when that doesn’t work any better.

  64. oc35 January 5, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    ?? I don't get any google ads

  65. dave January 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    This page with NO filtering: 681.45 KB. With NoScript and ABP(non-agressive filter set): 252.89 KB. There were still enough ads to click.

  66. Angry at adverts February 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    What a jumped up little IE using bearded prick.

  67. henrybowman March 21, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    “As for the sites you visit whose content you enjoy and who don’t ram monetization down your throat, why not click an ad link now and then? It’s a way for you to show your appreciation for the service the web site is providing. It helps the site make money. It took you about half a second.”

    Translation: don't steal from me by not reading my ads, steal from my advertisers by pretending I delivered a bona fide hit.

    What an unprincipled hypocrite.

  68. Michael Lankton March 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Yeah, it was a bad example. Let me rephrase. The pay per click model is for small blogs. It is not a sustainable means of income on today's web for the majority of sites that monetize via ads. Advertising is all about impressions. Impressions which ad blocking, self entitled scumbags like you are denying the advertiser, the ad broker, and the publisher. All while you swoop in and steal the content. Content which was intended to be paid for via advertising.

    You will NEVER convince me that I am wrong in this argument. If you use an ad blocker, but on the other hand you wouldn't pirate music, movies or software, than it is YOU my friend who are the hypocrite. One is ok and the other isn't? Bullshit. If you're gonna be a thief, be a thief. Don't try to dress it up in some self righteous argument about digital rights and personal property.

    Sorry about my irate response, but I've been reading this garbage for almost half a year now, and the pro ad blocking segment hasn't become more convincing with time. Everyone gets that you don't like advertising, now grow up and quit crying about it.

  69. Robert B March 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    I've just spent some time reading over 15 pages of comments about this post. I'm also a contributor to this site as well as windows7news.com and my own two sites, techinfo-4u.com and nextiphonenews.com

    I know several people have already expressed their opinion on this post and I'm feeling a bit left out so I thought I'd leave my own;

    Being the owner of multiple sites myself I understand exactly where Michael is coming with this argument. I would also like to make it clear that nobody using Firefox will be blocked from this site! He simply came up with a headline to get you all interested in the article.

    You need to think about this argument from both sides, the site owner and the readers.

    I don't think you can expect people like Everton, myself and other site owners who spend hours every day providing content and a service to people without any reward. Some people work on the internet like this as a full time job, but they still have to pay their bills at the end of the day as well. How else are they meant to make any money aside from charging you for content which im against.

    The internet is a place where people are free to do pretty much what they like, if people choose to use adblockers that's there choice. I'm by no means at all endorsing this and I have and will never use one.

    Why? Because knowing what site owners go through to provide content, I know it's morally wrong to just keep taking it without even giving them an opportunity to try and generate a bit of revenue in return. If everyone just kept taking without giving, we would never get anywhere in life. Sometimes I appreciate the work and time and effort somebody has put into something and I will click on an advert for them, it's my why of giving something back.

    And on the other hand I can see where many of our readers are coming from, expressing their distaste towards adverts on the web. But it's just like the adverts in the newspaper, just because there there doesn't mean you have to read them. When I go onto websites, I pretty much block out adverts mentally, I just glance over them without a second thought, because that's what I'm used to doing. I don't feel the need to go and block them entirely.

    So people please have a look at this from both sides, the web owner and the reader. This article was never to be intended to be about blocking firefox users,

  70. No Ads!! March 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    When the internet bans bewbs from ad’s, maybe just maybe I’ll allow these offensive (to my kids) ads back into our home. Sorry, I’m just not going to sift through every website on the net to find which one contains offensive ads, and which ones don’t, and allow those. Also, I’m not going to sift through every single web page on the net to figure out which ones get blocked by my filtering software and which ones don’t. It could be a totally clean minded page with no cuss words to warrant it being blocked by the software, but lo and behold theres naked women on the ads.

    You piece of shat webmasters better start watching what ads you allow on your sites this is the biggest reason I use adblock.

    What is your response to that? Thats what I thought. Deal with it.

  71. Evil G May 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Block all the web browsers! They are all stealing your precious bandwidth!!

    I don't need crap popping up all over websites. We wouldn't have ad blocking if web sites kept it reasonable instead of popping under a bunch of ads, sliding surveys and dialogs over the pages, embedding a dozen tracking web bugs, and making sites you can't escape from. You killed the goose yourself.

  72. John Media @ server hosting June 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Don't get angry with firefox users just because your pop ups are just blocked by the browser be happy your site is being visited by net users. Firefox just making a way to make users free of unwanted advertisements.

  73. Martin July 5, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    “As for the sites you visit whose content you enjoy and who don’t ram monetization down your throat, why not click an ad link now and then? It’s a way for you to show your appreciation for the service the web site is providing. It helps the site make money. It took you about half a second.”

    I've seen numerous people say this. You forget that there is no free lunch and *somebody* is paying for those ads. When we mindlessly click ads for things that we're never going to buy, we're hurting the companies paying for those ads.

  74. Martin July 5, 2010 at 4:43 am #

    “I don't think you can expect people like Everton, myself and other site owners who spend hours every day providing content and a service to people without any reward. Some people work on the internet like this as a full time job, but they still have to pay their bills at the end of the day as well.”

    This is once again that sense of entitlement. Lots of people start businesses, but that is no guarantee that they will make money. Nobody is entitled to make money just because they work hard. Sometimes their business model just doesn't work. This site and many others choose a business model that doesn't work well on the internet. They may have to fail for that. Maybe we will have to switch to a micropayment model instead.

    Will it be the end of content on the internet? No. As it becomes more scarce, it will be increasingly worth paying for (at least micropayments). The internet could probably use some trimming down. I know you don't want to hear that, since you're one of the people who could potentially get laid off, but that's how the market works. It also works by adapting business models to the ecosystems in which they reside.

    Personally, I have lots of subscription / pay / premium accounts on various web sites. I'm not averse to paying for content at all. However, I DO hate ads. I hope ad blocking becomes so ubiquitous that ads become extinct on the internet and we shift to a micropayment model.

    Some people are against that, because they want everything for free. They ARE the freeloaders.

  75. Martin July 5, 2010 at 4:54 am #

    And again, we're not “stealing” or “taking” your content. Nobody hacked into your servers and downloaded your content without your permission. You're giving it away openly. Your business model based on advertising simply fails on the internet. If you don't want people “taking” your content, you can make it a subscription service.

  76. Jhzxj July 14, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    asfweradfawef

  77. Luis Sanchez August 16, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    You deserve to lose money

  78. Steupz August 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Really harsh comments.

  79. Faris Pallackal October 14, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    There is no point in criticizing or hating Firefox, in any browser if the user disabled JavaScript on browser settings, then that website won’t show any Adsense.
    You can overcome this with Google’s new Flash based Ads. Please check the below (you might have know this already, but just for those who reaching here & reading these comments…)

    http://www.google.com/doubleclick/
    http://www.google.com/dfp/info/welcome.html

  80. Formacion Profesional November 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    LOL: nice article, “blog baiting” I guess you call this. I really get surprised by the title and could not leave reading until the end…you are right regarding the money issue when writing blogs, but I think the kind of software you say to stop ads it’s something from the past.

  81. Ciclos Formativos November 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    cvcv

  82. AJ00200 December 30, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    I must point out that I don’t see a donate button anywhere on this website. Before you go around complaining that people are blocking your ads, put up a donate button which won’t be blocked.
    I can understand how people who use ads to pay for their hosting feel about this, but most people really hate ads because:
    1) They add to page load time
    2) They are distracting
    3) As you mentioned, some sites go way overboard on them
    4) They are not looking to buy anything, so why even load the ads?
    5) For people who don’t have unlimited bandwidth, it adds to their Internet bill in the same way that you have to pay to host your website

    If I was a frequent visitor to your website, I would white-list your domain so ads would show up, but since I don’t, I am not going to load the address of your website into my browsers ram even day just so you can make a few cents.

    And lastly, by your logic, people who browser the Internet with browsers like Lynx (which is text-only), or have JavaScript disabled, or even people who don’t have flash installed are stealing money from you (or what if I wrote my own browser for the very purpose of blocking ads). Is it not our right to choose which browser we would like to use? You can block access to your website from certain browsers if you want, but you will also have to put up with the decreased overall views of your site which will, in the end, diminish your readership due to the lack of people linking to it.

  83. P-Powa! March 7, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    U schould see a doctor mate! “-Who are we to block them” hahha i cant believe u got the balls to write all those nonsense,, “Who r u to command us?” or better said, WHO ARE YOU TO ASK US TO PAY U?? for real man, who are you,? i dont care if u work on your site for days months or years,, ITS YOUR PROBLEM”” dont forget that fact ! ..i didnt tell u to do anything, HAH I TELL U WHAT,, USE A “Surveys-Style-Technique” on ur index homepage :p but instead of an SURVEY put an AD hhahahahhahahaha fella u sniff too much,,, or god knows wht ure doing,, SEEK HELP MAAYN !!

  84. Michael Lankton October 7, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Like I said, I’m sympathetic, and in some cases I’m in the same boat. Watched a show on some high def cable channel with the wife and oldest last night and it seemed like for every 5 minutes of show there was 5 minutes of commercials.

    However, if you can’t stomach the price you have to pay to get something, do without. When I monetize a site I make sure the ads fit with the design of the page and display product that is appropriate for the content. Who’s to say you wouldn’t run across an ad on a hi-fi gear web site that wouldn’t lead you to a purchase?

    Is every web master taking the pains to make sure that the monetization is content-appropriate and flows with the design of the page? No, but they should. Monetization is as much a part of the page as the rest of the design.

    I understand that some will never see this issue from my perspective, and that’s fine. I have a position, I expressed it reasonably, and like the ads on my web sites, you are free to use it or not.

  85. Jane Q. Public October 7, 2009 at 11:23 pm #

    Actually, ad agencies have a VERY good idea of how well ads work. The problem here is that you are an intelligent individual, so they don’t work on YOU.

    Sadly, as long as they do work on other people (and they do), you are probably stuck in this world, just as I am. More power to you, and your ad blockers. Businesses should not be allowed to drive the few sane people in this world crazy.

  86. Everton Blair October 8, 2009 at 6:36 am #

    equally site owners could say they invited you to their website i.e. you are consuming their product on their rules and their terms!Personally I think if you don’t like the product, vote with your feet and mouse, but you shouldn’t be blocking ads.

  87. Brianary October 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    That’s the problem with the “going to a website” metaphor. Some people think that’s how things really work.

  88. Brianary October 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    What if I don’t have Flash installed, or I use an iPhone? If you have Flash ads, will you come to my house and hold me down while you install Flash on my machine? Am I “stealing” from you?

    What if I use a text-to-speech browser because I am blind?

    What if I use a text browser or OperaMini or a lightweight browser I made myself? Am I a freeloader or a pirate or a criminal for not viewing the site using the exact same browser you used to test it?

    Militant my-way-or-the-highway advertisers and designers don’t understand that print is dead, and that the whole reason the web uses a markup language rather than a formatting language is because the experience *inherently varies*.

    You are delusional if you think you can call your audience theives and consider that “reasonable”. “Is It Time To Start Blocking Firefox Users?” I encourage you to do so.

  89. Brianary October 8, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    As I wait for the promised discussion of the points of the article from the author, I’d also like to point out that many employers use proxy servers to block ads.