Ars Technica: Don't C*ckblock Our Ad Revenue. Please.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 , , 5 Comments

 Ads have come quite far over the years...
this makes me want a coffee

As many of you who have read Jr Deputy Accountant for some time (some of you obsessively *cough*) already know, the website has not had any ads for over a year - a conscious decision of mine. Capitalist pig WC Varones even insisted about a year ago that I at least slap some Google ads on this thing and collect my checks for doing what I'd be doing anyway, which I chose not to do. I've discussed my decision here on JDA more than once; something about my job back then made me happy and not having to eat or scrape together rent money meant I didn't need to collect checks every month from this and preferred to save that for when(if) I needed it. I enjoyed work, enjoyed the website, and didn't feel the need to put ads in your face to collect extra income on top of what I was making, which took care of me fairly well, San Francisco rent situation being what it is. The California budget crisis made a dent in my lifestyle (I cut down from Stella Artois to PBR, willingly) but not by much, even as Muni fare hikes and various fees associated with being a Mom of a kid in SFUSD seemed to chase my raises. I can't get out of Safeway without spending less than $60 but it hasn't mattered much up until now, I adjust pretty well to cutting back and still carry a 0% debt load. Funding my extravagant adventures across the country every few weeks to meet up with my partner in crime - who is also strangely unaffected and immune from the financial crisis - seems easy enough so I must be doing something right.

But those days are gone. Some months back, I realized I was no longer happy with my job. Though I still made enough money, balancing a day job and the expectation of content day in and day out here on JDA (more mine than anyone else's); every morning markets open and the closing bell dings, Saturdays and Sundays, most major holidays and even while on vacation when I should have been disconnected from everything, it didn't matter but it no longer worked in my life. It gets difficult to keep that up for an extended period of time, especially after I realized I was no longer content with what I was doing for a living. I love being involved in the accounting industry and truly treasure the interactions I've had with CPA exam candidates over the last 3 years but it was time to go chase another pair of unicorns fucking under a rainbow if you get my drift. I had to figure out what meant the most to me and it was this. Sorry, Bernanke, you've got me up your ass for at least another 6 years and now I'm retired so I'll have all day to do it.

As many of you know, I made the choice to resign from my job last month to pursue this writing thing full-time and part of me making that move meant partnering with Wikinvest to put their ads on my website. I'm not going to whore you guys out for spam and assumed you'd support my position since I haven't whored you out up until this point.

Eventually, when the ties have been severed and wounds licked, I'll discuss my decisions - to quit my job in this economy, monetize JDA, and rely on writing and consulting income to cover my "life" expenses - in more detail but until then, I sympathize with Ars' position. Recession? What recession? You can choose to be miserable through this or you can strap in and play the motherfucking game. I chose strapping in tyvm.

Ars Technica on doing your part for the greater good of the Internet:

If you read a site and care about its well being, then you should not block ads (or you subscribe to sites like Ars that offer ads-free versions of the site). If a site has advertising you don't agree with, don't go there. I think it is far better to vote with page views than to show up and consume resources without giving anything in return. I think in some ways the Internet and its vast anonymity feeds into a culture where many people do not think about the people, the families, the careers that go into producing a website. People talk about how annoying advertisments are, but I'll tell you what: it's a lot more annoying and frustrating to have to cut staff and cut benefits because a huge portion of readers block ads. Yet I've seen that happen at dozens of great sites over the last few years, Ars included.

Invariably someone always pops into a discussion like this and brings up some analogy with television advertising, radio, or somesuch. It is not in any way the same; advertisers in those mediums are paying for potential to reach audiences, and not for results. They have complex models which tell them if X number are watching, Y will likely see the ad (and it even varies by ad position, show type, etc!). But they really have no true idea who sees what ad, and that's why it's a medium based on potential and not provable results. On the Internet everything is 100% trackable and is billed and sold as such. Comparing a website to TiVo is comparing apples to asparagus. And anyway, my point still stands: if you like this site you shouldn't block ads. Invariably someone else will pop in and tell me that it's not their fault that our business model sucks. My response is simple: you either care about the site's well-being, or you don't. As for our business model sucking, we've been here for 12 years, online-only. Not many sites can say that.

Let me stop and clarify quickly that I am not saying that we are on the verge of vanishing from the Internet. But we, like many, many sites are greatly affected by ad blocking, and it is a very worrisome trend.

So I'll end this part of the discussion by just reiterating my point: blocking ads hurts the sites you love. Please consider not blocking ads on those sites.

I agree. You shouldn't get bitch-slapped with ads when you go to a website. If they are present, most of us who make a living on the Internet (and those of us who spend too much time there for no legitimate reason) have learned to block them out anyway. As long as it is not an invasive procedure, I don't see a problem with it. The .com costs money. The cell phone minutes spent tracking leads add up and eventually cost money. The new laptop costs money. Photoshop costs money, what did you think, those dollar bills coming out of Bernanke's ass just magically Photoshopped themselves for free?

Thankfully my landlord pays for my DSL. Beyond that? Did you think there was a such thing as a free lunch? I was sipping Mickey's out of a Sprite bottle during that lesson of Econ 101 sophomore year of high school and still recall what that means.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


slayerboy said...

Here's the problem. Until Adobe Flash goes away or internet advertising companies start growing a spine and refuse to carry ads that contain malware, I will continue to block ads.

It used to be you were free from viruses if you just stayed on the sites you were familiar with. Then it got the point where any site with any kind of script or ad gave you viruses, hence why adblocking came about.

Personally, I'd LOVE to see more ads that are CLEAN and don't contain malicious script just waiting to tear into a computer that passes by it. I don't block ads because I don't want to see them. I block ads because too many of them contain malicious code that can wreak havoc on a computer. Even with my switching everyone I can to Linux, I'm still paranoid about ads.

Sorry, I feel bad, because ads are the only way to support a site without begging for donations. Until the internet advertising companies clean their act up, they stay blocked on my end.

Brim said...

I, for one welcome our advertising overlords. This content does not generate itself without a dedicated person willing to spend EVERY DAY slapping together new ideas.

I would prefer my JDA not be a complete socialist with her attempts to have all of us pay for her extravagant lifestyle and Gucci handbags but we live in AMERICA people and that means living large.

If you want to throw away the magical world of 9-5 cubical dwelling for Unicorns with rainbows flying out of their butts, well I guess we have to support your dream.

No ad blocking for me thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I just don't agree. Webites need to think up some other way of generating revenue that punishing their visitors with yet more relentless advertising. I mean, god almighty, we are already deluged with adverising everywhere we turn. I've had to change our telephone numbers twice because of the telemarketers. My email is 90% spamming, scamming junkmail. And snailmail is ridiculous. I know because my wife works for the post office - which is rapidly becoming the Junk Mail Delivery Service. Mailmen curse it. Piles of flyers and other misshapen pieces of trash ('cause that's where 99% ends up) that show that the delivery people have no concern whatsoever about at least trying to design the stuff to fit in a mail pouch. And it is responsible for dwindling natural resources (trees). I used to look at our local weather on but had to stop as it was just soooo ad strewn and slow that that page would not even load. And don't get me started on television and radio. We stopped watching TV about 10 years ago because of the horrendously obnoxious ads screaming at you to BUY! BUY! BUY! to some awful jingle that gets drilled into your head every ten minutes. I still remember ads from when I was six years old (I'm 51 now)! I mean these guys see people as nothing more than walking wallets and purses. "Consumers" not Citizens.

There is a science fiction story called "Sales Pitch" by Philip K. Dick that nicely lays out the plight of the modern man/woman. Or as the old song says "signs, signs everywhere there's signs talking at the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"

beebsblog said...

Ads? What ads?

Firefox: Ad Block Plus: Easy List Updater and Element Hider: Customize Google.

Works like a charm. I really hate the google ads everywhere when I run Opera or Safari.

Anonymous said...

…but it was time to go chase another pair of unicorns fucking under a rainbow…

And you wonder why some people read you obsessively (*cough*). That’s gold, Jerry. Solid gold. Stop making me feel like a stalker, bitch. (you know I'm funin' ya)

No shame in making a buck. I went trout fishing with an old guy I know who was in Vietnam during the “conflict”. He was a higher up in the Air Force. This past month, he and his wife took a visit there. He actually likes the people there and isn’t some frothing at the mouth anti-oriental type. He’s happy to report that today, they are all capitalists now and the country is far better off today than it was when Ho Chi Minh was calling the shots. The standard of living has risen for everyone there (don’t have to walk two miles for clean water and live by candlelight).