I read tech news every day, literally. I take my hour long lunch break and fire up Microsoft News, RSS feed readers, and even go to some email links received from the previous day. What burns me up the most is the proliferation of and the aggressive in your face delivery of:
A D S
Seriously, I hate them. A year ago they were tolerable, hanging out on the left or right side of the screen minding their own business. Some of them would blink, or change quickly to catch your eye, but you could almost ignore them 95% of the time while you fed your inner geek with articles. Some sites realized how intrusive Ads could be and started offering premium services that the reader could pay for in exchange for the reomval of Ads. My experience with premium services has been mixed as they still get ways to get ads into the text, e.g., hot linked words or phrases that go to a specific service or application sponsoring the article.
Several sites lately, who shall remain anonymous, have started throwing pop-over ads on top of the content that remain there for a set period of time. You know the ones, the “You can skip this ad in xx seconds” and it counts down while you sit and stew over the fact that something you didn’t want is now parading in front of your geek content. Truly is annoying and frustrating! As if this pop-over ad, selling me something, is going to compell me to do anything other than NOT buy what they’re hocking. I have the same opinion about YouTube ads, the ads every 15 minutes watching on-demand content, and of course the most annoying “product placement” crap that has creeped into every show that I watch.
Some say its the price to pay for free content, but I argue it isn’t free because my eyeballs are assaulted with products and services somebody thinks I’m going to buy because I’m frequenting their site to read content. Now, some of these free sites are threatening to block their free-but-not-free-of-ads content for anyone using an active Ad-blocker in their browser. Fine, its their choice, BUT give me the option to pay for a subscription. Some sites I find so useful that I’d gladly give up $5 or even $10 per month provided the content stays the same or improves. Especially if that subscription allows me access to a group of sites affiliated with a large publisher. Even a plan where you pay per article with a points system or something. E.g., one article costs 1 point out of your points bank containing 30 points. You can reload your points bank for like a penny per point, etc.
The worst part of all this is now, very recently, pop-over and “dismiss after a while” ads are now dropping malware payloads onto your machine. These aren’t “I’m malware and going to do damage” payloads, oh no. These are dropping small pieces of malware payloads over a period of several days or weeks. As you visit the site, enduring the crappy ads, more pieces are dropped over time. Once all the pieces are on a target system, the final payload is the activator and the full malware is executed. With malware like CryptoWall, Locky, Dridex, etc. out there that do untold encryption damage to your files, these ads have to stop.
I hate ads. How I long for the days of the early Internet where they didn’t exist except in spam email.