Sunday, September 6, 2015

Yes, Web Sites Need To Make Money But Stop With The Horrible Ads Already

Does on-line advertising make you want to do this?  
For another blog post, I was going to link to an article in the Arizona Republic newspaper

But I couldn't justify putting you, my dear readers, through all the hoops to read the article in question.  Let's just say I fail at Guantanamo style torture.

To see the Arizona Republic article, you first had to answer three survey questions about cars.

Then, the article would open up, but you immediately get an obnoxious autoplay ad. Then before you have a chance to finish reading the article, a pop up comes on, urging you on to another piece of work by the Arizona Republic.

Before you say that I'm expecting something for nothing, a free lunch, I think there SHOULD be advertising, or some sort of fee structure to pay to see articles.  See, I'm not a mooch.

The reporters at the Arizona Republic and pretty much every other online publication deserve to be paid a fair wage. The businesses they work for should have the opportunity to make a profit. If I benefit from reading an article some hard working journalist wrote, then I should pay for it.

Really, though. Publications have got to find a better way to make money. I know that's easier said than done, but what most of 'em are doing now ain't working.

Now, if I want to read a certain publication frequently, I could just subscribe. Just like buying magazines at a newsstand. But instead, I would just pay online for X dollars a month or whatever. No problem.

Like most people, though, I want to read a particular online sites only occasionally,  if I see they have a particularly interesting article.

A lot of them ask me to fill out a survey first. Like, are you going to buy a car this year? What kind? My paranoia goes skyward when I see these. Big Data will follow me, pestering me to buy a car. And it will just add to what I'm sure is an already immense marketing dossiere every ad agency has on me. And everybody else.

Everybody also hates auto play. If you want to attract eyeballs, annoying people is not the way to do it. I've asked this question over and over,  and never gotten an answer. The question is: How is it that advertisers think that if they annoy us, we will buy that product? I run to the hills instead.

Speaking of extreme irritation, how about those banner ads that follow you as you scroll through a web page?

With that thought, Surprise!!! Ad blockers are getting more and more popular.

Google, in its Chrome browser,  is starting to block ads that use Adobe's Flash. Apple is going to have software for iPhones and IPads that will let us install apps that block ads from popping up on their Safari browser.

People like me who whine about ads, and there are many of us, have a dirty little secret. We actually like ads. But only good, clever, interesting ads.

So why don't advertisers make more of these?  There certainly are creative people out there who can do this. When an ad appears that grabs me, I sit through it without clickiing on "skip" or just exiting out of the web site.

This seems to be a simple solution - just make compelling ads.

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