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Old 04-19-2001, 06:05 AM   #1
brunnock
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Unhappy USA Today on ad blocking software

http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/t...7-adkiller.htm
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Old 04-19-2001, 08:36 AM   #2
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Isn't this the type of product that needs to advertise online in order to get the word out that this software exists?

...somehow I don't think any ad company will run a campaign for them though http://geekvillage.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
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Old 04-19-2001, 09:17 AM   #3
Czar

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That explains why they're sending out so many press releases and striking up these controversial deals with modem makers, magazine publishers and the like.

It's a threat that seems to be growing rapidly, but will still have a negligible effect for most for some time. (Tyme excepted - he mentioned on SitePointForums that 22% of his users employ ad blocking software...poor guy!)

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Old 04-19-2001, 10:14 AM   #4
Aaron Dragushan
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If the software does become prevalent, it will drive more sites to charging for content, since they have fewer ad spots to sell but no change in server costs. This is a trend we're already experiencing, though as it stands it has the ability to swing back and forth (paid vs ads) depending on the ad market.

At first my thinking was that if ad-blocking software continues to grow, it will remove one of the two alternatives, leaving only paid content. However, the laws of supply and demand say that as supply drops demand will rise, leading to higher prices paid for advertising.

It would most likely balance out in the end, over the long term. We tend to see such quick trends in the online world, but the 30,000 foot view is that over time we'll find balance.

This software also has many many weaknesses, and ways that webmasters can defeat it. The simplest is to change the size of images, so that there is no "standard" to block. Looking to the future, I'd hazard a guess that these companies will start blocking images coming from servers from big advertisers like DoubleClick, or images that link to items at CJ. That way they'd be blocking only ads and not images. I haven't checked out the software recently so perhaps they can already do this...

The solution is to take more control over advertising on your site. Varying images sizes and linking to CJ through redirects, etc. You could draw parallels to Napster vs peer to peer. Napster is like DoubleClick - if you block images from their servers, you block billions of ad views very efficiently. It's much harder to stop the peer-to-peer model though, as it has no center to aim at.
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Old 04-19-2001, 12:07 PM   #5
intellected
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ralph Slate:
The amazing thing is the arrogance of the people who are behind the companies. Their attitude is "We sellt this software because people shouldn't have to view advertising if they don't want to". When asked about the financial viability of a site that has all its ads blocked, their response is "that's not our problem".
Ralph
GUN ANALOGY!!!! We sell this software (gun) because people shouldn't view advertising it they dont want to (be afraid of street violence). If you shoot people with this gun, which is made for that purpose only, and they get injured or dead by getting shot, that is not our problem.

Ad blockers are here because ads got too annyoing. It was bound to happen.
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Old 04-19-2001, 12:39 PM   #6
Musiclover
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Even CNN had a review of this kind of software on their dotcom program, these guys are really hungry for attention.

Visitors just don't realize that notting is for free and that it has to be paid for one way or the other. And if it is really free, you'll get what you paid for...

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Old 04-19-2001, 12:55 PM   #7
kerplunk
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This is a joke.

We should start a petition against this. This could ruin many businesses. I like the part where they said: "We sellt this software because people shouldn't have to view advertising if they don't want to".

Well, it's our website and that's how we pay for them to look at it.

Maybe someone should send this quote into them: "Well it's our website, and if they want to visit it, this product should not be on the market."

How gay.
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Old 04-19-2001, 06:39 PM   #8
Doc
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Intellected,

The problem with your analogy is that guns DO have uses other than murder/violence. This ad-blocking software only has one purpose, to deny webmasters the right to advertise on their sites.

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Old 04-19-2001, 07:14 PM   #9
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What you would hope, is that advertising companies would band together in blocking people who are using this software (giving code to network or affiliate members that block people using the software from viewing the wesbsite). This is, of course, if the software can be detected. I don't know much about javascript, but I would think that would be best language to use in this detection.

If this blocking was popular, then these ad blocking companies would have no reason to exist. Take for example if all doubleclick, engage, 24/7 media, etc websites plus big names such as aol and yahoo blocked these people from viewing any content...the results would be fantastic.

I would probably compare this to software companies vs crackers. The crackers *always* come out with something to get around a software company's anti-piracty technique. Why can't this apply to these anti-ad software companies?
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Old 04-19-2001, 07:26 PM   #10
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"Banner ads are not a technology that is going to survive," says Horst Joepen, CEO of Webwasher.com, which sells Webwasher.


If this guy wants to ***** over thousands of people, he is doing the right thing. Think about what happens when software like this gets even bigger, its going to be pirated all around. Thats going to cause even more people to use this. Think about when you only get 3/4 the impressions. He might as well come up with something that blocks tv ads and replaces it with something else. Question: How do they justify online advertising for a program like that? Anyhow programs like that should be illegal. Im just ****** because someone would make a program like that.
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Old 04-19-2001, 11:41 PM   #11
robwod
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I don't know if this is of any interest within this thread or not, but we operate an image heavy site and found we were a big time target of image harvesting programs/robots such Telport Pro, PaqRat, GoZilla, etc.

We set out to find a solution to block this kind of thing and came upon a small piece of software called BotBuster (99 bucks). Turns out this software is actually preventing folks from accessing the site if they use programs like WebWasher or similar ad blocking software.

At first I was concerned that I'd tick off folks if they could not access the site but after thinking about it more, we bust our butts each month to provide a content heavy site that relies on advertisers to cover costs. So the folks who use ad blockers have zero desire to view or ads and therefore are absolutely useless to us.

Anyway, if anyone wants to check it out, the BotBuster home page is over at www.botbuster.com I know it's worked well for us. It's not a wonder solution, but at least gives us half a chance to make a living.
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Old 04-19-2001, 11:50 PM   #12
Ralph Slate
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The amazing thing is the arrogance of the people who are behind the companies. Their attitude is "We sellt this software because people shouldn't have to view advertising if they don't want to". When asked about the financial viability of a site that has all its ads blocked, their response is "that's not our problem".

The best analogy I've heard is that people who use these tools are like litterbugs. One piece of paper on the highway doesn't amount to much, but when 10% of the people start littering there's a problem.

Ralph
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Old 04-19-2001, 11:52 PM   #13
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sorry, I must have hit the submit button twice. Dupe post.

[This message has been edited by robwod (edited 04-20-2001).]
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Old 04-19-2001, 11:53 PM   #14
AdRatesOnline
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Just came across another article on this kind of software. It appears its use while growing is still reletively small overall. Definetely something to keep an eye on.

http://www.thestandard.com/article/0,1902,23640,00.html

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Old 04-20-2001, 09:19 AM   #15
Czar

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Thanks for the link, robwod.

BotBuster looks like a step towards what ryanw is proposing, but is obviously not specialised enough to target these technologies alone. What I mean by this is that such a broad-based approach may not differentiate between attempted hacks, ad-blocker usage and legitimate search engine bots, which is clearly problematic for web publishers.

The other problem is that, since Webwasher and others make money through the sale of their software, they will fight to stay on top of ad-blocker-blockers, in an attempt to keep their software relevant. As ryanw mentioned, this will create a never-ending battle between ad networks and ad-blockers, much like the game of one-upmanship played between virus creators and virus scanners. The truth is, the WebWasher CEO (despite his quote above), loves banner ads. If, as he predicted, banner ads were not built to survive, then neither would his business, since there would be nothing to block.


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