A question on ads

Periodically, someone asks me about the ads on the site. They never show the ads to me, and so I don’t give it a lot of thought. It’s part of the price of having a free WordPress account. I’m not really open to claims that having ads on the site make me somehow hypocritical or especially complicit with capitalism (hate to break it to you, but paying WordPress for an ad-free account is still capitalism!) — but if the ads are distracting or annoying to my readers, I will consider paying a reasonable fee to remove them. Let me know what you think.

25 thoughts on “A question on ads

  1. I don’t think the ads are a distraction. I’m inclined to think that those who complain about them are trying to do a “gotcha” kind of thing. If readers don’t like the ads, then my suggestion would be to set up a link to paypal so that readers can provide financial support to pay WordPress for an ad free site. Adam, you personally should not have to pay a penny to WordPress.

  2. Or readers who don’t like ads should install an ad-blocking extension for their browser. I can recommend AdBlock Edge for Firefox (it’s a fork of AdBlock Plus which doesn’t allow ‘approved’ ads unlike ABP). Seriously, if someone doesn’t like ads, then they should be blocking them. It’s 2013 and the technology is there.

  3. The main thing motivating this question is that I’m annoyed with people bringing up the ads. I could delete those comments, but I still have to see them and be annoyed by them to delete them.

  4. Count me as one of those who thinks you should continue enjoying your free WordPress account without guilt. Perhaps this is because it would completely validate my own choice to subject my own readers to ads in the name of hosting my blog on WordPress for free. So, biased. Here’s a bunch of salt to savor along with my opinion. Enjoy!

  5. Ads only show up for readers who are not logged in to WordPress when they view the site/post and even then only on occasion. I agree with Mark — complaining about ads is obviously just a cheap gotcha, so paying for the ad-free upgrade is only worth it if the stupid comments are too annoying.

  6. I use regular adblock plus and have never seen ads here. Persons who don’t want to encounter ads here would be well advised to use an ad-blocker anyway, since that will let them avoid ads other places, too, whose proprietors would be less susceptible to suasion/annoyance.

  7. I have no ad-blocker and have never seen an ad here…and after a quick perusal of this post and sidebars, I still don’t see any.

    So perhaps I’m blind, but I think it’s an irrelevant issue. Keep the $30. Unless someone who does actually have a problem with it volunteers to pay it for you, I don’t think it makes a difference. And I mean that literally…at least for me, it really wouldn’t make any difference…

  8. Ads are relatively rare, and I understand that that’s because our traffic is not high enough to make more frequent ads profitable. Presumably we’ll start driving off people in droves with our rudeness and hypocrisy before long, though, and the problem will take care of itself.

  9. If people are really concerned but think $30 is too much, they can spend $10 on a domain name and I’ll host the blog on my server. I’m sure others might offer the same as well, so you might even have a choice in host.

  10. I used to see ads on here, and I kind of miss them, actually. They provided many instances of comic juxtaposition. Seeing calls for Full Communism on the same page as an ad for McDonald’s was always good for a laugh.

  11. If you use firefox, install the NoScript add on. It blocks all java script from running on a page unless you allow it, and also blocks most ads. This also helps with viruses.

  12. I don’t recommend blocking JavaScript completely. Most of the modern web will be totally broken. Better to install a decent ad blocker as Christopher recommends above.

    If you guys did want to self-host WordPress I’d gladly offer some server space and help set it up. There are some advantages to this approach, including the ability to add plugins and customise WordPress as you might desire.

  13. With NoScript you can allow specific sites to allow Javascript. For instance, you could allow the BBC to play scripts, but block everywhere else. You should be doing this by default these days.

  14. I used NoScript for a long while, but I found it too cumbersome for normal usage. Whitelisting entire sites defeats the purpose of blocking malicious JavaScript. The Disconnect plugin, for example, blocks a lot of tracking and social networking scripts (and cookies, empty pixels, etc), but without making simple things (e.g. Discus comment threads) disappear. If I’m going to ignore all JavaScript, I might as well browse in Lynx (a command-line, text-based browser). Too many sites use JavaScript in all sorts of ways that an all-or-none approach doesn’t really work.

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