The Day I Deactivated My Ad Blocker

4/08/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments

Ad Blockers are pretty great tools.  Although many ads have gotten a little more tame over the years (depending on where you frequent on the web), ads can frequently be over aggressive in style or content and it might be easiest to just block them.

A few months ago, I was working to enable ads for Geek5auce and I didn't realize at first why I couldn't view them when I was testing the page until I remembered (facepalm) that I had Ad Blocker enabled.

I realized that—although I had enabled Ad Blocker to counteract irritating ads—I was sort of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Probably 95% of the sites that I frequent exist because of ad revenue.  The people who's opinions I prefer to read are payed by ad revenue.  I'm not paying a subscription to any of these places, but I'm reading their content.  Content generated because of the existence of ad revenue.

This was, of course, a very selfish revelation, as it never occurred to me until I was personally affected, but, you know.  Better late than never.

So I disabled Ad Blocker.

This move changed the way I view the web in general.  On the internet, your traffic and your eyeballs are your currency.  Sites that get the most traffic and attract the most eyeballs get the most revenue.  I found that instead of using Ad Blocker, I was just being more selective with my traffic.

I hardly click on linkbait anymore.  I don't go to sites with poor ad control.  If there are too many popups or inappropriate ads, I just focus my traffic elsewhere, the places that deserve my traffic an eyeballs.  Instead of simply blocking the ads, I treat my online currency the same way I treat my real currency, I only use it at places that are deserving.

I still have it installed.  I'm not saying there's never a time or place for Ad Blocker, I just make sure that I am assisting in supporting my favorite websites as their revenue model intends by leaving it disabled while I browse.

So do yourself (and your favorite websites) a favor, and don't use an ad blocker.  Their ability to produce quality content and an enjoyable user experience is reliant on the fact that your readership brings them additional revenue.

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