Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On those adverts ...

Someone posted a picture the other day which ... I had a look, I had a read and I thought ... Yep. That's absolutely spot on.

Here we go :
Hopefully that reads ok on a click !

Advertising is all pervasive these days. It seems like 90% of what comes through the door is junkmail. A lot of my email is ... advert junkmail. When you look at a website, you're assaulted by adverts that (unless you've got an adblocker) force you to wait until the advert loads before you can read the site.

There's another excellent Heinlein quote :
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is to deal with a leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please - this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing with to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time - and squawk for more!
So learn to say No - and to be rude about it when necessary.
Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)
Be wary of those that demand ever increasing amounts of your time. Although if those people bring you joy ? I vote for joy.

With telly stuff, I rarely watch things live. I'm usually watching stuff recorded where I can fast forward past the incessant adverts. Unless the telly company are incompetent and don't schedule their shows properly. For the last episode of Agents of Shield, Channel 4 started it maybe 50 minutes late (I didn't keep watching after fast forwarding through 20 minutes of the end of In Bruges) and I had to watch it off their awful on demand service.

Some on demand services are ok. Some are terribly inefficient (Channel 5's used to overheat my last laptop). Some are really good and don't cause you any overhead past logging in (there are no extra ads on Sky Sports service, just those on the broadcast). Some are ridiculously obnoxious.

Channel 4's demanded that I disabled my adblocker and wasted quite possibly 25 minutes of my time over the course of a 40 minute episode. That's a few minutes before it started, 4 minutes for every break and more time wasted when their ad server couldn't keep up.

COME ON ! Adverts are useless if they cause annoyance instead of interest. And I am one of those people who will actively avoid a product (even if it's a good one) if I've been annoyed by the people selling it. Or I'll buy the same thing from someone else.

(My hd came from Novatech who had a slightly higher unit price than the rest - however the rest charged extra for delivery and had poor interfaces on their websites).

I do get that there's a certain necessity to advertising. Our content costs money to produce and advertising is one source of funding for that content. It's why we get seasons of shows like X Factor, Strictly, BGT and all the other phone vote shows, the votes help to fund the content.

But if you do the phone vote thing, I applaud you. That's your choice.
I'll be watching Jurassic World tomorrow, which will have probably 30 minutes of adverts and trailers before the show. The adverts will be ignored by either nattering or catching up on phone stuff. The trailers I don't mind, because they let you know about upcoming Good Things (or upcoming Bad Things like half the horror films out there). I would have avoided Tomorrowland as Disney-Meh and Mad Max as Too-Crazy-For-Me but ...

Tomorrowland - interesting trailer, cute film, very enjoyable
Mad Max - EPIC trailer, totally nuts, mindblowing film

And then there's the Interstellar trailer which had me : OMG I HAVE TO SEE THIS.

Some adverts are good. Some are really awful.

I've thought about activating the monetization here a few times because of the junk hits I get. These pages get typically 50 hits a day for maybe 1500 a month. It's a little elevated again this month, I may get 2000 hits due to those junk hits ... By that, I mean the patterns I see where there will be maybe 15 hits in a minute, perhaps a second. Sometimes the junk hits number 100 in a minute. That happens. I call those Junk Hits because that cannot be a real reader ! So I ponder the monetization as a response to the bots.

In amongst those junk hits are you lovely, lovely regular reader people. The Android-Chromes. The iDevice people. The ones who come here via Twitter or Facebook. The Win-IE8 people from a certain address I won't mention. The ones who keep coming back for more.
I think of it as a special little virtual hug every time I see one of those familar patterns on the hit logs. I can't decipher who it is. Google, Statcounter and the defunct sitemeter don't give me enough information there. But my brain always goes "Hey ! That's SQ !" or "That's Pixie !" "That's CG !" "That's LTK !" I could go on but you get the idea. I think it's awesome that so many wonderful people (you too CK !) care enough to keep an eye on me and how I'm doing.

What message would it send if adverts started appearing ? How would I feel if one of those special people got their device infected with something horrible due to something that a 3rd party advertising person put on here ?

Terrible. So the adverts stay away. Besides, the bots are probably all using adblockers so I wouldn't get any monetization from them anyway.

That brings me to my last point. One mantra of the web is "be careful where you browse to" (for there be nasties infecting your system). Well, with all pervasive adverts, even if you browse to a well known site (and I always use the Daily Mail example, not that I read that site) you may get caught by the not so well known site that serves up tainted content.

The internet is dangerous. Harmful effects come from tainted pictures (not just the porn!), anything Adobe has anything to do with, hell even certain text messages can break phones.

Be careful out there.

It's just really, really sad that advertisement people not only suck up our time, they make our lives tougher too.

Stay safe !


  1. HATE adverts - which is why I only watch TV shows on DVD these days.

  2. Yeah ! Although one thing about those dvd/blurays ... There is always that "thank you for buying this disc. NOW DON'T BE A FILTHY PIRATE" warning that always makes you feel like a criminal.


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