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  • Mar 10th, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Quick response from the Editor of Ars Technica

    > First, the larger number of readers is doing something, they are talking about your site favorably, getting the word out and drawing more people in.

    Mere talk does little. And if those other people also block ads, how is it beneficial? And like I say, if the 40% number is accurate for Ars (I don't know if it is or if it's just for the purposes of exposition) then they just can't be bringing in that many more non-ad-blocking readers. Your argument seems to be that, well, they just _must_ be doing something useful. What I'm not seeing is any kind of substance to support this. And like I say, if the 40% number is true, then they're really not doing it in any significant numbers.

    > Second, actually showing you care about your readers increases the likelihood that they will start to like and want to support you as well, if you were even a semi regular reader, this entire process (which your site seems to fail utterly in) is called connecting with your fans and giving them a reason to buy.

    But this is broadly untrue. It's clear from the response that the thought never even _occurred_ to people to support a site whose content they read regularly. Just look at all the people saying that they were going to whitelist the site. These are people who visit regularly and who liked the content, and the idea that maybe they should take a simple measure to support it _never even crossed their mind_. Merely liking the site and wanting to support it wasn't enough to get them to take concrete measures. I'm sure you'll probably just claim that they didn't support it or like it "enough", but again, the fact that when asked they _did_ whitelist it suggests that they do like it enough, they just never even thought about it.

    > That's a silly and down right fallacious view. And Very easy to disprove, let's assume you have friends, now you don't adblock, but if you have any intelligent friends, I bet at least one of them performs some type of adblocking, whether via ABP or no script or a built in browser. The instant that friend gives you a link to follow, your entire point of this paragraph is blown to pieces. People have lots of friends and in the age of Twitter, Myspace, Stumbleupon, /., Facebook, Digg, and countless others there are a lot of ways for those who block adds to drive those who don't to your site if they care about your site enough to share it with anyone.

    Right, but if those other people are also blocking ads _so what_? Ad blockers driving yet more ad blocked traffic is irrelevant at best. You haven't "disproven" anything. You've just said "but what if the blockers drive so much extra traffic that something good happens" without explaining what that good thing is, or why it might happen.

    > It rips off advertisers because there are better, more positive, ways to get your company's name out. You seem to be perfectly fine with a view that there is no such thing as bad press. Those who have some wits about them realize that instead of spending money spreading stuff that no one wants to see, it is more worthwhile to create something entertaining that people seek out, that also happens to push your company a little bit.

    It doesn't rip off the advertisers because they know that damn well. You're assuming that the advertisers are complete morons with no understanding of the advertising market. This is just insulting to them. They know perfectly well that there are other ways to advertise--that's why they use them, too. Many of the SuperBowl advertisers, for example, also use web advertising. It isn't even remotely misleading to offer them web-based advertising. Consider that web-based advertising lets them more easily target specific demographics than (say) TV, and at lower cost. The advertisers clearly see this as valuable. They're going into this with their eyes wide open, and I think it's ridiculous for you or Mike to try to paint them as the victim being misled by ad-funded websites.

  • Mar 10th, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Quick response from the Editor of Ars Technica

    > I thought I explained that pretty clearly in the post. We value our community members well beyond seeing them as just there to view banner ads. If blocking the ads makes it easier for them to contribute to the community or to view and share our stories with others, that's an extremely positive relationship.

    Then you thought wrong, IMO. It's plainly obvious that "contributing to the community" is at best of minority interest. This story has more comments than anything currently on your front page, for example, and even this story has many repeat contributions. Of the no doubt thousands or tens of thousands who read the piece, at best a few dozen bothered to contribute as a result.

    So whilst you might regard comments as "positive", they're positive for only a minute fraction of your readership. What about the far, far greater proportion of readers who aren't doing anything of the sort?

    As for sharing stories, well, only you can tell us those stats. But if the 40% ad blocking figure on Ars is true, all I can say is, they can't be doing that much sharing, and if they are, it's to other ad blockers anyway. So again, I'm struggling to see the positive side here.

    Traffic for traffic's sake isn't a plus. You know it. I know it. Everyone else knows it.

    > In fact, it seems like the coerced relationship that Ars wants to force on people is negative in almost every way. The readers don't want to see the ads, and Ars is effectively admitting that it gladly rips off advertisers by making people who won't actually look ads load them just to give Ars money. Sorry, but if I were an Ars advertiser I'd pull my adds off of the site.

    You've never explained this. How does it "rip off" advertisers? Advertisers know perfectly well that plenty of people seeing their ads aren't going to be interested. How is Ars misleading them in any way?

  • Mar 10th, 2010 @ 2:19am

    Re: Re: Quick response from the Editor of Ars Technica

    > I have no doubt that it caused people to whitelist Ars, but it did it by threatening and guilting them. That's not a positive relationship. You guys should know better than that given your (excellent, by the way) coverage of other industries make the same mistake.

    Whereas readers reading but not viewing ads _is_ a positive relationship?

    In what sense?

  • Mar 9th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Quick response from the Editor of Ars Technica

    I'm really quite curious to know what I did that has engendered such hostility.