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https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=166495
39 messages

Mudcat ads

10 Aug 19 - 02:27 AM (#4003911)
Subject: Mudcat ads
From: Jack Campin

The new setup is appalling. Almost all the screen area of a Mudcat thread is now taken up with adverts and intermixed image links to irrelevant threads. Gross waste of bandwidth and means I expend more effort on trying not to click on images than I do in reading the content.

This is FAR worse than Facebook.

And it can't even work for the advertisers. After seeing multiple copies of a shoe advert in an obit thread my reaction was that even though they're good shoes and I've bought them before, that's a damn good reason for avoiding them in future.

I mostly use an old phone to access Mudcat. It is probably possible to configure some browsers to filter this crap out, but I can't change or replace the one I've got.

Bye-bye Mudcat unless this changes fast.


10 Aug 19 - 02:46 AM (#4003913)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Dave the Gnome

No problem with Silk on my Kindle Fire or Firefox on my PC


10 Aug 19 - 02:50 AM (#4003916)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Joe Offer

They do take up an annoying amount of space on my phone, but they're not annoying at all on my desktop computer.
The ads pay much of the cost of Mudcat, however.
-Joe-


10 Aug 19 - 03:15 AM (#4003920)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Backwoodsman

No problem with Firefox or Safari on my iPad...at the moment!


10 Aug 19 - 03:35 AM (#4003926)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,Peter Laban

One word : adblocker.

I never see any of it.


10 Aug 19 - 04:37 AM (#4003938)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jack Campin

There is no adblocker for the browser I have to use. My phone is so old I can't update the software in any way.

The ads can't be making Mudcat any money on my account, since I never click on any of those links.

This can't go on. It's much worse than just a mild annoyance. The content I want to read can't be more than 1% of the data transferred in loading a thread, and trying not to fatfinger a link to something like a PPI scam is horrendous.

Really, I'm out of here if this continues.


10 Aug 19 - 04:49 AM (#4003940)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Joe Offer

We'd hate to lose you, Jack, but Mudcat has to pay the bills. I've been traveling for 5 weeks and I was forced to use my phone, and I agree that it is truly aggravating.
But now that I'm home and using and actual computer, I'm just fine.

I was the "tech guy" for a nonprofit, and I had no end of troubles with a Development Director because I didn't design the nonprofit's Website to accommodate phones. And then I got a pile of crap from a subsequent Development Director who blamed me because she got a virus when she clicked a malware link. So, I quit, after 18 years. Putting up with crap when you're working for nothing and donating on top of it, just ain't worth it.

-Joe-


10 Aug 19 - 06:25 AM (#4003953)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jack Campin

Just in this thread: two copies of an ad for pension investments, one for an event of a kind I can't figure out, two copies of one for a home improvements firm, four images linked to random Mudcat threads.

Surely the advertisers are going to figure out how little value they're getting? I've had one ad for a guitar shop in the last 24 hours (the new ad setup started yesterday) and that's the only one that seemed remotely relevant.

The links to random threads are just annoying and can't be making money.


10 Aug 19 - 07:21 AM (#4003962)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,Peter

No problems with Firefox on a PC. Ads displayed are determined by a number of factors but relevance to the site topic no longer seems to be in the mix. As far as possible it will be down to your own browsing history.

The publisher may get paid for clicks (typically anything from 2 cents to 2 dollars depending on what is being advertised) or simply for views, which pays in pennies per thousand.

As a webmaster myself I would say that websites cost money to set up and run. You either pay direct or you pay through ads. The problem is that adblockers allow too many freeloaders to do neither.


10 Aug 19 - 07:38 AM (#4003963)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,Peter Laban

Ah yes, freeloaders. A bit easy to go the name calling route isn't it? Without the contributions of the visitors to a site like this would be nothing but a basic designed empty page and a service that is hard to connect to a lot of the time. Its value is 100% generated by the contributors. Freeloaders my arse.


10 Aug 19 - 08:14 AM (#4003975)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,Ray

Yes, if mudcatís users are driven away, thereíll be nobody left to see the bloody adverts!

How about we change this thread to a ďBest ad blocker for iPadĒ discussion?

Iíve always operated on the principle that I never buy anything that somebody is actively trying to sell me.


10 Aug 19 - 03:21 PM (#4004028)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: FreddyHeadey

On a 10" tablet they're no trouble to me(a banner beneath random posts)
and I'm happy to click the odd advert if it earns mudcat a penny or two.

After the twelfth post I get about fifty lines of blank space before the next post.
Is that part of the new setup I wonder?
Ah, on my newish phone that is a block of three ads and three links to random(?) Mudcat threads.

Any chance of an adfree subscription for people with screens which can't cope??


10 Aug 19 - 05:23 PM (#4004055)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Anne Lister

No ads visible on the screen I'm looking at (via Chrome).


10 Aug 19 - 08:16 PM (#4004073)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson

I am vividly aware that websites require feeding with electricity and work, and that these cost.

But, sorry Joe ... Jack, you might be interested in http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm


10 Aug 19 - 09:58 PM (#4004078)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Joe Offer

No apology required, Richard. I just spent over five weeks on the road, accessing Mudcat with a phone. And yes, I was annoyed.
I promised Max that I'd send him a thousand bucks whenever he needed it. I sent him a number of checks over the early years, but it's been a long time since he asked. I know he contributes quite a bit himself, but he says that the Google ads pay most of the cost of Mudcat nowadays.
So, that's the deal.
-Joe-


11 Aug 19 - 02:37 AM (#4004083)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: DaveRo

Jack recently posted here so I assume he's using an iPhone. You can't use a hostfile on an iPhone - unless you jailbreak it. It may be possible to erase the ads after displaying them with a bookmarklet; I've done it, but it's hard to set up.

I just looked at the adverts on an iPhone, an iPad - both with Safari - and my usual 9" Android tablet with Firefox tracking protection disabled. There were far more adverts on the iPhone and they occupied relatively more space which, combined with the tiny font of the site text, is very inconvenient.
FreddyHeadey wrote: After the twelfth post I get about fifty lines of blank space before the next post.
I see that gap on both tablets but on iPhone it's full of references other Mudcat threads interspersed with big adverts. I don't think that's being done correctly by Google.

I suspect the google scripts adapt to the fact that it is a phone and generate ads which would be proportionate to a mobile site - which Mudcat isn't. But I'm guessing. In a way the problem isn't the adverts it's the website, which doesn't adapt to small screens. I don't often read Mudcat on my phone but when I do I increase the font size of the posts to make it readable without zooming. But you can't do that on an iPhone with Safari.


11 Aug 19 - 10:16 PM (#4004200)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Joe_F

I have not seen an ad yet. Perhaps Adblock+ deserves credit for that. I don't have a smartphone; I use Firefox on my desk computer.

I donate to the Mudcat whenever I see a reminder of the need. Last time, $100, December 2017. Perhaps it's time for another one.

I gather that if every regular user donated, the share would only be a few dollars a year. The prevalence of freeloading, on a volunteer service of such small price & great value, is disgraceful.

That brings up another and greater disgrace, which I have not yet encountered on the Mudcat, and hope I never do: harassment with popups that attempt to shame me for using an adblock. It brings up a question that I have never seen a place to ask, let alone an answer to: Who, precisely, is worse off if the people who do not want to see ads do not see them -- and in what way, and why? Not I, evidently, and not the Mudcat. It must be the advertisers, or their agencies, who write contracts requiring the harassment. What good does it do them? How much money could they make by selling to people who have taken the trouble not to solicited? My own guess is that the promotion industry consists of depraved people who grind their teeth at being deprived of the opportunity to make nuisances of themselves. But if anyone here has a more charitable theory, I'll be delighted to consider it.


12 Aug 19 - 01:09 AM (#4004207)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Max

I thought it was a tasteful effort, but I didn't consider the mobile side of things. Google made me make the changes or they were going to turn the whole thing off.

I'll see if I can disable ads for members and disable ads for mobile devices. Just be a little patient, I may not have time this week.


12 Aug 19 - 07:49 AM (#4004229)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: BruceL

Hi everyone. I've just joined Mudcat - I'm getting no more than one ad per page - usually a small box at top right. Using Chrome on a laptop and on my mobile.


12 Aug 19 - 08:05 AM (#4004232)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jack Campin

Last time I used Mudcat on a desktop I didn't notice a problem. I can get back to one next week, but I always use the phone more.


13 Aug 19 - 02:11 PM (#4004467)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: punkfolkrocker

"My phone is so old I can't update the software in any way."

Jack - if this is so, you seriously need to consider getting a new phone,
because by now your old one is probably very open to hacking and ID theft.

I wouldn't risk any personal ID info, email accounts, phone umbers, contact lists, etc,
on a phone or tablet that no longer provides software updates...

For instance, my old Android devices still work well enough for some basic apps,
but I use an expendable spare Google ID that doesn't link to any of my real ones...

My old Windows 8 phone [anyone remember them ..]
is now just used as an alarm clock,
and to check emails on an old false ID account,
that aquaintances from up to 20 years ago might still very rarely try to contact me on...


13 Aug 19 - 02:32 PM (#4004470)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jack Campin

I don't recall ever getting a security update for this phone, so I doubt it's ever needed one. I don't regard computers and phones as worth spending money on, and I'll only consider getting a newer model (which will not be the same brand) when I can get it free.


13 Aug 19 - 02:38 PM (#4004471)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: punkfolkrocker

Jack - fair do's.. as long as you are aware you're taking a calculated risk...

But it's a point I thought ought be raised in this thread,
in case any other mudcatter might be unsure about it...


13 Aug 19 - 05:21 PM (#4004485)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jeri

What Joe_F said. If I go to a site that tells me to turn my ad-blocker off or accept their cookies, I leave. Almost everything on the 'net is in more than one place.
I get ads on Mudcat with my phone, but since the screen's so small, and I'm old enough to need reading glasses, I don't know what they say. One perk of geezer-hood. My laptop is the one with the ad-blocker. I know Max needs the ads to pay for Mudcat, but I hate ads more than I feel guilty for thwarting their evil plans (mwahahaaa).


13 Aug 19 - 05:39 PM (#4004488)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Stilly River Sage

I turned off the ad blockers for Mudcat a couple of weeks ago just to see how it looks. Some pages are covered with ads in odd places, others have only one or two or none.

I prefer using it with an ad blocker, but if it makes a difference (I'm here off and on all day long) then I'll leave them showing for the time being. The graphic side-by-side uteruses (how do you spell more than one uterus?) ad is the most bizarre thing I've seen so far.


13 Aug 19 - 06:59 PM (#4004495)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: keberoxu

This is why I love the Mudcat:
when this touchy topic is introduced in a thread,
both
Joe Offer
AND
Max
respond.


...
... and this is one good reason
that the only telephone I have
has a cord, plugs in, and uses touch-tone buttons and
an old-fashioned handheld receiver.


14 Aug 19 - 10:10 AM (#4004507)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: DaveRo

Joe_F wrote: Who, precisely, is worse off if the people who do not want to see ads do not see them -- and in what way, and why?
The website owner is worse off financially. With Google Adsense, which Mudcat uses, the site owner is paid per click, or per thousand times the ad is displayed - I don't know which. If everybody blocked the ads the site would get no income. Google would get no income from the site either. Google auctions spaces on each site, so if a site has few users, or less affluent or desirable users, or a low rate of 'click-through', then the ads will be cheaper and the site-owner (and Google) will get less income.

The main advantage of Google Adsense for website owners (as I understand it, not running an advertising website myself) is that it's easy to set up. You include the scripts on your webpages and leave the rest to Google. Great if running a website is not your main job or interest.

The main disadvantage is that you have little (and apparantly now less) control over what ads people see and where they appear. Users' experience of your site will vary according to what device they use and - because Google sells ads based on tracking - according to web history, gender, political affiliation... The result is often horrible to look at. And very slow.

So more and more people block ads. Firefox now blocks tracking scripts by default on desktop and mobile (including iOS) - which kills most ads on Mudcat. Apple, which for years didn't allow apps that interfered with web access, now allow limited ad-blockers. So, apart from on old machines and inadequate browsers, viewing ads is voluntary. And there's a war going in between ad-publishers and ad-blockers - one result of which is the 'We see you're blocking adverts!' warnings but also ever more complicated tricks to get the ads past the blockers, which slow sites even more.

A few years ago AdBlock Plus, which was the original and then still the main ad-blocker, introduced Acceptable Ads. They were (and still are) much criticised for it - accused of betraying users and selling out. But I thought it was a good idea. I suspect that if Mudcat's ads were 'acceptable' according to that policy nobody would complain and I for one would not block them. I don't know what happened to acceptable ads, but it didn't catch on.

So what will non-commercial sites like Mudcat, and the many small 'hobby' websites which use ads to pay for their servers, do when everybody blocks their ads? There are alternatives to Google Adsense, and some might be less-intrusive, but AFAIK there are none which don't track users. You can sell and host your own adverts but I expect that's a lot of work. (Maybe someone could offer a feed of 'acceptable' folk/blues/whatever-related adverts.) So most sites will probably stick with Adsense, irritate their users, drive some of them away, and see their income dwindle.


16 Aug 19 - 06:40 PM (#4004785)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Joe_F

Hurray! An answer: "With Google Adsense, which Mudcat uses, the site owner is paid per click, or per thousand times the ad is displayed - I don't know which."

It seems to me the latter must be "which". I presume that people who do not like to see ads will not click on them if forced to see them. Thus, if the Mudcat were paid by the click, it would lose nothing if such people blocked ads. But then, why not set it up that way? If what the advertiser wants is clicks, why shouldn't that be what the advertiser pays for? I will not repeat my guess.


16 Aug 19 - 09:01 PM (#4004796)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,.gargoylre

I receive virtually zero ads.
PERHAPS ONLY ? ?
1. Members get adds?
2. Paid subcriptions get adds?
3. Visting Guests do not get adds?
4. The adds the default gremlin intends to send tp me are below the moral values of mudcat general public.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Thanx. MAX


16 Aug 19 - 10:36 PM (#4004801)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Stilly River Sage

Garg, you probably use an ad blocker. When I have mine in place I don't receive ads either, and I put them back in place because the odd ad mix that were displayed on my pages are pretty bizarre.


20 Aug 19 - 01:58 PM (#4005264)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jack Campin

Anybody got any songs about bomb attacks on Trump or immigration-related shootings?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/advertisers-blacklist-hard-news-including-trump-fearing-backlash-11565879086


20 Aug 19 - 03:42 PM (#4005279)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: JHW

Have seen occasional ads but none today. Using Firefox and good old XP on laptop.


21 Aug 19 - 06:01 AM (#4005341)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: JHW

None again today. Generally ads follow you on the net. Looked for G9 LED bulbs (as I did) and ads for them haunted me for a week elsewhere.


21 Aug 19 - 08:44 AM (#4005362)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Jeri

I don't know why they think you want to buy something you already bought, but they do, and they follow me around, too. Elsewhere.
I use an ad-blocker with my main browser, so I don't normally see ads.


21 Aug 19 - 12:24 PM (#4005380)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST

Lots of viagra ads on thread I looked at. Appalling:!worried itís spam and Mudcatí s been hacked. Bye - not risking this any further...


21 Aug 19 - 12:47 PM (#4005384)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: Stilly River Sage

Not hacked, but they might be reading into what your personal search history looks like. ;-)


21 Aug 19 - 10:42 PM (#4005430)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: FreddyHeadey

Some of the ads are great.
I'm just having a rotfl moment contemplating why I might spend £59 on 'younger firmer skin'.*
Last week I was nearly persuaded to spend £2k on an electronic parts weighing machine
and I think the week before I might have ordered a £13k car.

* I presume it is my own skin they're talking about or could it have been one of 'those' adverts!?
;)


22 Aug 19 - 07:44 AM (#4005479)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

Not logged in at present, on a Windows machine in a public library. No ads at all. The number and placement of the ads I see varies at random each time I connect to Mudcat. I assume Max is experimenting with different configurations.


22 Aug 19 - 08:33 AM (#4005483)
Subject: RE: Mudcat ads
From: CupOfTea

Have only occasional bouts of grouped ads that are text only, going across the whole screen (on ipad). Quite annoying. The picture-off-to-the-side ads I could take in at a glance, and move on. Big obnoxious text in the flow of a thread, I won't look at long enough for any words to sink in, let alone read it.

What has come with this are incredibly long white spaces, where I was uncertain if information was loading slowly, or Mudcat was having technical problems. I gave up several times in frustration, because it was hard to find one's place at the end of these big gaps, losing continuity of the thread conversation. Any remedy or work-around for this is outside my online skills.

Joanne in Cleveland