Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday Rant: Website Advertising

Hey look, a rant on a blog about a world-wide-wonder-web phenomenon. Captain original, I'm not. Oh well. At least I'm on time this week.

The particular website "feature" that pisses me off the most, isn't craptastic midi music, isn't misspellings and mistales and typos, isn't even lame content.

It's roll-over advertising.

Banner ads, pop-ups, and other forms of advertising (including even blind links) are less annoying than roll-overs.

A roll-over ad activates when your mouse cursor passes over that part of the screen it occupies. No click, no hover, just touch one pixel in the reserved area, and some Linnaeus-damned script kicks in and a shyte computerised voice tells you how wonderful product X is.

You can't even ignore that shit. Banner ads are innocuous - if I'm actually looking for some product or service, they serve a useful function. Pop-ups are hyper-annoying, so there exists a wide range of blocker software for the discerning surfer. Blind links suck ass, but you can usually deal with them with a quick click on the X or Alt-F4.

Roll-overs look like innocuous banner ads - until you touch one, then she speaks. Sometimes the only way to get the Mendel-damned thing to shut up is to close the browser window. Does this not seem counter-productive to the advertising agencies? Not only am I angry and extremely unlikely to buy their shit, I've actually removed the link to their products from my sight.

Follow the above link, to the nice people who made my hit counter, for a prime example of a site that used to have roll-overs, but doesn't any more (I should check my sources before ranting, I guess). Perhaps they realized they were alienating potential customers?

Edit: This is real-post number 100. Post 101 (next) will be a Carlo-style "century of posting" retrospective. Fewer pictures, though, probably.


Carlo said...

Wow, you've been posting with a greater frequency than me! I've got to work to catch up (though obviously posting on my blog means I'm NOT working).

I find roll-over adds doubly damning. It's not just that they're annoying, but flashy web-shit tends to a) take up bandwith and b) use extremely up-to-date plug-in code.

The thing about part "b" that really cheeses me is that I've had my web-browser crash (while having multiple tabs open for work) because an S.G. Morton-fucked rollover couldn't load properly because my macromedia applet-thingy wasn't up to its standards.

This also happens when the stupid roll-over thing is designed with COCK-SUCKING INTERNET EXPLORER-specific code. Firefox is the better web-browser by far (Though I use Mozilla's other browser, aptly-named "Mozilla") and I hate to see my browser crash because someone required that I use IE to watch their Terman-damned advertisement for deodorant!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mike's method to blocking a large majority of web advertising (for Windows):

Load a custom "hosts" file. Visit HERE for everything you need to know.

This file is essentially a cached DNS listing, which tells all browsers on your machine the addresses resolve back to you ( Since all the ads are supposedly hosted on your local machine (but will be 404), you also save timeouts and bandwidth.

If you actually want to see Google AdWords, Commission Junction, LinkShare, etc. ads, just comment them out of your custom hosts file.

That covers the overwhelming majority of online ads.

Adfarms that aren't listed in my hosts file are quickly nuked with the "block images from..." context menu in Firefox. As you know, this doesn't (currently) stop Flash and other plug-ins used by savvy webmasters. They are still annoying, but short of turning JavaScript off completely, I have yet to find a better solution to dealing with them. I briefly used the Mozilla NoScript add-on, but found it to be more of a hassle than the occasional Flash ad.

jaspercaesar said...

hi brummell boy, the almost alter-ego of carlo, the mad cutie biologist.hahaha. he would probably cringe at that compliment. anyways, it is sad though that it has come to this: people have become overly enterprising in this medium of exchange. but that is the deal with life, who and what's hot becomes a magnet of capitalistic ideas. it does not faze me really unless if this phenomenon will cause me grave inconvenience and cut down my efficiency.

happy blogging, brummell. : )

Bronze Dog said...

I am infinitely happy that I haven't bumped into one of those things. Or the original "Head On" commercial.

Banner ads are nice, if you have to have advertising. They can just tuck them away somewhere, and I can browse uninterrupted. If you've got a super-nifty and relevant ad for my sort of thing (Hey! There's a Fullmetal Alchemist movie! I didn't know about that!), then I may click.

Banners that move with your scrolling are as good as pop-ups:

As a rule, I never follow pop-up ads. I try to kill them before they even load.

Anything more annoying than a pop-up gets an automatic boycott from me.

Carlo said...

" hi brummell boy, the almost alter-ego of carlo, the mad cutie biologist"

Hahaha I knew you were the sidekick! In terms of the comment: Meh, I'm open minded-about such things (even though habit sometimes makes me call things I don't like "gay"). But much like Tucker Max once said about his ex-girlfriends, I probably look much better in the pictures I put online than I do in real life...

TheBrummell said...

Hahaha I knew you were the sidekick!


Also, I know I look better in the pictures I put up than in real life - I mean, DAMN, I look good in that black and white photo.

jaspercaesar said...

carlo: ooops, not quite what you might think of me just because i said a mouthful. but i shall be man enough to admit that you actually look good. sorry if my sincere opinion may have offended you in any which way. : )