By Harry McCracken | Monday, March 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm
Over at Ars Technica, founder Ken Fisher has an interesting post on ad blockers and a devilish experiment that Ars performed on Friday: For twelve hours, it blocked back, preventing users of ad-blocking software from seeing any content. Fisher says the counterstrike was a mixed success at best. But he also says that forty percent of Ars visitors block ads, and that doing so can be “devastating to the sites you love.”
As I’ve said before, Technologizer doesn’t need everybody to see the ads here–just a critical mass of folks. I don’t have a reliable way to measure how many visitors use an ad blocker, but here’s a guesstimate: In February, roughly fifteen percent of all Technologizer page views had the ads blocked. I might be more alarmed if the numbers looked more like Ars’, but we have that critical mass of people who don’t block ads. And I’m sure that some of the visitors who block are leaving worthwhile comments, telling their friends about Technologizer, or otherwise doing things that make this a better site and a better business proposition.
Or to put it another way: Ad blocking isn’t devastating Technologizer.
In the Ars post, Fisher says that he takes pride in the fact that his site’s ads aren’t in-your-face crud. Which led me to realize that although Technologizer has a number of guiding principles about the advertising we carry, I’ve never outlined them here.
First of all, my overarching philosophy when it comes to ad-related matters is pretty simple: In the face of financial realities, I attempt to err on the side of making myself happy. By which I mean, we do things that I don’t mind when I’m reading other sites, and try to avoid the things that tick me off.
A few examples:
I don’t think there’s any way to support editorial content through advertising in a way that will make everybody happy all of the time. (If there was, ad blockers wouldn’t exist.) But we’re trying–and we’re grateful for both the support that makes Technologizer a viable business and the constructive criticism that helps us help you.