The BackgroundThis isn't an entirely uneducated rant. I'm a curious person, and since a few weeks ago, I'm working in what's called "internet marketing." In layman's terms: Putting those nasty ads on websites. Yes, I'm kind of on the dark side. Also, I'm quite new, so I haven't seen that much of the tech behind it.
Internet marketing involves a lot of douchebaggery. Not against the people who get the ads, but against each other. There's lots of trickery involved as to how you get ads out while at the same time stopping others from having theirs displayed. Also, circumventing ad-blockers. But that shouldn't really be that new to you. It's business, after all.
Why I'm Writing ThisI admit, it's largely due to the whole "please don't block our ads" thing that's going on lately. And, no, this is not propaganda. I don't earn money if I get people to turn off their ad-blockers. I earn money for programming. But... these people have a point. They are getting money ("revenue") for each person who watches an ad in their videos.
Who Gets Money?That said, I'm not all against ad-blockers. It's just about who gets the money. There's lots of free web hosts that put up ads on their customer's pages. These ads don't benefit the owner of the page, they benefit the owner of the web host. Ads like Project Wonderful, or AdSense or however these things are called, are different. They're revenue ads, earning the page owner money for display/clicks. Sure, some of that revenue goes to the ad company itself, but then, that's how they earn their money and allow people to put ads on their pages to earn money.
Ad MythsYes, of course there's myths on internet ads. I'm not sure how widespread the things I've heard are, but I've heard them, which means that they go on this list.
All ads are evil: No. That's broad generalization. An ad, in general, is just as evil as the people who provide it. I can only speak for myself here, but the part of the ad chain I'm in does not want people to be redirected to porn sites. That's bad PR and leads to people blocking you because yes, your ads are evil and so are you.
Then, there's technological possibilities. There's ads that are displayed in so-called iframes. They're effectively another page in the current page, so that offers a lot of possibilities for code to be executed. Then, there's ads like the ones Project Wonderful uses. I don't know what their ad fetch PHP script does, but the ad you eventually get out of it is a picture with a link to the page and a link that lets you advertise in this slot. Sure, you could try to inject malicious code into a picture, but if you're good enough to do that, you should consider earning legal money with that.
You can make it so the blocked ad still counts: That one came up in the Blip discussion. I don't know who said it, but I'd like to ask that person one thing: How would you know that? Aside from this being fraud, technically, how would one know? Stuff like checking if the ad is displayed is usually done deep in the code. If you know how to cheat the ad counter, you have to be really in the know about the code. And if you are, you probably signed an NDA and are thus violating your contract. Have fun.
The people don't get money anyways: I talked about that already. See above.
To Block or Not To BlockThere's a few things I block, and a few I don't.
Dubious ad providers - Block: These are the ones that try and redirect you to porn or worse. If you're using one of them for ads, it's your fault, because I sure as hell don't need malware on my computer.
Pop-Ups - Block: I don't care if they're revenue ads or not. Pop-ups are annoying, and if you willingly put one on your site, it's your fault.
Revenue ads - No Block: These are the ads that earn the owners of websites money. They're an indirect way to pay them for their service.
How to Get Unblocked by meI'll try and unblock people who earn money through ads, but you guys need to help me a bit. Here's the things you should put up somewhere for people to see:
Tell us you get money through these ads: Because if you do, non-douchebag people will be glad to unblock and support you.
Tell us what to whitelist: Most of the time, ads come from some third party ad provider. I, as the person with the ad-blocker, need to know which provider that is. I need an URL to feed to my ad-blocker's whitelist. If you don't know, try to find out. You're allowing someone to embed stuff in your page, so you should know who that somebody is.
Tell us how to whitelist: Not everybody's technologically literate to use ad-blockers past the standard configuration. Link to tutorials, or explain, how to whitelist a page in the most common ad-blockers.
And Finally...Even though I have name-dropped two companies extensively, I'm not trying to advertise for them. I used Blip as an example because it's a big thing, and Project Wonderful because I had a look at their stuff and it looks good.
And to those who get ad revenue: You're not selling out. You're getting paid, albeit indirectly. And there's nothing wrong with getting paid.