an apology

Today, I would like to apologise to anyone who has been unfortunate enough to view this site without being logged in or having sufficient adblocking measures in place:

adsyeeech.jpg

You know what? I think making your users’ pages look like that is going to hurt your image as a purveyor of ‘high-quality blogs’ one hell of a lot more than footers full of sponsored text links.

Look, I have no problem with a single block of ads. I’m freeloading. You have to make your money somehow. If I want an ad-free environment, I expect to pay for it. But this, when you don’t even mention ads when we sign up? Come on guys, that’s not just sly, it’s greedy.

I do not want to be fobbed off with ‘people hardly ever see the ads’. One person seeing that and thinking I’m the moneygrabbing one is too many. And I do not want to be fobbed off with ‘it’s just something new we’re trying out’. You said that about ads. They’re still here.

Here’s the deal. I will send a feedback tomorrow asking for reassurance that if I buy custom CSS for this blog I can hide the ads without the risk of being ToSed. Or whether they want my $20 and whatever pennies they’re making from clickthroughs. And then I will consider my position.

Because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of getting rid of me, but nor do I want to be mistaken for a splog. And nor do I want to give them any money. So I need to decide which of these options is the least bad.

21 Comments »

  1. Root said

    We could be on to something here. Sales of the CSS upgrade should rocket.🙂

  2. Jackie Dobson said

    Just like they don’t mention that you can’t have adverts anywhere when you sign up.

  3. And 4th option: promote more ad-blocking software like Privoxy, or Firefox + Adblock Plus + NoScript. However I would not call that a solution, and is completely unrelated to what this blog is about.

  4. engtech said

    Kind of interesting… the image is timing out. Maybe host it somewhere other than WP.com?🙂

    The thumbnail looks pretty bad, but I can’t see the details. I guess I should run through my blog a few times not logged in and see what I see.

    If I ran ads, I’d only do it on 10 or so pages that get 100s of hits a day… not all over the place.

  5. engtech said

    That’s…. really ugly ad placement.

  6. Ick, I saw the same thing on Scoble’s site the other day, while logged out. All other things aside, that’s just fugly.

  7. + 1 for really ugly

  8. That really sucks! how many ads :S

    I hope we could get rid with CSS Custom, without be kicked off by the Staff🙂

  9. Root said

    All other issues aside – these clandestine ads are not helped by the choice of themes.
    Any themers if asked for ad space can make the necessary adjustments. Just shoe horning them into existing layouts is really crude. Any themer being credited with the *design* would be rightly alarmed to see his work defaced in that way, with no sense of proportion, spacing, balance or even color consideration. And furthermore from the strictly commercial point of view they are not even optimally positioned in accordance with the available research to maximise the click thru rates. It is freakin wierd the way every time MattCo needs to do anything which requires specialist expertise, they just take a short cut, hack it up in house and cock it up. The really sad thing is that what could be some great software with a good commercial future is grubbing around for adsense coppers and cents. Its too tacky. And IMHO the morality of disguising all this from logged in users is spam on a par with the Hot Nachos Scandal.🙂

  10. options said

    yep, at the very least each ad block should have a title explictly indicating that blog author has nothing to do with those ads.

    something like: “Ads from Automattic Inc. // Get a free blog on WordPress.com!”

  11. options said

    and, btw, “Features” just got updated with a paragraph on “Advertising”.

    it misses a preview picture though…

  12. Root said

    So: Let me get this clear:

    Everybody – potentially – gets ads by default.

    If they do not want ads they pay money.

    If they want more ads they pay more money.

    Am I nuts?🙂

  13. options said

    have to confess I failed to get it clear over there too. I feel like they still aren’t decided on exact ads policy. that added paragraph might be mere a reaction on the buzz here and in the forums.

    I got that as ‘No Automattic Ads’ feature is one those “some pretty cool things we want to add but which have a higher cost to provide“.

    not sure about user’s Adsense completely; it doesn’t say ‘more money’ yet, it’s: “either turn the Automattic’s ads off or show your own Adsense ads”.

  14. Star said

    @Root: that’s the exact point I was trying to get at a few threads ago. IMO, MattCo™ needs to ditch the AdSense ads or start disclosing the fact and, if they refuse to ditch the ads because the cost of running WP.com is too high and the ad revenue displaces it, then they need to allow users to upgrade to an ad-free version of their blog. But making them pay even more money just so they can show their own ads? There’s something inherently wrong with that, to me anyway.

  15. I could happy paid for a option that warrants me no ads on my blog🙂

  16. nectarine said

    I’m not logged in and I don’t see any adds. Are they only occasional?

  17. […] qué Matt hace dinero con sus blogs y ellos no. Yo aún no he visto anuncios de Adsense en mi blog, otros si los han visto en el suyo; ahora me gustaría una opción para mantener mi blog libre de anuncios… ni modo el precio de […]

  18. […] dot com, idiocy, wank Email response from Matt to my expression of extreme dissatisfaction with the sploggy look: I agree that screenshot is fugly. We’re on an alternative ad serving system from Google and […]

  19. I’m not logged in and I don’t see any adds. Are they only occasional?

    Nobody really knows. I know that I don’t see them on my usual browser because they’re blocked by my AV software. It’s also rumoured that a wordpress.com-originated cookie will kill the ads even if you’re not logged in.

  20. […] place of links to competing with .com GT system third-party tag aggregating services), instead of fugly plastering them on user […]

  21. […] surely, setting an opensource* plugin of Ozh so that “you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade to either turn the ads off” is matter of five minutes (with testing). however, I think it would’ve been a pretty […]

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