Living With Ads

Amy Gahran over at Poynter blogs some more on annoying ads and tips on how to get rid of them. She also refers to John Battelle’s suggested alternative to IntelliTXT “to break out keywords for a given article in a separate box, and run that box at the end or to the side of the article? This addresses the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup problem (your advertising peanut butter is in my editorial chocolate….) but retains the power and reader service of the system.”

Good idea. I love good ads, from Amazon’s “you might wanna read this if you read that” and Google’s AdSense (sometimes). So how about leveraging the very cool Sidenotes thing from arco90.com. Very nice, intuitive and so long as there aren’t too many of them (and they’re relevant) something I could live with…

Block That Flash

Further to my rant about IntelliTXT and its interstitial ads (why do I think they’re called that? No one else seems to think so. Maybe I just like saying “interstitials”), here’s a great tip from Amy Gahran at Poynter Online, on blocking Flash-based ads, using a Firefox plugin called Flashblock. She has this message for news websites (or any websites) that rely on these intrusive ads:

I’m sorry if Flash-based ads are a cornerstone of your online business model. But frankly, basing your business model on something that annoys people is probably not a sound approach in an age where audiences exercise ever-finer control over the media they receive. Fighting human nature is always bad business in the long run.

Hear hear.