Guest wrote:Direct mail is also intrinsically bad: All direct mail:
1. Is an unsolicited, consent-free incursion into private property. If you threw an unwanted soda can onto somebody's property, you would be cited for littering. When a marketer does it, it's business as usual.
2. Forces the recipient to spend time sorting through it.
3. Occasionally causes wanted mail to be thrown out in a heap of newsprint circulars.
4. Is a manipulative poke, by definition.
Targeted direct mail is even worse.
Yes direct mail is a wasteful, pushed, and hard to opt-out way of selling you things. Ideally everyone should only receive the information they've requested or bought. But we live in societies and economies where "build it and they will come" doesn't work very well, and the meek go broke. Pushing stuff works, so the aim should be to first reduce the most intrusive ways: door-to-door, telemarketing, animated billboards, and ads that interrupt media.
With direct mail I can look at it when I want, and deal with it in no more than a few seconds. Sure targeting has privacy concerns, but the more carefully a piece of direct mail is targeted, the less likely it will waste both my time and the planet's resources. I agree there needs to be better ways of opting-out and penalizing transgressors.
There's no environmental concern when marketing material is sent through email. Unfortunately spammers destroyed this marketing channel, though some start-ups are currently trying to revive it through electronic mailboxes that charge for a stamp. It'll be interesting to see whether this will succeed, or whether it will fail because no-one will be interested in checking their inboxes, instead preferring the opt-in communications of Facebook and Twitter posts.
How does the organization who pays your salary market itself?
Silico wrote:If search engines displayed a "view all relevant ads" link, ABP shouldn't block either the link or the page it goes to.
Why wouldn't an ad blocker block an ad? The history of this project goes back to geeks who hated ads and wanted them gone. That is why it is AdBlock
. Leaving the link in place forces advertising on people who don't want any threshold of exposure to advertising. Anyone who does want to expose themselves can use the whitelisting features.
A separate "relevant ads" page and link is just like a newspaper's classifieds section and its listing in the page index. If these ad-only pages are excluded from search engine indexing, and are only accessible from clearly described links, I see no problem with ABP whitelisting them by default, because the viewing is already opt-in. As you said:
Guest wrote:Classified advertising or requested promotional materials are another matter entirely. Classified advertising is a misnomer for a facilitated marketplace, and promotional materials are fine as long as people are requesting them and understanding the inherent bias. If somebody likes getting catalogs from a merchant, then they should be opting in to those catalogs.
Silico wrote:There are few ad-free and charge-free online sources of advice of any size. Sites with professional original content, and large sites with user-generated content, both need funds to operate, while owners of less popular fourms and blogs usually can't resist adding the magic ad markup that gives them income at the expense of their users.
What about a site like Youtube? Youtube is full of people sharing quality information because they want to share quality information. When I had to do an electrical project last weekend, I found several electricians explaining exactly what I needed in good detail. They did it because they apparently like making videos and helping people. The videos from the howto farming studios might have had better production quality, but the information content was terrible.
I'd say the creators of almost all of those videos would have turned on YouTube's monetization option, which causes ads to be displayed on their videos, from which they get a revenue share. People like to be rewarded for their efforts, and few would have concerns about imposing ads on their viewers, even if they block them themselves ("those who don't block ads must find them useful, so I may as well get my cut").
I really don't think altruism takes us far in providing services of any complexity or quality.
Guest wrote:How is it that so many torrent sites are both free and free of advertising, despite handling traffic volumes measured in petabytes?
Are there really a lot of ad-free torrent sites? And do torrent sites really transfer a large amount of data when the media files, and often the torrent files themselves, are hosted off-site. Most just provide a search index.