Can we fix the Ad Blocking world we live in?

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of noise regarding ad blocking and all that comes with it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’ll give you a short introduction.

When you browse a website you’ll probably see some ads, in theory nothing harmful. Sometimes these ads are actually relevant but in some cases are abusive, unrelated, they might play audio, video and even infect your computer with malware.

For any of these reasons some people (I do) decide to install a browser extension to block them all. If you’re thinking about using one, use AdBlock Plus. Currently one of the best at the job.

We have to blame certain sites

All this ad blocking madness started when sites begin to serve more ads than actual content. If you go to a torrent site usually it’s all ads and one small legit download link. Or maybe you go to a newspaper portal and it’s all advertisers before you get the actual content.

The users have had it with this nonsense. We all understand the need to make money in order to produce content but not to that extent. Perhaps pageview advertisement is not the right way to do things. Perhaps it’s too intrusive for the reader, who’s there looking for good content.

It might not be the case but take a look at Android Police where 26 resources have been blocked:

It loads so much faster!

On top of preventing malware and giving your brain/eyes a rest the pages simply load much, much faster. You can find plenty of reports of speed tests with and without an ad blocker installed. In some sites the result is astonishing.

When you think about it, you get the site and nothing else, no third party code, libraries, plugins… trying to load even more images or video. The amount of bandwidth you can save it very significant. For instance, the above example goes from 2.9 MB to 1.6 MB when turning on the ad blocker.

Any solutions?

I don’t know and I don’t think anybody does. One could say: just use a pay system, where in order to access the content you have to be subscribed.
That is actually a not so bad idea, the problem is when you reach a point where you can’t have any more subscriptions. A point where you say: I have to cancel one to subscribe to another, both is just too expensive.

I would pay for content. Let me rephrase, I pay for content. Right now music, using Google Play Music. Would I pay for web content? Yes, depending on the price. I use many sites to get content on my daily basis but I’m not sure I could afford all of them.

This advertisement model has to evolve as the web does.

For now I’ll keep blocking ads and sit back while advertisers figure out a better way.

Do you use an ad blocker? What do you think might be the solution?

This is what you see when you load How to Geek with an ad blocker, they serve you Comic Sans font instead. Hilarious.

Ricard Torres

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Senior Front-end Software Engineer from Barcelona, Haidong Gumdo Instructor (korean martial art of the sword), street photographer, travel lover and TV addict.

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