In a taciturn confirmation of the fact that online ads are consistently terrible, Google on Thursday announced a new “experiment” that will, for a monthly fee, let users censor a ads on some of their favorite Web sites.
The program, called “Contributor,” is flattering elementary — if a bit rosy-eyed. Step 1: Pay between $1 and $3 to retard ads on sites like Mashable, The Onion and Urban Dictionary.
Step 2: Visit those sites and see a pixelated box or a thank-you summary where you’d routinely see an ad.
Step 3: Enjoy your cleaner, happier, reduction dreaming Web-browsing experience, while basking in a compensation that we — yes, you! — have helped “directly support a people who emanate a sites we revisit any day.”
The launch of “Contributor” is not quite surprising, given that web ads are roughly universally recognized as a Internet’s inaugural cultured scourge. Users rejoiced when one of Google’s ad servers went down temporarily in early November, causing advertisements to disappear from a series of vital sites. (“Historic … Enjoy a webs as they used to be before ads!” one lady tweeted, gleefully.) And when a ensign ad distinguished its 20th anniversary on Oct. 27, a contriver of a genre — Joe McCambley — was conspicuously absent from a festivities. Since he done a initial ensign ad for Wired in 1994, McCambley claimed, a attention has devolved into an ugly, cheap, click-grubbing thing.
“Hundreds of trillions of rotten, crappy ensign practice have taught us that even looking during a right palm mainstay of a web site is dumb,” he wrote during a Guardian final year.
And yet, until someone finds a approach to reinstate a $46 billion industry with something some-more appealing (and equally profitable), ensign ads and rail ads and even those super-annoying interstitial ads — which, we suspect, will miscarry your reading of this really essay — are certainly here to stay. There are “experiments,” of course: Google’s Contributor, membership programs, and a late, good lapse to paywalls, that infrequently supplement, and infrequently take a place, of ads. (“Rejoin a party,” reads a pop-up during a newly re-paywalled, mostly ad-less NewYorker.com, that creates adult in readability what it lacks in tangible carousing.)
But during a finish of a day, a surest approach to an ad-free Web is that old, proven standby: a ad-blocking plug-in. (AdBlock, that has 20 million users and versions for Chrome, Safari and Firefox, is a good bet.) Advantages embody (a) a fact that it already exists and (b) a fact that it costs no money.
Of course, a apparatus like Adblock will not leave we with a warm, hairy feeling that you’ve contributed to a health/sustainability of a Web economy. But it will discharge atrocities like this one — and that, during least, is something to cheer.