Another rant is incoming. You’ve been warned.
I’m a huge fan of NPR. One of my favorite shows is Fresh Air. I feel a lot of interesting interviews take place under the guidance of host Terry Gross and I often learn things I didn’t know before. Unfortunately, I’m not always near a radio when Fresh Air is on my local NPR station. To that end, I’m listening to a few recent interviews through the Fresh Air website and the one I’ve taken a break from listening to in order to type out this rant is about internet advertising and how invasive it’s become.
I get that the internet is a revenue stream for millions of people. I have no problem with that. I also don’t have a problem with ads on websites. I know WordPress puts ads on my blog so that it’s free for me to come here and rant. I can also pay a price to have them removed. What I do have a huge problem with is that those who design ads are making them more and more obnoxious and draining on our computers. Not everyone can always afford the latest greatest in computer technology. Some of us have to use whatever we can find, which can be slower than molasses on a cold day. When you have these big obnoxious ads that automatically load video (or even the smaller ones that do the same) and make it difficult to stop them or even to close the window that automatically pops up, that can slow an older computer down tremendously. Believe it or not, I am typing this on a work computer that still uses Windows XP. My home desktop runs on XP, but I have a laptop that I use more often that has Windows 7. The problem is that advertisers don’t put much thought into anything but making something that will get your attention and hopefully get you to buy their products. Well guess what! I don’t buy from obnoxious people.
The other thing in the interview on Fresh Air is that people compare ads on the internet to commercials on the television which can be seen as being just as obnoxious. Well, no, they can be muted or more often ignored when we get up from our place in front of the television to do something until what we DO want to see returns. Half the time when you’re dealing with the obnoxious ads, you have to hunt for the elusive X to close the window that’s popped open and is never where you expect it to be (upper right corner). It’s often tinier than normal, camouflaged in some way or outright not there until you’ve been forced to view the ad for a specific length of time. Static ads should be sufficient for any advertiser, but for some reason they think that we want our computers to be bogged down with the obnoxious.
Another thing that annoys me is how AdSense keeps showing personally tailored ads for items that you’ve already purchased. That happens all the time. It’s like they pay attention to what you’re looking to buy, but that’s as far as their lil brains can go. At least Google’s AdChoice gives you the option to tell them, “Hey I already bought this, so advertise something else.”