Advertising Isn’t What It Used To Be

In the beginning, there was a big of advertising.  I think that most of us who are connected to the web remember back to when you’d see these little unobtrusive adverts appearing as you worked the web.

They took up a little real estate on your screen but, in your heart of hearts, you knew that having them there was the right thing to do.  After all, someone or something has to pay the bills.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

But then things changed.  Advertisers started shoving flashing and spinning things our way to attract our attention.  Or, even worse, instead of trying to stand out, spent the time to make advertising look like just another piece of information on the page.  Never mind the fact that we became serious about our privacy and tracking on the web – malware detecting programs were letting us know who and/or what was tracking our browsing habits.  Advertising companies were becoming more sophisticated, serving up advertisements depending upon what it was that we’re doing in our browser.  That’s kind of a scary thing.

In fact, the annoying habits became even more annoying and opened a market for a new product – advertising blocking extensions.  I think I downloaded my first version of Ad Block for Firefox a few years ago and was immediately impressed.  My lethargic web connection improved dramatically.  I never really realized how much some advertising was taking.  I suppose that, with a faster internet provider, it might not be noticed.  But, with a slow connection, speeds improved dramatically.  If you’re paying for data on your smartphone, that data also includes the advertising that’s coming through.  I was hooked and have used it with every browser since.

One of the news stories that I had read recently talked about how Google was removing ad blocking programs from the Google Play store.  It was too bad.  Google’s advertisements weren’t all that intrusive.  But, this was one of those things on my “to do list” – spend some time investigating this.

Fortunately, Stephen Downes did the leg work.  In today’s oldaily, Stephen commented on the story “New Adblock Plus Doesn’t Need No Stinking Google Play Store.”  Bottom line is this – if you want to continue to use Adblock Plus on your Android, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.  I hope this is not a trend that spreads.

Thanks, Stephen, for bringing this article to our attention.

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