This my friends, is the post I’ve wanted to discuss with you for a while. Because it’s a double-edged sword…
Why would anyone in the world choose to block ads?
A very good question.
And here we go:
- You visit sleazy websites with several animated ads and endless pop-ups
- You visit websites that have that ANNOYING ad that flashes colors activating a dormant seizure
- You love visiting that one website, only it has an ad that says “YOU WON” and doesn’t shut the fuck up
- Some of those animated ads suck up so much memory from your sluggish computer it actually makes it crash or freeze up
- You just don’t care to see ads
These are all valid reasons to keep ad blockers on your computer. AFter all, with the economy taking a nosedive it’s not exactly feasible to slam $1,500 at the register for a new laptop. People are in fact keeping their old hardware and making it stretch like shampoo. Heck if I could add water to my laptop & extend it’s value I’d do it. Obviously it would have the opposite effect, but you know what I mean…
Now I called this post the double-edged sword because ad blockers do in fact, block out ads. If you are making income from blogging then this might not be ideal as you are on the receiving end (or non-receiving, as you are not getting your clicks tallied for a count). I suppose this puts some pressure to become selective of advertisers or affiliates you do business with.
Now there are settings, however, that you can tell it to pick & choose what to display or not. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first one I’d like to discuss is
NoScript blocks so many ads it’s insane! I already have it installed on my Firefox so let’s go to a news website (notorious for crazy advertising) like, say, the Huffington Post:
That NoScript dropdown menu comes from scrolling over the NoScript applet with your mouse cursor. If you’ve already installed NoScript you can right-click right over the address bar there, select Customize and the menu of applets shows up. Pick the NoScript one and drag n’ drop onto the bar there. You can see where I put mine:
I’m gonna zoom in on that menu to explain how it works:
It all looks confusing. Don’t worry, it’s all set to default settings and they are perfect. Here’s the only one’s you’ll ever need to tweak:
- FORBID means you have the option to forbid that particular ad (notice they are named) so until you click on it, it’s not forbidden
- UNTRUSTED means you can mark such an ad untrusted so it never ever returns again. It can be undone, I think?
- TEMPORARILY ALLOW ALL THIS PAGE means you wanna allow it only for right now, for viewing it this one time
- ALLOW ALL THIS PAGE means you let all the ads show on this page and it will show next time you come to this particular website
Now you’re gonna be tempted to FORBID everything, but then it could block out any number of things like
Gallery scripts/ image galleries/ media or press photos
So you may not be able to see that photo of that drunk celebrity with the accompanying article, or that slideshow of latest technology gadgets. Which means when you first arrive at a website you manually Forbid each one. Or just for now, Temporarily allow all on this page if you have no patience.
NoScript learns as you go along, which ones you Forbid or Allow. It’ll take some time for it to take in that info but it will remember.
Here’s the NoScript FAQ’s page if you wish to take a gander.
Here’s another ad blocker to use…
Same shit, diff. name 😉
Here’s what it looks like on the Huff Post:
So let’s zoom into that purple bubble:
So whatever’s crossed out is what I blocked out through Ghostery. Everything else made it to the Whitelist.
The Whitelist is what is allowed. You can adjust Ghostery options by clicking on the Ghostery icon and clicking on Options.
See? It shows what I allowed and dims out what I didn’t, just like in the purple info bubble.
And when you click on Options there, this page automatically opens in a new browser tab:
Everything is on default settings. Leave it alone if you don’t know what it means.
What I checked on all the boxes for good measure. The Enable cookie protection is marked as experimental as it’s shaky on some computers. The one thing I did tweak was near the end where it says Do not perform blocking on these sites: and I added www.tumblr.com so Ghostery would allow me to log into it.
These are the best blockers I’ve tried.
God help me I’ve tried several…installed and uninstalled over & over. I don’t experience any buggy performance or anything with these two. They’ve even got rave reviews. I recommend their use to save your computer from crappy memory-sucking ad performance, not necessarily blocking out ALL advertising. Because honestly I don’t mind seeing a few ads, just when they come with LOUD audio I can’t even shut off, gigantic banners that reach either side of the screen, or foster seizure inducing brightness, or show flash-based ads bundled with malware that causes browser crashes – these I consider fair grounds to block out. Thankfully many advertisers have decided not to use such asshole marketing tactics that push away viewers so things are getting better for everyone on both sides of the fence. Ads are tactfully smaller and to the point, and thankfully no longer employ seedy unethical tactics. Cuz that is soooo 2004!
Anyhoo, I’ll make more recommendations on another post. Till then, start blocking.