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Wired To Block Ad-Blocking Users, Offer Subscription (wired.com) 675

AmiMoJo writes: In a blog post Wired has announced that it will begin to block users who block ads on its site: "On an average day, more than 20 percent of the traffic to WIRED.com comes from a reader who is blocking our ads. We know that you come to our site primarily to read our content, but it's important to be clear that advertising is how we keep WIRED going," wrote the editors. The post goes on to offer two options for users blocking ads: whitelist wired.com or subscribe for $1/week.
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Wired To Block Ad-Blocking Users, Offer Subscription

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  • Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:47AM (#51469539)

    Bye then!

    • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:51AM (#51469607)

      Yep. Funny how suddenly, after years of abusing ads for profit, sites are now trying to act like innocent victims just trying to keep the lights on. Time to sleep in the bed you spent the last 20 years making.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How is selling ads "abusing" them? The whole damn point of the enterprise is to make some jingle. You want free content? Go watch cat videos on youtube. You want something edited, well, someone's got to pay the writers and editors.

        • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:22PM (#51469999)

          How is selling ads "abusing" them?

          How is using *my* electricity, risking *my* computer's integrity, distracting *my* attention for *your* profit not abusing *my* resources?

          • LAST STRAW (Score:5, Funny)

            by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:54PM (#51470445) Homepage Journal
            That's it, I'm sending back my ::cue::cat !


            shit, that joke's old enough to drive...
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Wycliffe ( 116160 )

            How is selling ads "abusing" them?

            How is using *my* electricity, risking *my* computer's integrity, distracting *my* attention for *your* profit not abusing *my* resources?

            This is like entering into a cage fight and then complaining about getting hurt. Noone makes you go to an ad-supported website and read their content. They aren't using your resources, you are using your own resources (and theirs) everytime you read their content. If you don't like it, stop reading their content but don't complain that they want to support the writers of that content. I have no problem with reasonable ads. I get most of my news from news.google.com which has a nice feature that lets me

            • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Informative)

              by KermodeBear ( 738243 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @03:00PM (#51471969) Homepage

              When I reach the "10 Article Limit" on a site I just clear my cookies and continue reading.

            • by Krojack ( 575051 )

              Or complaining that a TV station is using your electric to show you TV commercials.

            • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:28PM (#51473401)

              Exactly right, we do not have to go to their sites. Wired can go bankrupt if they want without any of our help.

              I use adblock because you are never told up front how much it will cost you to support their ads, they don't tell you how much or your bandwidth they will borrow, they don't tell you if they have malware or not, because all you know is that someone said "here's an interesting link that you should read about this important topic". I never agreed to get their malware. I never agreed that in order to read 20 lines of text that I must also accept 20 megabytes of animated ads or that my fast broadband on my fast computer will take a very long time downloading it and executing the scripts.

              I am sure that theoretically there are good players out there. But I HAVE to use adblock for my own safety and to protect my internet service from abuse. I see Wired maybe once or twice a year which is far to little to deal with the hassle of adding to a whitelist, so it's simpler to just stop going there altogether. (I have allowed some sites to serve up ads in the past but Wired doesn't reach that bar for me)

              If sites really cared then those sites would serve up their own curated ads rather than relying on sleazy third party advertisers and would not serve up an overwhelming amount of crappy javascript.

            • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:47PM (#51473617)

              How is using *my* electricity, risking *my* computer's integrity, distracting *my* attention for *your* profit not abusing *my* resources?

              This is like entering into a cage fight and then complaining about getting hurt. Noone makes you go to an ad-supported website and read their content.

              That's missing the point quite a bit. People don't walk into cage fights, clueless as to what's about to happen. There's informed consent. Not so with web pages. In fact, if I load a Wired page, not even they know what ads I'll see or what sort of malware they might be serving up, since they've offloaded that responsibility to third-parties who, as a group, have proven themselves untrustworthy (e.g. Forbes malware recently). Today's Web is like an endless hall of doors with barely-useful labels. The only way to find out what's inside is to open a door and step in. There's no consent. Just regret (see: goatse...actually, don't).

              Ad blockers restore informed consent. They give us the ability to say, "We're unwilling to pay the price you're asking". If sites want to deny us service because of that, that's how things are supposed to work. After all, if two parties can't settle on a price, there shouldn't be an exchange of goods or services. More importantly, however, ad blockers allow us to specify what we DO consent to. To the best of my knowledge, all of the major ad blockers are configured to permit first-party ads by default. If sites like Wired are willing to take responsibility for their ads and trust them enough to host them on their own servers, I'm fine with viewing them. My ad blocker will let them through. We'll both be in consent.

              Until then, it'll block the ads they're serving up from third-party ad vendors, and if they want to deny me service because I'm blocking them, that's fine.

              Well, "fine" inasmuch as it's a boneheaded move that'll bite them in the ass in the end, but still, it's their ill-fated choice to make.

        • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:22PM (#51470001)

          Oh bullshit, they didn't sell any ads, they signed up to an abusive tracking filled ad network that did all of the work for them.

          If I start a convenience store and can figure out a way to stay afloat selling Snickers and M&Ms, then hooray for me, but please don't call me a confectioner.

          If they want to sell ads, actually sell the space like they did in their print version 20 years ago, and host them first party, and we'd have a hell of a time blocking them in the first place.

          • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:47PM (#51470323)

            Oh bullshit, they didn't sell any ads, they signed up to an abusive tracking filled ad network that did all of the work for them.

            If I start a convenience store and can figure out a way to stay afloat selling Snickers and M&Ms, then hooray for me, but please don't call me a confectioner.

            I'm sorry, that's a totally lousy analogy. Here's a better analogy for you:

            I have a convenience store, and in order to make a healthy profit, I find a company that makes candy and *pays me* to give it away at my store. Unfortunately, a certain percentage of this free candy is laced with arsenic or cyanide or ricin. I know about this, but I don't care because I'm getting money from the candy-maker to give away this poisoned candy to my customers.

          • If they want to sell ads, actually sell the space

            Say someone operates a website as a hobby, but then the site outgrows the $10 per month VPS it started on. This means its operator will start to need to sell ad space to pay the hosting bill. Can you recommend a guide for the operator of a relatively small site to learn how to sell ad space?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:36PM (#51470155)
          We're years past the age of reasonable banner ads and sidebar ads. Ad creators have killed the goose with their greedy bullshit behavior. The online ad industry is full of abuse:
          • Pop over ads
          • Pop under ads
          • Ads with fake close buttons that actually load MORE ads
          • Ads that automatically open other tabs or browser windows to shove more spam in our faces
          • Sites that spread thin, shitty content ("The Top 10 Ways Advertisers Are Assholes: Number 7 Will SHOCK YOU!!!") over multiple pages to generate more page views and ad revenue
          • Deceptive clickbait ads (like fake DOWNLOAD buttons that are bigger than the actual download link on the page)
          • Auto-playing video and audio ads
          • Ads that are disguised to look like regular content (a practice carried over from the print world): if you're lucky the word 'Advertisement' is shown somewhere in tiny tiny print, although these days 'Sponsored Content' seems to be the favored term.
          • Tracking cookies (not just one or two, but a dozen or more per page that eat your bandwidth and delay page loading)
          • Ads that deliver MALWARE, because the ad networks and content providers don't give a shit and it costs money to protect readers from the scam artists out there.

          Wired can just go fuck themselves if they think their readers should bend over and take this kind of abuse.

          • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @01:22PM (#51470769)

            Yeah, nice sum-up.
            However, that 1 dollar a week thing... isn't it exactly what people here and elsewhere asked for? Like, for so long?
            If the content's worth the money, pay up and peruse an ad-free, high quality website. Or if you deem it not worthy, don't visit it anymore.

            • That's fine if a site is sticky, such as a forum. Something Awful succeeds with a paywall because forums are sticky. But say you read ten different articles on ten different websites in one day. Are you willing to pay $1 and key in your payment information for each article?

        • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:45PM (#51470297)

          1. ads went from small simple banners to huge flash/js animated annoyances to javascript powered spyware.
          2. ad networks don't care about malware, making adblock a necessity, not just for sanity but for security.
          3. ads cover most of the screenspace these days, making sites illegible.

          Web 2.0 really did make this bed. Now it can sleep in it.

        • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:47PM (#51470327)

          How is selling ads "abusing" them? The whole damn point of the enterprise is to make some jingle. You want free content? Go watch cat videos on youtube. You want something edited, well, someone's got to pay the writers and editors.

          Wired ads are among the most abusive and intrusive I have encountered at a mainstream site on the internet. I like their content, and I'd happily accept ads to read their content. I will not, however, accept that I have to be repeatedly assaulted with slowly-unfolding video popups, excessive DOM manipulation, extensive tracking, and other acts of advertising abuse.

          I will go so far as to say that it was Wired that made me finally install an ad blocker to begin with. They are that bad.

        • Re: Ok. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @01:32PM (#51470897) Homepage

          How is selling ads "abusing" them?

          I serve up ads on my website and adblock has never been a problem. The images come from my domain and I write ads inline with the copy and make them relevant to the posted topics. Not only does adblock not stop them, they're far more effective being embedded and relevant to the content.

          So, what I hear sites like Boomberg and Wired saying is we want to dish out obnoxious ads from third party advertising networks. They want to outsource advertising income and don't want to work at it themselves. They can't be bothered to make advertising deals for products and services relevant to what their readers want.

          This discussion isn't about ads, it's about dictating the terms on which those ads are delivered.

      • by dlenmn ( 145080 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:21PM (#51469995)

        after years of abusing ads for profit, sites are now trying to act like innocent victims just trying to keep the lights on.

        I see this type of comment fairly frequently, and I understand the sentiment, but what exactly do you propose that they do instead? Just go bankrupt? Can they somehow regain your trust by running non-abusive ads? (Whatever that means. How do you know which ads aren't abusive? Do you check every site or just run your ad blocker everywhere?) What if non-abusive ads aren't enough to break even? Micropayments?

        Wired produces good content, so I'd hate for them to go under. I see other comments saying that you'll just get your content elsewhere, but that's just kicking the can down the road instead of solving the problem. The same problems apply to your new news source, which is probably going to ban ad blockers sooner or later too unless a long-term solution is found.

        (Moreover, what exactly does "abusing ads for profit" mean? Are you faulting them for trying to make a profit using advertising? Is the complaint not the ads per se, but the ads that track your every move? If so, that's not at all clear from your writing.)

        • by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:27PM (#51470059)

          I suggest they host the ads as first-party, no Javascript, static images/ text links on their actual domain. One would pretty much have to write an AI to block them, and there would be little reason to try.

          • by jafiwam ( 310805 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:56PM (#51470469) Homepage Journal

            I suggest they host the ads as first-party, no Javascript, static images/ text links on their actual domain. One would pretty much have to write an AI to block them, and there would be little reason to try.

            There are large technical problems with that.

            The ad providers don't trust the content producers not to fleece them. How are they going to know? And how are they going go back to the widget seller and prove the ad was seen and worked?

            Those are all technically, unsolved problems still.

            On the other hand, the fact the ad networks think everybody is a shyster that will rip them off sort of demonstrates they are shysters themselves... everybody thinks others are just like them.

            • by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @01:43PM (#51471023)

              The ad providers don't trust the content producers not to fleece them. How are they going to know? And how are they going go back to the widget seller and prove the ad was seen and worked?

              Those are all technically, unsolved problems still.

              The same way traditional media does it with audited reviews from respectable firms. How it was always done.

              Or just simply did your revenue increase? Ask your clients did they see the add? There are many other ways.

          • I was going to say "take responsibility for the content displayed on their site and either offer free malware abatement and disaster recovery services when one of their readers is infected by their ads, or control the ad content so that is not necessary". I like your wording better.
        • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:29PM (#51470085)

          after years of abusing ads for profit, sites are now trying to act like innocent victims just trying to keep the lights on.

          I see this type of comment fairly frequently, and I understand the sentiment, but what exactly do you propose that they do instead? Just go bankrupt? Can they somehow regain your trust by running non-abusive ads? (Whatever that means. How do you know which ads aren't abusive? Do you check every site or just run your ad blocker everywhere?) What if non-abusive ads aren't enough to break even? Micropayments?

          Wired produces good content, so I'd hate for them to go under. I see other comments saying that you'll just get your content elsewhere, but that's just kicking the can down the road instead of solving the problem. The same problems apply to your new news source, which is probably going to ban ad blockers sooner or later too unless a long-term solution is found.

          (Moreover, what exactly does "abusing ads for profit" mean? Are you faulting them for trying to make a profit using advertising? Is the complaint not the ads per se, but the ads that track your every move? If so, that's not at all clear from your writing.)

          They could start by taking ownership of what they display. Host the ads first party, do some basic checking that the ads you're serving to your customers are at least legit on the surface. If there isn't enough revenue to keep them going how about a merger or something with any of the other shitload of tech/news/light entertainment sites and combine their pools of readership. There are plenty of ways for failing business' to get back on their feet, or so I'm told anyway.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:35PM (#51470145) Homepage

          Can they somehow regain your trust by running non-abusive ads? (Whatever that means. How do you know which ads aren't abusive?

          Yes. Pledge publicly to only display ads from their own servers, manually checked before going live, no Javascript, no tracking cookies, no animation. I will know if they keep their end of the bargain up because lots of people will be watching them carefully for compliance.

          Also, as long as you disable scripts (or even just third party scripts) and Flash, that cuts out 99% of the malware anyway. Hopefully your browser is sandboxed well enough to block the other 1%, and if they are willing to make the effort then I'm willing to give them a chance.

        • by Ken D ( 100098 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:36PM (#51470161)

          Do you think that a magazine would print an ad in their product sight unseen?

          Of course not. They have guidelines for acceptable ads and screen each and every ad before accepting it for their print run.

          Why do/did they think they can just outsource their ads for their online product?

          Online advertising is just broken because they absolutely, positively cannot be trusted.

        • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:36PM (#51470165)

          ...I see this type of comment fairly frequently, and I understand the sentiment, but what exactly do you propose that they do instead? Just go bankrupt?...

          According to Wired, only 20% of the visitors to the site block ads. Hardly a reason for a site to go bankrupt.

          .
          But I would suggest that one of the first things that is done is get rid of the ad networks that track people around the Internet and also serve up malware. I see absolutely no reason for Wired ads to track me as I visit other websites. If Wired wants to serve ads, then wired.com should serve the ads.

          Second, make the ads a whole lot less intrusive. When there's an ad on the page, I see it. There is no reason whatsoever to make the ad obnoxiously prominent to gain more of my attention, as that added attention will not result in a positive opinion about the product the ad is trying to sell.

          There's more, but those two would be a good start....

        • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @01:13PM (#51470661)
          I propose that they offer a web site subscription for a reasonable price. The summary says that they are offering access to the site via an ad blocker for $1/week, which is $52 per year. The print subscription price is less than $25 per year and that of course includes physical printing and mailing. They are asking way too much to not view ads on their web site.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by penguinoid ( 724646 )

          what exactly do you propose that they do instead? Just go bankrupt?

          Fine by me. The internet was fine when it was more a hobby than a competition to get eyeballs and ad revenue at any cost.

          How do you know which ads aren't abusive?

          For one thing, the website hosting them should be willing to shoulder any costs from malware or fraudulent advertising. If they aren't willing to guarantee their content won't harm you (or your grandma, who will cheerfully click any "your computer has a virus" links), then you know they are abusive. Also, the ads shouldn't make the website unreadable.

          Micropayments?

          I'd actually be willing to do that, so

      • by naris ( 830549 )
        Well, since in your world everything is free, please let me know where I can get free food, free gas and a free mortgage! Then everyone can quit their jobs and live on all this free stuff that apparently exists in the world!
      • Have you never looked at a newspaper from the 19th century. Full of ads. And even the greeks inserted paeans and hagiographies into their writings as advertisements for their sponsors. Advertising is how writing is often supported. As long as it's reasonable I'm fine with it.

        I don't get where you think this is abuse or that it's something new in the last 20 years. Sponsorship is not new. Likewise the notion of a subscription service to minimize ads or to provide richer content is nothing new either.

        • Re:What!!!? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Aaden42 ( 198257 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @01:02PM (#51470543) Homepage

          I've never looked at a 19th century newspaper, but I'mma go out on a limb here...

          I'm pretty sure the ads didn't:
          1) Make noise.
          2) Move around annoyingly trying to get my attention.
          3) Make me sit and wait to read the rest of the page while they loaded.
          4) Cost me additional money (mobile bandwidth) to load.
          5) Report my location & reading habits back to the advertiser as I walked about London.
          6) Take up 80% of the page, requiring me to flip page after page to read a sentence or two surrounded by half a dozen ads.
          7) Cause an actual danger to me in damaging the device I was using to read them.

          Did I forget anything? I'll take 19th century advertising standards.

          There's a certain red-on-black alternative social networking site that does advertising right. Hosted on their own server, static simple images, reasonably sized, no animation, no sound, no JScript, no Flash, no BS. They actually host the images on a sub-domain of their main site. It would be trivial to block them. I don't because they're not annoying or dangerous. Occasionally they even advertise something interesting, and I (intentionally!) click/tap on an ad.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Pretty much this. I wonder when big sites start realizing that by default they actually *can* show ads even to people that use ad blocking extensions. All they have to do is host the material themselves and place it within the normal content.

      There's been quite a few big sites doing bold moves such as this. I wonder if these sites fighting ad blockers will eventually have to submit to the same fate some German publishers suffered when fighting against their news articles being listed in Google: they lost

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by NotDrWho ( 3543773 )

      But where will I go to find out how Apple's new whatever-the-fuck is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING?

      Without Wired, I would never know how Revolutionary and Game-Changing it is every time Tim Cook takes a shit.

    • Bye then!

      Even back when magazines were still a thing, that was a subscription I could have lived without. Wired is the Forbes of the tech world: orthogonal to reality, intentionally obtuse and frequently irrelevant.

      Ad blocking is a good thing, it helps zombies ease the transition back to the grave.

  • Oops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:48AM (#51469553) Homepage

    I forgot the third option. Stop reading Wired.

    Note to people submitting stories: No more wired.com links please. It joins forbes.com on the /. blacklist.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hylandr ( 813770 )

      Wired? Hell they still exist?

      I haven't read them in decades...

      • Re:Oops (Score:5, Funny)

        by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:09PM (#51469853)

        Wired? Hell they still exist?

        I haven't read them in decades...

        Also, what's with the name, still? It's 2016: Calling a tech magazine "Wired" is like calling a car magazine "Horse and Buggy Monthly".

      • Re:Oops (Score:4, Insightful)

        by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:26PM (#51470047)

        Were they ever really relevant, or has it most always been a lifestyle magazine for fetishizing technology? Vanity Fair for Macintosh users who fancied themselves high tech? The kind of thing the CIO keeps in his office to show he's "up to speed"?

        The only people I've known to read it wouldn't know TCP from UDP and have stronger opinions about icon design than cryptographic hash functions.

        To be sort-of fair, I have flipped through it a few times and found a few articles that were interesting, but it's really kind of a design-centric version of Popular Science with more emphasis on computers and networking.

    • Re:Oops (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alomex ( 148003 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:09PM (#51469835) Homepage

      Fourth option: have lightweight unobtrusive ads.

      I only started using ad-blocker when ads became a draw on performance.

    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

      Or a fourth option: Wait for AdBlock subscriptions to be updated with rules that bypass Wired's ad-blocking blocking.

      People who read Wired daily might be interested in spending $4 a month, but for someone like me who only ends up there a few times a month (probably the bulk of their "20%" number), there's no way that will fly. If the anti-adblock subscriptions get updated to work then great, but if not then I won't really miss Wired.

      No more wired.com links please. It joins forbes.com on the /. blacklist.

      Totally agreed, but will our new advertising firm overlords feel the same

      • Why spend the $4 a month for website access when you can spend the $5 a YEAR and get the print magazine delivered?

    • Re:Oops (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:10PM (#51469857)

      There's a very important fourth option that they neglected to mention, yet is entirely in their control: stop delivering ads they don't host and haven't vetted.

      If a company is willing to vet their ads and host them on their own servers, it's unlikely I'll go to the bother of blocking them, especially since I no longer need to wonder about who's getting my data, and I can read just one privacy policy to find out how my data is being used. By default, however, I block everything from third-party servers, and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

      • Re:Oops (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:20PM (#51469969) Homepage

        There's a very important fourth option that they neglected to mention, yet is entirely in their control: stop delivering ads they don't host and haven't vetted.

        Pretty much this.

        Serve an ad from your own server, which doesn't require scripts, and doesn't rely on 15 external tracking sites to monitor my visit (OK, on that particular page it was 5), and I don't have a problem.

        What's that? You can't serve those ads, or having it be non-targeted isn't as effective? Too fucking bad.

        This bullshit about letting a bunch of external sites set cookies, run scripts, run plugins, and track everything I do ... that's your problem. Because I'm not trusting some 3rd party just because you're getting a few shekels from them -- I have no reason to trust those 3rd parties. That's an idiotic security model, and wired should know it.

        Serve a script-less ad from your own servers without external tracking, and I won't even bother blocking them.

    • Re:Oops (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zarmanto ( 884704 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:27PM (#51470061) Journal

      A fourth option is becoming more and more likely with these actions by Wired and by others: soon enough, someone will develop a "smart" ad filter, which downloads the ads from sites which attempt to prohibit access to ad-block users, but do not actually render those ads to the screen, thus hiding their presence from the website. (Naturally, the default behavior will still be to not download ads at all, in order to save bandwidth.)

      My eyes and ears do not belong to you, Wired. The days of loud and obnoxious ads perpetually invading webpages and assaulting our senses has passed: it's time to find less obtrusive ways to monetize your content... not more obtrusive ways. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience entirely.

  • by mitcheli ( 894743 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:48AM (#51469555)
    Guess I'll have to get my tech news from Slashdot instead.
    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      I had to go to their web site to remind myself who they are. I think I've seen their logo before. It's been a long long time, and I can barely remember them. I guess things I search for with Google never turn up anything interesting or important for me either. Ok, I don't care if they do this: they're not important.

  • eh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:48AM (#51469561)

    or not risk my computer being infected and just not goto wired anymore.

  • by laie_techie ( 883464 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:51AM (#51469605)

    I wonder if the content on Wired is worth $1 / week to browse sans advertisements. I normally read the headline and quick summary in the email they send; rarely is it interesting enough to actually go to their site.

  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:51AM (#51469609) Journal

    Since there's no pulp to push, the economics of the price are astounding.

    If ads were more intelligent and higher class, they wouldn't be so annoying. Nothing like continuing to see ads for something you bought, or putting up with taboola's brain-dead stupid tricks.

    Ads should be as good as the articles they parasitically feed off of.

    • The interesting part of this is that in order to get information like that you need be able to track someone pretty thoroughly. Would you be ok with a company monitoring your browsing habits like that? Such that they know if you bought something already.
  • Malware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:55AM (#51469651) Homepage Journal

    Do they also intend to give us malware, as Forbes did? :-P

  • by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:55AM (#51469657) Homepage

    I will consider unblocking all ads on their site if the accept all liability for the ads, content, and actions of their site.

  • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:56AM (#51469669)

    Ok, I guess right now the ad-blocker detection is based on the idea that they check with Javascript if an element containing the ad is present in the DOM tree. Or not, just guessing.

    Any existing solutions for this?

  • "On an average day, more than 20 percent of the traffic to WIRED.com comes from a reader who is blocking our ads."

    "The post goes on to offer two options for users blocking ads: whitelist wired.com or subscribe for $1/week."
  • by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @11:58AM (#51469691) Homepage

    ... the last time I actually read a wired.com article. Given the number of autoplay video ads they use, there's no fucking way in hell I'm whitelisting them.

    Used to be a interesting magazine, around 20 years ago.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:00PM (#51469717)

    Remember Wired? That brought back some good early-2000 memories. So they have a web site now? Who knew?

  • I remember when Wired was great, it was a printed magazine delivered monthly. went down the tubes over a decade ago though

  • Incognito mode. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:02PM (#51469749)

    A while back, people asked questions bout why you'd use Incognito Mode in a non-pr0n situation. This is one of those reasons.

    Also, i didn't notice anything as to WHY people block ads. Namely, i would have liked a "we promise to actively check ads to make sure they don't try to hijack your browser, or set EverCookies". We're not blocking ads to screw you. We're blocking ads to not have you screw us. Address that and then we'll talk.

    • by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:17PM (#51469937)

      I think they tried to address those concerns in the article. They did mention that they understand that people block ads for security. And they do say the following:

      "You can simply add WIRED.com to your ad blocker’s whitelist, so you view ads. When you do, we will keep the ads as “polite” as we can, and you will only see standard display advertising."
      "You can subscribe to a brand-new Ad-Free version of WIRED.com. For $1 a week, you will get complete access to our content, with no display advertising or ad tracking."

      So they are saying that you will only see standard display advertising, and no advertising or tracking if you subscribe. Of course, the question then becomes one of, "Do I trust WIRED?" As for myself, I don't trust them -- I don't really trust anyone these days; not if they're in the business of selling me something, that is.

  • I don't run an ad-blocker, but my company's WebSense configuration is blocking a good 95% of them for me. I'm starting to run into problems where websites are assuming that I'm running a blocker and are refusing to serve content*.

    The bigger problem is that what if an ad network is unable to serve an advert? Ad-block detectors generally work by checking if they got a result back from the ad server. If they don't then they assume the client is at fault and either block the content or redirect to another page.

  • So I guess they will go with dynamic content insertion to protect from ad-blocking (via JS, no?). But at the same time they will need indexing... So shouldn't we just move on and spoof our user-agents as crawl-bots?

  • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:08PM (#51469823)

    "Wired to lose 20% of its readership"

    Most people are not going to turn off their ad-blocking software just to read Wired. Regardless, the quality of their content has been dropping steadily over the last decade.

    • Most ad blockers lets you easily allow ads for specific sites. A lot of people may do this for Wired if they want to read it, although if the ads are too obnoxious many will quickly leave.

  • All ads must be provided by a sub-domain of your primary, no exceptions. Does anyone provide software to do this?

    All ads must be static, like JPG. I don't trust GIF or FLASH, or anything other than a static image. No video ads at all (that's what TV is for).

    That's it. Serve ads locally and in a static format (ok, I would accept PNG). It's just an image in an article at that point.

    I don't want the TV from Idiocracy, but it seems like it was about 500 years early in the making.....

    If you want to serve me

  • That's too bad. I sometimes like to read Wired articles, but I'm not going to open up my devices to malware just to read yet another so-so article that's been vomited on to their website simply to get me to click on ads. There will be twenty other sources telling the same bullshit story. And even if all of them block me too, that's okay, because whatever the story is, it's probably not that important anyway.

  • I will really miss the hundreds of "How Apple's New X Will Change the World!" articles that inevitably follow even the most pedestrian of announcements out of Apple.

    Every time Tim Cook takes a shit, Wired will always be there to let us know what a Revolutionary, Game-Changing, and Truly Innovative shit it is.

  • According to Ublock Origin.

    25 or 30% requests were blocked.
    Only showing 7 out of 23 domains!

    Here's my deal.. Serve all the ads/tracking from at most 3 domains and I'll reconsider whitelisting.. Oh, and default to https which makes browsers behave a bit more securely with what to give to third party domains.

  • Given that I never paid more than around $20/year for their print subscription, that's a bit steep. I'm all for subscription models for my favorite sites (Wired's one that I go to for entertaining tech news). $5-10 a year, and I'm in.

    Heck, for that price, I'll even be OK with static ads that I know are sourced by Wired directly. Wired's demographics are people who like geeky toys. A few car companies could probably fund the whole site. You don't need targeted tracking and all the schemes to make sure everyo

  • ok so is there any adblock software that actually loads the ads... then silently discards them? i don't mind if it's server-side or client-side (i use junkbuster / fork-of-junkbuster).

  • I just won't visit wired anyway. I would hardly consider it a worthwhild info source anyhow, unless you're a solid gamer which I am not.
  • Linked deleted -- and thanks for the warning, Wired.com, it is appreciated.

  • Since many of these sites rely on their search engine rankings I bet they don't block search spiders that refuse scripting or even serve them ads as that would make their pages way too dynamic to be usefully indexed.

    Thus the fourth option after Whitelist, Pay, Go-Away is change your browser's User Agent string to match that of a known search engines indexing spider.

    Potentially, no more ads to block, no paywalls and also no malware because that stuff tries hard not to be noticed by the search engines and thu

  • "On an average day, more than 20 percent of the traffic to WIRED.com comes from a reader who is blocking our ads"

    Wow, that reader must consume a hell of a lot of news! If he (i'm guessing it's a he) is causing 20% of your traffic by himself you definitely deserve some compensation from him, but i'm not sure how $1 more a week is going to significantly impact your finances.
  • by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:28PM (#51470073)

    Why don't any of the adblockers simply request the ads but render them off-screen?

    Everyone wins. Content providers get ad revenue, and advertisers get to feel important.

  • by yodleboy ( 982200 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @12:36PM (#51470159)
    I had a print subscription to Wired since 1996. About 2 years ago I didn't renew, not because I didn't like the magazine anymore, but because my magazine continually arrived two to three weeks AFTER it was available on store shelves. That wouldn't have been so bad, except that Wired eventually got to the point of releasing all the magazine content online over the course of the month...for FREE... I tried for nearly 2 years to get Wired to figure out the problem, to no avail. Even when I moved to a new house, 30+ miles away, the late deliveries continued (so probably not a local post office issue.)

    It's always frustrating when you WANT to give a company your money, but they just have to make it so damn hard (see DRM also...) Anyway, maybe I'll whitelist them, maybe I'll just quit going to Wired.com. I'm sure not giving them any more money.
  • What can you say? Some old folks just don't.

  • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @01:50PM (#51471105)
    Fine,
    1 No auto playing video.
    2 No pop-ups, pop-unders, page covering ads, or ads that cover the article where I have to wait for the close x.
    3 No malware vectors, all your ads should be vetted (no exceptions)
    Break any one and I use an ad-blocker. If that means I don;t read your rag, fine. The fact you are a tech magazine means you are just losing readership and will soon disappear.


    The internet was not built to be an advertising medium, yet here we are, the majority of what you see online is advertising. It's gross and sad that we cannot come up with a way of funding things without constantly barraging people with lies.
  • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @02:18PM (#51471463) Journal

    Then don't make the advertising on your site intrusive, and abusive.

    Ads have been on the Internet for 15 years now, we're willing to accept some advertising. But if you go overboard, we'll find ways to make it go the fuck away. The rise of ad blockers can be correlated with the rise of in-your-face pop-over infuriating advertising. I know the bills have to be paid, but stop throwing it up in my face covering the content.

    You've got nobody to blame but yourself. Think of ad blocker software as the DVR 30 second skip button of the Internet. It exists purely as a reaction to content providers going over the line a few too many times.

  • by Stan92057 ( 737634 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @03:23PM (#51472241)
    I paid for a weather channel subscription years ago because it was cheap and they made the CLAIM no ads. That was as it turned out a flat out lie. I unsubscribed the very same day, turns out at the time a lot of people were doing the same. They will just change the definition of what ads are they cant help themselves.The urge to forge loopholes is just too great.
  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @04:13PM (#51472663)

    Lost in all of this is that people who run software ad blockers probably also run mental ad blockers (in my case, this can not be uninstalled), so our response to the advertising—even if they manage to shove it down our throats—is not going to generate any significant net cash outflow.

    For a while, Wired can monetize the increasing number of eyeballs, but then the advertisers will normalize to the newly deflated advertising conversion rate (down 20%? who would have guessed?) and Wired will eventually end up getting exactly the same money as before.

    Nice business model you've got there. Shame if anyone connected all the dots.

    Barker: Hey, I'd like to interest you in a new business model!

    Banker: How does it work?

    Barker: You plant a suggestion, then people buy your shit.

    Banker: A suggestion?

    Barker: A Loud, Noisy, Flashy, Wheezy, Spinning, Popping, Sliding suggestion.

    Banker: I think you missed a dwarf. Somebody steal your March?

    Barker: Him, too.

    Banker: But—the suggestion isn't actually binding on the bumpkin, and surely you must give them something in return just to get their attention in the first place?

    Barker: Cheaper than you think.

    Banker: But—I'm still having trouble with the fundamentally non-binding nature of the transaction.

    Barker: A new day, a new dawn! We'll make this Silverado shitstorm so ubiquitous, it'll soon become regarded as a moral crime to respond to our everlasting fusillade of suggestive schlock as anything less than simply irresistible.

    Banker: You certainly have big plans.

    Barker: And you certainly have big bucks.

    Banker: I won't have to actually drive a Silverado, will I?

    Barker: Oh, no. You can drive a Bentley.

    Banker: Funny you say that. I was looking at one just the other day.

    Barker: A red one?

    Banker: Just how would you know that?

    Short, conspiratorial silence.

    Barker: [whispers] Pull up a chair, here's where it gets real interesting ...

The ideal voice for radio may be defined as showing no substance, no sex, no owner, and a message of importance for every housewife. -- Harry V. Wade

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