In 2015 I’ve been trying some different things out, trying to shake up my established way of doing things. I tried to use Firefox as my default browser for a time, but that failed miserably. I also quit using Twitter, stopped buying so much stuff in exchange for buying more experiences with someone else, and I washed my hands of one of my dying web forums and gave it to one of my friends.
This year I’m also going to try to browse the web without any form of adblocking. This is mainly for browser performance reasons, as well as morals. The AdBlock and Adblock+ extensions for Chrome slow things down a little bit, and the creator of the AdBlock extension is not someone I want to support, because he quit his job and then expects people to donate money to his adblock extension that is keeping both good and bad websites from earning money. That’s criminal to me.
uBlock is the last good adblock extension for Chrome, its performance impact is minimal if at all, and it works very well.
However, since I’ve been running websites I know how difficult it can be to earn enough money to keep those websites either breaking even or profitable, especially when bad webmasters (such as those who run YouTube) make people hate all ads. There’s a right way to display ads and many wrong ways. On-site popups, auto-playing videos, and ones that open other pages are the worst, and I really don’t like distracting animated ads either. Static small ads are okay.
And so, I’ve disabled uBlock in Chrome, and will be attempting to browse the web without any form of adblock. The only thing I’m doing that will alleviate some of the transgressions I have with ads is making plugins like Flash click-to-play, which really cuts down on the animated ads and auto-playing video ads, and I think Flash should die anyway. So far it’s actually not been a bad experience with this setup, if a site has too many ads or popups, I simply don’t visit that site again. Sites like Forbes (which is terrible) show a landing page with an ad before you visit the site, so I’ve added them to my hosts blacklist so I don’t ever make the mistake of visiting them again.
I think with the combination of Flash disabled and avoiding shitty sites with shitty ad practices, this experiment will go alright.