≡ Menu

Drive-By: Lileks and Remus Post for Me About the Current World Wide Web Sludge

REMUS: James Lileks “gets” the way I feel about web sites lately.

To give you the best possible experience, this site sticks as many ads and popups and social media crap as possible on the page, making it impossible to read the piece, and if you do succeed in getting interested, allow this huge ad that lurks behind the copy to completely detail your attention… it’s like reading a book that has spring-mounted fingers that jump out and give you wet willy.

Popups and blackouts and slide-overs and autoplay videos in the corner—gack. There are times when I exit rather than search for the hidden click-offs. There are sites so out of control I don’t go to them anymore. Behind every popup—Free Book!—there’s another popup—Subscribe!—and the last popup demands I turn off a filter. Cookies or something. I’m outta there.

Stop. Just stop. Just because you can be obnoxious doesn’t mean you have to be. Why not go into the robo-call business and be done with it?

The current favorite is, “We notice you’re using an ad blocker”. Why yes I am, and I had so hoped you wouldn’t mind how I configure my PC. Then they tell me to whitelist them or else. Next they’ll demand I log in … oh, wait. So, zap! I’m Gone. There are times when I’m shopping that I go elsewhere because there’s the same popup on every page, usually offering to email me every day with sales pitches. How ’bout I let you pull out my fingernails instead? Ol’Remus at Woodpile Report

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • conrad clark June 26, 2019, 6:57 PM

    I could accept ads as static images on content, much like newspaper ads. But I have blocked active ads ever since Forbes magazine threw an ad at me with malware in it. I don’t watch Forbes now either. This was several year ago, but once burned, twice shy.

  • Flyover June 26, 2019, 7:13 PM

    Ole’ Remus is right.
    I click out of those sites.
    The ones I hate the most are the those with the recipe for how long to cook the pork ribs or meatloaf or whatever. Have to scroll through gobs of interactive ads, inane commentary about “how much my kids just *love* my new take on this old classic” or other prattle.

    I regret giving the idiots any traffic.

  • ghostsniper June 26, 2019, 7:24 PM

    I’m a tolerant person. Really. But everybody has their limits. Even Mother Theresa will blow a gasket from the overtness of some of these websites. I have at least 4 adblockers, several video stoppers, etc., etc., but there are websites out there that have a fleet of SEO programmers working full time with the sole ambition of pissing off as many people as possible.

    At first I was very tolerant and tried to comply with their basic wishes. Then my trashmail gmail acct started getting 300 spams a day, so I backed off a little and installed some blocking apps. I suspect those apps sold me out as my spam load increased. Then I installed video blockers but they are only marginally workable. I tried. I really tried. But they were unreasonable.

    So I started getting vindictive. When that thing wanting my email address popped up I’d type fuck-you@blow-us.com, etc. I even made a thing where I could just type in ctrl-fu and it would fill it in. But then sites started doing that capcha thing where I had to click on the I am not a robot thing. Or the pictures where I had to click on all the squares that had a street sign. It never ends. Move 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

    They have succeeded. They achieved their goal and for the life of me I don’t know why that was their goal. Why in the world would a company spend good money hiring programmers to chase potential customers away? Why even have a website?

    They wore me out. I died thru attrition. I just didn’t want their product enough to play their silly assed games. From here on out they get one chance. The very first instance that they do anything at all to piss me off I’ll just click the tab off and move on.

    Something just occurred to me. I have had a website since 1999 and not once has it brought me any business. I have not made one single centavo off of it. In recent years when it comes time to renew all the fees I pause to consider if I should just let it go. So far I just pay the money and move on. The renewal is due again next February and I’m probably just going to let it slide. What’s the point? I do get some spams every now and then from the eddress on that site. So maybe that will stop. Maybe this is what the most irritating websites think. They aren’t getting any business so why not irritate the shit out of as many people as possible. I know, it doesn’t make sense. Why would anybody spend money for retaliatory revenge? It’s an adolescent method. But look around, isn’t most of everything else out there adolescent? I still don’t believe it. But it’s the only thing that makes sense. Sane people practicing insane behavior are by definition insane. fuk em ded The burn off will be glorious.

  • Jeff Brokaw June 26, 2019, 9:19 PM

    Remember static html webpages? Those were nice.

  • PA Cat June 27, 2019, 2:54 AM

    When a site tells me to turn off my ad blocker, I refuse and just don’t go back. There are at least 30 sites I no longer visit because of their insistence that I either “whitelist” (a rayciss term if ever there was one) them or “subscribe.” I must admit I’m pleased that ad blockers evidently have an effect on their bottom line.

  • Snakepit Kansas June 27, 2019, 5:16 AM

    I took a last minute business trip to San Diego last week. Normally I go on line and reserve hotels and cars ahead of time. I ran out of time to get a car reserved and thought I would just take care of that at the airport rental car place when I arrive. There were long lines…no cars available…yikes. The dude at the counter said he had a Lexus QX60 as long as I was an employee of AT&T…I was an employee of AT&T, right??? Uh, yeah, I think so. Pretty nice vehicle, leather seats and all kinds of horsepower. It was a fun drive. Within two days of me returning to Doo-Dah, I have had several pop-ups saying I could rent a QX60 for $500/month. Looks like the rental car place sold my info.

  • John the River June 27, 2019, 5:48 AM

    In my right hand I’m holding an Ad Blocker, in my left hand I have Block Site; first you get the right and if you don’t straighten out then you get the left.

  • Tom Hyland June 27, 2019, 6:33 AM

    I see an interesting headline, click onto it, and they demand I disable my adblocker. I click backwards and leave the desired item in the dust. Actually, simply reading the headline was enough. I know the whole story and if I want to pursue the story at another location it can be found. Why bother? I know what happened. Less internet… more books.

  • jwm June 27, 2019, 8:42 AM

    And on a similar note, Thank you Gerard for keeping AD an ad-free experience.


  • Dirk June 27, 2019, 10:16 AM

    Not a computer guy, but run a VPN an Onion and use exclusively Duck Duck Go. I don’t seem to have this problem, perhaps every now and then, but less then weekly. When I travel, I run the VPN and onion on my phone.

    Seems to work as well.


  • James Higham June 27, 2019, 12:18 PM

    That’s exactly what I’m getting at this site – popups which don’t click off, which block the view.

  • Daniel K Day June 27, 2019, 9:50 PM

    And then there are those “Important Update When you log in with Disqus, we process personal data to facilitate your authentication blah blah” popups when I want to look at comments on some websites. Well, Disqus, suck it, I’m not logging in, you’re not getting any more of my personal data than you already have.

  • twolaneflash June 30, 2019, 8:35 AM

    My son-in-law writes software for The Weather Channel, which is a mere shadow of its former self. First, they fired the founder who was an actual meteorologist. Then, a couple of years ago, they broke up the business, selling the valuable algorithms and assets to IBM, which also owns The Weather Channel name. IBM didn’t want the tv station, so it was bought by comedian Byron Allen, who rents the name from IBM. What was once the best weather information available is now about 300 employees hanging onto a dying medium, tv. Inside word is Byron Allen is moving the station out of Atlanta to another state, but it has nothing to do with abortion laws, allegedly.

  • Brendan June 30, 2019, 9:18 AM

    The tracking protection feature in IE was fairly good at blocking ads. But over the years MS has made it less and less effective. Tools > Manage Add Ons > Tracking Protection. Choose ‘Your Personalized List’ and click on Settings. Drive the spinner in the lower left to the lowest possible value (probably 3) and click OK. Some pages will not render correctly and others will have white spaces where ads were supposed to appear. But they generally load faster which is nice when you’re combing through dozens of sites for material for your blog.