For those who do not know me well, I used to ‘rant’ a lot, now I rant once or twice a year, this is one of those times, so if you do not want to read me bitch and complain, stop. If you do not want to read a post that may go well over 1000 words, stop. If you do not want to read a post that may, just may tedder on the political, stop. If you have a love of advertisements, stop NOW! However if you are curious as to what crawled up my butt today….read on my wayward son…..
Like may of you I get a lot of my national and local ‘news’ from, of all places, the internet. I use the Drudge Report a lot, yes, I lean, well lean is not strong enough, I am way far right politically. Drudge allows me to look at multiple ‘news’ sites for me to make an informed, well somewhat informed anyway, decision. I also look at Bing, I know left leaning, but if I get all my ‘news’ from the Right, then I would not be very informed, would I? Bing has links to local news stories, which has been a hoot for me because living in Denver the local stuff what who killed who and who got robbed, mugged, threatened or otherwise molested. In Billings there was a story about a big airplane that landed at the airport. I kid you not a Russian Cargo plane bringing aid to the tsunami victims landed here, and that was a ‘news’ story! Actually, it is quite refreshing. But now to what got me on this rant, when I clicked the “click bait” I got a notice saying I cannot view the story, because I use an Ad Blocker.
Yes, I use an Ad Blocker, but do you know what an Ad Blocker really does? Why does this make me mad. Well first off, an Ad Blocker will block “Pop-Up” Ads as well as advertisements that are targeted to you directly based on your viewing habits. I do not need to see any more houses for sale or advertisements for Viagra….wait, forget I mentioned that last one. What they really are doing is tracking your browsers history and target you with specific ads just for you. Have you ever looked for something on the internet, lets say a spice that is used in a Jamaican Jerk for chicken and for the next three weeks you see advertisements for trips to Jamaica, wholesale chicken and specialty spices, well you have been targeted.
Well now for what pissed me off. The first thing was they wanted me “whitelist” their site, which I will not do. This circumvents the whole reason I got the Ad Blocker in the first place. If I wanted targeted Ads, I would not have an Ad Blocker! Duh! I really did not need to see a story about a big airplane, I just thought it was neat that this was a ‘news’ story. The second thing that pissed me off was their arrogance in thinking that I would not be able to live without their version of this ground-breaking story. So I immediately typed into Bing “Russian Aircraft Billings” and no less than five stories were on the first page about what I was seeking. Four of these websites did not block me because I was using an Ad Blocker. The only one was (People who know me from the Rant Page know I name names.) the Billings Gazette. I was able to read the story without needing the Billings Gazette’s version. So……
This is an open letter to the Advertisers of the Billings Gazette, I did not get to see your advertisement, I do not know about the cool widget you have to offer me for a spectacular, mind-blowing price! The Billings Gazette has made sure that I will NEVER get to see any of your advertisements. While my few dollars might not seem like a lot of money, and you most likely will not go out of business because you did not get your much needed message to me, I am not the only one that does not like targeted advertisements, I am not the only one that uses an Ad Blocker, I am not the only one that will “go out of my way” to search for a story from a reputable site. That is not to say that the Billings Gazette is a disreputable organization, they just do not want me viewing their webpage. (And people wonder why Print media is disappearing)
I am not saying that the Gazette should not have advertisement, remember in the second paragraph I mentioned I am “way far Right”, that means I support and believe in Capitalism, placing advertisements where people can see them is capitalism plain and simple. (So, by the way, is using an Ad Blocker) In fact the websites that I visited on this one story were not void of advertisements, in fact every single one of them had advertisements coded into the webpage. I have done a bit of HTML and PHP to know how this works, and if an advertisement is coded into the webpage there is no Ad Blocker that can detect it and remove it from my site. The Ad Blocker blocks Ads that are placed there by, for all purposes, another program, and not coded to the website itself. I may be wrong, and if so, will someone correct me, but I believe I have the gist of it correct.
Now if you have read this far, you are either fed up with being blocked from some websites, mostly ‘news’ sites, as I am or you work for the Billings Gazette and someone brought this rant to your attention and you are wondering if I can be held liable for anything I have said here, which since I have not said anything slanderous or damaging to your company, I can’t. There is also the possibility that you own a business, maybe even here in Billings, and desperately want to sell me something but just now realized that you can’t because I will not look at an advertisement that hides behind a program that is designed to withhold information from me just because I use an Ad Blocker! (Is that some sort of discrimination? No, I am a conservative, only liberals can be discriminated against.) If you were just offended by that last comment, then my guess is you really do not know me at all.
So, there you have it, over one thousand words and I have said absolutely nothing.
Peace be with you