Jul 042012

In the real life we vote with our wallets, but on the internet we vote with our mouse clicks and the length of our visits. I understand that site owners have to make a living, and most of it is done with advertisements, but some websites turn advertising into visitor harassment.

When such a website is showing too many distracting pop-up ads, perhaps having a bunch of those underlined words with super annoying mouse-over pop-ups, or when you feel you have been lured into wasting too much of your time or effort to get to the content you wanted to reach, don’t forget that you have one extremely powerful tool at your hands:


There are plenty of good websites which won’t waste your time, yet with equally great content.

Why do I find these ads so outrageous? I hate ripoffs and here’s the supporting math: if you have to watch a 30 second commercial before getting to a one minute reading or a one minute video, you are wasting 33% of your time, which is more than even on commercial broadcast TV where they on average use less than 30% of broadcast time for commercials (30 minute blocks usually contain about 8 minutes of TV advertisements and 22 minutes of the main program). However, on broadcast TV they first capture your attention and then play the commercials. Here they play the commercial before you can tell whether the content you’re trying to get to is worth the wait.

If you care about improving the world for you and the rest of us, act.  In this case, when you’ve had too much of annoying ads or wasted too much of your time, give a command to yourself: “Abandon ship!” (it goes better with a t instead of p), Evacuate! Abort! Eject! Hit the back button (or Alt+F4 to close the application or Ctrl+w to close the browser tab) and go back to the search engine and skip to the next link. There are so many good sites and videos that won’t waste your time.

Sometimes after accessing a video link with an interesting title and seeing it has an leading ad, I immediately get out and just search on Google for videos with the same or similar title and I usually get to see it without the annoying leading commercials. This takes like five seconds and it not only saves my time, but it sends the right message to the owner: If you waste my time that much, I won’t visit you. If more people did this, the world would be a better place.

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