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Monday, 03 April 2017


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I use Feedly and saw the entire post.

Sometimes after I research a product, I'll pay attention to ads that claim to offer good prices on similar things, so they can be well targeted. Worse is two weeks of ads for the thing I shopped for AFTER I already bought it ! Talk about counterproductive - now they're squandering ad space on stuff guaranteed not to interest me.

"I had already set the policy that I wasn't going to annoy readers with ads that flashed or moved or otherwise intruded on your visual peace and quiet. So I turned them down"

And for that I thank you!

I got taken in by this April fools article. I thought there is some truth in the concept regarding night photography but the article takes it to an extreme.


Yes, ads that pop up obscuring the site are the worst. If those become common it would push me to running ad-blocking software, which I so far have been avoiding (ads are often useful, rarely really bothersome).

I have the same browsing patterns you do for different reasons. I research disk controllers and 6T drives when we're planning to get the backup disk server up to snuff (the additional three drives arrived last week, we need to get the server built now). I research luxury soap when planning a birthday gift. Etc. Generally I do the research, make the purchase, and move on -- and the ads are always at least one step behind.

Customized ads--funny how that works. As soon as I buy something, I start being pestered to buy the product I just bought.

Safari on iPad. I don't see the break though the mysterious phrase "click past the break" appears followed by the rest of the post which was entirely clear.
Though I use RSS I don't read TOP in a reader because only featured comments are available there. I do use RSS and IFTTT to alert me to new posts but sadly neither recognise updated comments as "new". I feel there must be some technique that will pick outchanges to a web page but so far I have not found it.

This is interesting. On my computer, your text ends with "I'd rather see the ads everyone else is seeing, not ones customized to me." and then three ads are displayed for things I recently viewed on Amazon.

But on my iPad, I don't see the ads. Instead, I see your text going on to ask that we report what we see. That part of your text doesn't show up on my computer at all.

I regularly trawl the Northern Territory News for man-vs.-croc stories, so this one had the ring of plausibility to it (and even a supporting photograph): http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/only-in-the-territory/man-v-croc-in-swimming-race-for-the-ages/news-story/2e84754d5c84bf0a4993faca5c2e59c3


Re your question - I did see the link to the second part of the article. So that worked for me.

I agree with your comment on seeing ads for things that I've looked at. Even if I've bought that thing, the ads still appear.

I would love to see ads for new gadgety things that I haven't found in my normal internet browsing.

Bordering on OT but I recently browsed a big box store site looking at pricing out some hearing aids (I'm old). The next day I started getting calls from hearing aid companies trying to sell me a pair.
Did you know that you can keep a hearing aid marketer on the phone for about a half hour just by repeating "HUH? SPEAK UP. I THINK THIS THING'S BROKEN!"?. Find your entertainment where you can.

Probably because I grew up in 1950's in the UK, where the ad-free BBC TV and radio ruled the airwaves, I find ads of all types very irritating, and now especially those internet pop up types to which you refer, closely followed by those that follow me around after I have researched something. I wonder if someone knows of an 'ad-buster' app that I can download to destroy them? And why does THAT never get advertised?

"I don't really want to see ads for things I'm already interested in"

I think that many people start looking at things long before they are ready to cough up the money for them... The ads we see subsequent to that first indication of interest is just a way to keep the itch itchy.

I couldn't agree more. Targeted advertising is totally pointless. Even worse I find is that after I actually buy something I am bombarded with adverts for exactly the same thing or alternatives for days afterwards.

You could write a book on how stupid advertising people have been on and off over the years, the most recent of which is the pop up ads that pop up in the middle of what is being read, and now with extremely loud audio to add insult to injury. The dolts that do these dont understand that their attempts to attract our attention may be counterproductive, just like the guys that came up with over compressed audio for TV ads.

I enjoyed this one:


Hi Mike;

I don't like pop-up or moving ads. In general, I'll navigate away from a page using them. And, avoid the products they advertise.

As for Nikon, I'm an NPS member, have been for a long time. Nikon's current advertising is targeting mostly women who post their images to social media. Note the Bluetooth, WiFi, Near Field radio gear in mid range offerings.

I think Nikon would be wise to find another ad group to hawk their products. Maybe their sales / demographics say differently, but I find the current campaign annoying.
If I was new to photography and looking for a camera (and just had adds to guide my purchase) Nikon wouldn't be high on the list.

You've been in the "photo biz" long enough to remember (film days) Nikon and Canon trading the #1 position every few years. Some joked it was the Japanese Govt. deciding who would be on top and for how long. Then in the 90s - 2000s, the Auto-Focus wars determined the placement. Now it seems "ease of content upload" to social media has Nikon's engineers occupied, while some more serious photographers look to Canon and Fuji for their gear.

It will be interesting to see how Nikon climes out of the hole they've dug themselves into....

Those pop-up-in-front-of-content ads bug me so much, I just close the tab and go someplace else. I'm hoping for a short life-span for those things.

I've considered https://duckduckgo.com/ as an alternate to Google. Supposedly, it doesn't track you, or "tailor" your search results. Nearly twenty years of using Google is a hard habit to break, though.

Remember when Googling was fun? Before Google censored the search results based on your previous searches? It was analogous to the old library card catalog: You went to search for a specific author or subject, but you found unrelated things of interest along the way.
Mike, How often do you delete your cookies? Safari>Preferences-Privacy>Manage Website Data>Remove All. This doesn't necessarily eliminate the 'We're watching what you do' ads, but it cuts into what they can know about you.

About targeted ads: I don't mind them in principal, which is why I'm not flipping out about the new internet privacy Takehiko Go style un-do of the Obama era law (Sorry, non-U.S. readers...). But what I really want is better targeting. I'm a consumer, I'm interested in stuff, and I'd love to hear about a product that might be interesting to me.

That's why if we're going to give up some privacy to internet providers, at least bring me in as a partner on that and let me tell you more about the ads I'd actually like to see for products I might actually buy. Seems like a win-win to me.

The really scary, creepy thing about ad tracking is that I see the same ads on my home computer, work computer and phone. Maybe I need to sign out of everything, block more cookies or something.

Re: the ads. Last week or so, I clicked on one of your TOP links to B&H to get information about wide-angle lenses for digital cameras. My search was only for information. The bank account prohibits such expenditures right now. For two days after my visit to B&H, their ads popped up either on the top border or on the right side of my screen promoting, guess what, lenses. I solved the situation by doing what I do always- delete all my cookies and cache so B&H doesn't know I'm on-line until I visit their website again.

Those ads based on my browsing history drive me nuts. They either advertise stuff I've already bought (or something like it) or stuff I've decided not to buy and want to forget about. On the positive side, the fact that they're often misdirected at me gives me some hope that AI is still pretty far off and makes me question the arrogance of Silicon Valley as the place where they seem to think they have the answers for everything.

Best one I found:


Re ads on the web: Some months ago, I lost yet another lens cap. After some searching on the web, I decided to order a replacement from Amazon (Nikon LC-52). What followed was an instructive experience of targeted advertising - I was haunted by Nikon LC-52 ads for a couple of weeks. For example, on visiting my favourite weather site - between "date attractive single women" and "scientists dumbfounded by this simple diet" - bingo: "buy Nikon LC-52 cheap".

Best, Thomas

The trouble with targeted ads is that frequently they're for products that I recently bought. Just above this comment window ere are ads for digital projectors because I bought one yesterday.

I use an application called "Ad Blocker" and it works wonderfully.

Completely agree regarding targeted ads. They are annoying and consequently ignored by me. Most are for items I've researched and have or will purchase when I'm good and ready, Ads be damned.

Ads that pop up over the content I'm trying to read cause me to reach for the "close window" button. If the content is important enough to me, I'll find it elsewhere at a later time.

I use 'Feedly' to read your wonderful blog and the items after the page break show up just fine.

As for pop-up ads, I hate them. Almost as much as I hate pop-ups asking me to subscribe to a blogger's feed, when I'm already subscribed! Obviously this doesn't include your blog!

I disliked targeted ads as much as everybody - so I disabled them on Facebook. Now every once in a while I get facebook-ads and page-suggestions for neo-nazi groups and African dictator's facebook pages... Pretty sickening.
Guess I prefer the bubble of targeted ads.
The takeaway should probably be though to abandon Facebook entirely.

Re: feed readers, I didn't see the break in Feedly, but that's pretty standard. I find it really annoying to have to click through, kind of defeats the purpose of a reader.

Re: Ads, I use a really zealous ad-blocker and anti-tracking extension in one, called uBlock Origin. Highly recommended-- it improves the experience of the web, since pages load much faster, and prevents a host of attacks and privacy invasions, like the ads you refer to.

I don't see targeted ads anymore because I use Blur: https://dnt.abine.com/#feature/tracking
It denies the trackers that feed the targeted ads. I wonder if I can "gift" you a subscription, Mike..?

I get that Hogan was joking but "Takehiko Go" borders on cultural stereotyping, or worse.

Right on, Alex. I bought a ThinkTank mirrorless mover camera bag a week ago (for my new G85 and redefined lens collection which is all pleasing me greatly) so I am seeing an ad for (wait for it) camera bags including the Thinktank. Silly.

eBay is outstanding. I looked at hearing aid batteries there a year or more ago, but didn't buy any, and every day I now get an email notification for hearing aid batteries. You would think these things would have a life.

But then, as a guy who does a bit in advertising… (throws his coat over his had and runs off in embarrassment).

Cheers, Geoff

No page break in my Liferea feed reader. Just scrolls through the whole article, so didn't miss a thing.

Mike did see the page break for your further explanations, clearly some people thought otherwise! Do MAC's not have Ad blocker apps for Safari, that is the way to go.

On the issue of Ads. I will also look things up. I find I will use B&H as the have a useful specs section that can tell me quickly how many elements a lens has or something. Recently I was looking up a bunch of things for the stats and then got an email from Adorama saying "Did you forget about us?". Well I didn't like getting an email like this, so have excluded them specifically in recent purchases.
Ads can hurt you, when they are too intrusive. And I know they monitor my words.

The 'read'ing on the part of the internet is just a tracking cookie I suspect. Next time open up a New Private Window on Safari and then browse or research.

A colleague of mine at work who used to work for a major online media brand/property says that so many people miss the little "x" to close the window that the attempt to avoid the ad in fact results in a click-through. Which as you know results in data "proving" the ad worked. Site charges more, advertiser has data proving they're getting their money's worth, and no-one's the wiser.

Close enough to reality in my experience with technology–I'll buy that story.

Alex is spot-on. Another type of repeated ad I get is for services and websites that I already subscribe to. Because presumably I visit them a lot.

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