19 January 2017

Annoyance

One of the downsides of internet surfing is advertising. Some legitimate sites are framed in advertisements and it is easy to click on them accidentally. They crowd around some pages like traps for the unwary.

Over the last couple of years, I have noticed a cunning new phenomenon. You are tempted to click by a small photo with an enticing invitation or question such as "World's Best Beach" or "Which Hollywood star lost fifty pounds in six months?" Then you find yourself having to click again and again in order to get to the information you were promised. There's always a "Next" button.

You might have to plough through twenty build-up pages to reach what you were after, wasting five or ten minutes of your life. As you move through the pages you notice that there are plenty of ads. on view. This method of drawing internet users in and getting them to tarry, moving through the linked pages, is surely just a cunning means of securing advertising revenue.
For innocent visitors, it is very frustrating. We don't want to tarry. We want to get to the world's best beach or that Hollywood star straight away.  We don't want to be played like gullible fools.

Another thing we notice is the tracking that occurs through hidden "cookies". For example, a couple of nights ago I was looking at accommodation in Southend-on-Sea. Then when I went into my hotmail account I was confronted with holiday apartment and hotel ads for yes, you guessed it, Southend-on-Sea. Clearly, this was not a coincidence.

The internet is a magical phenomenon. Blogging with people from around the world is part of that magic. But where there is ying there is also yang and increasingly cunning methods of advertising are, in my view, a big downside of internet use. These intrusive ads irritate, annoy and threaten to spoil our experience of the worldwide web showing blatant disrespect for internet users. In an ideal world, methods of internet advertising would be monitored and controlled by independent authorities. Instead, the advertisers seem to have free rein to employ whatever methods they wish.

17 comments:

  1. There is an app you can use to turn all those "next"s into a single page. If only I could remember the name of it, it would be mighty handy because I love all those pointless slideshows.

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    1. I don't think I will ever click on another one Kylie. I have been tempted in too often.

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  2. I agree, ads are very annoying. But to be honest, everywhere is advertising and we can't do anything about it. How many ads do we see every day, countless until I'm at the end of the road. Luckily I'm very accessible for advertising and ignore it. But I avoid watching private TV channels whenever possible. If there's a film I like to watch, I record it and cut out the ads before I start watching the film. I hate these disruptions.

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  3. If there's a website with to much ads, I close the site in a blink of an eye. What I find very scary is the fact, that obviously no politician is ready to fight agains these cookies, but waste plenty of time with discussing legal possibilities for the use of video monitoring in times of terror.But that's another issue.

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    1. Thanks for your reflections on this issue Beech. Food for Thought... which could be a good advertising slogan... "Get your fresh vegetables from Beechwood Insights...Food for Thought... a free carrot with every cabbage purchased."

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  4. It's just another symptom of how we common people are perceived. We have no value except as shills for anyone who can squeeze a penny out of us. The same thing happens with sales calls, I get at least 3 a day. And everyone on the face of this planet who wants our money is welcome to prey on us. Consumer protection is a thing of the past, it's everyone for himself.

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    1. God! Three calls a day! You must be pulling your hair out at times Jan. In an ideal world there would be no cold calling whatsoever.

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  5. What I can do on the computer (e mails, blogging, filling in various official farming forms, doing cattle returns, doing the quarterly VAT return, photographs) I can manage adequately. I only go onto the inteternet for other reasons when I need to research something.

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    1. I am pleased for you Mrs Weaver. You have been dodging these cunning and unscrupulous advertisers because your use of the internet is sensibly controlled and focussed.

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  6. Like with everything, I guess, there is the good and the bad. And. as it is with the yin and yang principle, all things that exist are inseparable and contradictory opposites.

    It would appear we can't escape either of either!

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    1. Yes it would appear so as long as our elected leaders dodge this issue.

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  7. I won't purposely click on something but as you say there are accidents. Yes, they know what I've looked at and the idiots don't know when I bought the product and keep the ads up.

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    1. I wish there was a button we could click to block all ads.

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  8. "Free" email services such as hotmail have to be financed somehow. That being said, yes it is a bit paranoia-inducing to do a simple search for something and then be hit with an avalanche of ads for that thing :)

    I hate to admit it, but I've been taken in by clickbait more times than I should have been. But I'm slowly learning. Very slowly.

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    1. "clickbait"...I have never heard that word before. Previously I would have imagined it was to do with husbands clicking their fingers and wives complying with requests.

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  9. Cold calls to private households are forbidden in Germany, but of course those who still insist on them outsource to call centers in Italy or elsewhere (not India, as there are apparently very few German-speaking telesales agents there). Some others mask their calls as opinion polls (which are legal). I have a long list of blocked phone numbers in my router, so that these people never get through to me again after the first time.

    There is an easy way to block a lot (if not all) internet adverts: Install AdBlocker. Depending on your preferred browser, there are various things you can do and settings you can change, also "no track" apps exist.

    Cookies are legal as long as the user is informed of their existence and can then decide whether to stay on the site (and allow them to collect data) or not.

    You know I work in Data Protection and IT security, so this kind of stuff is daily bread and butter for me.

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    1. Unlike you, I am not a spy Meike so thanks for the insider tips.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.