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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Sunday November 02, 2003
04:55 PM

Ads on personal websites

[ #15521 ]
Hear hear! Elaine gives it to the people who put Google ads on their personal web sites.


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  • vs. Spam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pudge (1) on 2003.11.02 17:19 (#25392) Homepage Journal
    I agree these are annoying. I won't even put ads on But to compare it to spam is to say people are forced to go to your web site. They aren't. The problem with spam isn't context, true, but it is the nature of it being forced on the user. If it is YOUR web site, then you are free to put on it what you wish. Comment spam is someone else putting spam on YOUR web site, where they do NOT have the freedom to say what they wish. Email spam is someone sending spam into YOUR mailbox. Etc.

    Elaine harkens back to the good old days of academic computing, but one principle she seems to forget is that of OPC, Other People's Computers. People can do what they wish to their own computers, and you, as a user of them, are a guest, and if you don't like what they are doing -- unless you are paying them money or somesuch -- you have no rights and no room to complain. Don't like it? Don't use it.

    Yes, I find ads on personal pages, and sites like search.cpan and use.perl (which thankfully have no ads) to be annoying. But to complain about them, to compare them to spam, is to say that they are being forced on you, when in reality you can choose to go elsewhere.
    • Re:vs. Spam (Score:2, Interesting)

      Excellent point pudge.

      Sadly one thing which often seems to be missing in the discussion as to how to tackle spam the fundamental understanding of the issue at hand - Spam is an issue with consent, not content. It doesn't matter if the unsolicited email message received offers me a better deal on telephone costs or a herbal alternative to viagra - The issue at hand is consent. I may choose to receive information from my telephone provider about pricing offers and updates or indeed information about altern

      • The important factor determining whether an email received is indeed spam is the element of consent in the communication.

        Yes. Unfortunately, automating this seems rather difficult. In my day job, I want to receive mail from readers and potential authors, especially if we've never written before. In my free software hacker life, I want to hear from people using my code.

        The problem is identifying these people before I know who they are.

      • Re:vs. Spam (Score:3, Insightful)

        The important factor determining whether an email received is indeed spam is the element of consent in the communication

        That's a fine mantra for personal communication, but it does not apply in business. If someone wants to send Horse Porn to our customers I don't care whether they have a subscription confirmation signed in blood or not. Some spam is about content, simply because of who owns the network.
        • Some spam is about content, simply because of who owns the network.

          I can certainly understand this position and indeed I do agree with the right of corporate entities to control for what purposes their network infrastructure is employed.

          The primary concern which I have with content filtering systems however is the sensitivity of some of these systems - Whilst some email can be determined as is distinctly unwanted based upon it's content, the definition between wanted and unwanted rapidly blurs when the se

        • Even then it's still about consent; it's about the consent of the owner of the system, not the nominal "owner" of the mailbox.

          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Re:vs. Spam (Score:3, Insightful)

      You didn't read it, did you?

      Yes, when it comes to personal pages, I CAN go somewhere else and generally do since people with google ads usually also have lots of blinky crap too. What I'm saying is that WHEN IT BECOMES MY JOB TO FILTER SHIT ON NON-COMMERCIAL PAGES THAT WASN'T THERE BEFORE IT. IS. SPAM. Advertising SPAM, but SPAM just the same.

      And I can complain about the low taste of people advertising on personal home pages. If noone complains people will assume it's cool, hip and trendy everywhere. T

      • You didn't read it, did you?

        Yes, I did. Perhaps you didn't read my comment?


        And I am saying that if it is not forced on you -- if it is on someone else's computer that you are a guest on -- then it is not spam.

        Just wait until they chip you Chris and then they can send you adverts in your dreams, complete with product placements and everything.

        And then that would be forced on me, which would be entir
        • So how is it that someone whom you trust or, at least trust enough to not try and make money on the relationship you have with them, not like spam? What if your mother started sending adverts in her christmas card to you to defray the cost of the card and the postage?

          And for the neighbour, well, that's what fences were created for...and zoning laws.

          • So how is it that someone whom you trust or, at least trust enough to not try and make money on the relationship you have with them, not like spam?

            I don't quite parse the question ... but I am not saying ads on home pages are good. In fact, if you reread what I wrote in my original comment, I said I dislike them. I am just saying they are not spam.

            And the way in which they are not like spam is what I already said, several times: spam is someone sending something to you, invading your home, your privacy
    • Actually, think of it this way - What if your neighbour decided to suddenly erect a 100 foot billboard in his backyard? It's his yard and you can, of course, choose not to look at it....but you'll say he can't do that because the area is zoned residential even if it is just a billboard with a bit of text on it. This is how I view ads on personal web pages, it's like putting product placement ads in your home movies, replacing the pictures on your walls with sponsored ads and turning your car into rolling ad

      • The problem with ananologies is that's all they are. The problem with analogies is that's all they are.

        In your hypothetical, you ignore the fact that each and every time someone looks into the neighbour's yard, your neighbour has to pay for that privilege.

        In the end someone has to pay for the bandwidth.

        Disclaimer: As always, these are my views and not that of my employer. That being said, I'm probably still biased.

  • Website spam is not the 100-foot billboard.

    If you pick up a copy of the Chicago Reader [], a local free weekly, it's got ads in it. Yes, you have to avoid looking at the ads amidst the content, but that's the price you pay for the paper.

    Don't like the Reader, or the ads? Then don't read it. Nobody's forcing you. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's unsolicited. You solicited it by picking up the paper.



    • A newspaper is a commercial venture. What happens when the dreaded family christmas newsletter arrives with ads in it? Selling your friends for a few cents an impression to web advertisers is pretty slimy, really. Wait until spammers start figuring out that getting people to sell their trusted email accounts for money will be a nice way around filters and challenges.

      Also, because of the nature of the web, I surf to places that should be ad-free, at least, they haven't advertised themselves as selling som

  • when the Internet was just for us geeks. It was our own little playground where we could do stuff with just our friends, and we hoped that no "bad people" showed up. Oh no! Who are all these people with their own websites!? With advertising, even! Eww, people I don't know are sending me emails! Wah! I don't like this! I want it like it was before! Now! Now! NOW! NOW! NOW!

    Time to grow up and get a place of your own, people. I'm sick of all this incessant crying and whinging about how the Internet was better
    • ... although that link at the lower right to Download Perl is rather suspect :)

      You know the more I hang out on this site, I think there are some subtle undertones of advocacy and promotion for this "Perl" thing - Even the name "use Perl" raises some questions.