I am really amused when I see almost all Firefox extension recommendations beginning with AdBlock Plus, with the authors mostly forgetting that there’d be no Firefox without ads in the first place!
I have wondered out aloud in the past whether ad blocking extensions are any threat to Google. I am now convinced however, that not only are ad blocking extensions a threat to Google’s continuity but to an open internet as a whole.
To explain my views- which you probably disagree with anyway-lets use Firefox. It is one of the three pillar applications of the open source movement; the rest being Linux and VLC. Everybody knows the Mozilla Foundation which develops Firefox, gets a large chunk of its income from Google. The latter we all know makes money from advertising.
In short, should Google start losing money due to more and more people blocking ads, it simply would mean either the end of Firefox or it would become a commercial application where you’d have to pay to use it.
Apply this simple and basic logic to the zillion other things that makes us all want to be on the internet and what do you have? Please don’t get me wrong. I am not for ad spamming readers just because the ads are a necessary component of the internet.
I skip sites where I have to scroll three-quarters down the page to reach anything resembling content and never visit again. However, what I am for is a strategic balance between making ads add value to the experience of users and at the same time making some money from it.
If anything is to go by, Google has shown that you don’t necessarily need to have ads that scream in the face of readers in order to make money. I know people who migrated to Gmail simply because the Yahoo! ads were just driving them nuts.
To cap it, the recent brouhaha surrounding Rupert Murdoch and his charges against search engines readily come to mind. I seriously doubt if Rupert would have made so much noise had he succeeded at making money from his content through ads.
Ad blocking extensions would be ideal in a virtual world where we already pay for most of the core resources we use, but as the internet stands now, ad blocking extensions are a serious threat to its future openness and continuity.
Yea I know you’ve disagreed with me since the first paragraph, let me know where you think I got it wrong.