By blocking tracking ads, is Apple destroying the internet’s economic model?

“For the second time in as many years, internet advertisers are facing unprecedented disruption to their business model thanks to a new feature in a forthcoming Apple software update,” Alex Hern writes for The Guardian. “iOS 11, the latest version of Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, will hit users’ phones and tablets on Tuesday. It will include a new default feature for the Safari web browser dubbed ‘intelligent tracking prevention,’ which prevents certain websites from tracking users around the net, in effect blocking those annoying ads that follow you everywhere you visit.”

“The tracking prevention system will also arrive on Apple’s computers 25 September, as part of the High Sierra update to macOS,” Hern writes. “Safari is used by 14.9% of all internet users, according to data from StatCounter.”

“Six major advertising consortia have already written an open letter to Apple expressing their ‘deep concern’ over the way the change is implemented, and asking the company to ‘to rethink its plan to … risk disrupting the valuable digital advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services,'” Hern writes. “By using cookies, small text files placed on a computer which were originally created to let sites mark who was logged in, advertisers can build a detailed picture of the browsing history of members of the public, and use that to more accurately profile and target adverts to the right individuals.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The feature, which is called ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention,’ limits how advertisers and websites can track users across the internet by putting in place a 24-hour limit on ad retargeting,” Marty Swant reports for AdWeek. “In an open letter… the [trade] groups [the Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, the 4A’s and two others] describe the new standards as ‘opaque and arbitrary,’ warning that the changes could affect the “infrastructure of the modern internet,” which largely relies on consistent standards across websites. The groups say the feature also hurts user experience by making advertising more “generic and less timely and useful.”

Read more, including the trade groups’ full open letter to Apple are here.

MacDailyNews Take: A couple of years ago, the model that had worked since our inception (put some ads on your site, get paid enough to keep running it) cracked. The ad rates dropped significantly. Many sites’ revenue was cut dramatically. Some sites (like the long-lived MacNN) didn’t make it and closed up shop.

As our regular readers know, and as we’ve discussed with many longtime readers behind the scenes, our stopgap measure was to put up more ads to make up for the shortfall. And, it worked to the point where we can keep financing the site. But, it’s certainly not optimal.

We long to go back to the old days of fewer, better, more relevant, and less annoying ads making for a much less cluttered site. Being freed, even partially, from dealing with “The Ad Situation,” as we call it, would also give us more time to concentrate on content.

A good number of our regular readers have suggested we try something like Patreon. Basically, we’d be asking readers to patronize the site (as opposed to patronizing our advertisers) by contributing a few dollars each month. Most Patreon sites offer something extra for patrons and we could certainly do that (readers who patronize MacDailyNews would get extra articles written by SteveJack, for example, that wouldn’t be available on the website), but, if we did this, we’d also like to offer a twist that benefits all visitors:

Eliminate ads as the income they bring in are offset by Patreon.

So, not only would our patrons be getting something extra, they’d also be purging the site of ad positions as the Patreon fund grows. We’d simply start removing ads as they were paid for. Theoretically, we could get to the point where there would be no ads on the site at all. Along the way, everyone would benefit, thanks to the patrons.

Anyway, what do you think of that idea or do you have a better or additional ideas?

Back on topic, Apple’s “Intelligent Tracking Prevention” could result in higher paying ads as advertisers deprived of cookie tracking would recognize the value of reaching well-defined audiences with strong demographics such as ours.

112 Comments

  1. As to the headline, I’m grateful Apple is doing this. Recently I was shopping mattress websites. For weeks afterwards every site I visited was trying to sell me mattresses. This is not helpful. It’s not making my life better. It’s fscking creepy. Like some leering company is constantly whispering from the shadows, “Hey, do you want to buy that mattress? Hey, do you want to buy that mattress? Hey, do you want to buy that mattress? Hey, do you want to buy that mattress? Hey, do you want to buy that mattress?” Down with ad tracking.

    As to MDN’s comment about funding, I don’t really mind the ads as they are EXCEPT FOR THE HIJACKING ADS IN YOUR APP which are so not cool. (I’m pretty sure MDN’s not purposely sending us to the App Store from their app, but sometimes it happens 9 times in a row on an article. The app is almost completely unusable to me at this point.)

    What about Patreon? My first instinct was resistance, but it only lasted for like 10 seconds. Yeah, I would pay. I read all of MDN’s articles daily, it’s certainly valuable to me.

    How much would I pay? I don’t know, maybe up to $10/month if the quality was maintained or increased. Obviously I’d also pay less. I do wonder how that would affect you getting new customers, though.

    1. Dear MDN,

      You might consider curating your website to improve its quality. Surely you are aware of the crass, political, homophobic hi-jacked discussions triggered by certain members over the past years, which you appear to condone by tolerating. If you cared about the quality of your website, you would curate it and perhaps banish certain uncivil members (like Botvinnik and his ilk) from it. If not, you should not be surprised if members think you are debasing the site. (I have noticed some long-time members whose comments I usually appreciate appear not to be posting much lately, perhaps due to being ridiculed by certain other crass members, like Botvinnkik and his pals.

      If you want paid membership, you need to elevate MDN above a level of crassness suitable only to junior-high school adolescents and Trump Nazis. What their political views have to do with Mac, I have no idea.

      In fact, part of your revenue decline might be to the loss of long-time members who are tired of MDN becoming a sophomoric political rant website rather than an informative Mac news aggregator with occasionally insightful comments and observations by some members.

      All The Best,

      1. We are actively working on it. There’s a fine line between free speech and censorship. Apple veers into the political realm more often under Tim Cook than with Steve Jobs and those are the types of articles that present issues, yet we of course have to cover such Apple-related news.

        Suffice to say, if you’re an off-topic poster or just issuing ad hominem attacks, you will be moderated and your posts will be removed. If you continue, you will be banned and your screen name will become unusable, so you’ll be forfeiting your identity, too.

        1. Several points. First, I believe the line between free speech and censorship is not a fine one: it is big and bright.

          Second, I would say you have allowed comments to veer, unchecked, into politics. If a responsible party had shut down the earliest uncivil rants as unacceptable, then responses would not have occurred and the issue would never have presented itself, let alone escalated.

          Third, I would also say it does not seem you are working hard on the problem because the solution seems obvious as well as simple. You might start by drawing a line on crude, crass, insulting, and clearly inflammatory speech. Ban vulgarities and inherently insulting words like “libtard”. If you have read any major newspaper, then you know they do not tolerate crass, crude, and insulting speech …and yet this does not violate anyone’s constitutional freedom of speech. It simply reflects the “rules of the game” applied to all as determined by the editorial boards of these newspapers, and likely in the interests of civil discourse.

          Provided the rules of publication are fair and reasonable and applied to all (regardless of race, creed, color, or sexual identity, etc.), the rules do not violate anyone’s inherent rights.

          We all have the right to free expression. But this does not mean anyone can say anything anywhere or anytime. Try spouting some crass insulting language in a courtroom, church, classroom, town hall meeting, business office, or any other civil place and you will quickly find the limits to your constitutional right to free speech. The general right (i.e., “in principle”) is not to be confused with the specific right to spout off anytime, anywhere, to the detriment of others’ rights.

          The point is: we all have rights. Not just the crass among us. So let’s stop defending the crass and take a considered stance in favor of civil discourse.

          You certainly do have the right to curate your website. If your rules apply to all and do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, or gender, your rules are legal. Prohibiting crass language is just one example. Many websites do not allow crude language — and they are entirely within their rights to do so. The same is true of insulting, offensive, racist, and homophobic language. You are within your rights to set rules that you expect all members to abide by. And if they do not abide, they can be blacklisted, or blocked, from your website.

          I know you are a big fan of Benjamin Franklin’s. And though he espouses essential freedom, I believe if you are familiar with all his teachings you would agree he also does not condone unbridled and unchecked uncivil speech.

          Good luck,

          1. First, free speech IS a fine line and your vague opinion is just that.

            Second, I would say MDN allowed comments to veer wherever they may lead, political or not. Unchecked? I guess you are new around here.

            Third, you want harmless vulgarities and as you describe “inherently insulting words” like “Libtard” banned. How do you feel about these two words: “Trump Nazis?”

            Newspapers are not a good comparison example. They are community based, locally funded and supported and reflect readers of all ages and beliefs. The world wide internet is a totally different animal. As is the Emmy Awards President Trump TOTALLY one sided inherently insult prime time show.

            “We all have the right to free expression. But this does not mean anyone can say anything anywhere or anytime.”

            I don’t read anyone here advocating that kind of behavior. MDN has said as such as in “free speech is a fine line” whether you believe it or not.

            “The same is true of insulting, offensive, racist, and homophobic language.”

            You started with “Libtards” and now advance to racist and homophobic. When you are EQUALLY offended by the terms Trump Nazis, Retardicans and other right wing slurs as “inherently insulting words” — only then — we’ll be on the same Civics 101 page … 🤔

            1. A fine response, GoeB. Too many people think it is so easy to regulate “proper” speech, until you turn over their particular rocks and what crawls out is DIFFERENT. Free speech is free speech, a civil right. Proper social behaviour is proper social behaviour, a convention. I wonder why so many people conflate them.

            2. Appreciate your comments, Herself.

              I’m all about a fair and level playing field and too many times commentators neglect the biased folly of their ways …

            3. Don’t forget junior-high school adolescents, which is in the same sentence as Trump Nazis — why aren’t you offended by that reference? Incidentally, my use of “Libtards” was copying your (and your girlfriend, botvinnik’s) frequent use of the term, but maybe it was too clever for you to pick up on?

      2. I understand what your concern is, but there’s a heavy bias in the concern you have over one political point of view. Why the “Trump Nazis” and not any concern for people on the left who are rude? Why should the political view of certain posters matter at all? I would certainly not be in favor of MDN becoming a leftist echo-chamber or only police the political comments from one side.

        And what type of comments are you suggesting be purged? Ad hominem attacks and being directly rude to other members? Or do you mean just saying things that certain people with certain ideologies would object to?

        1. Extremely well said and i was thing exactly the same.

          All the complaints I have read almost entirely blame the right while at the same time in doing so use hypocritical hate filled labels like “Trump Nazis” to name one.

          I believe the opposite is true in that the the lion share of hateful vitriol comes from the LEFT, Antifa anyone?

          But as you and MDN have correctly pointed out it needs to be fairly
          moderated on ALL sides.politics stirs passions like no other.

          I certainly noticed an improved MDN effort for the greater good on Monday morning a week ago … 👏🏻🇺🇸👍🏻😎

          1. Here is news that may shock you. The civilized world considers Nazis — white supremacists, lest anyone forget — and all they represent to be extremely offensive. They are not “nice people”. What I said was not hypocritical or hate-filled. It was stated quite calmly and clearly, and with a simple point to be made.

            Your defense of Nazis is exactly my point. I am sure some of them are perfectly nice people — NOT !

            1. I did not respond to you, brainless. Unless you are a bait and switch name changing avatar abuser.

              Please provide evidence I defended “Nazis.”

              Waiting …

            2. “I did not respond to you, brainless.”

              First, as a matter of fact, you did respond to me. Second, your name-calling is precisely what I am referring to as “uncivil discourse”. Third, this is a public forum – it is not interpersonal correspondence – so it should not matter if you responded to me or anyone else. If you don’t want public commentary, don’t post on public forums.

              You complain that I failed to adhere to civil rules of discourse I am espousing by referencing “Trump Nazis”. You are arguing I should not associate Trump with Nazis. Which means you are either defending Trump as not having Nazi (i.e., white supremacist) leanings, or you are arguing that being a Nazi is not all that bad …since there are surely some fine Nazis around, at least those that Trump knows personally.

            3. First, if I got my responses mixed — my bad.

              Second, “brainless” is indeed name calling in a very mild mannered sense.

              Like George Bailey and Mary Hatch sitting at the drug store counter in the beginning of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

              Mary tells George she doesn’t like coconuts and George responds, “Don’t like coconuts? Say brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from? [pulls out a National Geographic magazine] Look-it here, from Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, Coral Sea.”

              A minute later Mary whispers in George’s ear she will love him until the day she dies and marries George later in the movie.

              Your indignation is noted. But perhaps a bit over the top in calling it “uncivil discourse” since the degrees of name calling vary WIDELY from harmless general terms to ugly personal expletives. The difference matters.

              Third, no kidding brainless, seriously, am I’m writing on a public forum? Right now!?!Wow! 😉

              My MAIN point is using the term “Trump Nazis” in a negative way to disparage a Trump supporter or stereotype an entire group of people, and I agree with your description “uncivil discourse” here, is just plain WRONG …

            4. Except I was not disparaging Trump or any stereotypes. I was disparaging Nazis. And all those who self-identify with them. Like you and your girlfriend, botvinnik.

            5. Have you noticed how many low ratings you and your doppelgänger, botvinnik, get around here ? Do you think you can figure out what it means? Any ideas?

            6. Are you serious? I’ve posted the following over a dozen times. Guess you’re not paying attention.

              Since you are about the fourth instant FAKE avatar (handle) created today and I still have to go through another 30 E-mails.

              Breaking news: I don’t care about comments with dishonest multiple screen names — so why should I care when they vote multiple times.

              One person, ONE VOTE, right?

              Anyone capable of critical thinking skills already knows the WordPress process can be manipulated by FAKE VOTES multiple times by the same user under different screen names using multiple devices. I know exactly how to do it myself but simply do not participate in a compromised effort.

              You obviously care about FAKE RATINGS. Why is that? Any ideas?

              I do NOT …

            7. You do know one of the definitions of paranoia is a heightened sense of reality. No matter.

              av·a·tar
              ˈ
              COMPUTING
              an icon or figure representing a particular person in video games, Internet forums, etc.

              Internet forums, got it? …

            8. One more thing. It is not an avatar. An avatar is your chosen identity representation in a virtual reality game. I believe you are getting all worked up about something as simple as my screen name. Or names, as the case may be. Even if I told you my name, you still wouldn’t know who the heck I was. So why do you care what name a poster goes by? It is not exactly as if anyone knows who GoeB is. What’s the difference?

            9. Wrong!

              Read number 2.

              av·a·tar
              ˈavəˌtär/Submit
              noun

              1.
              HINDUISM
              a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.

              2.
              COMPUTING
              an icon or figure representing a particular person in video games, Internet forums, etc.

      3. Understand that an ad-model of the site means more eyes are better. The political talk fires people up and generates page reloads and high comments. MDN shouldn’t be expected to erase such comments or block such posters. The give and take helps them support themselves.

      4. Your call for MDN to curate its site reveals nothing but your own bias and complete intolerance of anyone else’s viewpoints. Example: you mention “botvinnik and his ilk” who is, admittedly, conservative. But why do you not call for a ban on comments from the list of regular liberal posters who continually make moronic statements such as “Trump is a Nazi” and “If you voted for Trump it proves you’re a racist”? What about Anthony Bourdain who states he would kill Trump with hemlock, and the state senator from Missouri who publicly stated she hopes Trump is assassinated? Do you slam down those statements, or merely retweet them because they made you laugh so hard? Is it because you agree with those statements? For the record: I didn’t vote for Trump or for Hillary, but I certainly do not wish harm to either one.

        You want MDN, as well as all media, to be “curated” to echo only your viewpoints and ideology. The sad fact is that you will read this, but fail to have any comprehension of the fact that there are many, many others who do not agree with you on every issue. How arrogant — and pathetic.

          1. Curation is not a dirty word — it’s a time-honored process of stating one’s values and guidelines, then following them for the benefit of readers. The values and guidelines need not be exclusionary or politically slanted, but they may, for example, edit-out objectionable behavior, fake news, etc. for example calling people “arrogant and pathetic” just because you disagree with their ideas. The Internet free-for-all is not an inherently superior model, and may be far worse.

        1. botvinnik is not even a “conservative,” but something else not realised in Horatio’s philosophy. Trump is the anti-politician. He could have run, and perhaps won, on any other party platform with the same message: I’m for the little guy. I dare say the same people would have voted for Trump no matter what. Andrew Jackson had similar appeal. Perhaps someday soon Trump will replace Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill, shouldering aside Harriet Tubman. You know what? Life isn’t fair, never has been, never will be, and wouldn’t work even if it was.

          1. Dean “botvinnik” Clark isn’t a conservative because he has no principles. He’s a weak minded unpaid political blogger shitting FUD and personal attacks on anyone who doesn’t agree with whatever Fox news told him to think this week. His hero Donny Trump has the ethics of a rat, the honesty of a russian oligarch, and the executive leadership of a kindergartner.

            If MDN wanted to maintain a clean site that actuually has to do with Apple or the Mac platform, it would moderate to limit political speech and ban incessant posters who lie (Goeb) attack (botvinnik), antagonize (Citizen X) or plagiarize (First Then) repeatedly. But MDN isn’t interested in running a tech forum or keeping a clean open dialogue. Of all the most aggressive posters, only Citizen X has been banned. Why the biased action counter to the spirit of the US Constitution? Because the other three forum ruining assholes have political speech that aligns with the alt-right leanings of the MDN site owners and thus MDN protects their speech while actively silencing dissenting voices.

            Thus MDN is not doing a good job maximizing readership or revenue. It is allowing its site to be polluted with political activists, at least one of which acts like a paid russian propagandist. MDN is blind to its own biases. This pisses off 50% of the world who doesn’t trust either corrupt political party and are sick of politics shoved down their throats when attempting to learn about Apple. MDN set the tone and enabled the rancor. Every week or two when I visit, MDN hasn’t fixed anything.

            1. I disagree. The people you mention are individuals expressing their own ideas, not propagandists. MDN does not encourage or sponsor them. Look at other websites! Freedom of political expression is strained in all of them—all, that is, except the ones that are heavily moderated to the extreme of censorship.

              Free speech is a minefield, not a curated garden.

            2. GoeB, sometimes I wonder why anyone would attack me when I defend someone like you or botvinnik. Then I reflect that there are two possible reasons. One, they don’t like a sycophant, especially a mouthy female. Two, they know you are right and can’t face the truth.

            3. Three — which is much more obvious; I a very surprised you could not thin of it Yourself — maybe they resent you for defending the worst offenders among those few who debase this forum with crass, insulting, and unnecessarily political comments.

            4. Herself, for years you have been dutifully defending the truth wherever it is posted. Not exclusive to Botty and yours truly.

              But unfortunately it seems the guilt by association hit whores don’t see it that way and you are unfairly targeted.

              Your dealing with petty people that use tactics like retaliation and intimidation because as you guessed it in your closing words, ” they know you are right and can’t face the truth.” Exactly!

              Chin up old girl, don’t let the bastards get to you … 😊👍🏻🇺🇸

            5. You posted, “ban incessant posters who lie (Goeb) attack (botvinnik).”

              Please provide the quote and evidence I lied. I’ll save you the trouble — it does not exist.

              It is the HEIGHT OF HYPROCISY that with a “F U” handle you want others banned and don’t comprehend your own ridiculous folly.

              Pity … 🤔

            6. LOL! Just for starters, any post Goeb posts about Clinton is nothing but lies and slander. Too many instances to list. Reference for example GoeB’s BS posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm. Pure political mudslinging with no redeeming points whatsoever.

            7. “Because the other three forum ruining assholes have political speech that aligns with the alt-right leanings of the MDN site owners and thus MDN protects their speech while actively silencing dissenting voices.”

              Your childish schoolyard name calling means NOTHING. You should remember that.

              You are way out of line and have no credibility calling out MDN. I’m reading your “dissenting voices” comments and responding to them!

              How brainless can you be? …

            8. Totally agree.

              It is hilarious to see how some of the people in question are now shocked – shocked! – to learn there was gambling at Rick’s Café! …or that anyone on this site could be crass, crude, offensive, insulting and worse. Shocked !

              — “All we want is a fair playing field” (…with the libtards, who started it all !)

              — “Oooh, you are so down on poor botvinnik because of his conservative values!” (Wrong: I am down on botvinnik because he is an offensive SOB.)

              — “Golly gee, it is unfair to compare editorial standards with newspapers, because they are FAKE NEWS !” (So I guess we can only compared editorial standards with Breitbart News …and, I might add, MAD Magazine!)

              Sad.

            9. You are obviously familiar with our posts. But I don’t recognize your handle so I suspect you are a “Phony” hiding behind a phony name. Knock yourself out, next to FAKE votes I could not care less.

              Back to your post are you complaining? Positive posts are a good thing, no?

              You’re not going to believe this but it is my regular demeanor. Only after insults and ad hominem personal attacks does the tone change. Surely, you must have noticed by now.

              If President Trump can temper his tone, so can others …

            10. I have been a MDN fan since 2003. You have not been around anywhere near that long. Neither has your girlfriend/boyfriend/doppelgänger, botvinnik. MDN was a better place before you started haunting the place. I even knew Herself back when she was Hannah. (You were much more interesting in those days, by the way, Hannah; you used to make me laugh. Now you have me scratching my head with your opinions. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe it is not you, after all ?)

              Incidentally, GoeB, you cannot vote more than once on this website. Standard Operating Procedure. Your screen name does not count — only your unique computer id counts. So stop being paranoid I am down voting you all the time. Your down votes represent unique members. Feel better ?

            11. “I have been a MDN fan since 2003. You have not been around anywhere near that long. Neither has your girlfriend/boyfriend/doppelgänger, botvinnik.”

              I have been around here as long as you. I have changed my screen name handle more than once since that time.

              And why do ASSUME Botty is my girlfriend/boyfriend and denigrate my posts supporting his views? Because you are IMMATURE and can’t handle the truth is the answer.

              “MDN was a better place before you started haunting the place.”

              Your opinion, nothing more. Actually, I believe MDN is the best it has EVER been.

              “I even knew Herself back when she was Hannah. (You were much more interesting in those days, by the way, Hannah; you used to make me laugh. Now you have me scratching my head with your opinions. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe it is not you, after all ?”

              Poor baby. It was not Hannah it was “hannahjs.” So she does not currently embrace leftist views exclusively and you now find that disconcerting. I feel your pain.

              “Incidentally, GoeB, you cannot vote more than once on this website.”

              Incidentally, you are CLUELESS. I could do it now if I cared about MEANINGLESS vote ratings.

              “So stop being paranoid I am down voting you all the time. Your down votes represent unique members. Feel better ?”

              🐂💩!!!

              Well, I won’t vote at all and could not care less what you do because the system is rigged and totally meaningless.

              You are clueless and live in an alternative reality that excludes adults …

    2. Great points and I agree with all.

      Constantly seeing the ads, especially after I already bought it, case closed is annoying.

      The HiJacking Ads are the closest thing to a virus I have experienced on iOS. I haven’t had it on other sites other than MDN, but to be fair I read MDN more than any other type of news.

      That said, yes I would pay MDN Premium for a no ad experience.

  2. I’d patronize MacDailyNews. I visit several times per day and would love to see fewer ads, too.

    (Brought to you by Carl’s Jr. he added without a hint of irony)

  3. Are we talking about ads that allow the site to run… or ads that allow the site to be highly profitable. Without transparency a patron wouldn’t know if MDN is bringing in massive profits or just squeaking by.

    1. We’re talking about ads that allow the site to run. Obviously, we’d love to be highly profitable, but with today’s ad-supported model rapidly deteriorating, that’s not a reality. Again, all you have to do is see a very long-running site like MacNN fold to know that the economics aren’t good.

      1. John Gruber’s model at Daring Fireball seems to work well. One ad per page, no tracking scripts. Personally I would make the ad larger but the concept of having only one ad on a page and making that ad a simple graphic with some HTML text is very user friendly, and it gives a lot of value to the advertiser. I’m fairly sure those ads aren’t pay per click either, it’s a flat weekly or monthly rate.

  4. I sick of toenail fungus remedies, games to play that my girlfriend can’t see (apparently its fine for my wife), _______ (fill in the location) millionaires know this trick (always featuring the same girl in a short skirt), or the lottery winner with the obviously fake beard and mustache and so much more phony garbage.

    I love MDN and would gratefully pay to read it without ad trash.

    Patreon – Yes! Die, Clickbait, die!

  5. Patreon yes. What is the point of the glut of ads that slow down browsing and have no relevance to most users? A COLOSSAL nuisance in every way. Or ads reminding me of things I’ve already been looking at and need no further urging – in fact it tells me to stop considering whatever it is I might have purchased as revenge for such obnoxious reminders. So it has the opposite effect it’s intending.

    I have heard the excuses and understand the financial plight but it’s become too untenable. If an alternate model can’t be found then close up shop. Many of us will continue to do battle using any tech we can to lower our exposure to pointless ads that add nothing to our lives, and if anything take away from it.

  6. i don’t use ad block etc on MDN as i want them to make a few bucks and keep site alive but then again i mainly browse on the Mac where ads don’t drain the battery. don’t mind ads generally but don’t like ads that keep tracking me

    1. 1) the news aggregate is useful as they provide a summary and I can decide whether I need to read the original. (of course as Brawndo pointed out there’s MDN takes)

      PLUS:

      2) usually the comments point out flaws or insights about the original article. Many MDN readers know more about Apple , Macs , tech in general, than the ‘pro’ writers. For example I still read errors in the press on the $150 million transfer to Apple by msft (no that was NOT charity and didn’t ‘save’ Apple in the way some think , it’s got to do with GUI lawsuits, transfer of shares and MS Office … ). The comments sometimes actually change the entire context of an article.

      3) I’ve also been helped directly by asking questions to the commentators. Recently during the big personal info security breach by that credit company many commentators gave useful info on what a person can do.

      btw. I like MDN’s comment format better than for example Apple Insiders as I can read the whole thread together.

    2. Yes, of course MDN is a news aggregator, usually with a commentary too and there are other Mac-related ones too.

      While I would miss MDN if it was no longer financially viable, I would be much more concerned if Gruber’s Daring Fireball were to disappear. However the big difference is that his site contains a lot of original and intelligent insights and uses a quite different advertising model which is a lot smarter than most and never annoys me.

  7. IF advertisers had shown consumers the slightest bit of respect I might have been sympathetic. But they haven’t.

    They have polluted the web experience just like they have done to our streets and highways, TV and every other space they can get their message across. I have ZERO sympathy for “advertisers” and their trickery, manipulation, and self-righteousness. You want to know who should be pissed? Yeah, us consumers who are bombarded with your crap. And I am marketer. You do not have a right to violate my peace and you do not have a right to annoy me just for the right to see your content. You are there to serve me, not the other way around. FOAD and then go to hell where you will be made to view your toxic advertising all day long, every day, everywhere.

    Sorry, this story about business models is annoying.

    1. American advertisers have always been more intrusive than European ones. Forty years ago, I used to subscribe to an American monthly tech magazine and found it irritating just how intrusive the printed adverts were and how articles were spread over multiple pages solely so that more adverts would be seen. On top of that, some pages were printed in thick paper so that the magazine fell open on those pages, which only consisted of adverts. It was so annoying to me that I stopped subscribing after a couple of years. The American TV industry has also allowed advertising to ruin TV programmes and American roadside advertising ( billboards etc ) is on a scale that I don’t see in Europe.

      The problem with the Internet is that it does not respect national tastes and the degree of intrusion accepted as normal by Americans has become imposed on the rest of the world.

      It’s all a matter of balance. There is a reward by viewing content and a price to pay for that privilege. You either pay that price with money, or you pay by being exposed to adverts, in many cases you pay money and still are also exposed to adverts as well. When the model is pay to view and no adverts, it’s an easy calculation – is it worth what I’m paying? When it comes to adverts, it comes down to whether the enjoyment or benefits from that content outweigh the hassles accompanying viewing it? It’s a much more complex equation and international tastes will mean that what is acceptable in America might be excessively irritating in the UK.

      Internet advertisers crossed the line many years ago and are getting increasingly creepy and intrusive. I very much welcome Apple’s plans to block tracking ads and any development which pisses off the advertisers is almost certainly great for users.

      If the advertising industry objects so strongly to Apple’s plans, then they could retaliate by refusing to accept advertising from Apple, but I don’t ever expect the advertising industry to turn away a couple of billion dollars of income from a valued client.

      1. Yes, advertising has become way too intrusive in our daily lives here in The U.S.

        For example, I’m looking at an old VHS tape of an Outer Limits episode (Zanti Misfits) from the early 1960s. The show’s runtime is 52 minutes with eight minutes of commercials per hour.

        Hell, the Walking Dead channel (AMC) has almost eight minute blocks of ads about every 15 minutes. How else do you stretch a two hour movie to three hours.

        In the early 2000s AMC had ZERO commercials as well as classic movies. Then halfway through a movie they introduced an ad break and recall the beginning of the end of commercial free programming.

        Absolutely despicable behavior and I started boycotting AMC years ago …

  8. I have been reading macdailynews about as long as it has existed. I don’t comment that much anymore because of the reasons others have given about the posted content and apparent intent behind some of the readers. I subscribe to several sites’ content. I would subscribe here also if it meant getting rid of a lot of the ads. But then some sites that I subscribe to have too many ads still. I informally measure this by how long it takes to load and become responsive. This is especially bad on my laptop, and has gotten much worse in the last six months or so. I am willing to support the site and simply hope that things really do improve.

    1. I agree with your views about this site and the way that some readers hijack it, but I have tremendous reservations about subscriptions unless there are no adverts at all.

      If the model is for subscriptions with a certain amount of advertising, then advertisers will continue to try and push the limits and the site owner will allow them to get away with it for short term financial gain. Any mixed mode will get abused and inevitably will end up as bad as it is now.

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