If you visited this blog with Firefox you probably saw a harsh redirect to the anti-firefox rant over at http://whyfirefoxisblocked.com/index1.php. That was my intention.
If you said to yourself “what is John smoking?” then good. That, too, was my intention. If you linked to me for any reason, then thanks, that was a hoped-for bonus. But this was not so much link bait as discussion bait. I’d like to move the discussion along past the superficial rant stage. I’d like to focus the discussion on the current over dependence on Google and “ad revenue”.
I assume most of my readership is sophisticated enough about the web to recognize that anti-firefox site as an extremist rant. So FireFox enables plugins, and people are making an promoting great ad-blocking plug ins. I personally have used several of them. If Firefox didn’t open up to fabulous extensions like that, someone else would. The web will evolve. If that threatens you, then maybe you should spend your rant energies diversifying offline?
But to rant about ad blockers is to give them more attention, which will spur increased adoption of the ad blockers because they work really well. It will also cause more people to discover they can set their user agent to anything they like (you can! Really!), and that they can install all sorts of cool DOM-modifying plug-ins to their hearts’ content. Some may even finally install Opera.
I just read they are now planning to put ads on the backs of seats on airplanes. I’ve already experienced that quite a bit with Delta’s Song airline. It sucked. They left a screen brightness control so I could turn it off, but the current proposals are for ads you cannot turn off. Who wants that? I know a few psychologists who could make a legal case for a fatigue-related health concern if airlines keep you captive under FAA regulations, but force you to suffer constant visual distractions like that, with no option to turn them off. Who wants that? When ads become annoying, people will turn them off.
The issue is not ad blockers. The issue is fear. The fear that induced that anti-Firefox rant campaign. The fear of losing ad revenue (and control of ad revenue) when ad blockers are ubiquitous.
I’ll remove the UA cloaking in a few days; thanks for switching to IE or whatever and coming in anyway.