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Why I Disabled My Ad Blocker
I have to admit: when I first began using Hubpages I, like many other people, had an Ad Blocker installed. Personally, I used an Ad Thwart extension for the Google Chrome browser that I use. I was able to browse the web freely and rarely ever saw an advertisement. I had downloaded the Ad Blocker a few years ago because I was tired of annoying pop ups and flashing banner ads. I couldn't visit my favorite sites any more without being inundated with loads of flashing, beeping, and talking ads that took up screen space, hogged my bandwidth, and generally annoyed the heck out of me. I was satisfied with my choice after browsing with the extension installed and not seeing a single ad all day. It was comforting to be able to read online content without the extra annoyances. Besides, I never clicked on the ads on purpose anyway, so why should I want to keep seeing them? Little did I know that I was actually really harming the business of the publishers of those sites. But that all changed when I joined Hubpages.
After I signed up, I learned that I would be able to make money when people clicked on my ads. "Cool," I thought. So I browsed to my first Hub to see exactly what ads were showing up. And then I realized: I couldn't see the ads because I was blocking them. And all along, for the past several years, I have been blocking the revenue potential of hundreds, if not thousands of publishers attempting to make money by providing free content to read in exchange for showing ads. It was then that I disabled my ad-blocker. But I didn't just disable it so I could see my ads, I completely disabled it for the entire internet; and I haven't gone back since. I still see ads, and some of them still annoy me. But I think that advertising has come a long way since I last had an "ad-supported" browsing experience a few years ago. They aren't as annoying and they definitely are at least a little interesting. I'm always surprised by how tempted I am to click on advertisements. If I am generally interested in it, I will, knowing that I am doing my part to help the publisher.
So what has my experience taught me? First, I'm sure many people still, and will continue to block ads. But I have actually benefited from not blocking them. I've been introduced to a few new products I would've never found, and several web sites whose ads led me to find them. I have also learned that ad publishers, in order to stop people from blocking their ads, have come to accept that flashing an ad in a person's face is not the way to get their attention. So now, I accept ads as part of the experience and know that ads are the reason web sites provide free content to millions of users. Thank you, Hubpages for helping me to realize this. I'm sure the publishers thank you too!