Why are there ads on my page today?

That’s it. I’m logged in and I see ads.

I don’t like this.

Looks like your membership expired, or you’re not using Firefox and it’s nifty addons that eliminate ads.

I’m A Charter Member, Current membership, Firefox [Sans Ad Block] and I have seen more ads… and in the wrong place as well*.

*By that I mean the ads arent in any organized manner, flush to any edge, they just look broken in terms of position. If that makes sense.

And not to mention that some of the ads pulled 404 errors.

Meeko, you shouldn’t see any ads. Check your system for spyware.

I see no adds on this machine, running Netscape with java turned off.

Your membership expired 12-21-2009.

We hope you resubscribe – we need your support, we need everyone’s support.

I never see ads - I second checking something, Meeko.

Occasionally the ad guys book an ad in wrong and it displays incorrectly. When that happens the ad will overflow borders and etc and show up in inappropriate places.

When this happens it is not any sort of malware or spyware, it just means the ad guy tried to put a five pound bag of advertising in a one pound space.

Usually they sort this out pretty quick and it gets corrected, though we had a time recently where people clicked on that ad a lot and the client was thrilled, so YMMV.

I never understood why the guy was happy. He is aware that these people were absolutely not going to buy anything, right? People that feel tricked into doing something are not the most agreeable customers.

He wasn’t tricking anyone into anything. He wanted his ad (for a book) to be seen and it was highly visible.

Well, I didn’t see the ad in question, but I have my doubts about a larger ad that screws up the formatting of a website would compel people to actually buy something. I was picturing an ad so big that you couldn’t see the rest of the page. People might think they had to click on it to get to the Dope itself. Said people would feel “tricked” into going to the guy’s website, and would be less likely to stick around.

The other way I could see would be people thinking that, since it’s a bigger ad, the Dope must really want them to buy it. When they find out it doesn’t really help the Dope at all, they could also feel “tricked.”

But maybe it’s just me. I’ve never seen an Internet ad advertise anything I would want to buy. And, honestly, I find them so intrusive that, even if I did, I would probably try to get whatever it was from a competitor. At least the ads on TV aren’t there the entire time you watch a show. And, in magazines, at least they are a page to themselves, and actually somewhat match the contents.

I mean, look at this website’s front page. The classy newspaper format is marred by the stupid images. It doesn’t help that they all support some sort of conspiracy theory about stuff that “they” don’t want you to know. If you saw that in the actual newspaper, would you think Cecil was authoritative at all? Or would you think you just picked up a sleazy tabloid?

So, anyways, when it turns out one of those ads has overstepped the already loosened boundaries noted above, you’d better bet it ticks me off. It actually makes me want to boycott that seller for life. I definitely would find it odd if others would actually use it as a reason to buy.

The error was on our part – it was supposed to run on the side and the ad guys booked it like it was a banner ad. Got caught pretty quickly but by that time the ad had gotten a lot of clicks, so many that the author of the book that was the purpose of the ad asked to let it run like that and I think we did for a little longer. Didn’t hurt anyone, maybe sold that guy some books – that was the point of the ad in the first place. Sometimes life is just serendipitous that way.

As for all the other ads, I don’t know what to tell you – the Straight Dope needs revenue to survive. Basic fact of business. If you like the site, support it, buy a subscription, click on an ad sometime. Being self-supporting on the internets is not an easy thing and we need the encouragement and assistance of all our friends.