can't see the ads unless I log out August 23, 2006 10:35 AM   Subscribe

I just bought Google ads on MetaFilter for one of the projects I've posted here (still valiantly trying to get the word out)...but I can't see the ads unless I log out. Is there a way for me to choose to see the ads when logged in? FWIW, I'd imagine that some of the MeFi supporters would be happy to see them as another way to support the site (I would, and do this on another site which I am a paying member).
posted by Kickstart70 to MetaFilter-Related at 10:35 AM (57 comments total)

No. That is why we join: to comment and not see ads.
posted by dame at 10:38 AM on August 23, 2006


Personally, I joined to comment. I didn't care about the ads.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that paying members be forced to see ads, or even that it be a default choice in creating an account. I'm suggesting that the profile page have a checkbox for a member to turn ads on if they choose to do so.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:41 AM on August 23, 2006


Ads are for people not logged in. My guess is that most people like it that way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:43 AM on August 23, 2006


I have the feeling that you are missing my point.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:44 AM on August 23, 2006


I have the feeling that you are alone on this one.
posted by mds35 at 10:46 AM on August 23, 2006


It's anyway a bad idea to show members ads for the sake of allowing them to "support the site" -- they're just likely to click on them too much, artificially inflating the numbers and pissing off The Google.

Besides, I imagine that sending over a few dollars would be as effective as a lifetime of you looking at Google ads.
posted by reklaw at 10:49 AM on August 23, 2006


I get your point, but I see it this way. People sign up for an account so they can comment on the site. As a perq, they also get to not have to see ads. This is seen as a benefit. So, doing some coding so that this benefit would be removed for people who DON'T see it as a benefit seems like it would only make sense if

1) there is evidence that mathowie needs more money
2) there is evidence that the number of people who would do this is greater than one

I think this thread may be able to clear up at least one of those issues.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2006


This feature sounds about as handy as side pockets on a toad's ass to me. Not to play angrily, but I can't imagine more than a few (and by that I mean less than five) users electing to remain logged in and view ads. Depending on Matt's rendering algorithm that's probably a lot of work for a tiny payoff.

but mostly I posted this just to use the phrase "as handy as side pockets on a toad's ass.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:52 AM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


holy shit, advertiser thinks people want to see ads! News at 11, right after this important message.
posted by bonaldi at 10:54 AM on August 23, 2006


I imagine this will be a losing battle (and on preview, it clearly is), but add me to make the "greater than one" jessamyn is looking for.

Someone buying ads on Metafilter is theoretically doing so to reach the kinds of people who read and comment here. But many of those people don't ever see the ads - it is in fact impossible for logged-in users to do so. An advertiser who understands this will pay less than he or she otherwise would if the ad could reach Metafilter members.

If it is easy to do, why not let users toggle a "show me ads/don't show me ads" button? Most people may well choose not to see them (and the default can be no ads), but others (me included) would likely click them on. The fact that the majority may not want it should not preclude the minority from having the choice, if it could be easily implemented.

Allowing an ad toggle would (a) raise a bit more money for Matt, (b) allow users to control their Metafilter experience even more than they already can, and (c) not cheese anyone off because they don't have to see the ads when they are logged in if they don't want to.
posted by AgentRocket at 10:56 AM on August 23, 2006


Well put, AgentRocket. I don't understand why there is such anger against people having this choice. It's not like it would affect people who don't want it.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2006


I don't understand where you are seeing anger.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:07 AM on August 23, 2006


jessamyn: I think bonaldi's post was pretty clear on that point.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:10 AM on August 23, 2006


snigger. advertisers today, i dunno.
posted by bonaldi at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2006


Stating the evident in a cynical tone != anger
posted by prostyle at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2006


Is there any way I can work the phrase "special snowflake" into this thread?
posted by Zozo at 11:14 AM on August 23, 2006


Fine...I retract the word 'anger'. I'd say that I don't understand why there is so much snark on this topic, but this is MetaTalk after all.

In any case, I'd like to see what more people say on the topic.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:15 AM on August 23, 2006


And in any case, I wouldn't necessarily call myself an 'advertiser', considering this is only the second ad I've ever bought (the other being a Fark classified, yesterday).
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:17 AM on August 23, 2006


More ads please!

no not really

and no I'm not posting in anger, just amusment

posted by edgeways at 11:19 AM on August 23, 2006


I think you feel dissapointed after realizing your target market is not going to be exposed to the ads you selected at a rate you would consider reasonable. I don't know why anyone would ever turn ads on if it was an implemented feature. In all honesty half the reason I registered was to stop seeing ads for Suicide Girls and Jewelboxes.
posted by prostyle at 11:20 AM on August 23, 2006


Q: Why are you mad at me?
A: I'm not mad at you. Why do you think I'm mad at you?
Q: Now you're being defensive.
A: I'm not being defensive.
Q: There you go again! Stop being so defensive!
A: Okay - now I AM mad at you!
Q: There - was that so hard? All I ever wanted was for you to share your feelings with me. You want to go for ice cream?
A: I feel like going for a drink.
Q: Do these pants make my ass look big?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:20 AM on August 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm with Fezboy!.
posted by danb at 11:20 AM on August 23, 2006


Metafilter: This feature sounds about as handy as side pockets on a toad's ass to me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:24 AM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


prostyle: I think you're wrong. Look at my profile, I've been participating here for quite a while and know full well that logged in members don't see ads. After buying the ads I started thinking that *I* wish I could see the ads and that prompted this question.

Nothing more, nothing less. I don't have an ulterior motive. I suppose I could have posted this question without mentioning that I bought Google ads targetted at this site, but then if that fact came out people who get all pissy because I wasn't forthcoming with that fact.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:26 AM on August 23, 2006


If it is easy to do, why not let users toggle a "show me ads/don't show me ads" button?

Because this same logic could be applied to any number of random preferences held by a small minority of users, and Matt would soon be spending all day adding toggles to the preferences page, which would quickly become more confusing than useful.

Easy to do ≠ good idea.
posted by scottreynen at 11:28 AM on August 23, 2006


scottreynen: can you give an equivalent example?
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:30 AM on August 23, 2006


Kickstart, if you really need to be logged in while seeing ads, I suggest using two web browsers simultaneously and just logging into one (e.g., Firefox and Internet Exploder).
posted by exogenous at 11:32 AM on August 23, 2006


I thought it wasn't going to get better than the toad with the pockets, but then Flo showed.
posted by OmieWise at 11:32 AM on August 23, 2006


But many of those people don't ever see the ads - it is in fact impossible for logged-in users to do so.

This is ridiculous. The tiny, tiny subset of mefites who wish to see ads are perfectly capable of logging out for a bit. This is an ultra-niche feature request for a problem that doesn't exist. That's why the snark.
posted by cortex at 11:33 AM on August 23, 2006


I wasn't attempting to imply anything nefarious, Kickstart70. That's simply how I interpreted your position. On the flip side, aren't you discrediting the unknown composition of the demographics contained within the unregistered userbase? If you can extrapolate a certain set of criteria based on your perception of the community behavior, is it not logical to assume some of those qualities would be embodied in the unregistered userbase? Unless I am mistaken, the pagehits generated by readers is much greater than that generated by those who directly participate - so in essence, anything gained by allowing this "preference" would be infinitesimal.
posted by prostyle at 11:36 AM on August 23, 2006


If there really were a lot of users out there who would elect to see ads when logged in, then this would be a reasonable request, and it would be a reasonable business decision to implement the feature. But I seriously doubt many would opt in to see ads, in which case this feature would needlessly clutter the preferences page.
posted by brain_drain at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2006


I've been thinking of letting logged in members toggle ads on/off, but I wouldn't show google ads to people, I think they're kinda in the way of using the site normally. It'd just be the bigger sidebar ads.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:43 AM on August 23, 2006


I've been thinking of letting logged in members toggle ads on/off...

Thanks...that's a plenty good enough answer for me (and hopefully the naysayers too).
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:57 AM on August 23, 2006


I like this idea. I don't mind seeing the adds- they give me something else to see on the site and figure it's another way to support Matt and my fight against boredom at work.
posted by jmd82 at 12:09 PM on August 23, 2006


I used to be a member of a site which had something like this. In your profile you could choose to see banner ads or banner art at the top of the site. I always set mine to art, as the banner art graphics were great and blended in with the design of the site, however I could see some people wanting to see the ads. Advertisers were chosen based on the community and a lot of members discovered some really cool sites / stores because of it.

Also, I had completely forgotten that MetaFilter used to have ads before I caved and signed up.
posted by utsutsu at 12:13 PM on August 23, 2006


I don't think I would want to enable ads. Not because I don't like ads, but because they really fuck up the layout of the site.

There used to be a built-in textads system that showed up for logged on users, and worked with the design of the site, but no more.
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on August 23, 2006


So what does this toad carry in it's side pockets? Wet sprockets?
posted by delmoi at 12:18 PM on August 23, 2006


scottreynen: can you give an equivalent example?

Yes

I'm not saying it's a bad idea - I don't really care. But I'm tired of seeing feature requesters say "it would be really easy to add to the preferences" as if that makes it a better idea. I think there are already too many options in the preferences, and I don't want to see another added for every random personal preference.
posted by scottreynen at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2006


Solution:

Simple way: just use the IE Tabs Firefox extension, and only ever long in when you're in Firefox mode. When you switch to IE Tab mode, you're not logged in and you see ads; when you switch back to Firefox mode, you can post comments and do other logged in things, but without ads.

If that's not sufficient, see below for a more complicated way to do it.


Ok, a quick look at the page source makes it appear that non-logged-in uses get some javascript that passes some parameters to an ad server. So the basic solution is figure out those parameters and make the call to those ad servers.

Here's an ugly way to do it: write a GreaseMonkey script that, on load of a metafiler.com page, uses AJAX to retrieve the same page, but without sending cookies. This is untested code, but I'm guessing it would work:

req = new XMLHttpRequest();
req.setRequestHeader( "Cookie", "" );
// blank the cookies and (not shown) call
req.open( "GET", document.location.href, true );
// now (not shown) set up an asynchronous handler for the request, and send it
req.send(null);

On receipt of the cookie-less version of the page, find all the javascript nodes in the cookie-less version's DOM, and insert them into the original DOM you got. The javascript will call the ad servers and insert the ads. Now you have all the ads and all the logged-in user functionality too.

This method is (probably) similar to what the Noscript and IE Tab extensions do.

Or, to be completely lazy, just display the cookie-less version along with a button or other UI element the user can press to show the cookie'd version, but that's essentially equivalent to using IE Tab to do this (but without the IE rendering engine).
posted by orthogonality at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2006


I'll speculate that the miniscule number of members who would choose to toggle-on ads is probably dwarfed by the number of members who, although they wouldn't necessarily complain about ads, certainly aren't going to go out of their way to activate them.
posted by cribcage at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2006


well, I would default the ads to on, with a link to turn them off in just a couple clicks, so it'd be a painful single day of clicking for everyone.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:01 PM on August 23, 2006


Oh, that would be a single, painful day of a lot of screaming...

The 'net drama collector in me would enjoy it.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:06 PM on August 23, 2006


mathowie: If you just did sidebar ads, I'd wager another $5 that no one would remark on it for at least 1/2 hour.
posted by Kickstart70 at 1:09 PM on August 23, 2006


../WINDOWS/system32/drivers/etc/hosts.

127.0.0.1 pagead2.googlesyndication.com
posted by crunchland at 1:11 PM on August 23, 2006


well, I would default the ads to on, with a link to turn them off in just a couple clicks, so it'd be a painful single day of clicking for everyone.

Or you could default the ads to off, and let the insane people who like seeing ads ruin the page turn it on in their profiles.
posted by crunchland at 1:13 PM on August 23, 2006


I'm with crunchland, there. Except for the imp on my shoulder that loves mindbending Metatalk drama, that is—he's very much in favor of the ads-on-by-default plan.
posted by cortex at 1:15 PM on August 23, 2006


crunchland writes "Or you could default the ads to off, and let the insane people who like seeing ads ruin the page turn it on in their profiles."

Eh, I've got so many layers of ad-blocking I honestly don't know which one suppresses the ads on Metafiler, and I can't even figure out how to turn then on when logged out. Javascript is suppressed, ads are suppressed, redirects are un-redirected, hell, I don't even have to suppress cookies anymore.

(Oh, ok, it looks like Proxomitron kills then in IE Tab mode, and -- oh hell -- I still can't figure our what's killing them in Firefox. I'd have to compare to what wget got.)
posted by orthogonality at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2006


If you decide to do this, don't forget to factor in the angst created by MeTa threads complaining about what users see as innapropriate ads. Remember those? Until you turned the ads off for members, they were a semi-regular feature here.
posted by dg at 3:53 PM on August 23, 2006


Don't worry, dg, he can just flag them and move on.
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:02 PM on August 23, 2006


So the squeaky wheel gets the pony, eh?
posted by mds35 at 7:01 PM on August 23, 2006


Google ads today, banners and popups tomorrow.
posted by Cranberry at 10:58 PM on August 23, 2006


No ads for logged in users. I'm sick of being advertised at.
posted by bouncebounce at 2:22 AM on August 24, 2006


Hm. I think pockets on a toad would be quite handy. S/he could keep extra bugs (they eat bugs, yes?) for snacking on or to keep her/his hands warm when it's cold. Or if they want to look spiffy, s/he could tuck a bit of moss into one and let the moss peek out a bit. And if they're good sized pockets, s/he could carry around a tadpole (or is that frogs?) or two hundred!
posted by deborah at 8:01 AM on August 24, 2006


"toad pockets" sounds like something your sainted grandmother would say when she really wanted to curse.

"Oh, toad pockets!"
posted by cortex at 8:38 AM on August 24, 2006


Loving the toad's pockets.

And yeah, I'm another of those perverts would turn the ads on. Even Google ads; I really enjoy the trainwrecks they come up with sometimes. (Ever read fanfiction.net? ;-)
posted by baylink at 9:11 AM on August 24, 2006


MetaFilter: It's the Toad's pockets.
posted by baylink at 9:11 AM on August 24, 2006


wow, i come to metafilter pretty much every day and take a look around...sometimes i login, sometimes i don't...and not only did i not know that logging in would get rid of ads, but i had no idea there were ads...
posted by troybob at 9:17 PM on August 24, 2006


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