A quick word about ads on Hathor

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I’ve had a couple of complaints about offensive ads showing up on Hathor in recent months, and wanted to address that topic briefly.

First, please note that we have limited control over what ads show up, because  due to our limited traffic, we have to work with ad brokers who aren’t that selective. I do exercise what control I have to keep the ads inoffensive, but it’s not perfect. And with ads currently moving toward behavioral based models and more geographical targeting, it’s getting worse rather than better. Online ads are a new industry; there will be a lot of fails before it matures.

By exercising that control over site ads, it should be noted I reduce the site income noticeably – the ads we find offensive here are big money. So if you want better ads, spread the word about this site. Help Hathor become more popular so we can attract a better class of ad broker and make decent money despite disallowing those big money, big offense ads.

Additionally, please note that if you typically visit this site with ads blocked in your browser, we’re not making any money from your visits. When you visit small blogs and block their ads, you are really taking away a great deal from them, and making it harder for them to stay open.

A big part of feminism is the ability of women to engage successfully in income earning and commerce. Hathor makes slightly more than enough money to pay for its upkeep – and that’s not counting all the free labor we donate. If ever Hathor starts making LESS than enough money to pay for its upkeep, I will shut it down immediately – mark my words. Because if you want to change the world, that takes money. Lots of it. If Hathor isn’t making it, then I’d serve feminism better by dumping Hathor and spending my money and time on projects that do make money, with which I can do a lot of things that go far beyond consciousness raising.

So, I do apologize for the offensive ads, but sadly, there’s not much point in telling me about them right now. I’m doing everything in my power, with what limited time I have for this site, to boost our popularity so we can get with a better ad broker. If you want to help, let people know about us. Spread the word through social media, or link to us from your blogs.

Comments

  1. says

    Whoops, Hathor is now on my list of sites I don’t adblock.

    I almost want to give the advertisers some pointers on how to attract more business by not using badly pixellated images and ghastly font choices. They get more money, your site looks better, everyone wins!

  2. Michaela says

    “Online ads are a new industry; there will be a lot of fails before it matures.”

    And a great deal more after, the goals of the advertising industry being directly contrary to the welfare of the general public. Does Hathor offer any other means for its readers to provide support? Nothing was mentioned in the article and I don’t see buttons for PayPal donations or Flattr or such. I like Hathor, but not enough to commoditize myself or expose my computer to a geometric increase in attack surfaces.

  3. says

    Michaela,

    We had a donation button, but it got 2 donations in the space of a year, so I took it down. Times are tough for a lot of people right now.

    I don’t use ad brokers that have a history of serving malware, for what it’s worth. I take a lot of precautions to keep this site clean for users. That’s part of why the site is relatively expensive to maintain.

    As for the ad industry, there are forces fighting on the side of the angels, too. Not because they love and care about end users, but to harm Google (by making Adsense far less valuable). So it’s not all gloom and doom – there are also genuine privacy advocates who are getting some good measures pushed through.

  4. says

    Pebblerocker,

    Thanks for unblocking! And… right? It used to be a little easier to eliminate those really ugly ads, and that’s another thing I do take steps for. Unfortunately, geo-targeting means that what I see in my part of the US is not what a visitor from Holland sees – and my ad broker, who is usually in another part of the US can’t see the problem ads for anything, so they can’t figure out how to block them.

    That’s why the better ad providers are… better, LOL. They get those considerations and are very selective.

  5. SherryH says

    I’ve now disabled Adblock Plus on my computer for The Hathor Legacy. The ads I’m seeing since I reloaded the page are not too bad.

    Dealbreakers for me (and the reason I installed Adblock in the first place) are ads with little moving pieces or audio that autoplay or can’t be turned off. It’s especially annoying if I’ve opened several tabs and have to either sort through and scroll down each one to hunt down the cacophony or close all the tabs without reading them. Infuriating!

    Oh, and I go out of my way to block weight-loss ads, even if they’re neither moving nor blaring. They offend me by their very existence.

  6. says

    SherryH,

    Thanks for unblocking! If anyone’s curious, here’s what I do:

    –Only work with ad providers who allow me to block categories of ads such as “weight loss” and “flashing neon” and “audio on autoplay.”
    –Block those categories. I also disable “third party ad feeds” that serve up ads from who knows who.

    And yet a few still sneak through, and the ad brokers can never figure it out. Nor can they block it, for reasons I’ll explain below.

    Another thing I should have mentioned: the more pages you load during an individual visit to the site, the more likelihood you’ll see crappier ads. Typically, your first few page loads are the ones advertisers pay the most for, hence the classier ads. Once you’ve been on site a while, the advertisers don’t see much value in your pageloads, so you tend to start seeing the lower paying ads. Not all of these are offensive, of course. A few years ago, advertisers paid the same for every pageload, but then things got more sophisticated.

    The OTHER problem is that advertisers pay far less for non-US eyeballs, so some of our US visitors will get a lot more crappy ads than our US ones – and then, because neither I nor the US based ad provider can get the problem ad to come up on our end, we can’t block it. This is something where I think a better ad provider (the right one, not all of them) would help with.

    I just thought of another option I’m going to look into. It’s a provider I just started working with on another site recently. They might be suitable for Hathor.

  7. Marie says

    Is there any way to turn an ad blocker off on some sites and not others? My computer seems to get viruses really easily so I don’t want it off everywhere.

  8. says

    Marie,

    If you use Firefox and AdBlock, then yes, Adblock has a “whitelist”. There’s an option for whitelisting whatever site you’re on at the time, if you right click in the browser window, I believe. I suspect other ad blockers have similar options, because the way they work, they can accidentally block stuff that’s part of a site’s function (not at Hathor, but at sites relying heavily on Javascripts) – the whitelist is the only way to avoid that problem.

  9. says

    I have now turned my adblocker off. I actually read quite a few small blogs and I don’t want them to miss out on my ad-traffic! If it means my favourite blogs get to continue then my eyeballs will deal with the ads!

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