Adblock plugins for web browsers are great! They block out all the annoying and distracting adverts on web pages, and make the browsing experience for visitors altogether more pleasant.
They're very popular – so popular that some web site owners are getting hurt from the lack of ad revenue. Publishers are fighting back using pop-up messages to try and persuade you to disable the adblock – and some even block access to their content until you whitelist them.
I'm not a fan of forcing people to turn off their ad blockers, but I have been thinking recently about the impact of using them.
I read an article a few days ago about a popular site that closed down because it wasn't making any money – and they cited the lack of ad revenue as a major contributory factor.
So it got me thinking about some of the websites that I visit every day – the blogs and news sites that I rely on for information and entertainment. I didn't like the idea that they might suddenly disappear because they had become financially unsustainable.
And so, short of actually sending the publishers of these sites money – something that's often not even an option – I realised that the only way I could give them my patronage was to whitelist them in the ad blocker. At least that way, they could earn a little bit of revenue from my visits. And I figured it was a small inconvenience for me to bear in order to support the writers I enjoy.