You might want to whitelist your favourite web sites

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. 

Anglican Church Music

cathedral_purpleIt was back in 1998 that I set up and launched the Anglican Church Music web site, as a place to record all the website links to cathedral and church choirs that I had amassed.

Today, some 15 years later, the site is still active, but under the control of John Watkins.  He very graciously agreed to take over the maintenance and development on the site, as at the time I was too busy to do it justice.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been involved in the site. I was only involved in the first couple of years, and so I had all but forgotten about its existence – until I happened upon it again quite recently.

The current design isn’t that much different from the original site, which was hand-coded with my clunky self-taught HTML. And when I look through the site I can’t help but feel nostalgic to those early days of the web. Because back in 1998, there were only just over 100,000 .uk web sites in existence – whereas today there are over 10 million uk domains registered.

Also to put that in context, during the same period Google went from being a Stanford University research project (accessible through the domain google.stanford.edu) to one of the biggest brands in the world turning over $38 billion!

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