I Hate Advertising!

AdsI just want to say that I hate website advertising.

With that said, one can only imagine that I had to put a lot of thought into my recent decision to include advertising on the websites that I own and/or control. After all, in every other type of media, advertising is used to offset and even cover the costs involved… so why not the internet.

As a user of the internet, I visit at least my fair share of interesting and informative websites every day. Most of these websites have advertising of some type included. Some is good while some is not so good. I’ve certainly had plenty of opportunity to decide what I like and what I don’t like… So I made a list. Maybe you’ll agree with my list… and maybe you won’t.

Welcome to the World Wide Wait!

“Ever since the dark days before high speed internet, I have been proud to wear this uniform.”

Back in the days of dial-up internet, I took my first bold step into the world of website design and management. In those days, data did not come down very fast. Our computers were slower… Our connection was slower… The lines were slower… The servers were slower. Everything was slower. The one thing that wasn’t slow was the human patience. Experts pretty much agreed that people would not wait any more than about a minute for a website to finish loading.

The same applies today, except the expectations are greater. Two to three seconds maximum is what most people tolerate. I’ve seen statistics that suggest that every second beyond that decreases customer satisfaction by as much as sixteen percent. That is huge!

What I have noticed is that most of that waiting time is taken up by the advertising.

I don’t care how good your content is…. If the ads don’t load quicker, I’ll never see it.

The Incredible Moving Website

Some thoughtful webmasters have addressed the issue of the slow loading ads by making sure the script that loads the ads comes after the actual content.

To them I extend my thanks… But many have forgotten some basic points.

On such websites, I can quickly begin reading while other elements are still loading. But then a banner loads at the top of the page that pushes the content downward… so I have to scroll down to find where I was. But then an ad loads into a column that, up to that point, was not formatted to its full width… So the formatting of the context is changed yet again, and I have to once again stop and find my place.

That About Covers It

If I actually made it to the point of still being on the website when everything is loaded, I often notice what has become a growing trend. That would be shameless self promotion.

I get it… You want me to subscribe to your blog… or you want to promote your book… or you just released a new CD. But I don’t know yet if that’s what I want… so the script that pushes the ad in front of the content will only cause frustration while I close it and continue to read… and it also leaves an unconscious message to not follow the link when it is also found properly formatted on the web page.

Do You Hear What I Hear

Over the years, better technologies have led to a faster and more efficient internet. At least that’s what one should expect.

The sad reality is that it has also led to better ways to get more data into your computer faster than ever before… and that has led to more advertising.

Unfortunately, bandwidth still costs money… and the cost in Canada (where I live) is generally greater than the costs in the United States, where much of this content originates.

One of the biggest bandwidth hogs is in video advertising.

Granted… If I’m on a video site, such as YouTube, I expect such things. But if I’m reading a website, I don’t need the bandwidth. And most of the time, I have already scrolled past the location of the imbedded video long before it ever starts playing… so I have to leave what I’m reading to go find it to shut it off.

By this point, I usually figure out that the website owner believes that the ads are more important than the content… and since my attention has been drawn away from the content enough times already, I have no problem moving on and looking for a better website to explore.

And Now For The Shameless Plug!

I believe, generally, that a good rule of thumb is to not put people through what I don’t want for myself. It would be especially true now, since I just made this rant about it.

So what more can I say?

Subscribe to this blog (or at least bookmark it, since I haven’t found a suitable subscribe function yet)… Or you can buy my book, once I write one… Or you can buy my CD. Okay, I haven’t released one yet, but the music on this website is still free.

And finally… Don’t be afraid of the advertising. If you see something you like, then we’ll both be happy… and that’s a good thing.

Oh yes… My Cafe Press store has not been accessible from here since I switched platforms. I plan on correcting that as soon as I update what I have there.


Father’s Day

So today is Father’s Day!

Normally, one would take this time to let their father know how much he means to them. After all, isn’t that what this day is all about? But I figured I’d be a little different and talk a little about my daughter, Jackie. After all, she’s the one who, for me, has made fatherhood worthwhile.

In trying to be a good father, I can’t truthfully say I did everything right. In fact, I’m sure there was a lot that I did wrong. But, in the end, that really isn’t that important. The things that I remember most are the good times we had and the fun things we did.

One thing I’ve noticed fathers doing with their children is throwing them in the air and catching them. It seems like a lot of fun and I’m sure the children love it when Dad plays that way. They seem to feel like they are being thrown six feet into the air, when the reality is that they barely leave their father’s hands. (By the way… Don’t ask mothers about this. Most of them are sure that if it wasn’t for the ceiling, the child would fly thirty feet in the air… but more about that later.)

I wasn’t one to do that. Perhaps I was following my own father’s lead… or perhaps I was afraid of having some kind of ADHD moment and getting distracted while Jackie was inches away from the ceiling. Instead, I preferred to hold Jackie’s hands and swing her around in circles. It was really quite fun. I’d hold her hands and swing her around for a couple minutes, then I’d set her down and watch as she tried to regain her balance… staggering around, tripping over the furniture and walking into walls.

So there was this one day, when Jackie was about a year old, when we were playing this same game that I had a great idea. A new variation of the same game. So I took her by the left hand and the left foot, and then slowly started to turn around in circles. As I started to move a little faster, Jackie’s reaction became a little more vocal… and progressively louder.

Before long, we were moving fast enough that we were able to gain a little height, so now Jackie was flying in circles Superman style… and Jackie started crying out like, “Ahh ahhh ahhh ahh ahhh”.

I move a little faster and we gained a little more height, and Jackie sounded more like, “Aaaahhhh aaaahhhh aaaahhhh aaaaahhhh”.

By now we’re going really fast and Jackie is almost reaching as high as my shoulder, so I started to lower and raise my arms so she was moving up and down as if she was on one of those amusement park rides she was still too young to ride. By now, Jackie’s face was turning about six shades of red and her cries were getting louder like, “Whaaaahhhhh whaaaaahhhh whaaaaaahhhhhh”.

At about this time, her mother was starting to take notice, so she joined in… “Bob! What do you think you’re doing? You’re scaring her…. Stop it!”

So I slowed down and let her land gently on the floor. She got up, tears pouring down her face, and her cries were now more like, “Whaaa whaa aaahhh ahhh ahhh… Do that again, Daddy!”

Yes, we had good times back then. I always thought it would be great to have a big family… at least a couple more children… Taking turns spinning around… tripping over furniture… walking into walls… bumping into each other. But that was never going to happen. You see, I wanted more children, but my wife wanted a divorce… and in the end, she got what she wanted.

Being a part time, single father was not what I had originally planned. I didn’t get to be there for every step of her growing up, but we did have some pretty good weekends.

Later on, my father went into the hospital and I moved up north to be with my mother and help out until he was back on his feet. At about the same time, Jackie’s mother remarried and moved out west, leaving her to live with me and my parents. At this time I learned a few things I never before saw in my father… and Jackie grew closer to him as well.

Dad is gone now… I have remarried… and Jackie is raising a family of her own. My chances of having any more children of my own have long passed, but perhaps I can put into practice, with Jackie’s two boys, some of what I observed of my father being a grandfather.

Good Morning!

Here it is…. My all new redesigned website!

Actually, what happened was the server is undergoing upgrades which will render my old website unusable. So since I’ve been meaning to rework the old website for some time, it seems now is a good time. Well… No… Now is not a good time. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

So January is finally over and February is just getting started. This is going to prove to be a busy month… More later… I hope.