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The Other "Poppressed Ads" Problem - The Shock of Seeing Actual Ads

  1. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-get-rid-of-poppressed/page/2?replies=38

    Many issues have already been discussed about the disappointment WordPress posters are feeling at the sudden appearance of Poppressed ads on their blogs - and I can really empathize with folks whose blogs have a strong text bent. The pictorial ads just warp the visual space to a point where the blog is no longer what it was - but I digress a little.

    My intent is highlight for management and the dynamic at play in some WordPress user's disappointment here - I being one of them. The issue of ads being promised in initial disclosures by WordPress during a user's signing in kind of moot. With the exception of pro-bloggers or those transferring pre-existing blogs, most people start small. A post here, a post there and joy - and then the whole thing begins to snowball and before you know it you have posts that are mini-web sensations on Google and yonder. Mini cyber landmarks, if you will. And while you are doing this the creative matrix is uncluttered and studiedly non-commercial, despite WordPress's initial caveat that it reserves the right to stick ads wherever and whenever it wants.

    The WordPress management should have taken the un-besmirchable road (if you will excuse the coinage) and worked with human psychology instead of against it. What would this have entailed? Well, having place holders for the so called ads could have gone a long way towards alleviating the discomfort some of the WordPress users are experiencing right now. Go Daddy (not the best of ) does it on its free webstarter pages: i.e. it clearly puts its plugs at the top and bottom of free web starter pages and nobody sooner or later. Ad place holders - even with non-descript WordPress plugs - would have averted this whole brouhaha. The shock by posters of seeing Mrs. Jay-Z with her t*ts almost hanging out is real - especially for people whose content is antithetical to that. Beyond that is just the raw commercial rub and the distinctive patina these ads lend to people's blogs.

    The promise of removing these offending ...... does not pass the sniff test. Management DID NOT WORK WITH HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY HERE. And they are the pros who really should in the name of being good, credible businessmen.

    WordPress, is management doesn't know has a certain appeal that goes beyond dollars and cents. Call it the Craigslist appeal. The introduction of these Poppressed ads after eons of non-appearance goes against that Craigslist ethos. It evokes the pain of a Brazilian wax in places where the sun don't usually shine.

    Extreme Cautionary Tale: Citibank and perhaps other banks too - has a 7 day withholding rule which stipulates:

    “We reserve the right to require seven (7) days advance notice before
    permitting a withdrawal from all checking, savings and money market
    accounts. We currently do not exercise this right and have not exercised
    it in the past.”

    http://www.mybanktracker.com/bank-news/2010/02/25/citibank-notice-highlights-fed-rule-that-could-limit-your-access-to-money/

    Guess what would happen if the TARP addled-bank started trying to enforce that rule?

    While the Poppressed development is not of the same order and magnitude, it is distressing all the same. And I, for one, am seriously considering leaving WordPress with some of my more serious content and shelling the bucks to have it hosted on some other hosting site. Note that I WILL NOT PAY WordPress to remove the graffitous ads on an annual basis. Pure principle here. Nothing to do with nickels and dimes.

    I may not be the canary in the coal mine, but trust me, WordPress is gonna lose a lot of serious content. The dreck will stay - along with the real big guys - and a hole in WordPress's ecosystem will be created. If that's what the management wants, so be it.

    My name is Mooga, but you can call me Darth.

  2. THE PROOF-READ VERSION (My apologies folks)

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-get-rid-of-poppressed/page/2?replies=38

    Many issues have already been discussed about the disappointment WordPress users are feeling at the sudden appearance of Poppressed ads on their blogs and I, for one, can empathize with folks whose blogs, for example, have a strong text bent. The pictorial ads just warp the visual space and draw attention away from the content - but I digress.

    My intent is to highlight for WordPress management the dynamic at play in some of the user's disappointment here. The issue of ads being promised in initial disclosures by WordPress is kind of moot. With the exception of pro-bloggers or those transferring pre-existing blogs, most people start small. A post here, a post there - and before long the whole thing begins to snowball. Before one knows it, one has posts that are mini-web sensations on Google and yonder. Mini cyber landmarks, if you will. And while one is doing this the creative matrix is uncluttered and studiedly non-commercial, despite WordPress's initial caveats that it reserves the right to stick ads wherever and whenever it wants.

    WordPress management should have taken the high road and worked with human psychology instead of against it. This would have entailed, among other things, placing place holders for the said ads. This could have gone a long way towards alleviating some of the discomfort WordPress users are experiencing at this time. Go Daddy (not the best example obviously) does it on its free web-starter pages: i.e. it clearly puts in its plugs at the top and bottom of free web starter pages at the outset and nobody ever gets upset.

    Ad place holders - even with non-descript WordPress plugs - could have preventd this brouhaha. The shock by posters of seeing Mrs. Jay-Z with her t*ts almost hanging out is not imagined - especially for people with content that is antithetical to that sort of thing. Beyond such pictures is the raw commercial rub and the chintzy patina these ads lend to people's blogs.

    The promise of removing these offending ads for a fee fails to pass the sniff test. Management DID NOT WORK WITH HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY HERE. And they are the pros who really should have in the name of being good, credible businessmen.

    WordPress, whether management knows it or not, has a certain appeal that goes beyond dollars and cents. Call it the Craigslist appeal. The introduction of these Poppressed ads after eons of non-appearance goes against the grain of that ethos. It evokes the pain of a Brazilian wax in places where the sun don't usually shine.

    Extreme Cautionary Tale: Citibank - and perhaps other banks too - has a 7 day withholding rule which stipulates:

    “We reserve the right to require seven (7) days advance notice before
    permitting a withdrawal from all checking, savings and money market
    accounts. We currently do not exercise this right and have not exercised
    it in the past.”

    http://www.mybanktracker.com/bank-news/2010/02/25/citibank-notice-highlights-fed-rule-that-could-limit-your-access-to-money/

    Guess what would happen if this TARP addled-bank started trying to enforce that rule? (It's on the books and within its manuals right?)

    While the Poppressed issue is not of the same order and magnitude, it is distressing nevertheless. And I, for one, am seriously considering bailing WordPress with some of my more serious content and shelling big bucks to have it hosted on some other hosting website. And no, I WILL NOT PAY WordPress one single penny to remove these offensive ads. Pure principle here. Nothing to do with nickels and dimes. Remember the sniff test.

    I may not be the canary in the coal mine, but trust me, WordPress is gonna lose a lot of serious content. The crappy dreck will stay - along with the real big guys - and a hole in WordPress's ecosystem will be created. If that's what the management wants, so be it.

    My name is Mooga, but you can call me Darth.

    Sorry about the typos in the initial post. Wrote it on the fly - and I really don't care for proof-reading that much ..... the necessary evil.

  3. Have you read the other threads on this? http://en.forums.wordpress.com/tags/poppressed

  4. The ads that wordpress puts on our blogs to help pay for all the expenses of running this place are seriously obnoxious right now, but supposedly staff are working on them.

  5. @ thesacredpath & timethief:

    I read one or two of the threads about Poppressed about three days ago then got distracted by other things. At the time the reply by WordPress Engineer Macmanx was not yet up:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-get-rid-of-poppressed/page/2?replies=38

    "To support the service (and keep free features free),
    we sometimes run advertisements. In regards to the
    PopPressed advertisements, we hear you, and we’re
    working to make it better. I hope you don't mind, but
    I'm going to close this topic down before it gets out of
    hand like similar topics, as that will just take time away
    from us focusing on the fix. Rest-assured, we are
    working to make the ads display a bit better than they
    are now." (macmanx)

    I hope WordPress comes up with a substantive instead of palliative or PR solution. I also hope they will not close threads discussing PopPressed ads because I think the parameters of what constitutes "acceptable" change needs to be discussed. Why? Because they ARE germane to the discussion here and the discussion that takes place at the management level.

    In that connection, there ARE posts or blogs I don't care about being juxtaposed to or eclipsed by PopPressed chintz. But by the same token there are posts or blogs I will not have side by side with PopPressed ads. The same thing applies to Ad Control. There are posts or blogs I will not sacrifice to ads or Ad Control because they just are not compatible with such banalities.

    My name is Mooga, but you can call me Darth.

  6. WordPress.COM never was, nor will it (likely) ever be a democracy. Staff do listen, but in the end the decisions about the direction this site goes is always theirs. If they want all of our blogs to look like splogs (spam blogs) they can do that.

    Staff can and do close forum threads on certain subject all the time. Since it is their forum, they can do that. Again, not a democracy.

  7. In this particular case, expect it. If they find one person consistently starting new threads on the same issue focused around personal feelings, they generally do close the threads. In some cases, they temporarily ban that person from posting in the forums as well, if they feel the posts are "unproductive."

    The safest place to discuss personal feelings is your own blog. And then pimp the hell out of that post on Facebook and Twitter. Staff are not going to censor or prevent personal expression on your blog, but the forums belong to them.

  8. @thesacredpath (1) WP has specifically named this "Community Forums"...not "Staff Forums." Is this true, or another example of WP's misleading PR? (2) I've just about heard enough @ WP.com being a free platform. By my calculations, I am paying more than $500.00 per year in upgrade fees. That's NOT free, and such fees really deserve much more extensive and respectful staff support than is given by WP. Thank you.

  9. 1) WP doesn't HAVE PR. After all this time you should know this. If they did, threads like this wouldn't start, because people wouldn't get this pissed off.

    2) Money doesn't buy respect or suddenly cause engineers to become competent at customer service. At that level of investment, I'd be looking at other hosting options and comparing.

  10. @ raincoaster

    If you are referring to the original post - then I am probably missing something. This is the first time I have posted on this subject besides trying to focus on "the other PopPressed Ads problem" - not to mention on-going discussion on "the parameters of change."

    My name is Mooga, but you can call me Darth.

  11. @raincoaster I guess you're right about (1). And (2) I'm locked into WP or another year because of fees I've already paid, but I'm looking into having a (mutual) web designer acquaintance set up self-hosting after that.

  12. Whether is says "community forums" or not, that does not mean the "community" owns it. It is a wordpress.com forum for the community to use, but it belongs to wordpress.com.

    Even if you bought every upgrade here applicable to a hosting a public blog on .COM (and the space upgrade was for the maximum of 100GB) you only come out to $431 a year.

    videopress
    domain/domain mapping
    no-ads
    CSS
    text messaging
    space upgrade ( + 100GB)

    You can always go with self-hosting a site and then you are in complete control of everything. No adds, no poppressed, no need to buy any upgrades. It does mean more work for you since you will have to do all installations, all upgrades, all backups and all troubleshooting. If anything goes wrong, you have to figure it out and fix it. You do have complete control though.

    I'm in full agreement that the recent image ads and the poppressed stuff looks like crap. You will get no argument from me, but I doubt seriously if .COM is going to drop the poppressed stuff, and I doubt seriously if they are going to drop the image ads. They may make adjustments to them, but I expect they are here to stay.

  13. I'm sure that adverts are here to stay.

    I think dropping the price of the no ad upgrade would be the fairest solution. Having built up a large number of links and good search engine positions long-term bloggers who've supported the site are more likely to stay on board at a reasonable price. Possibly producing higher revenues.

    I've recommended the site to loads of people recently unaware of the pop pressed stuff about to appear.

  14. Actually, I think Automattic have a fairly good understanding of how unpopular ads are. When they started selling advertising space on our blogs they kept it on the down-low, started with discreet text ads, used cookies to ensure that users and regular readers didn't see them at all. But, inevitably, over time, the ads got more numerous, images and flash banners started creeping in, and now we get these poppressed monstrosities. They may tell you it's a bug to shut you up, but don't be fooled. I got fed the same line over their Google ads some years ago, and the only thing that changed was that the situation got worse.

    Ad-supported sites aren't especially sustainable (too many people using firefox with adblock, not enough people buying advertising in the current economic climate) so once you start showing ads, and find they're not bringing in as much as you need them to, your only options are a) start charging for your services or b) keep serving more and more ads. If you want a free blog, then chances are it's going to look like a splog someday, regardless of how clean it may look when you start out.

  15. I also doubt the No Ads upgrade is going to get cheaper. With LiveSpaces gone, your free options are basically Blogger or Tumblr, so that's not much competition. The upgrade would have to cover not only what your blog could earn for WP, but also the labour cost of removing your blog from the ad program. $30 is cheap.

  16. you only come out to $431 a year.

    Only? That's nearly four times what I pay for hosting. And the learning curve on self-hosting isn't anything like as steep as it used to be, with so many hosts offering one-click installations of wordpress along with preinstalled themes and plugins. Oh yeah, and automatic upgrades. Basically, if you're paying for more than two upgrades on wordpress.com you've been had.

  17. @ theianfox

    Ditto here. I just recently recommended WordPress to a friend who runs a children's charity but I am now having second thoughts.

    The calculation? Well a basic free blog would not allow her to run Youtube style videos for her mini-documentaries - a real necessity with this kind of blog. Add to that the PopPressed ads that will probably be distracting from her message and you have the makings of a case for looking at other options.

    My name is Mooga, but you can call me Darth

  18. I have been reading some on the poppressed ads and the Word Press ads in general. I will have children reading my blog(s), so should I be concerned about the content (visual or text) for children?
    Thanks.

  19. I was just pointing out that I couldn't see a way to get "over $500 a year." The $431 includes the 100GB space upgrade. Who buys that?

    Granted things are easier with .ORG sites now, and the more people that self-host, the more emails I get with "Halp!!!1! in the subject line and I make a little spending money. I always get a flood of "halps" whenever a new version comes out and they get the gift of the wordpress white screen of death, or they can't automatically upgrade at all.

    For some, the fact that they do not have to worry about upgrades, backups and troubleshooting is worth something to them and allows them to just worry about blogging.

  20. You can display and play youtube videos on wordpress.COM. It is a supported format, and wordpress supports quite a number of others via the shortcodes (vimeo, dailymotion and vodpod to name a few).

    As far as poppressed and children viewing the sites, I've seen a few while doing research today that would probably not be suitable for children. They weren't "adult," but the subject matter was probably inappropriate.

    Staff need to clear up quite a bit regarding these things.

  21. Yes there are a lot of family oriented blogs on WordPress. With that said, is there anything that us family friendly bloggers can do? Should we email our concerns to staff?
    Thanks.

  22. I would say that they need to contact staff directly and inquire about this since all we volunteers on the forums can do is speculate really. I do think it is something that staff needs to publicly clarify. The thing is, NO ONE should have to pay $30 per year to keep children from seeing stuff that might be in appropriate.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  23. @ thesacredpath

    By video capability for my friend's blog I meant the ability to have the videos run straight from the free WordPress blog as opposed to via a Youtube link as appears to the the case with current free blogs.

  24. To be able to upload videos here they would have to have the videopress upgrade and depending on the number and length of the videos, they might also need the space upgrade as well in the future.

  25. Neither of those is essential. In fact, for my nonprofit clients I strongly recommend YouTube, as it gets a whole other platform of exposure and community support for their videos.

  26. @sacredpath I don't think you totally understand the space upgrades. If you previously had bought the 5, 15, 25, 50 GB upgrades, you still have to pay for them annually in addition to the 100 GB upgrade. It's cumulative. And for video intensive long-term blogs, the large amount of space is needed. Thanks.

  27. Yes, I do know that, but I doubt there are many that have bought the 100GB upgrade.

  28. @sacredpath Well, I don't know who has and who hasn't either, but I do know that I did.

  29. -30-

  30. Not a bunch, but more than I thought.

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