Say No To Adblock

There is something that happens on the internet every day that I don’t understand. Okay, in reality I’m sure there are a lot of things happening on the internet that I don’t understand. But there is one thing in particular that I want to talk about today. I don’t understand how people who work online can justify using adblock.

no-adblock

Lets take an example of one of my co-workers. He has adblock on all the time. Sure, when he visits a website he gets a pretty, ad free environment. But he’s also hurting the owner of that website. Yet at the same time he turns around and expects other people to “enjoy” the ads on the website he works for in order for him to be paid. How is this ok!?

Maybe, maybe I’m just looking at things differently. I see it as one big you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours situation. You make money doing things online? So do I! Lets help each other out. So on Youtube I let the ads run (sometimes), I have never installed adblock, and I even click on ads from time to time. Because my hope is that if ever you’re on my content that you’ll do the same for me. ¬†And in the end that means we all profit.

You know, when I started writing this I thought I’d have a lot to say on the topic but all my thoughts go a little something like this:

ARGHIEOGJIORHJRHIE!!!!! WHHHHHHHHHYYYYY!?

But basically what I’m saying is, please, for all the people who make things on the internet, get rid of adblock, let the occasional Youtube ad run. Because without the funding from that people wouldn’t be able to continue. Because in the end the internet is a bit like PBS. It really is only possible because of viewers like you.

viewerslikeyou

This entry is brought to you by the pirate letter ARR, as part of the ongoing Blaugust series and is only made possible thanks to viewers like you…thank you.

blaugust

Potato Salad

I love potato salad. American style, not European. It needs to have bits of bacon and the chunks in it can’t be too big. Okay, now I’ve gone and made myself hungry. But! As I’m sure you can guess this post isn’t about food. It’s about a Kickstarter campaign that is causing quite a lot of drama.

So far, as of the time I’m writing this, the campaign for potato salad has 23 days to go and has raised $70,000. That must be some pretty awesome potato salad. Or not. Either way it has some people up in arms and angry to the point where they won’t even talk about it anymore.

These people tend to call it stupid, say it undermines real artists who use Kickstarter for worthwhile projects, and tend to be artistic sorts themselves. Is there perhaps a connection there?

 

Undermining Real Artists

This argument really doesn’t hold up very well. One point often said is that it degrades the importance of Kickstarter. But I think what they don’t realize is that this isn’t the first campaign like this. There was in November of 2013 someone who put up a campaign looking to raise $500 to cook an onion. Now that one didn’t succeed in the end and it also didn’t get any attention from the media. But it wasn’t the downfall of Kickstarter. I’ve gone on to back several campaigns since then quite happily on varying scales of professionalism. And records have been broken in that time. Sure, there are going to be a few copycats for a little while but none of them will see the success that Potato Salad has. This is a one hit wonder, and not the catchy kind you can’t get out of your head.

Another thing being said is that it takes away attention from campaigns that are actually worthwhile. Yes, there are a lot of great campaigns that never succeed for one reason or another. Most often it is because there hasn’t been anything about them in the media. And that is really unfortunate. I’ve backed a lot of projects that never made it and really deserved to. And there are also a lot of projects out there that are just crap. Sometimes those fund, sometimes they don’t. If you see a project you think is worthy of funding then it is up to you to talk about it. It is up to you to help get the word out. How much effort you decide to put into it is really completely up to you. But the entire idea behind crowdfunding is spreading it by word of mouth, or fingers as the case may be.

 

Potato Salad wouldn’t be possible without the likes of Goat Simulator, Rock Simulator, or Grass Simulator. What makes them so great, and Potato Salad can get lumped in with this, is that they don’t take themselves seriously. Why are all these things so popular? They’re funny!

Okay, so I’ve sort of lost steam from earlier. Jonathan came home and distracted me. So I’ll end with this. I gave Potato Salad a dollar. Since I joined Kickstarter in February of 2012 I’ve donated $685 to a variety of campaigns. Not all of them have funded, but I’ve put in the time and money that if I want to give a dollar to an amusing kid I should be able to without people looking down on me. How much have you given on Kickstarter?

American Invasion

America is invading Ireland.

Within a distance of less than 2km (1.2 miles) there are 13 Starbucks! Thirteen! In one case they are quite literally across the street from each other. I’m not talking about one of them being a Starbucks inside of another store. Both of these are proper, sit down places to get coffee. The employees from one could look out the windows of theirs straight into the windows of the other and wave at the people working the counters at the other one. Basically if each of the Starbucks were lined up on a straight road you would get to one every 470ish feet. In other words imagine if you walked down a street and every third (American sized) building was a Starbucks. That is basically what we’re talking about here. As you can see in the map below which points out the locations of each Starbucks within this small section of the center of Dublin they aren’t all in a row. And in fact they tend to clump together.

Starbucks in Dublin

This is something very common in America. How often do you see a McDonald’s without another fast food place on an opposite corner or right next door? There is an entire science dedicated to finding the ideal locations for certain businesses. And while it is a very fascinating subject I object when you end up having several of the same exact brands in such a small area. We do not need thirteen Starbucks within a 20 minute walking distance. We do not need two McDonald’s on O’Connell Street. That being said, I will only go into one of the two McDonald’s. But that is because of the quality of people that go into them and the overall feel of them. One feels much cleaner and safer than the other. There are also two Burger Kings on O’Connell Street but if I’m perfectly honest I have no idea how they both survive as no one ever seems to eat in either of them.

Does Dublin need more cafes/coffee shops? Sure! It has always been a struggle to find somewhere to sit for a few minutes while you wait for a friend. But that need could just as easily be served with local homegrown businesses who bake their own brownies and offer strange and exotic teas from all over the world. Would I be upset about two cafes across the street from each other who serve the exact same things and have the exact same styles but were both independently owned and operated? Not at all! Because this is the type of place that fosters community. The owner/barista will get to know you if you go in regularly, and in turn you will want to go in regularly because they will know your order the moment you walk through the door. You can’t get that with Starbucks. You can’t get that with corporate life in general. You become just another dollar sign as you become a slave to what must be very addictive coffee.

“But the local Mom and Pop cafes can’t make this fancy coffee I like that comes hand ground from a three legged dog in Peru.” No, they can’t. Because they don’t get the income necessary to support that kind of thing. Maybe if that was the only drink they offered they might be able to. But variety is key to a business’ success so limiting themselves like that would be suicide. Basically all I’m saying is support local businesses and Starbucks, GTFO.