I don’t use ad blockers. If a site has really obnoxious ads, I try to avoid that site. I understand that ads are the way these sites make money, and honestly one day I may have an ad-funded site as well.
While the vast majority of online ads don’t even register in my brain, I have actually found ads useful in the past. The most memorable was many years ago when I was working at a tiny IT consulting company looking to leave the shared hosting ghetto. I saw an ad for Linode on KernelTrap (is KernelTrap defunct now?), clicked it, signed up, and used Linode ever since!
So now I’m in the market for a laptop. Right now I’m thinking a Thinkpad T series, but I’m open to options. I would love to see laptop related ads. Not additional ads mind you, but rather instead of seeing ads for AMD or Intel (I couldn’t care less) it’d be nice to see ads for Thinkpads or Latitudes.
I guess the most accurate way to accomplish this would be for major ad vendors to stick a small “Preferences” link at the bottom of ads. Clicking on it would just let you set some keywords or check a few boxes about what you’re interested in. Stick that in a cookie, so I can purge it whenever I like, and privacy issues are even gone.
I would really appreciate a feature like this, and maybe it’d even let me opt out of see ads for dating sites (I’m happily married, sorry match.com). Seems like an idea like this would greatly improve the effectiveness of ads. Its not like sites would have to respect my settings either. If they really want to waste bandwidth showing me American Apparel ads, its not hurting me any.