Adblock Plus: the nuclear plug-in
from Nicholas Carr
Adblock Plus, the Firefox browser plug-in that erases advertisements from web pages, is a killer of a killer app - or at least it would be if it became widely popular. Right now, it sits like a coyote at the edge of the net, quietly eyeing all the businesses it would happily devour. The plug-in, writes Noam Cohen in today's New York Times, has the potential to be an "extreme menace to the online-advertising business...Yes, potential ... but something in the 90s% of even Firefox users (it's not easy to plug into Internet Explorer) don't use add-ons. Plus, who's going to develop and promote a full-on ad blocker? Symantec?
Carr: If web users decide they don't want to see ads, Google would face an extremely unpleasant dilemma. Either its business or its credibility would end up in tatters.Flee for the hills! Cash in your options now!
Says Cohen, about similar PVR 'concerns':
(As things turned out, TiVo and a rival, ReplayTV, opted not to include an automatic service to skip ads after vociferous objections by the television industry.)He also points out that business whingers - for that is what they are - already have an answer, which is
“to serve ads from their own servers.”Haa'retz do this and I still see internal promotions elsewhere. What I don't see is the full horror, revolving, irritating, smack-me-with-your-BRANDING ads ...
Marketeers have started to get the message about pop-ups, which is not because of AdBlock.
Yes, AdBlock is grrr-eat, but who else but geeks? Seriously? The odds are stacked against it. There's not a version for mobiles - the future mass market - and I'd imagine that's a even harder environment for something like AdBlock.
There have always been these type of developments because anyone can tweak how they receive the Web, that's why there are so many browsers. Things like AdBlock have been around for ages. I s'pose you could also say that things like MySpace have also been around for ages but ... calm down Nicholas! It's only an add-on!