Why I have to use an ad blocker on Thurrott.com

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At least one of the ads (wide, short, video ad located between Forums and Stay Connected along the rightside of the page) takes forever to load and makes the browser unstable and unresponsive as it loads.

Once loaded everything is fine as the video plays.

Then the worst part happens. When the ad refreshes it sometimes causes the entire page to refresh which throws out any post or reply I am making and takes me back to the top of the page.

It triggers a constant barage of loading notifications in the status bar. They only appear for a fraction of a second each.

Some of them are:

k.streamrail.com

ads.adaptv.advertising.com

pixel.clearstream.tv

S-52.algovid.com

I first noticed this behavior in Edge, Chrome and Firefox. We disable third party cookies by enforced policy and that seems to be what causes the problematic ads to appear (if testing, you have to clear saved cookies as well as disabling them or the advertiser shows the normal ads and not the problematic ones) Incognito, inprivate, etc… views also get the problematic ads since cookies can’t work with those modes either.

Without the ad blocker Thurrott.com is essentially unusable so long as these ads are in place. The rest appear to be relatively well behaved and I’d be willing to turn off the blocker on Thurrott.com if it didn’t try to crash my browsers without it. This was the original reason I installed one in the first place.

Comments (15)

15 responses to “Why I have to use an ad blocker on Thurrott.com”

  1. Minke

    Even sites that are temporarily usable without an ad blocker often change overnight and destroy any pleasure in reading. I use an ad blocker whenever and wherever possible. When advertisers and website owners become more responsible with advertising maybe I will change. By they way, the so-called "targeted ads" I get are mostly totally irrelevant to me and just a waste of your money.

    • MutualCore

      In reply to Minke:

      Sometimes I wish we could go back to early MSN days. No ads!

    • Brazbit

      In reply to Minke:

      As much as I would like to never see ads and have the site work as fastand flawlessly as it does with them blocked, the site does need to serve them to help keep the electrons flowing. I'm not in a position to subscribe so the least I can do is turn off the blocker for this site. But I can't do that with the current situation, so I figured I'd provide some feedback and they can possibly address the issue.

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to Brazbit:

        It is not the sites running ads to keep the electrons flowing that bothers me, I can mostly ignore them, and as far as targeted ads go...if this is what Microsoft and Google do with AI, then god help us, because, as Minke pointed out, the target they seem to be going for has nothing to do with me.

        It is the ads themselves. An ad on TV or radio will not bork my TV, or radio; it is just content. On the computer, however, the ad is its own little application that I did not choose to install or run, with all the possible negatives that can bring.

        • curtisspendlove

          In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

          It is the ads themselves. An ad on TV or radio will not bork my TV, or radio; it is just content.


          Agreed. I have this family of sites whitelisted and don’t have any issues with it. It is a bit slow to load everything, but that is ok.


          I empathize with Paul and the site admins. I’m sure they would rather not have to deal with the extra crud to serve ads, but it is unfortunately the reality of the modern web.

  2. lvthunder

    Why don't you use the contact button on the top and contact them directly instead of using a public forum to discuss these issues? I'm pretty sure the people coding the site don't read these forums.

    • Brazbit

      In reply to lvthunder:

      1. That button is hidden under a menu on a phone and is very tiny and easy to overlook on a pc.

      2. This is the Support forum. Site issues are exactly the sort of thing that it exists for.


      I'm not calling the site out for having ads. I don't fault them for that. I'm just letting them know about a severely problematic one that makes the site nearly unusable and the conditions under which to see the issue for themselves.

  3. harmjr

    I just pay for premium and no ads.

  4. rameshthanikodi

    this is the reason people give to enable ad blockers across the entire web.


    I don't know man, at the end of the day, the content here is free, and taking up a little bit more of bandwidth when loading it isn't too much to ask.

    • Brazbit

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      If it was just a bit slower that would not have generated the post. This is sometimes minutes of unresponsiveness only to randomly refresh the page, tossing you back to the top of the page starting the whole process over again. This makes some articles virtually impossible to read and also causes the loss of any post in progress.


      Slow is merely annoying, rendering the page unusable for content consumption or replies is something that should be pointed out.

  5. Tom Wilson

    Capitalism, how does it work?


    It's not our responsibility as visitors to this site to worry about how the owners of this site monetize it. If they can't figure it out, they will fail, as they should.


    This isn't a clubhouse, it's a business. Plenty of other tech sites have figured out how to survive without charging visitors for so-called "premium" articles.


    BTW, Paul has stated many times that he himself uses adblockers.


    I mean WTF? "Adblockers for thee, but not for me!"


    Yea, I'll keep using mine too, thanks.

    • Tim

      In reply to Tom Wilson:
      This isn't a clubhouse, it's a business. Plenty of other tech sites have figured out how to survive without charging visitors for so-called "premium" articles.


      You might be surprised how many of those publishers are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. This includes "Tech sites" as well as very well established "legacy" publishing companies. The landscape has changed so much in the past 3-4 years...everyone is still learning how to adjust.


      I'm not asking for charity, I believe in capitalism. There will be winners and losers. But I think this whole idea that it's OK to actively bypass being monetized by publishers because you feel you are "owed" content is a very dangerous path to go down. The New York Times is struggling (whether or not you appreciate the NYT is a different debate I won't get into, but they are a good model for how real journalism is in danger) , they are losing money to things like twitter and Facebook...and we all know how great the journalism is on Facebook..............................

  6. Tim

    We're not dumb. We know why people use ad blockers. I know why I have one installed (though I do white list nearly every site that asks and any site that I care about).


    If you care about the site and find ads intrusive, there is the premium route. This isn't why we have Premium but it is a thought to consider.


    More acutely, I've forwarded this thread to our AdOps person and am going to work with her to ensure that the experience is good for our users. Unfortunately the nature of the beast these days is that publishers have less and less control over the actual ads displayed on the site (not none, just less). When I first started working here (at the time it was only Petri.com), we basically sold every single impression on every single ad directly to an advertiser. Those times are gone, and the ramifications aren't always ideal.


    I do not have this experience, I actually am almost never logged in at all when I view this site and Petri and I can't say i've seen what you're describing, but we'll look into this none the less.

    • Brazbit

      In reply to Tim:

      Thanks Tim. I appreciate your forwarding the issue.

      Hopefully the AdOps person will actually read the post instead of assuming it is just another post complaining about finding ads intrusive.

      I want to white list this site as I do care about it, that is the point. As stated below I'm currently not in a position to go premium so the next best thing I can do is accept the ads.

      Details on recreating the issue were provided, it's not about being logged in or not, try visiting the site in an in private or incognito window and you will see the issue in any article or post.

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