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Say what you want about George Parker, but when he's right he's so on the money dead presidents envy him.
He recently posted about the plethora of "ad*" site and domain names in our ad obsessed corner of the blogosphere as he had confused adfreak with adrants. Oops. See: Oooops... Too many "Ad's".... He concludes
The only one allowed to keep theirs is Dabitch at AdRag, 'cos she's been doing it for longer than all of us combined!
This be true. So, to start a new trend, we're switching over to our other URL we've had since 1999. The commercial-archive.com. Diehard adgrunts know that I've long been irked by Norton Internet Security and the way it errounously blocks all of Adland, as I have to help people with it who think that the site is broken, making me Symantecs unpaid and very disgruntled tech support. Well, Norton isn't the only adblocker to do this, Adblock list FiltersetG does the same thing, and if you ask how to get around that in their forums you get the unhelpful advice "If you want to look at a page with advertising-related content, turn off Adblock".
Mmmmokay. Thing is, a lot of people with this stuff installed aren't even aware of it - or they don't realise that the stuff they installed is at fault when they suddenly can't see Adland. I know, it's weird.
In the arms race of adblockers versus banners ads security will only get tighter even when it's dumb, so it's time to switch domains to avoid getting our site blocked. What does this mean to you, dear adland reader? Will you have to rearrange your bookmarks and change your RSS readers feedlinks for the news, the films and the whole enchilada? No you don't have to do a darn thing, the only thing that changes is that poor sods surfing with adblockers on will actually see the site instead of a linkless mess, and won't have to email me in a panic screaming "Your site doesn't work in (insert their favourite browsers here)".
It was never the browsers fault folks, it was the Norton Internet Security, FiltersetG and who knows how many other adblocking software things that messed our site up. So these days ad-rag.com automagically redirects to commercial-archive.com, which we used to do the other way around!
In Norton Internet Snakeoil these are some of the strings that are by blocked default.
Interestingly enough, these urls are by default actually permitted:
Domain HTML String
Seems that if you're big enough you can pay your way to the whitelist of Norton adblock. Isn't that sweet? Little guys like us - ironically adfree if you log in too - can't get onto that whitelist. In fact, nobody at Norton has ever honored my emails with a response, I reckon my emails are blocked by their adblocker. ;)
It seems a bit odd that a shitstorm hasn't be kicked up in regards to the deliberate non adblocking of the - costly - software that should block ads, but it seems that most users running Norton barely have an inkling that they actually run it, much less how it works, or rather doesn't. So Norton will continue to block banner-ad free sites with the "wrong" domain and let ads from apple and siemens through, and users will continue to pay for this service.
Well, we're out of it now, it cost us a buncha bob to get new SSL certs (for the encrypted donations page) and some work - but in comparison to how much we probably have lost during these years when adblock/Norton users couldn't see the site in time spent helping said users and possible donations it's going to be worth it. Never again will I have to explain to a Norton/adblock user how their computer works and can invest this time more wisely. Playing with my baby for example. :)
Some images are currently "lost" in the transition, I'm aware of this and will fix it - after I've taken the baby on a pram-ride. Cyas!