Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Why ads?

Firstly, just wanted to say that my Thymeleaf Layout Dialect has been updated to version 1.0.4 which fixes one reported bug (a small one for me, but could be a big one depending on your own use cases) and a few niggling Maven issues. Download bundles are already up on that page (and on GitHub), whereas the artefacts on Maven Central should show up in a few hours.

Secondly, I've been getting quite a few propositions to display ads on my website recently. I don't know if anything's happened in the last 2 months (my analytics seem to show relatively flat visitor numbers for that period), but I've been getting my fair share of queries, asking if there is room on this site (or on specific URLs) for some ads, and a helluva lot more of the e-mails asking me to join link exchange networks which I've trained my junk mail filter to send straight to the spam folder.

I've been an avid user of Adblock ever since I started using Firefox years and years ago, and I usually have an ad-free browsing experience from my home/work computers or mobile phone (mobile Firefox, w00t!). I wish I could say the same for Safari on the iPad... all that has done is remind me that internet ads are still as annoying in 2012 as they were pre-2005.

Annoying ad banner

So some ads do sneak by, and I still hate the ones which are flashy attempt-to-distract-me ads that seem to have no relevance whatsoever to the website I'm currently viewing - 7 years of hiding those ads from me has not made me miss them one iota. However, I've started to notice that the ones that don't try to pull at my eyeballs with strong colours or animations and actually go out of their way to blend with the current content, I've started to appreciate. It might be the owners of the websites to thank for that, going out of their way to screen what kind of advertising they're showing, but in the last 3 months I've actually clicked on a few such relevant-for-the-site ads, resulting in some online purchases that became really cool birthday presents for friends and family.

Ads for funny t-shirts on comedy sites like Cracked or The Onion? I'm down with that. But sensationalist ads that attempt to get me to find out how a 50-year-old woman can look 20 years younger on Cracked or The Onion? WTF?!? (I thought advertisers were supposed to employ sneaky browser cookies to understand their audience? If they did, then they'd know that looking younger isn't exactly something I'm looking to do.)

So some ads do work. If I were to consider what kind of ads might be relevant on a site like this, my answer would be: none.

The way I see it, this is a personal website of several unrelated ideas. I have no brand, and I have nothing to sell except my opinions and experiences (both of which people are happy to give away for free - just look at the success of social media), some amateur images, a few short stories, a mod for a game released over a decade ago, and some very small open source programming libraries.

The theme here seems to be everything and anything. And with criteria like that, there's no ad that I can see that could ever be relevant here.

So I'll continue saying 'no' to ad propositions for the foreseeable future - especially the persistent ones who insist it'll help offset the running costs of this site! The money required to run this place is low enough that I don't mind it, and the time required to run this place is something I'm willing to spend, and have enjoyed spending these last 10+ years.