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The Internet

iVillage Renounces Pop-up Advertising 295

ceejayoz writes "iVillage.com, a popular women's portal, announced today that it is getting rid of pop-up advertising on its site after a survey of their users found 95% considered it the most annoying part of the Internet. Lets hope they can prove there are other, less annoying advertising models that work!"
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iVillage Renounces Pop-up Advertising

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  • Lets hope they can prove there are other, less annoying advertising models that work

    Do popups work?
    • Yes there are two better ones...
      1) Have such good product that people will want it regardless (Assumes you don't have competition)
      Or 2) Have such a good product that word of mouth spreads and people buy it


      • Yes there are two better ones...
        1) Have such good product that people will want it regardless (Assumes you don't have competition)
        Or 2) Have such a good product that word of mouth spreads and people buy it

        Uhh, those aren't "advertising methods". Neither of those requires any advertising at all, and they certainly don't explain how iVillage is going to make money.

        -a
        • Umm, that's wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TibbonZero ( 571809 )
          Actually, read 'The Tipping Point'. Its a book on behavior of people, and it ties in closely with advertising and marketing. Word of mouth AND having a good product (for the companies selling the product, not those trying to sell popups), are good and effective forms of advertisment.

          You telling someone that Alienware computers are the best things have you have ever touched, and that linux rocks- does alot more for the products than banners and popups that say "BUY ALIENWARE NOW!!!" or "LINUX ROCKS YOUR BOX".

          Seriously, were you drawn to Linux or slashdot because of a popup? Or was it because of talking to people and because they in all seriousness are awesome products and services?
          Word of mouth is advertising, and it can be done actively. Giving employees the product for free (if it's highly visable or catchy), will get them to tell others about it and for others to see the benefits. Think Cable ISPs, when they started (and now), most of them gave their service free to their employees. Do you think that this lost them money? No, it gave them money, because all their friends saw how much it rocked their 56K modems, and got it ASAP. They didn't need popups, banner or spam to do it- an awesome product and hearing it from someone else is advertisment in itself

          Now this doesn't make iVillage money, but why did they need such agressive advertising in the first place. I personally wouldn't serve though them anyway. I would probably go through someone that I would pay some sum of money a month to host, rather than having banners. In addition, if you are paying for it, they will probably support you better- ever tried to call Geocities about scripting problems on their server, or asking them if they would update to Perl 5.6?

          • I think you missed the point of the article and the OP's question. The question is "how can iVillage make money without popups", not "how can you advertise Linux without popups". That's fine that you wouldn't serve through them, but since you are not their customer they have no reason to respect your opinion.

            -a
            • True, but even if you do online advertising like by selling ad like they do, they should do it more sanely- like Google does. It shouldn't be crazy, and when I look up 'Horses' I don't want to see popups of women with them... (like some sites do).
              They could do more tasteful advertising. I personally leave sites that have popups and all that crap instantly, and find some nice open source place that doesn't resort to guerilla tactics of advertising

              • Well, I don't particularly like popup ads, but I have to admit that they are effective at making me read them (except when I have popups disabled). The Slashdot ads are effective at making me read them too because they are large and animated. When I see those ads inline on online newspapers, I find them very distracting and I have a hard time reading the story, so in some senses I actually prefer popups (except for the popups that hover over top of the story).

                Of course I would prefer not to read ads, but I'm not naive enough to believe that very many websites could survive without them. Many of those open source sites you mentioned will probably be out of business soon. I subscribe to a few sites, but the web would be a much different place if you couldn't read all sorts of content without an annual subscription fee. (I would like to see a widespread deployment of micropayments, though.)

                -a
      • ummm...

        1) Have such good product that people will want it regardless (Assumes you don't have competition)

        Good product should not be confused with only product. Oh, and I dare you to find anyone who would prefer a total lack of options to a little advertising (assuming they don't work for MS PR).

        Or 2) Have such a good product that word of mouth spreads and people buy it

        yep, cause that's sure been working for the Alpha, Mozilla and the *nix desktop so far...
        Face it, no matter how annoying some advertising is - it's impossible for any company to achieve a decent amount of success without it. Advertising is a necessary evil and a major driving force in our economy which DOES work.
        Ask yourself this: as annoyed as you might be, if you suddenly had a need for a tiny hidden camera... where would you go to buy it?

        • yep, cause that's sure been working for the Alpha, Mozilla and the *nix desktop so far...
          Face it, no matter how annoying some advertising is - it's impossible for any company to achieve a decent amount of success without it.


          Err;

          *cough* *cough*

          AMD.

          Thaaaaaank you.

          For many years (err, months? whatever, fiscal quarters or something like that) after the K7 line of CPUs where first introduced, OEMs refused to carry them, but AMD continued to sell them. How? Word of mouth. People got the word out, a ton. Entire labs where stocked full of AMD x86 CPUs thanks to people having read reviews of the product online and looking at the price/performance graphs of the product. And that was without a decent motherboard choice to boot. . . . heh. Now that the K7 line of x86 CPUs has a wonderful and diverse line of motherboards behind it running on a wide range and combination of chipsets, nobody can imagine an Intel only CPU world again with AMD just barely playing on the sidelines.

          Never Doubt The Power of The Users.

          w00t.
        • Ask yourself this: as annoyed as you might be, if you suddenly had a need for a tiny hidden camera... where would you go to buy it?

          That's hilarious. I can't even think of another vendor of these except the master of pop ups/unders. Damn you X10.

        • Face it, no matter how annoying some advertising is - it's impossible for any company to achieve a decent amount of success without it.

          That's a bit simplistic. My company has a $0 advertising budget, and for the third consecutive year we grown at a rate exceeding 100% (yes, we have OVER doubled growth every year since the inception of the company). I know of a number of other companies that have done the same here in Detroit. It's not only possible, it happens frequently.

          Ask yourself this: as annoyed as you might be, if you suddenly had a need for a tiny hidden camera... where would you go to buy it?

          Surveillance Solutions (www.surveillancesolutions.com), which I heard about from someone else who used them.

      • Have such a good product that word of mouth spreads and people buy it
        Like Google. AFAIK, they've never done advertisements.
  • by RumGunner ( 457733 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:21PM (#3974993) Homepage
    The administrators of women's websites really ARE smarter than the administrators of men's websites.

    .
    • You know, that whole "women are smarter than men" thing. Take a deep breath guys. The workday is almost over.
    • Nice try, but doing what your patrons just about force you to do doesn't make you smart, just sane. Compare that wit some place like Google.com, that avoided banner ads all together, as well as popups, when those things were unequivically accepted... Now that tooks smarts.

      • Just my two cents... I do a lot of ecommerce related things for a living. Among them is managing online advertising for clients. Google AdWords typically gives me an average 4-5% click-through rate (CTR). On the more specific keywords, the rate can be around 20%. The industry average CTR for banner ads is less than 1%. Granted, banner ads aren't as targeted as search term specific phrases, but that's one heck of a discrepancy.

        It's also worth noting that my AdWords programs even pull in slightly more traffic than comparable Overture campaigns (on average). Overture is the company that serves up those "sponsored links" on Yahoo, MSN, AskJeeves, Lycos, WebCrawler and AltaVista, among others. My experience are purely antidotal, but it seems that people respond better to targeted, relevant advertising (even if they know it's paid advertising) versus the heavy-handed or shady tactics used by most 'net marketers.
  • by yorick ( 4133 ) <yorick.nospam@visi@com> on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:25PM (#3975019)
    From the article:

    "Instead, the company will focus on alternative ad formats, including variably sized standard ad units and pop-under ads, as well as ad placements in newsletters and member mailings."

    So instead they're sending you physical junk-mail or having pop-unders. That's a big improvement.
    • I was just on my way to post something about this myself. I guess I'm just confused or something, but I classify "pop-up" and "pop-under" ads as the same thing: they open an unrequested browser window to display an ad.

      I wonder how many people would object to pop-under ads if the survey in question had clearly asked about them?

      So instead they're sending you physical junk-mail or having pop-unders.

      I got the impression that they were talking about electronic newsletters and mailings. Bad, but not quite as bad as physical junk mail. At least they're not creating any garbage.
    • Physical mail you can at least throw away. And it comes all at once. You get you mail, sort into junk/not junk, toss the junk pile into the trash, and you're good for another day. Pop-ups you have to close every time you go to a new page.

      And pop-unders at least don't steal the window focus, so you can work w/o interruption until you're done with the browser. (I.e., it's closer to the do it all at once model of junk mail)
      • And pop-unders at least don't steal the window focus
        No, they do something worse. The window that spawned them steals the window focus.
        And some pop-under ads are very poorly designed, such that when using IE (yes, I'm a poor sap that uses IE), the taskbar buttons [for the main window and the pop-under] flicker repeatedly for about 2 seconds after the window opens (trying to steal focus from each other?).
        • But since 9 times out of 10 the window that spawned them is the one you're using, you're fine. (At least for me, I hardly ever switch to another window before it's loaded enough to spawn the windows.)

          As for the flashing, it's just letting you know that the window may need you attention. For instance, AIM flashes its chat windows when you get a message so you know to go look. There's an Windows API function -- BOOL FlashWindow(hwnd, TRUE) -- that will do it.
          • (I hardly ever switch to another window before it's loaded enough to spawn the windows)
            I do; when viewing forums on various sites, I'll shift+click on a bunch of threads to open them in new windows (so I don't have to wait for them to load; said sites are generally rather slow).
            As for the flashing, it's just letting you know that the window may need you attention. There's an Windows API function -- BOOL FlashWindow(hwnd, TRUE) -- that will do it.
            Ah, but that function only flashes the taskbar icon on/off about twice per second. Those pop-unders generally flash it at about 20-30 times per second, making it considerably more annoying.
            • I do the shift-click think on forums too, but tghe ones I visit (no longer) have pop-ups.

              As for the flashing, I haven't seen it. I just assumed it was the flashing thing I've seen other windows do, but I gyess that may not be it. (I have hide taskbar on, so I usually don't see it.)
      • Give me a break. You'd rather receive junk mail physically than go through the effort of closing a browser window? Heck ... atleast pop-whatever does not involve cutting down trees.

        The problem for most online advertising is the lack of targetting ... and the lack of quality advertisers (looks like about 50-80 companies account for 90% of the ads). NOT the delivery mechanism. A well targetted advertisement of relevance to you will be tolerated even if it pops out of your rear end.

        For example, I'm in the market here in Hong Kong for a car. I'd love to see ads for used car dealerships (back to my lack of advertisers), financing etc. The only people who have recently surveyed me on this are my bank when I went in to deposit a check. The teller interrupted the deposit process (a real life pop-up) and asked me a few questions, which I answered... assuming some relevance to my situation.

        The bank now sends me email about car-financing, insurance which is half education and half advertising AND gives me the option of opting out.

        I get popups when I visit my online bank, reminding me / offering me relevant products.. I don't mind them.

        What I mind are the dumb-arse X10 ads and gambling offers, Orbitz adverts when I go to wash-post. These advertisers have no clue that I'm in Hong Kong and I have no interest or ability to use their products / websites. Back to my point about targetting.
    • No physical mail (Score:2, Informative)

      by ancarett ( 221103 )
      So instead they're sending you physical junk-mail or having pop-unders. That's a big improvement.

      Fifty percent correct. As a former iVillage consultant, I can tell you that the newsletters [ivillage.com] and member mailings to which they refer are online-only. It isn't perfect, but it's a nice step forward.
  • popups are annoying (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vicegrip ( 82853 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:28PM (#3975045) Journal
    In fact, managing windows in general is annoying. Popups are also a bad idea because users now have (at least for people using mozilla) the ability to block them easily.

    I personally think the best compromise is the large box at the beginning of the story approach: you have to look at it, but since the article wraps around it, the feel is akin to reading a magazine page.

    A well targetted add like that gets my attention and often a click-through.
  • by Jonny Ringo ( 444580 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:28PM (#3975046)
    their users found 95% considered it the most annoying part of the Internet.

    Man, no wonder there doesn't seem to be any women on /. . Apperently they are all haning out at iVillage thinking its the internet. :-)
  • Lets hope they can prove there are other, less annoying advertising models that work!

    Is there any evidence that any Internet advertising works? As I type this I'm looking at a banner ad for NewsForge on Slashdot. OSDN advertising on OSDN. The popups of today are like the banners of two years ago. It seems like they should work, but they really don't.

    • People just haven't figured out what works yet. They keep trying to use the old advertising models on a media they don't understand.

      Compare television ads to radio ads to newspaper ads to magazine ads. They are all different. And none of them will work with the internet.
  • by halftrack ( 454203 ) <jonkje@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:29PM (#3975061) Homepage
    Where does user surveys often appear? In pop-ups.
  • Sympathy clicks? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 10 Speed ( 519184 )
    Does anyone ever click through on an add (regardless of type or style) as a 'thank you' when they find a site they like, or usefull information?

    assuming most advertising models reward for clicks...
    • I think that's a legitimate question, but I personally have never done that. I'm of two minds, because it sounds like an okay idea, but on the other hand I really don't like web ads.

      What really cheeses me off, though, is when I accidentally click an ad. I just hate the idea that I just gave somebody a click-through without really meaning to.
    • I've done it some, mainly with sites friends run or sites of web-games I really enjoy...
  • People need to pay at least as much attention to ads on the Net as they do to TV and newspaper ads, but good Net ads should not be annoying.

    My proposal: Net ads should be good sized -- maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the screen area, and mostly text with an image or two. The content of the page should be partly above the ad and partly under it, so you have to scroll past it. The advertiser should be able to specify CSS info for the ad to make it unique. Ads should be informative and interesting. No Flash or Java, just use Web standards.

    It might be slightly annoying, but at least you don't have to use your mouse to click on a tiny area to close a window. Just scroll the wheel or press PgDn. And you don't have to have an annoying animated GIF in the corner of your eye when you're reading an article!

    This kind of ad *should* be sufficient to support good content. I suggested it to the LWN folks but I'm not sure if they went for it. The problem with LWN's ads right now is they're too easy to miss, and that's probably why they're not getting much ad income.
    • by Reziac ( 43301 )
      Actually, I'm much more likely to ignore a large ad -- the bigger the ad and the more of the page it takes up, the quicker I scroll past it looking for the content. Also, the more intrusive the ad, the more it's likely to impress me as bogus.

      Whereas two-line text ads get my attention somewhere around half the time -- at least enough to skim the ad for content. If it looks interesting, I'm much more likely to follow it, and I tend to assume that a text ad is legit -- after all it wasn't shouting in my face like a snake-oil salesman.

    • We're too near the saturation point. Ads have gone from mildly to extremely annoying.

      The ultimate conclusion of advertiser desperation will be Spam that trips you on the sidewalk and yells at you until you reach for your wallet.

      I boycott all products in ads in ads now. If I can remember the product in an ad, I assume that its overpriced to pay for the ad and likely no good and buy the competition instead.

      I hate pop-ups and resent having to deal (harshly) with them. I used to zap or mute TV ads. Then I threw out the set. There's nothing worth watching.

      I flip past Ads in magazines (those few left that I bother to buy since they're nothing but BS and ads now anyway.) There's no friggin content left anymore.

      The solution is for the eradication of unindexed, "Cowboy Content Creation" by forcing and enforcing XML-generated pages and industry standard DTDs for indexing.

  • I have been using mozilla as my main browser for a long time now. Back in the early 0.9.x series, mozilla allowed for specific JavaScript functionality to be turned off, things that are responsible for pop-ups and other miscellaneous annoyances. Mozilla has kept my eyes from pop-ups for about a year. I only see pop-ups when I am forced to use IE and when that happens I shudder.
  • Mozilla! (Score:5, Informative)

    by -tji ( 139690 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:40PM (#3975123) Journal
    This used to be the most annoying aspect of Internet browsing for me. But, since converting to Mozilla, it's a non-factor. No more popups!

    To disable popups & other annoyances:

    Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Scripts & Windows

    de-select: Open Unrequested Windows, Move or Resize Windows, & Raise or Lower Windows

    This feature, along with Tabbed browsing, are the web browser killer features.
    • Mozilla is only part of the solution. Mozilla+Junkbuster is the best combination. I don't see *any* ads.
      • Just have to wave the flag here for OmniWeb [omnigroup.com]. I've been using it for almost a year, and I've found it to be superior in every way to Mozilla. Only for Mac OS X, of course.
      • Junkbuster is nice, but I can't be bothered with it anymore. I just use Mozilla's 'block images from this server' feature to remove banners from the pages that I use a lot.
    • Mozilla's a nice browser, but don't go touting features that don't work. Case in point:
      1. I have "Open Unrequested Windows" unchecked
      2. I visit http://www.nytimes.com/ [nytimes.com]
      3. I am greeted with this [geocities.com]
      4. A quick check reveals that Mozilla's highly-touted anti-popup feature was easily defeated by this line of HTML:
        <img src="http://graphics7.nytimes.com/ads/usga/blank.g if" onLoad="window.open('http://ad.doubleclick.net/adi /N2870.ny/B961809;sz=720x300;ord=2002.07.30.11.41. 57','MyWindow','toolbar=no,directories=no,status=y es,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=7 20,height=300, top=0');window.focus();" BORDER=0">
      Have the folks at The NYTimes found some undefeatable method of forcing popup ads onto our screens? No -- OmniWeb [omnigroup.com] is blissfully immune. Mozilla should be too, but it's not.
      • OK, I clicked all your links while running Mozilla 1.0.

        Still waiting for the popups to appear...

        Still waiting...

        Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap

        Ahh, screw it. I've got better things to do that wait for a popup window that will never come.

        Seriously I never see popup, popunder or any other kind of windows I don't request under Mozilla. I have each of the following items unchecked:
        • Open unrequested windows
        • Open a link in a new window
        • Move or resize existing windows
        • Raise or lower windows
        • Change status bar text.
        The rest I leave as is because they are useful. I also have cookies and images blocked from most anyone who is likely to be ad related, including doubleclick and the like. Certain less offensive sites don't get blocked. (slashdot for one) I also block cookies from any site I do not have a direct business relationship or account with. (I can always unblock them later if I need to) End result is that I have a fast and largely annoyance free web experience.

  • by xSterbenx ( 549640 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:44PM (#3975154)
    I have no idea about the facts and figures of how many people actually look at pop-up ads before they close them. I myself don't even _see_ them, since as soon as I hear the little *click* of a new browser openning, I go to the bottom of the screen and close it before it even comes up.

    This leads me to this: assuming that very few people even bother to look at the ads, there must exist some portion that do, or else they wouldn't still be around. My idea would be for websites to have ONE (and only one) browser popup when you first enter their website (either through front page or links). This Browser can contain multiple ads, say 5-10. You are then free to peruse these at your leisure, or you can can close it down and not have to worry about any more popping up, at least while your webbrowser remains. This way, ads can still be shown, but only once, which is much less annoying.

    • This leads me to this: assuming that very few people even bother to look at the ads, there must exist some portion that do, or else they wouldn't still be around.

      I disagree. Think about it. It's trivial to write some JS code that opens a pop-up in somebody elses browser. The bandwidth hit to deliver that little extra code is neglible. Webmasters and their minions can serve this junk without regards to who is looking at it, and the more the better. I think this is simply a dinosaur that is perpetuated by the glut of technically inept decision makers in our line of work.

      I empathize for those who need to make a $ from whatever content they offer on their web sites (I work for a state government agency; We just do things to make the govt. look good, cost be damned). But "HEY LOOK OVER HERE!" advertising just isn't gonna cut it no matter how many hits you get.

      I do think layout similar to that of print magazines and newspapers could be effective. Make the advertising a more soothing part of the content. It doesn't hurt to make it relevant to your audience either. Not everybody wants a X10 camera to violate someone's Fourth Amendment rights.

  • by siberian ( 14177 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @07:49PM (#3975185)
    iVillage, long known as an innovator of portal technology and the first portal to adopt a 'no pop-up ad' filed for bankruptcy today when it was discovered that by eliminating pop-up advertising removed what little ad revenue that was remaining. While 95% of the users felt pop-up's to be the most annoying part of the internet, 100% were annoyed when they ceased operations.
  • How do you feel about Pop-ups:
    *I love them
    *I hate them
    *I like to be surprised
    *Stealing my windows focus and _then_ having the nerve to try and sell me something is a dumb idea
    *I just set my computer to ignore them so fire away
    *If you could sell ad-busting software, but still make it generate a click on the ad, so the advertising company got false data - then you'd be onto something
    *I like it when it just pops-up - it makes me feel attractive!
    *I like it when CowboyNeal pops-up - other things irritate me.

    Next thing you know, companies will realise that 'paying money' is something that customers hate the most, so they will stop charging for things and use creative accounting to make money.
  • Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Restil ( 31903 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @08:05PM (#3975280) Homepage
    I don't care much for any type of advertising, but I'm willing to tolerate and accept it if its nonintrusive. A solitary banner ad at the top of the page is more or less expected at this point. I barely notice, and every once in a while I might even glance at it. A popup ad however annoys me before it even displays its contents. I'm already closing the window. I don't care what it says. I don't care how awesome the product might be. All I know is that its in the way. You lost me before you ever had a chance to tell me who you were or what you were about. In fact, blocking popups is easy. Certainly easier than blocking banner ads of multiple sizes. All I see of it is a waste of time. The internet newbies might pay attention for a little while before they figure it out. And the population of internet newbies is dwindling.

    Targeted ads ala google make much more sense, especially with their low-key approach to it. First off, it will probably be for something I'm interested in, so even if its not in line for what I'm searching for, at least it won't annoy me. And secondly, I might actually click on it. I've clicked through on google's ads on several occasions, typically when I'm looking for prices on things. The advertising actually serves a somewhat useful purpose. Imagine that. The popup advertisers need to figure this out. Before the existance of those ads is the reason people stop visiting certain sites.

    -Restil
  • Disable Javascript (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @08:05PM (#3975281) Journal
    I'm amazed at the resistance I get... I think it's time to start the 'campaign to disable javascript everywhere'. Javascript is EVIL. It's like a C++ compiler on your local machine, accessible to anyone who's sites you visit. The only thing they've done is remove those functions that outright allow damage to be done. But every day, another insecure javascript feature is found, just recently Internet Explorer and Opera were found vulnerable to the same javscript bug.

    What does it take to convince people? If you disable javascript, you will not longer have popup ads, no more cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, no more security exploits (we've been lucky that nobody really attempts tp exploit them, we talk about windows boxes having exploits, but all machines are vulnerable to javascript), and more.

    So please, disable javascript. You can still use almost all sites without it. It will make you more secure, and have a much happier browsing experience.
    • I'm even more of a reprobate. I use an old browser (NS3.04) by *preference*, with images AND javascript turned off.. what's amazing is that (barring Stupid Navigation Tricks) 90% of the web works BETTER this way than with a modern and fully-loaded browser!

      About a year ago there was an article in Web Techniques magazine (now retitled New Architect) which opined that js should NEVER be used except for cosmetic effect. The article also noted that about 30% of users either have js off by choice, or are behind corporate firewalls that strip js.
      That's a helluva lot of potential customers to blow off just because one's webmaster is in love with js. B&M stores figure they can't afford to offend more than 5%.

      • I use lynx by preference, what in the world do you need netswcape for? However, the ability to turn image-loading on on a window by window basis is nice.

        At the moment, I'm forced into netscape because I can't get EXTERNAL to function properly in lynx any more (to launch new pages).
        EXTERNAL:http:xterm -e lynx %s &:TRUE
        *used* to launch a new lynx in its own xterm, but it no longer seems to do so.

        hawk

        • I love NS3, but I don't like Lynx :) However ... I do test my pages with Mosaic 0.99, as a check on how structures like tables degrade in pure text browsers like Lynx (or its DOS cousins Bobcat and NetTamer, which I've used occasionally). That way I know whether at least the main content is visible to all!!

    • use mozilla (Score:4, Informative)

      by ragnar ( 3268 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @09:32PM (#3975670) Homepage
      In reality, there aren't that many javascript exploits occuring these days. There are many very useful features of JavaScript. Sure, I could live without it, but my solution is to use Mozilla. By doing this I prevent sites from opening windows and doing other nasty things.
      • Not only do I use Mozilla, but I use Privoxy as well (allowing me to strip any tags I like, or modify them as I like). You are correct in that Mozilla's configuration can disable popup ads. You are wrong that there aren't many javascript exploits, and that it serves some useful purpose.
        Have you ever found your web browser to not accept your motions? Typically a sign that a javascript alert is hidden somewhere, and you can't access any browser windows until you close it (once you find it). This is especially a problem because anyone can create an infinite loop of alerts... Giving you no choice but to kill your browser. Hope you had bookmarked those 50 browser windows you had open.

        In fact, when I first tried privoxy (ijbswa at the time) I did just as you suggested, and filtered out all those javascript functions that could possibly cause problems... Disable javascript cookies, on[un]load functions, alerts, on mouse overs (which can be used to launch a window, just from moving your mouse over the link/page). The truth is, when I was done, not only were just about all javscript functions disabled, but since javascript was enabled, I wasn't taking advantage of the 'noscript' tags, meaning my browsing was even more crippled from filtering rather than disabling. And above all, i would still have been just as vulnerable to all the javscript exploits.

        Speaking of exploits, they are comming out often, and they are manjor bugs. The sole redeeming factor is that they aren't in the wild too often... Think of javascript exploits like buffer overflows, before they got popular. They're still there, they just haven't seen their hay-day yet.
    • I completely disagree with your statement. While JavaScript might serve only aesthetic purposes when creating Web sites, it is an absolute necessity for creating Web-based applications.

      To analogize JavaScript to a C++ compiler is pure sensationalism. JavaScript in its current iteration is designed to securely execute unknown and therefore potentially malevolent code. There are no flaws in the specification of the language, only in various implementations. Your statement that brand X Web browser is broken [pivx.com] doesn't make your analogy any more relevant, as software from that company tends to be that way. If you're after security, I suggest upgrading your browser to one developed by folks who tend to be more careful in building their product and have a better history of responding to security issues.

      If you want to avoid the annoyances of JavaScript, I suggest that you just don't visit sites with annoying ads. iVillage, Inc., being a for-profit corporation, isn't getting rid of pop-up advertising to improve your Internet experience, they are doing it to gain and keep visitors.

  • Lets hope they can prove there are other, less annoying advertising models that work!"

    The only for of advertising I feel works is highly targeted ads, be it in print, tv, or online. That is why google makes money. (they do, right?) They can target ads to be things user actually may want to see, imagine that!

    Make users see a big annoying ad. Let them remove that ad by letting them take a survey. Promise to never email them or sell their address, unless the user opts in to a specific thing. Highly target ads from then on, which are less in people's face, using the information gathered. That is my subscription for web site advertising success.

    -Pete
  • just as they do in the magazine industry. Blow-in cards (those pesky things that invariably litter your lap as you read) must work or advertisers wouldn't pay for them. The same goes for their online equivalents. At least many sites employ pop-under ads to spare us the immediate interruption.

    Kim Brooks identifies the problem well in the article "Advertising: A Cry for Usability [clickz.com]." Brooks points out that advertisers are trying too hard to get their message in front of the consumers, and in so doing, they turn off the consumers. She continues suggesting the best advertisements are those designed to help the consumer, enumerating targeted search results, e-mail list sponsorship, and sponsored default web bookmark lists as laudible forms of advertising. If only the advertisers would pay attention!

    [BTW: You can get rid of those pesky X-10 ads for 30 days at a time by visiting their opt-out page [x10.com] which I found in their customer service FAQ.]

  • by skidgetron ( 593733 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @08:20PM (#3975365)
    In a shocking turn of events, it turns out that 99% of slashdotters do NOT like pop-up windows. I for one am baffled by this. Thank you to the 100 people who cared enough to let us know with their comments. Back to you Jim.
  • ... has been around [mozilla.org] for some time now.
  • by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @10:39PM (#3975935)
    Lets hope they can prove there are other, less annoying advertising models that work!

    I've found in most any form of advertising that a quality ad draws more attention than an obnoxious ad. Perhaps more companies should turn to real advertising agencies for their web banners, rather than letting their make-shift inhouse marketing departments hack away at some animated gifs.

    ~LoudMusic
  • They'd do better to toss out all the damn ads, use a subscription model and maintain a high editorial standard and an interactive sense of community.

    The Web really sucks as an advertising medium and the traditional ones suck just as badly since the inversion of the remote only the advertisers haven't noticed until now how close (NOT FAR) their advertising dollar goes.

    Classify the web with XML-based generated HTML pages and some real search indexing, industry standard DTDs and maybe the web has a chance to be more that a tree falling in the forest (in the din of all the damn chain saws.)

    We have to get past the days of 'Cowboy Content Creation" where any moron can put up a page and only add to the noise.
  • ...is being the one who has to pay for the content.

    bart

    Just because the bubble burst doesn't mean a lesson was learned.
  • by caferace ( 442 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @11:38PM (#3976115) Homepage
    He's gonna kill me for this, but he has to find me first.

    Hi Jonathan.

    Back in the day (think Navigator 3.02 timeframe) at Netscape, the "home page" marketing team though spawning a new window would be nifty. With their PRD in hand, they turned to an engineer named Jonathan Feinstein.

    Jonathan might not have been the absolute first, but he certainly created the most visible pop-up example. Back then, Netscape had well over 50% market share and the vast majority of those users still used www.netscape.com as their home page. Millions of users were baffled by this new thing. And thousands of "web-designers" copied it.

    So there you go. I'll buy him a beer if I ever see him again.

    (NOTE: I warned him I'd do this years ago. I just forgot. PDF file of his evil intentions ;) [netscape.com]

  • Some facts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aengblom ( 123492 ) on Monday July 29, 2002 @11:43PM (#3976131) Homepage

    Fact: I work at a MAJOR news web site

    Fact: My company held off from pop-ups/flash until only recently

    Fact: My company has spent and continues to lose millions

    Fact: Numbers still continue to grow.

    Fact: Pop ups don't drive readers away. Or the very least, drive away fewer than the pop ups are worth.

    We hate them as much as the average user. NO we hate them more. (I WORK on a website which displays pop ups. Think about it.) Preview: Popup. Copy edit: Popup. Check out other departments work: Pop up. Pop up. Pop up.

    It's not the web sites that need to change. It's the advertisers. Popups=revenues as long as advertisers think they do.

    meanwhile. Just the other day on cbs.marketwatch I ran across a REAL VIDEO Ad. Wow.

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