Oflate, the number of flash ads is increasing leaps and bounds. Perhaps, with the wider adoption of broadband, it’s no big a deal to let a fat ad take up some of the bandwidth. However, the number of flash ads per page is also increasing. With everyone trying to take the top and one of the sides areas for ad displaying, there are atleast two ads per page, if not more, and the chances of both being flash ads is only increasing.
But the biggest problem is, these flash ads are really flashy. Which is quite a bit of distraction. I can sit 10 feet away from a TV and watch a lot of change on the screen. But sitting a feet or two away from a small monitor, the pain these flashy ads cause is intolerable. On top of it, many of these ads have looping on. If only the Macromedia guys provide an option for the end users to decide if the entire flash content can loop or not! So, these ads are network hog, memory hog, CPU hog and with the soaring energy prices, they are also costing the end user!
So, what can be done to ban these unwanted ads? That’s where GreaseMonkey comes into picture. First, switch to Firefox and then get the GreaseMonkey plugin. Then install the Flash Blocker user script and you are set. Also, search for other user scripts that block Google ads and other ads. Another of my favorite user script is the one that converts all the mailto links to normal text with an explicit mail image. So, before you click and bite your tongue while the OLE/COM/DCOM or whatever it is doing it’s magic to open up your favorite mail composer, you know before hand that it’s an email link.
Back to ads. Ads are fundamentally not evil. Ofcourse, who doesn’t enjoy very creative ads now and then shown on the TV? Imagine watching a TV show which has ads every 1 minute. Same with these flashy, large space occupying ads. When something is not annoying people can bear with it. Otherwise, they will try to find every possible way to get rid of it.
Take Google ads for example. It was a huge success. Among various other reasons, for the simple fact that they are not flashy and distracting. However, the Google guys got gready. Instead of “will index every page on the web”, they sort of became “will put an ad on every page on the web”. Net result? I started looking for a way to knock of such ads as well. And with GreaseMonkey plugin, and some excellent user scripts, I am able to get rid of some, if not all, those Google ads.
So, my advice to anyone is, don’t get too gready.