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Old 01-20-2012, 03:57 PM
surfR2911 surfR2911 is offline
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Default New double underlined green advertising links..


I've was making a post in another thread and I noticed that some words are getting auto-converted into double underlined green advertising links (see attached screenshot).

Has this been going on for a while and I just missed it (due to senility or the fact that I just switched to a new updated Win7-based computer)?

Or is this being tested as a new form of advertising for MASMedia?
(I noticed it was underling the words like free and Microsoft for about a hour and now the underlining for those words are gone.)

I suggested in this recent post that MASMedia gives us some guidance as to it's advertising practices.
I guess info on this practice should added to such their stated policy guidance on advertising (should they choose to post it publicly).

But if this a permanent thing (or going to be) could we get a way to suppress such auto-text-advertising-link-inseretion with some kind of special tagging on a post by post basis.

Otherwise I'm going to have to add something to my signature tagline that is a disclaimed about such links and to avoid clicking on them.

edit:

Now the word computer in this post just got converted to an advertising link (not by me). see attached screenshot #2.

Last edited by surfR2911; 01-20-2012 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:44 PM
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I have noticed that happening for a while now, maybe months, but they are just annoying. I have to tiptoe my mouse around any word (Don't mouse over) that is marked as such so not to hit the landmines (ADs) I kinda feel like I'm playing minesweeper as my mouse moves over this website. These I can tolerate and they have not done anything to my computer as of yet.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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I thought this only happened to users who were not logged in.
Based on the screen shots I would say it also happens to registered users.
This is such a pity...
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:38 AM
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The word computer went straight to the advertisement (Dell) on me lol. I was just hovering my mouse over it. I guess some of them will autodirect to the source. Advertisement came up, there was a 1 second bar I saw hit 0 and then the site launched. So at least the landmines give a warning LOL.
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Last edited by ZaCkOX; 01-21-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:41 AM
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This form of advertising blight is common at forum sites, most have had it for many years. The bad ones pop up a loud audio/video Blade-Runner-blimp balloon ad. Welcome to unregulated free market capitalism.

Not much to be done, if you want forum services and your only choice is to get them from Wall Street traded firms... that's the price you pay. The pay-for-play model just doesn't seem viable on the 'Net.

To be fair, even at their worst the ads here have never been as bad as those you find at Web sites run by traditional newspaper organizations. Those are basically unreadable masses of Flash ads, GIF ads, Google ad-links, flyover floater ads, Thrombosis Junction ads, and whatever else they can wedge in - with about 160 words of content per page. They often double- or triple-load to try to "capture" your browser too. Plus a ton of the old Ajaxy "click click click" as I assume the page reports your presence to 400 or 1000 spam centers.

I'm not sure if this this pure screaming greed on their part, rank incompetance, or a collusionary practice meant to "prove" that Web news doesn't work. I suspect the latter very strongly however.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
This form of advertising blight is common at forum sites, most have had it for many years. The bad ones pop up a loud audio/video Blade-Runner-blimp balloon ad. Welcome to unregulated free market capitalism.

Not much to be done, if you want forum services and your only choice is to get them from Wall Street traded firms... that's the price you pay. The pay-for-play model just doesn't seem viable on the 'Net.

To be fair, even at their worst the ads here have never been as bad as those you find at Web sites run by traditional newspaper organizations. Those are basically unreadable masses of Flash ads, GIF ads, Google ad-links, flyover floater ads, Thrombosis Junction ads, and whatever else they can wedge in - with about 160 words of content per page. They often double- or triple-load to try to "capture" your browser too. Plus a ton of the old Ajaxy "click click click" as I assume the page reports your presence to 400 or 1000 spam centers.

I'm not sure if this this pure screaming greed on their part, rank incompetance, or a collusionary practice meant to "prove" that Web news doesn't work. I suspect the latter very strongly however.
I disagree with your points. I do not like to mention other sites but I can think of a few that operate just fine without going to the length of advertisement that this one has. Even if I omit the ones with huge bankrolls like MSDN, there's plenty. I'll even toss out a wildcard unrelated to programming forums.
  • Stack Overflow: single banner ad per page, heavily advertises other services on the same network. Dozens of sites. Tens of thousands of active users daily.
  • VB Forums: one "above the fold" banner ad outside the forum template. Two ads at the bottom of the page. Hundreds if not thousands of active users.
  • Experts Exchange: This hated resource has 1 banner ad per index page and several inline ads per page. But all ads are outside of the normal content. Been going strong for at least 8 years with thousands of daily users. It has a reputation as one of the most terrible examples of overzealous advertising. And it's tamer than XVBT.
  • Equestria Daily. One-stop My Little Pony news site, just hit its anniversary and 100,000,000th pageview. 2 sidebar banner ads, 1 at the bottom of the page.
Now, there are some economies of scale going on but I think this works both ways. Certainly a site with thousands of pageviews daily will demand a higher advertising rate than one with hundreds. But should it cost us as much to serve our smaller site as these big boys?

It reeks of little more than profiteering. I don't believe any defense that it is what's necessary. News sites aren't a good comparison; it's not my fault they took news delivery, something that has always cost money, and shot themselves in the foot by making it free online. This is a question and answers site, something that's always been a bit philanthropic. There's no reason we should stoop to the same levels as the big media providers, and I'm about ready to take this brain and relocate it to one of the sites mentioned above.
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Last edited by AtmaWeapon; 01-21-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:21 PM
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VB Forums has its ad woes too and uses InfoLinks or a clone like Vibrant.

Last edited by dilettante; 01-21-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:39 AM
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It does hurt readability. You try to emphasize certain important words to provide clarity in an explaination, and your bold and italics get drowned out in screamin' green.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:45 AM
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Funny thing: I visited each site in the list using IEx to get a good idea of what kinds of ads are served on each site. I visited several pages on each. (no clue what version's on my machine.) I have no plugins or ad blockers in IE because I never use it. I didn't see the underlined text in posts, and I'd hardly call "a single unobtrusive ad banner completely outside the forum content" "ad woes" compared to what I've seen on XVBT.

I was going to make a video to compare but right now XVBT is very acceptable. I'd take the double-underlined links (I always call it "intellitxt" because that was the first ad network using it I noticed) over obnoxious popover ads any day. However, it does seem like people *really* don't like those kinds of ads and I'm in a minority.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:58 AM
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As a regular user there I've seen all sorts of ad problems. There are a few threads on the subject in the Feedback forum there. Everything from pop-up "talkie" ads to things that screw up the page layout.

But they do have more active high-level moderation there and try to address the really nasty issues quickly.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:05 PM
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At the moment, I'm not seeing many advertisements, logged in, logged out, with or without scripts enabled.

I'm not counting on things staying this way (the site is still loading scripts for various advertising services), but these issues have been discussed at length by members in the past, and our concerns have been pointed out to the ownership multiple times. Hopefully they're reconsidering their approach toward advertising. I guess we wait and see what happens.

Edit: Spoke too soon. Intellitext balloon ads are back in action. For the record, I'll reiterate, these most certainly are not okay with me.
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Last edited by snarfblam; 01-23-2012 at 03:08 PM. Reason: because I hate those ads
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:28 PM
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I tried with SRWare Iron with Ghostery disabled, but besides the small adchoices ad on the bottom of each page I don't see any advertisements at all. Even the "Advertisement" at the right side of each page is empty...
Ghostery reports: AdNexus, Vibrant Ads, Google Adsense, Zanox
Vibrant Ads: uses IntelliTXT
http://www.ghostery.com/apps/vibrant_ads

I also tried IE9, cleared cache and cookies, did not log in, but no advertisements except for the small rectangle ad at the bottom of the page...

Update:
If a "search" is performed then I get about 12 Ghostery findings. In both IE9 and SRWare Iron. Then the advertisement on the right is also filled.
Attached Images
File Type: png GhosteryFindings.png (10.7 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by Flyguy; 01-23-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Viewers of my posts..

Flyguy,
I believe what you say - that a particular combination of browser/plugin combo can eliminate all the ads, but that's not the point.

The posts I make represent not only the forum, they represent ME!

I don't want to give the impression that I am inserting these funky text advertising links and I can't demand/force people who surf this forum to use a certain browser/plugin combo to avoid this situation.

That's why I suggested (for those who care about such things) that special markup tags be made available that prevents these green double underlined text advertisements from being introduced on a post by post basis.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:23 PM
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Thats a good point VB6Oldguy. Our posts do represent us. Posts should be off limits to ad grabbing scripts.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:56 AM
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VB6Oldguy, I didn't mean to say that you are incorrect. I just wanted to state that at this moment I hardly get any ads on a clean IE9 (no plugins, ad blockers etc). Maybe MASMedia is working on the advertisements right now ???

I strongly oppose against all these intruding advertisements, especially in our contributions.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:11 AM
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Default Thanks..

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
I strongly oppose against all these intruding advertisements, especially in our contributions.
Thanks for taking a stand.

I know you have said before that the views of forum moderators matter little in the owners administration of the site, but if enough of the forum's moderators, leaders and experts take a stand it does mean something.

One of the reasons I have stuck with the forum for so long is the persistent high quality of the forum and the moderators have a lot to do with that.

If MasMedia people can't see that part of the value of the "asset" they own may be in jeopardy it is to their discredit.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:47 AM
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Let's see, we could all write in underlined green, and let 'em try to slip any advertising links in there, eh? Or would that get on your nerves after awhile?

Sorry, bad idea.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:55 AM
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I have no problem with the site showing ads for its income. I just think the underlined words should be from the page descriptions, etc. , not the posts/threads. On the main page where it lists the forums and a small detail of each, thats a good place for the underlined word links for ads. I used to visit a site a few years back that just circled the outer edges of the screen with small ads. The forums were in the center and were left alone.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:49 PM
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Default Ads if you want them..(pull instead of push, with collapsible panels..)

Quote:
I used to visit a site a few years back that just circled the outer edges of the screen with small ads. The forums were in the center and were left alone.
The reason it short of died out is that the marketeers when crazy with the ads and the center content end up being shimmed into an ever tinier space necessitating multi-page vertical scrolling.

The way to get every pixel on a web page "earn it's keep" is very carefully thought out layering with collapsible/expandable panels.

The idea is to devote the most space to centered container containing content and then have rollout panels which only show a sliver of a tab along the sides.

If you do a search the effect is called an accordion.
An accordion that expands on mouseover is called a "hover accordion".

Thus, for example, searching for "jquery horizontal hover accordion examples" gives thousands of results.
Here's a few:
An Xbox 360 style jQuery Horizontal Accordion
An example of a multi-tab horizontal accordion (with shadowing)
The same sort of multi-tab accordion with snap easing and some source code
BySlide Ajax-driven horizontal slide out panel (screenshot) working sample is on this page (check out the "compressed" version down the page a ways)

You can even have horizontal tabs that respond to clicks (also notice the orientation of text on the tabs - this is how I envision an ad tab would show some "teaser text" or sliver image --with maybe with a more>> after it.

Of course I don't know compatible it would be with the vBulletin forum structure, but such code has been around for years and, in general, is fairly reasonably cross browser compatible.

edit - Here's what I was really envisioning
take a look at the way the brown tabs with vertically aligned text are stuck to the side of the web page. If they were stuck to the right side of the web page and extended out on click or rollover that is what I am thinking about for tucking away the ads so they take up minimal space unless people want to investigate the.

Last edited by surfR2911; 01-24-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:37 PM
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It can be annoying to dodge the land mines and if you accidentally roam over one you are doomed to whatever they planted. For me, I just keep the mouse off the screen near the scrollbar. Of course we can't expect a perfect forum without paying for it. Ads will probably have to be somewhere. Not saying you are wrong, I agree with changing it up but they have to make income somewhere. And that somewhere might stay this way lol, so for the time being, I am near the scrollbar.
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