please whitelist erosblog in your ad blocker

Recently a helpful commenter took pains to let me know that the display of one of my posts had been compromised by his adblocker software. Apparently “on by default” in his browser of choice was some software that simply refuses to display any affiliate links. Since half of my very brief post was words that served as anchor text for two affiliate links, his adblocker made an unpleasant nonsense of his user experience.

This is one of those problems of the times for which there simply aren’t any good answers. He thought I needed to sort it out, but there simply isn’t a solution that’s within my power. His adblocker is software that he chose; I can’t control what it does.

Ad Blocking And The Open Web

I’m old enough to remember the popup wars. We don’t see popups so much any more, but they used to be everywhere. I had an editorial standard: to the best of my ability and knowledge, I wouldn’t link to anyplace that used them. This made ErosBlog a rare and (I like to think) unusually-excellent reader experience in the adult space. But most publishers did use them, and as Corey Doctorow wrote in 2019 for EFF, online advertising behavior got so obnoxious that it spawned an ad-blocking software arms race:

Internet users didn’t take this situation lying down. [T]hey started to install ad-blockers. A lot of ad-blockers, and more every year.

Ad-blockers don’t just stop users from seeing ads…. They can also stop the publishers and marketers who rely on tracking and ad-clicks from earning money. Predictably, industry responded with ad-blocker-blockers, which prevented users from seeing their sites unless they turned off their ad-blocker.

You’ll never guess what happened next.

Actually, it’s obvious what happened next: users started to install ad-blocker-blocker-blockers.

The rise and rise of ad-blockers (and ad-blocker-blocker-blockers) is without parallel: [in 2019] 26% of Internet users are now blocking ads, and the figure is rising. It’s been called the biggest boycott in human history.

It’s only gotten worse since then. More ads, more ad blockers, more on-by-default ad-blocking features in browsers.

The Path To Hell

I have nothing but sympathy for my readers who rely on ad blockers. Whenever I surf to a news site or another low quality content portal that takes minutes to load and reveals the text I want to read only in one tiny window surrounded by all kinds of shifting/relocating ads that try to mimic navigational elements or obscure the article unless I can precisely click one tiny “x”, I feel your pain. On most of the open web, ads are out of control. Publishers are not covering costs with ads, so they run more ads, including more intrusive ads. This isn’t just a race to the bottom; it’s a race to hell.

That’s also the road to social media silos: the internet becomes five websites, each of them full of screenshots of the others. You’re semi-safe in a silo; the owner farms you and sells your identity and attention to his advertisers, but in exchange he controls the user experience to make it less toxic than the worst offenders of the open web. But mostly, porn isn’t welcome there.

A few “premium content portals”, usually newspapers, try to charge you a subscription, if they can master paywall technology and have access to credit card billing. This model only works for the biggest and most expensive adult websites, though, because credit card billing in adult is so expensive and hard to secure. Small independent sites in adult are a challenge to sustain, because there’s no cost-effective way to charge small sums of money for access. Get big or go home.

Outside the adult space, free content on the open web is mostly clickbait that can go viral on the social media sites. That low-quality virality model isn’t open to adult publishers, though, because adult content usually isn’t allowed to go viral on social media. And everything that’s free-to-view is buried in hostile ad tech, forcing you to play whack-a-mole with your browser and read the content as if peeping through a tiny window between the ads that fill your screen.

No, I don’t blame anyone for using ad blockers. Welcome to hell. We live here now.

The Path Forward: Patronage

I can’t control what other publishers do. Here at ErosBlog, I’ve striven to keep advertising minimal and unobtrusive. A few well-behaved banners, not particularly close to the text or images you came here to see. A few obvious affiliate links. Just like it’s been since 2002. The web has changed, the market has changed, but I am old-fashioned and stubborn, so ErosBlog has changed slower and less.

Of course, that means not much revenue to speak of. ErosBlog is a tiny niche site in the grand scheme of things, and doesn’t have a lot of traffic. Minimal advertising displayed against modest traffic means beer money, not bills-paying money.

My treasured patrons help fill the gap. I love you all. By covering most of the direct cost of keeping the site running, you directly enable my stubborn refusal to admit that ErosBlog is a fossil artifact, the sort of website that shouldn’t exist in 2022. My gratitude for this is limitless.

Consider Whitelisting ErosBlog In Your Ad Blocker

A free adult website on the open web in 2022 is an anomaly, because it’s hard to pay for. A few patrons, a few sponsored posts, a few well-behaved ads, a few affiliate links — the four legs of a low stool, if we’re being honest. There’s a lot more I’d like to do with ErosBlog, but I mostly need to spend my time doing other stuff to pay my bills. The more I can bring in via the site, the more time I can spend working on it. It’s a direct relationship.

What can you do to help? Well, if you’re not already a patron, consider becoming one. That would be awesome. But something else you could do that won’t cost you a dime is to make sure that you aren’t blocking my ads and affiliate links. You don’t even have to click the ads or buy anything for this to help! When more people see the ads, it’s easier to sell the ads, and they go for more. Just allowing them on your screen is plenty enough.

If your browser has an adblocker, built-in or added on, and if that ad blocker is turned on, by default or by your choice, you’ll also have a whitelist feature in there somewhere. I can’t tell you how to find it or activate it, but I guarantee it’s in there. This is me suggesting and recommending that you add ErosBlog to your whitelist. It’s a small thing, but a very helpful one. And it may even improve your user experience. If you’ve noticed words missing from my posts, or peculiar grammatical gaps, this will probably fix it. I usually do write in complete sentences, I promise!

Thanks so much.

Similar Sex Blogging: