This week, another beloved treasure of the internet closed its doors. The Awl announced it was closing up shop, ostensibly suffering from the economic volatility present in today’s “media” industry. In short, they didn’t make enough money, and it’s probably thanks to ad blockers.
Let this be a lesson to us all: if you want to keep the free content you love alive (or do your part and not actively destroy it) turn off your ad blocker. At least for the blogs you love to read.
Image credit: Coffee Channel
The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino lamented The Awl’s closure, adding it to a list of defunct sites both beloved by niche audiences and hated by large social media platforms for the very reason they attracted small followings of devoted fans: the content is too absurd to scale. And your Chrome extension, ostensibly installed to punish the most egregious offenders of the privilege that is your attention, doesn’t help keep that blog you love alive.
Think of it this way: that writer you adore, the one whose work actually makes you laugh, the one whose prose intrigues you to no end, compelling you to share it with your friends, relatives, and colleagues with an appropriate quip in the shared Slack channel or group iMessage thread?
Chances are high they need to eat more than you need to not be the target audience for one of an innumerable army of endless advertisements based on your browsing history, catering to every overt and implicit desire you harbour within your meat sack. How can you help prevent this tragedy from once again occurring to a domain you know and love? Whitelist the site!
How to Whitelist Your Sites
Whitelisting your favourite sites should be a no-brainer, especially if you’re paying absolutely nothing for them. Whitelisting a site means, for the most part, your ad-blocker looks the other way. Advertising impressions get served, (silent) autoplay videos play, everybody wins.
The Ghostery ad-blocking extension makes it pretty simple to either whitelist or disable all annoying ads from your favourite site. We’re here to help your favourite site, though, so here’s how to do it. Simply select Ghostery in your browser, click the Trust Site option, and refresh the page.
Adblock Plus kills ads in a manner more responsible than other ad-blocking counterparts, and allows certain ads considered non-intrusive under its Acceptable Ads initiative.
Full-page advertisement takeovers will be gone, but you’ll still get your eyes on some header and footer ads, as long as they aren’t too large or obfuscating. To add a site to your whitelist, hit your Adblock Plus icon, and click the “Enabled on This Website” option. Refresh the page and let the sponsorships wash over you. Remember: it’s for a good cause.