To our readers: What you can do about the annoying video ads

This blog was founded on December 23, 2009.

For the majority of those years, Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) carried no ads. Nor have we ever asked readers for donation, as some blogs do.

Less than 2 years ago, on November 13, 2015, our server WordPress approved our application to host WordAds, which WordPress places into blogs that have achieved a certain minimum of traffic (what that “minimum” is, we don’t know). A “portion” of the revenue from those WordAds would go to the blog, the exact percentage of which we are not told.

The ads I’ve agreed to are WordPress’ minimum quota. Two ads are placed in each FOTM post: a static ad and a video ad placed at the bottom of the post.

Those two WordAds make possible a very modest income, depending on the number of unique views FOTM received each month. My share of the ad revenue goes toward recouping expenses that I incur every year for FOTM, which I had paid out of pocket for FOTM‘s first 6 years:

  • $99 a year to WordPress for our own domain name (fellowshipoftheminds.com), extra storage space, etc.
  • About $100 a year for membership in people search engines and genealogy sites, which help me in my investigative research into, for example, Sandy Hook and the crew members of Space Shuttle Challenger.
  • About $150 a year in donation to sites that I/we frequently use for information, e.g., Wikipedia, Judicial Watch, Campus Reform, and LifeSiteNews.

Recently, readers alerted us to problems with the video ads, which are disruptive and so annoying that some say have dissuaded them from reading our posts altogether.

Two days ago, I sent an email to WordPress about those video ads:

My readers are complaining about the video ads placed at the bottom (end) of posts, specifically that there is no way to moderate the volume of the sound. I tried to click the “loudspeaker” icon in the lower right of the video: Even when it’s muted (X), the sound continues — loud.
Readers say the recent spate of video ads, especially the one for a diet pill, are so irritating, they may avoid my blog altogether — which, of course, works contrary to the interests of WordPress.
Is there something you can do about this?
Thank you for your attention and assistance.

This is the response I received this morning:

Thanks for reaching out to us! Can you send me a screenshot of the video that is playing so I can forward it to our ads team? Do you know what the advertisement that is autoplaying is for? You said diet pills but is there a brand?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Megan
Happiness Engineer

Most of the day, I work “behind the scenes” posting, editing, administering, keeping track of readers’ comments, which means I infrequently get on FOTM‘s front page.

I’m asking for your help.

When you see a video ad that is annoying, whether it is because the sound volume cannot be adjusted/muted or some other reason, please:

  1. Make a note of the ad in question
  2. Take a screenshot of the ad, if possible.
  3. Tell us about it either as a comment on this thread, or email it to me at: FOTM4ever@gmail.com

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Dr. Eowyn

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24 responses to “To our readers: What you can do about the annoying video ads

  1. General P. Malaise

    I’m using disconnect me, the free version and it blocks most of the stuff. you can buy more blocking from them.
    https://disconnect.me/

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I get rid of ads on many sites by reopening my facebook feed in safari and then clicking on the readers version set of three bars at the top. I have not done this for this site since i have not yet experienced any annoying ads. That readers version convenience is also useful for sites that have otherwise hard to read type faces.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Here is what I do…I use Firefox, on the top of the menu bar, where your open tabs are, there’s a speaker icon, just click that and it silences all audio on the open tab.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s what I do too;the problem is when a video clip is posted,I have to listen to it AND the ad competing for space in my ear.
      Dr.Eowyn,thank you so much for your efforts to resolve this problem,and rest assured that I won’t give up this forum regardless of any problem it might develop-it’s like an addiction for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just turn the sound off on my laptop and ignore the ads.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mark . . this was the solution I also came to. The only downside was that if there is a clip within what various readers have commented on, then they don’t have adequate audio, so you have to go back and re-adjust the sound. This same garbage of having advertising much louder that the rest of the program I think originated in television . . . if these folks cannot regulate the volume to a reasonable level then I think the FCC should intervene. This has not been a forever problem, it just started perhaps 2-3 weeks ago.

      No matter how annoyed I get at the lamo ads, the last thing I will do is stop viewing FOTM. I may have to increase my screaming at the offending ads, and certainly I will boycott their products . . . but I will not forsake FOTM. You are my family whether you like it or not!

      Thank you Dr Eowyn for bringing the problem to the powers that be.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. the problem i’m also having is this…i will be reading a paragraph and the screen drags down to the ad, i have to keep scrolling like a fool to get back to where i was reading.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Like @squirrel, I too have to scroll away from the video ad which is a bit annoying but no biggie as it returns control after a one or two attempts to “escape”. The bigger issue I had at first was that I made the mistake of clicking the video in the hopes of pausing it (I know, I’m an idiot) and it immediately took over all of the tabs in my (Firefox) browser to the right of this one — roughly ten tabs — and I had to “ditch” all of them. It didn’t cause me any problem as none of the browser pages that I had to close were anything super important but they certainly could have been. I wish that Firefox handled this sort of thing better (and maybe it does on more recent versions — I’m currently running an old O/S).

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Why don’t you just ask for a modest subscription fee from all of us regular readers. I have no problem contributing a little to help keep this blog going. Do a survey and see what everyone thinks. The ads suck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The only downside to this idea, which I would be more than glad to contribute to . . . would it have the unintended consequence of keeping new people from investigating the FOTM site? I would hate to do anything that might deter new people from joining the FOTM family. However, if you need money . . . please just let me know.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I use a chromebook, and had only a little trouble here, although on many other sites it is getting worse all the time. Then, I will be darned, if this very post didn’t hit me with the problem. It was for Benchmade knives. But I think that all in all, it is worth it to me, to have the annoying ads, so that you are able to at least monetize enough to cover your expenses, which are certainly much more than those you listed. WordPress is willing to work on it, at least, so they have that going for them. If they would just allow for the mute button to work, that would be enough, for me at least. I know that advertisers want you to hear their message, but many times, the volume is too loud, and they use distracting noise, to get attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It seems like WordPress has a compartmentalized workforce, hence Megan the Happiness Engineer having no clue as to what specific advertisements are being shown or played.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I would have guessed Happiness Engineers were in an entirely different work segment.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. There was a video ad on yesterday and the day before which was annoying because the screen would stick on it and not allow me to scroll up or down to get away from it. It took so long to download I never saw what it was, only the outline of it (which was red if that helps!)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. THIS,folks,is what “they” call PROGRESS.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My browser blocks the ads. I switched browsers (currently using Opera) because I experienced the “alien” ads on CTH which made it impossible to read posts. I’d gladly support a voluntary patreon donation.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. For whatever reason, the powers that be would never let me get connected to WordPress. I get usually two ads. They don’t move or have sound.
    When someone posts a video. I am able to watch and even forward if I desire.
    I just can’t vote for some of these incredible posts. Maybe I dodged a bullet.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, everyone, for describing what you’ve seen and experienced. I’ll wait another day, then convey them to WordPress.

    Like

  16. “HAPPINESS ENGINEER”?? What the heck is that? Snicker snicker. I guess that’s what they call customer service now? 🙂 Hey Dr. E, if you can tell us if there’s a PO box or something so I can send you a check or whatever for maintenance costs. For a short while I have some extra $ for a change (no pun intended). 😉

    Like

    • Thank you, chemtrails, for your kind and most generous heart.
      FOTM does not do donations. If FOTM were to eschew WordAds, we’ll just go back to our former revenue-less mode.

      WordPress calls all their service reps “happiness engineers”.

      Like

  17. This is the email I just sent WordPress “Happiness Engineer” Megan:

    Megan:

    Below are what readers of my blog reported:

    (1) That the video ad’s sound is too loud and can’t be adjusted or muted, making it difficult to hear a video in a blog post:

    “the problem is when a video clip is posted,I have to listen to it AND the ad competing for space in my ear.”

    “If they would just allow for the mute button to work, that would be enough, for me at least. I know that advertisers want you to hear their message, but many times, the volume is too loud, and they use distracting noise, to get attention.”

    “if there is a clip within what various readers have commented on, then they don’t have adequate audio, so you have to go back and re-adjust the sound. This same garbage of having advertising much louder that the rest of the program I think originated in television . . . if these folks cannot regulate the volume to a reasonable level then I think the FCC should intervene. This has not been a forever problem, it just started perhaps 2-3 weeks ago.”

    (2) That as one reads a blog-post, the page keeps returning to the video ad:

    “the problem i’m also having is this…i will be reading a paragraph and the screen drags down to the ad, i have to keep scrolling like a fool to get back to where i was reading.”

    “I can’t scroll fast enough to outrun the ad.”

    “There was a video ad on yesterday and the day before which was annoying because the screen would stick on it and not allow me to scroll up or down to get away from it. It took so long to download I never saw what it was, only the outline of it (which was red if that helps!)”

    (3) Clicking on the video ad opened many tabs:

    “I made the mistake of clicking the video in the hopes of pausing it, and it immediately took over all of the tabs in my (Firefox) browser to the right of this one — roughly ten tabs — and I had to “ditch” all of them.”

    (4) An example of a too-loud video ad is the ad for Benchmade knives.

    Can WordPress do something about this?

    Thank you,

    Dr. Eowyn

    Liked by 1 person

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