Blocking Online Adverts – Is this good or bad?

Ever since installing AdBlock Plus to Chrome, and enjoying being able to happily watch WHAT I WANT on YouTube without being forced to watch adverts first, I’ve been wondering what effect this will have on the future of online advertising.   According to this Forbes post, Use of Ad-blocking is on the rise, the use of ad blocking is growing at a rate of 43% per year.

 

 

So, I’ve done a little research here’s what I found.

Where initially Adblock Plus would block all advertising, it now apparently has a whitelist of selected sites and services whose ads are allowed through the filter.  These do seem reasonable to me if you read about what they class as non-intrusive ‘acceptable ads‘.  

Obviously, it is controversial, as detailed by Dave Lee, BBC Technology News – Is it ethical to block adverts online? 

I had a look through the The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)*, report mentioned (OK, so I didn’t read it all in depth – it’s extremely lengthy!) and found the following points make their case fairly clear. 

Below are extracts from the White Paper: Consumers driving the digital uptake – The economic value of online advertising-based services for consumers.

 P13 Point 4. Primary Research:  “…current ad-financed services generate significant value for the average Internet user, being an order of magnitude higher than what the same user would be willing to pay for eliminating the related disturbance of advertising and privacy issues.”

 P 14 Point 4.2: “Free ad-funded services generate the bulk of this consumer services surplus, highlighting the significant value of the ad-based revenue model for consumers.”

 P24 Point 5 : “the value obtained from using Web services remains six times larger than what users are willing to spend to avoid such disturbance. This means that the current ecosystem works quite well and that caution must be exercised in challenging the current system because of the risk of creating other imbalances.”

What this report seems to suggest/confirm is that Advertising basically helps pay for all the free stuff we get while using the internet, and the detriment is far, far, way out-weighed by the benefits.

So now I’m all for acceptable and non-intrusive ads, in order to keep a lot of what we use on the internet free.  

What do you think about blocking adverts and the future of online advertising? Comment below:

 

 *FYI The IAB is a UK-based trade association for online and mobile advertisers.

Get your head around Facebook business timelines

As you all should know by now, on March 30th your Facebook business page will become a business timeline so if you haven’t made the necessary changes already, it’s time to get your head around the new layouts and the features.  “Not again!” I hear you cry, as humans we are often opposed to change but I would say this is a change for the better so relax and embrace it.

I have been asked by a lot of you how the new design works so I’ve written this handy guide to hold your hand through the key changes and to help you to make your page engaging:

  1. Goodbye landing pages Facebook certainly know how to dominate a market, a lot of companies don’t use mailing lists any more they rely solely on social media to talk to their clients, your landing page can still be found in your tabs on your page but if you want to use it to capture data you have to direct potential clients to to the app via Facebook ads.
  2. Hello cover image – you now have some prime real estate at the top of your page – so make it stand out!  See the notes below for more information.
  3. Your fans can now message you directly  – I LOVE this feature, you can now speak to your fans directly, it’s a great opportunity to build relationships, encourage interaction and enhance your community.
  4. Your tabs are now apps and can be found under your timeline on the left they are  760px and you can customise them!
  5. Shiny new admin panel – making it far easier to keep track of activity, monitor the effectiveness of posts, pick up messages & learn about fans
  6. You can pin and highlight posts – making it easier to direct your fans to the posts you want them to see.

 

Here’s 3 things you should do right now!

1. Create a cover image

One of the positives of the move to the timeline is that you have a huge space to show off your business, your cover image must be 851 x 315 pix, make it engaging and exciting, have a few designed so that you can refresh them every now and then.

BUT, before you get too excited and start turning the space into a huge sales pitch, Facebook has very specific rules about how you can use that space:

Cover may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Enough about what  you can’t do, here’s what  you can do:

  • Keep it simple – write in a language your fans will understand
  • Be inspiring – get your fans attention with interesting bespoke designs for your fanpage
  • Brand yourself!  Incorporate logos, images and pictures

Need more inspiration?  Check out Coca Cola’s

here’s a nice one designed by the graphic designers for Redfest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Customise your Tabs

You can display 4 of your apps, you can choose which 4 you want to display AND you can customise  the  thumbnail, the only ones you can’t edit are photos and likes, you cannot move the photo tab either.

To customise the design:

  • Create an image that is 111  x  74 pixels.
  • Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image).  It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.
  • Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.
  • Click on edit settings.
  • Click on change (for the image)
  • Upload the new image

To move your apps:

  • Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image).  It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.
  • Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.
  • Select the app you’d like to swap position with

 

3. Make the most of your posts!

  • Highlight key posts (this is particularly powerful when you are posting an image).  To do this click on the star in the top right of the post to stretch the post across the page
  • Pin your posts (can be fab for competitions or posting business advertisements) Do this by clicking on the ‘edit or remove’ button and select ‘pin to top’
  • You can also add Milestones to show off achievements.

 

Last but not least, make your page go live and enjoy it!  

Remember to be engaging, provide your readers with exciting things they would like to hear about AND have fun 🙂

 

Resources: 

Image sizes you need to know

  • Cover: 851 x 315
  • Profile pic: 180 x 180
  • Thumbnail for apps: 111 x 74
  • Highlighted & milestone images: 843 x 403
  • Images within wall posts display as 404 x 404.

Facebook help

 

The increase of Trolling & Cyber bullying

Trolling & Cyberbullying are terms that are appearing again and again when speaking of online communities and social sites.  I wasn’t entirely au fait with either so I decided to do a little research and this is what I discovered.

Trolling “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or ofotherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” (Wikipedia)

These are the people who lurk on message boards and Social Media sites getting their kicks by upsetting people.  In real life they probably have few social skills, and/or a small penis and/or an overblown sense of self. Most of the time you can simply block / ignore or report these people, some people see it as a challenge to take them on but my advice is don’t bother because you won’t get any intelligent comment / conversation out of them.

Recent cases of trolling include Sean Duffy who was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison last September after admitting two “trolling” charges. He had visited Facebook tribute pages and posted videos on YouTube taunting the dead victims and their families.

Panorama made a programme called ‘Hunting the Internet Bullies’ that was aired on 6th February.  The programme opened with Cher Lloyd (an X Factor competitor) speaking about her personal experience of trolling / cyberbullying: “I think I must get at least 10 tweets a day saying I’m a dirty pikey,” she broke down on the programme saying that she is “very scared” and some days she just wants people to leave her alone.  If someone as high profile as Ms Lloyd is suffering at the hands of trolls and bullies it raises concerns for our children.

Before I started researching for this article I thought Trolling and cyber bullying was pretty much the same thing but after further investigation I discovered that they are different and the difference seems to stem from the length / duration of the abuse, it seems that trolling can turn into cyber bullying.  It also seems that the cyber bullying victim – more often than not – knows the perpetrator.

“Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.[1] As it has become more common in society, particularly among young people, legislation and awareness campaigns have arisen to combat it “ (Wikipedia)

An example of cyberbullying that you might have stumbled across recently is the case featured on channel 4’s ‘my social network stalker’ where Ruth Jeffery was terrorised and humiliated by her boyfriend Shane Webber who posted naked pictures and videos of her all over the web and she had no idea it was him.

Panorama claim that cyberbullying is on the rise and unearthed a startling statistic from charity Beatbullying that 28% of 11-16 year olds have experienced bullying or harassment online.  Before Social Networking the bullying was left at the school gates, now with smartphones and the internet being essential in everyday socialising, our children are open to abuse 24/7 and often unable to prevent it.

These stats come from www.vital.ac.ukwho commissioned an internet safety survey of teachers in January 2012 Over 1300 teachers responded, here are some of the findings:

  • 3% of teachers have personal experience of cyberbullying
  • 69% of teachers are aware of pupils who have been cyberbullied
  • Of those pupils, 81% had been bullied via social networking sites and 67% by text/multimedia message

The statistics are pretty shocking so please make sure you look after yourself, your friends and your young people, there are a variety of charities that have been set up to help those who are suffering at the hands of cyberbullies and for parents of children being bullied, here are a couple that I found:

http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/

http://www.beatbullying.org/

 

 

sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/13/internet-troll-jailed-mocking-teenagers

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9692000/9692294.stm

http://www.dailydawdle.com

http://www.vital.ac.uk/content/e-safety-and-cyberbullying?gclid=COXesJigvq4CFcwTfAod_Ed5XQ