mikejones It's hard to disagree with this sentiment. I totally understand why sites use ads as a mechanism to generate revenue. This makes sense - in most cases, hosting isn't free, so to get something back clearly is appealing. What I personally dislike about ads is how invasive they can be - plus, the fact that some of the ads can in fact harbour malicious intent such as Bitcoin mining leveraging your PC's own resoures.
I also dislike the lack of privacy. Ads that are linked to Google for example are well known for this (AdSense), and also ads that use tracking. For example, there's a company called HotJar that literally watches everything you do on a site - down to what you click, where you move your mouse etc. This is a complete invasion of privacy, and they are well known for it. Surprisingly, Matomo has this function also. I use Matomo here just to understand basic usage of this site, but I only use a subsection of the features it provides, and certainly do not track anyone, as I wouldn't like that experience forced onto users of this platform being the privacy advocate that I am.
In a similar vein, you don't need an ad blocker to visit this site, and it'll never track you. Offering a Pro-Bono service means there is no charge, so no revenue is to be made out of this venture :)
mikejones It would be cool if there was a good ad platform that didn’t invade privacy.
The Brave browser has the BAT scheme where you can "pay" someone for adverts on their site. It's somewhat convoluted in the privacy sense, but I understand why they have taken this route. Personally, it's not something I want to consider.
mikejones Also I hope no one takes that statement the wrong way, not judgement if you do, I completely get both sides of the discussion.
Not taken the wrong way at all. To me, it's personal preference. I run an Ad Blocker because I'm a privacy advocate, and dislike the concept of tracking, and targeted sales based on the sites you've been to. It's also another reason why I use a VPN to surf the net. I've nothing to hide in terms of activity, and am probably the most boring internet user there is, but I don't want to be followed around, then have my experience polluted by Amazon ads appearing in searches etc.
mikejones I too use ads on my own site. Hoping to one day to have other sources of revenue and eventually remove them. But I think I need more users before I get there
The only way this could work is to charge a nominal annual fee to use the site. Obviously, don't kick the ass out of it, but make it appealing in the sense that if you are a paid member, the ads no longer appear. I tend to take this route with software that is "Freemium" in the sense that you get the full product, but with ads. I personally will always pay for a product I believe in to remove the ads.