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May 7, 2012 07:28 PM

VERY Annoyed by Flash Targeted Ads -- PLEASE GET RID OF THEM

Trying to load a thread is now very slow. It seems that the ads are now flash movies and they are clearly related to sites I have been on recently. For example, I looked at a hotel on Booking.com yesterday, and now all your ads are showing shifting, scrolling, and otherwise moving Booking.com ads for hotels near my previous searching. Visually annoying, and loading them slows down every page on this site that has an ad.

Should I stop coming to Chowhound? Or should the site shut down this stuff?

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  1. It's a free site brought to you by the ads, What do you think will happen? (Hint CBS owns the site as well) There are ways around the ads, depending on which browser you use.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      What are the ways around the ads? I use Safari and Firefox.

      1. re: Lcarper

        I don't know about Safari but with Firefox you can use Adblock.

        1. re: Quine

          what a GREAT TIP! thanks Quine - done!

    2. I don't have any of these issues as far as pages taking a long time to load. Perhaps there's something you can do at your end to speed things up. I'm sure someone will chime in.

      I also hardly ever notice the ads either. They don't bother me in the slightest and am glad they're paying for this because I sure wouldn't.


      1. I agree with you that they're annoying and they slow everything down. I block every one of those flash ads as they appear using AdBlock Plus.

        1. I'm with you, Doc. When I go to click on something, it turns into a moving target. Very annoying! And when I see ads clearly targeting me based on websites I have visited, I feel invaded.

          1. There are ads and then there are ads. If a site has to make itself annoying in order to stay free and if it costs $30 for an ad blocker to get it to be comfortable, how does that benefit anyone except the adblocker company? Channeling ads that are so annoying that they will be blocked cannot in the end benefit this site, as blocked ads are worthless and lost site users are worse than useless. And, the site removed the restaurant module to save money, making the site less useful. Will the site be destroyed in order to save it?

            11 Replies
            1. re: therealdoctorlew

              When I installed Adblockplus, it was free. Where are you seeing $30 (or have they eliminated the free version)?

              1. re: L2k

                As I stated above. I use nothing and have no problems.


                1. re: L2k

                  AdBlock is still Honorware, free but honor system of asking for a donation. I chipped in for the April Fool's Cat block version which always gives me the giggles.

                  To get back to the OP's rant, There is "no such thing as a free lunch" not even CH, you "pay" for it by sitting through ads, or some other way. There are pop-up ads, which might be the offending vehicle here, and those are usually browser based blocks (i.e. find the No pop-up option on the browser you use) and the static ads, that Adblock deals with.

                  1. re: L2k

                    The free version is limited. It only blocks a certain number of ads. The pai version is not.

                    1. re: therealdoctorlew

                      Er, that is not true. I have been using Ad Block for years (free) currently using AdBlock2.5.33 in Chrome and never ever had *any* limit on number of ads.


                      You must have some other software confused with this one, Which is totally free honorware.

                      Personally, I pay $6 a month now so I can have the April Fool's Day version. That one replaces all the blocked ads with Cat pics, it will be updated to allow any photo to replace the ad from what I understand. But that is my choice, I find the plain vanilla AdBlock easier to use than the AdBlock plus, but have both installed. Again free Honorware.

                  2. re: therealdoctorlew

                    "And, the site removed the restaurant module to save money, making the site less useful. "
                    Where did you get that information?


                    On that thread it is stated that they were removed because:
                    "Why the change? We originally offered restaurant information in order to make the Chowhound boards more useful. We thought we'd forestall the slightly annoying need to continually reply to a post with the question, "Where is this place you're talking about?" However, those good intentions have not been well served. We have heard that our restaurant listings have not been particularly helpful to most people most of the time, and they've slowed down the performance of the site."

                    Not used and slowed performance not cost it seems.

                    1. re: Quine

                      i'm not going back into that thread, but i think they said it was the restaurant reviews part of the restaurant DB wasn't used, not the DB iteslf.

                      i believe it was implied (and not denied) that there may have been an upcoming license renewal that they didn't want to do because of the integration & performance issues.

                      and yes, the removal of the DB did make the site much less useful.

                      1. re: drewskiSF

                        I did not read the thread myself either, that was what was said in the thread head topic.

                        I am of the the opinion that CH and Chow are canned software, and any change made to it must be purchased, not written and implemented by in house. It would explain a lot of the "can't do it, maybe, down the road and we are exploring the idea" sorta answers we always get about needed and /or wanted changes.

                    2. re: therealdoctorlew

                      you really just need to read up on web browsers and the various ad-blocking software (mostly freeware) and make a few changes to your setup.
                      But, as someone who has worked in the media/web field, good web developers/designers/managers do think about how annoying the end product will be and make prudent choices, sometimes even ones that cost a little (and I mean little) bit of money in favor of having a nice site.

                      1. re: caganer

                        Easier than adblocking software is software the blocks flash all together. I keep multiple versions of browsers depending on where I am surfing and what I am doing. I used the flash free version for browsing chowhound. No problem with flash ads.

                        I would like to echo the sentiments that others have expressed. While there are volunteers on the site, this is a site that should at the least be revenue neutral if not profitable to cbs. While the user experience may be diminished with ads, the user experience is completely ruined if the site were to go away. Ads are here to stay or we are going to be forced to some other revenue model to at least pay for the costs of maintaining the site.

                        1. re: cwdonald

                          If the monetary considerations damage the site, why use it?