Twistar wrote:First a note. I'm not talking about donation models anywhere in my posts lately (or really anywhere in this thread.) I'm only talking about advertising vs. paywalls. I'm also imagining an unrealistic world where paywall is not an instantly impossible business model due to everyone using crappy annoying advertising.
Not you specifically, but there has been quite an extensive argument advanced in this thread that donations are a plausible replacement to ads. That attitude that you described in that post describes precisely why such a model is doomed to failure, at least, if a large part of the population shares your view. In an advertising model (or, as I briefly argued earlier, a micropayment model), the fact that you don't care is largely irrelevant--you're paying because you have to, not because you want to. Paywalls obviously share this characteristic as well, but they require a much more active role on your part, and are actually much less refined because you're paying for a bulk set of content, some of which you might not want.
Twistar wrote:It really wouldn't be difficult to "just don't visit them" but it's also not difficult to get adblock and, as I've been arguing, I don't think there's anything wrong with using adblock so in the end, in my eyes, it's basically a wash and doesn't really matter.
And yes, I do care about the websites enough to visit them but not enough to take actions that ensure their continued survival. I am allowed to have this level of caring about something. I also don't owe it to them to take actions to ensure their continued survival. I'm open to the possibility that I'm being a dick with my behavior, but I'm not breaking any rules and I'm not acting unethically. You know, maybe if you were trying to convince me I'm being a major dick and should change my ways we could have a conversation in that direction, but the claim, at least earlier in the thread, was that my behavior is actually unethical.
As I have suggested earlier, what you are calling dickishness, I see as low-level unethical behaviour. Nobody is arguing that what you're doing is unlawful. I won't even argue that adblocking is socially unsanctioned behaviour. Neither of those things have particular bearing on the ethics of the situation.
I'm illustrating why I do prefer paywalls. I think it's easier for sites to survive on an advertising model rather than a paywall model. That doesn't mean it's a better model and it certainly doesn't mean I prefer it.
But you don't prefer paywalls. You've already admitted that if your favourite sites went to paywalls, you would just stop using them, or use a free (ie. ad-supported) alternative.
Twistar wrote:1) Clarification. first off, I'm not talking about donations in my post, only paywalls. When you say merchandizing do you mean having a paywall as well as trying to make money by selling other things/services?
Merchandizing I mostly mean stuff like this
2) To your post: So what? It's a shit business model now in the current environment but in the future if (when?) more people start blocking more advertisments it will probably become a more tenable model. Unvaluable sites would perish and valuable sites would thrive as people come to them realizing all of the valuable stuff is behind paywalls.
Just because their content has a hard time retaining me doesn't mean I owe it to them to give them the opportunity to advertise to me.
Well, their content doesn't have a hard time retaining you, because these are sites that you visit regularly. It's just that given the choice, you'd prefer not to pay for things you can get for free.
Twistar wrote:6) But in addition to 5), I also justify 4) with the following. I have already, before I ever even go on the internet, decided for myself that I am going to pay 0 attention to any ads. I will close them as soon as possible. Turn off the sound as soon as possible etc. The advertiser never has and never will even get a chance to try to grab my attention because I ALREADY decided before turning on my computer that I'm not going to look at her ads. So then at that point the advertiser doesn't gain anything from me having wasted my time and getting annoyed looking at ads. The content producer has also lost something from me because now I am annoyed at their webpage. So what good did come of the interaction? The content producer got a fraction of a penny off of a crooked system. Why is the system crooked? Because the purpose of advertising isn't to make money. The purpose of advertising is to connect customers with valuable products. On the internet advertising is used to make money without regard for value to the customer. So if content producers are making money off of that I don't feel bad about not supporting that system.
This is exactly7
how I feel about music. I have purchased, I dunno, maybe 5 CDs worth of music in my entire life. Content providers--ie. professional musicians--will pretty much never get any money from me, because I don't care enough about their content to ever actually pay for it. There's no risk of a lost sale, ever. Given the choice between paying and not listening, I will always choose not listening. Does that mean that it is ethically okay for me to torrent music?
Internet advertising must be doing something in terms of connecting consumers to product, otherwise nobody would do it. The fact that there is an economy for advertising--quite a robust one--seems to suggest that somebody, somewhere, is buying the content that advertisers or selling.