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No Opt In, No Ads
Fueling the resistance
Something Snap.com this way comes 
27th-Sep-2007 12:31 am - Something Snap.com this way comes
Skittish Eclipse
Vox had this implemented earlier this month. (See also: Snap partners with Six Apart to bring Snap Shots to all of Vox.com bloggers.) WordPress.com has had it for a long while too. Now, it has reached LJ. Why?

A recent post to the Snap.com blog, Imagine Snap Shares, talks of future ads and revenue sharing with sites that implement their Snap Shots, basically becoming a fancy version of IntelliTXT for links. Here is a promotional brochure on it. Hopefully there will be some way to turn the ad portion off for paid users.

As it currently stands, Snap.com does seem to get rather...pushy about the "Suggested Searches".

These examples were taken from preexisting entries in my LJ, so they would represent fairly normal usage and not searching for bad cases.





While some of the related searches are obliquely related to the subject matter at hand, they're not exactly needed, either. However, Snap.com at least does have some limit to what it will put up as related searches--an entirely unnotable and useless site, like my homepage, only shows a search box:



Fortunately, having Snap.com for the links on your journal is currently an opt in for existing users. New users, New Basic and Plus users, however, have it enabled by default, so keep that in mind when creating new accounts.

In order to opt out entirely across all journals, you have to let Snap.com set a cookie. But you can also use NoScript or Adblock Plus to make sure Snap.com never has the chance to load on any site.
Comments 
27th-Sep-2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
so, I really don't know the details of any business relationship we have with Snap, and I have to confess the previews bug the crap out of me, too.

But here's the thing: Regular people on the web *love* Snap previews. I know you don't believe it -- I didn't want to believe it. But it's completely true. In the testing and feedback I've seen, it's some emotional pull about the fact that links "do something" now, instead of just being on the page. I know we all feel these people are idiots, but it's our own geek cultural imperialism that makes us think we know better than non-techy folks.

I can't claim to really understand why this is the case, but I know far better than to question people's emotions about such things. :) My first reaction was "ew, omg, opt-in only, please!", but you will be totally shocked how many people will delight in having them. And yep, you can block 'em completely for yourself.
27th-Sep-2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Really?

I know that a lot of bloggers initially really wanted them on WP.com during the beta trials, but that seemed to turn sour fairly quickly.

I've seen usability stuff that really goes against them, but nothing in favour, but hen, I'm not really a usability expert, I just take an interest in it as a flip side to search stuff (I pretty much think they're the same thing).

Got any links to studies on this, because it utterly boggles me that people, end users, actually like them.
27th-Sep-2007 08:18 pm (UTC) - ha!
Regular people on the web *love* Snap previews. I know you don't believe it -- I didn't want to believe it.

translation -> I love rolling around in my pile of benjamins at night.

27th-Sep-2007 08:21 pm (UTC) - Re: ha!
This comment is considered harassment to staff and you are thusly banned. I'll leave it up to set an example for others who might get similar witty ideas into their heads.
27th-Sep-2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Mm? I don't think I really said diddly about whether or not whether regular people on the web like them or not--I mean, regular people on the web like MySpace, for heaven's sake, and make the most gawdawful unreadable layouts on it, alongside forwarding around emails about how Bill Gates is going to give money to everyone who forwards this email, as Snopes.com has never touched their hallowed urban legends. Regular folks on the web make flashing WIN A FREE IPOD ads profitable. The article is mostly written for NLJA folks, many of whom will hates it, precioussssss, and subsequently wallow in our favorite brand of gloom-n-doom.

And implementing it so close to Snap's post on their ad sharing program can't help but give the impression to paranoids that implementing Snap.com previews was more about the ability to get more ads on pages than the things regular people enjoy about Snap Shots, regardless of the realities behind the situation.

And my elitism only goes so far--when I said that I hoped paid users would be able to turn the ads off, I meant not opting out of Snap Shots entirely, but able to view them without the ads. Snap.com doesn't concern me too horribly much as long as they let people opt out of them in a way that regular people can use if they want to without having to break out the Stylish and NoScript and CookieSafe and GreaseMonkey, heh.
27th-Sep-2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
But they have ads in them. By their own words to their customers such as 6apart:

When people read websites, this is about all they see. No wonder they miss your advertising.

When users trigger our content they trigger your ads.


27th-Sep-2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, they don't have ads in them YET.

And I think that brochure is towards advertisers than content providers using advertising like LJ.
(no subject) - tallblue - 2007-09-27 08:44 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - paper_crystals - 2007-09-27 09:09 pm (UTC)
28th-Sep-2007 12:25 am (UTC)
I'm a little doubtful of how well the behavior of "regular people on the web" predicts the behavior of LJ users.

I suppose the real test is going to be how many people turn it off. Or how many "how do i turn these things off" requests support gets.
(no subject) - arilla - 2007-09-28 03:45 am (UTC)
(no subject) - pyrop - 2007-09-28 09:57 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - arilla - 2007-09-29 06:39 am (UTC)
(no subject) - arilla - 2007-09-29 06:43 am (UTC)
28th-Sep-2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Yet another example the greater population at large makes me confused. I've seen these types of things on other pages and I always loathe them.
28th-Sep-2007 08:11 am (UTC)
If it's really that useful, you guys should be able to code it into your own junk.

Handing that control away to a third party? Is just flat-out stupid, on your part. Unless it's all about cash. (But then it's still stupid.)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2007-09-28 08:38 am (UTC)
(no subject) - quinctia - 2007-09-28 08:49 am (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2007-09-28 09:04 am (UTC)
(no subject) - turlough - 2007-09-28 11:05 am (UTC)
(no subject) - matgb - 2007-09-28 11:07 am (UTC)
(no subject) - arilla - 2007-09-29 05:25 am (UTC)
(no subject) - tiferet - 2007-10-29 04:48 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - matgb - 2007-10-29 07:24 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2007-11-01 09:47 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-11-03 06:52 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2007-11-03 06:56 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_uniquewo - 2007-11-03 06:50 pm (UTC)
28th-Sep-2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
I don't know who those "regular" people are, but I'm not one of them, and neither are any of my friends. Those of us on dialup find them a good reason to never visit a given site again.

Adblockers were invented for popups. These are popups.

This is one more thing that will push me quickly away from LiveJournal, and keep me recommending that other people move too. What I liked about LJ was that it was (1) ad-free and (2) geek-friendly, and it is no longer anywhere near either of those.

If people will delight in having them, then make them all opt-in only, and those who actively want them--as opposed to those who don't realize they're optional--can have them.
26th-Oct-2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Then they should be opt-in. Seriously.

Get Rid Of Them.
27th-Oct-2007 06:36 am (UTC)
Anil, Six Apart runs several different blogging services. Why bother to have both Vox and LJ, unless they're made to appeal to different audiences?

LiveJournal is the home for geek culture imperialists. It's the place where geeky types can build community. We do it in ways that regular people don't: we endlessly tweak our layouts and run RPGs and share homo-erotic poetry about Harry Potter.

Let LJ be the place where 6A scoops up revenue from us geeks, and save Snap for Vox, which appeals to Regular People on the Web.
(no subject) - anildash - 2007-10-27 06:56 am (UTC)
(no subject) - beckyzoole - 2007-10-31 03:41 am (UTC)
29th-Oct-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not shocked how many people delight in them. But these are the very same people who download Gator and 'free' screensavers onto our computers here at my job, and think they're wonderful, you know, until they start wondering why their computer is so effing SLOW, and then call IT because they don't believe me when I tell them their computer will work just fine if they will get rid of that crap with a dose of Ad-Aware and Spybot. There are lots of things advertising partners will want to give these people that they will love that I don't want on any machine I have to use.
2nd-Nov-2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
I'm not a "regular people" if we follow your definition. How can I disable it for me to no impose it to my readers? Because apparently I'm still required to impose it to others.
(no subject) - pierceheart - 2007-11-13 02:07 am (UTC)
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