By in Persona Paper

It Doesn't Take Much to Skew the Stats

I was just going through my recent activity feed and answering comments that were left on my posts. I don't usually pay much attention to the number of views or likes here on persona Paper. It's the interaction that I most look forward to here, since this is a really good community for that.

Tonight I did happen to notice, however, that the number of views and likes for one of my recent polls seemed to be a lot smaller than the number of votes. And that puzzled me. My poll about the pumpkin flavoured condom had received a total of 8 votes, but the site is only recording 4 page views for it. In addition to my own replies, there were also comments from 6 different users.

A while back there was a discussion of how people using ad blockers can skew the stats for a post on Persona Paper. I hadn't thought about it in a while, but seeing such a large difference between the figures tonight was a reminder of how many folks here are still using ad blockers. When we have so little traffic here, it really makes an impact on all of our earnings.

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Image credit: Stop graphic by Nemo/Pixabay ( CC0 1.0 )

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bestwriter wrote on September 15, 2014, 1:46 AM

I believe in freedom and so I will not block anyone including putting adblockers here (lol)

MegL wrote on September 15, 2014, 5:50 AM

I don't use adblockers. In fact, as the ads sometimes show items that I have been searching for (gosh! how does that happen, LOL) I sometimes click on them and if I see something I need, I may even buy!

AliCanary wrote on September 15, 2014, 9:07 AM

I don't use Adblocker for this site (you can select which sites get blocked), but I think it's good to remind people. I didn't know before that that can affect the page views, but the problem is easily solved by telling it not to run on this site.

BarbRad wrote on September 15, 2014, 12:46 PM

I still think it's rather selfish for people to use ad blockers here, since it doesn't affect their own earnings unless those viewing what they write use them. They can comment and earn from what others writer without allowing them to earn from the view. When people don't earn, its hurts everyone by limiting how much the site has for maintenance and improvements and also by discouraging writers who do need to earn by interfering with their earnings. If you don't want to hear autoplay videos, turn off your speakers. surely you can put up with a bit of annoyance at having to close an intrusive ad once in a while.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 15, 2014, 3:31 PM

It's interesting that you mention freedom, Grace, because I think a lot of those who use ad blocking software do think of it in terms of their freedoms. They would like to be free from annoying ads. But more often, it is also a matter of remaining free from viruses that can sometimes be passed through the ads on a trusted site.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 15, 2014, 3:33 PM

I actually try not to interact with ads on any site where I write, as this can be seen by some ad clients as cheating. But yes, it's true that oftentimes I do find something of interest in the ads. I will sometimes just open a new tab and Google the site rather than clicking on the ad, so I can get to the same place without any appearance of manipulation.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 15, 2014, 3:35 PM

I've been told by the CTO on the other site that their page view algorithm isn't hampered by ad blockers, but the site does lose revenues when people are running ad blocking software. So even when it isn't obvious, the impact is there.

Many sites depend on ads, so I've made the choice to never run an ad blocker. On some sites, the percentage of users who run ad blockers can be as high as 50%. Those sites are losing half their ad revenues as a result.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 15, 2014, 3:41 PM

I agree that it's rather one-sided, especially here where people are getting paid to write comments on others' posts.

I do also recognize that people are afraid of being infected due to a server running a rogue ad. And that these autoplay videos can not only make some pages load painfully slowly, but also cost users bandwidth that they can't necessarily afford.

To my mind, it's a bit of a fine line. I'd like to see an ad blocking software that does a better job of protecting people from malware and that prevents the video ads from starting automatically or otherwise hampering functionality. I suspect if the software could do that, we might see more people using ad blockers but fewer negative impacts from them :)

bestwriter wrote on September 15, 2014, 7:56 PM

The saying "one man's meat is another's poison" or whatever is apt here. What I think as freedom is not so for others emoticon :grin:

LoudMan wrote on September 15, 2014, 9:50 PM

I'm going a bit nuts over those polls. My votes simply do not register there. So, I'll try to vote but end up putting my 2 cents into a comment, instead.

LoudMan wrote on September 15, 2014, 9:54 PM

I can't help but wonder if the slow, painful, graphic, public execution of all malware writers might help to discourage them.

tinamarie wrote on September 16, 2014, 10:26 AM

I also would not block anyone nor use adblockers. :) I actually like to see what the deal of the day is. :)

BarbRad wrote on September 16, 2014, 11:54 PM

I just saw that there's a setting buried in Chrome that will keep videos from running automatically.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 17, 2014, 5:39 PM

It's definitely a thought.... emoticon :tongue:
Seriously though, one would think that the folks who contract with sites like Persona Paper to provide the ad feed, could guarantee they'd vetted all code before it's distributed....

LoudMan wrote on September 17, 2014, 5:43 PM

It would be nice if they did. I think it's the temptation of the money paid for carrying certain ad-code. These ad-networks charge in the tens of thousands of dollars to carry javascript. And, some companies put profit before EVERYTHING else.

I understand they need to profit but I wish they'd choose to not deal with criminals.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 17, 2014, 5:49 PM

Really Barb? I hope you'll write a post about this! I think a lot of us would really love to hear more. I thought I had set my browsers for that, but either the tools I was using don't work, or I did it wrong :(

Ruby3881 wrote on September 17, 2014, 5:53 PM

There's a time delay on the voting. your vote is counted, but it takes quite a while :)

Ruby3881 wrote on September 17, 2014, 6:17 PM

I like knowing that a good number of folks in our community have taken the time to inform themselves on the pros and cons - whatever choice they eventually make. And I think that if the admin on any site could be trusted to work with users to resolve issues around the security of the ads, it's Persona Paper.

Feisty56 wrote on September 17, 2014, 9:51 PM

When I joined Persona Paper, I deleted my ad blocker, although with some reluctance as I'd encountered malware on my computer from another site's ads. So far, so good. I don't want to deprive others of their chances to earn here, nor the site itself to wrack up some decent numbers one day soon.

Ruby3881 wrote on September 19, 2014, 8:47 AM

That's a great way of looking at it! I've encountered a hinky ad on both sites, but the response here was super fast and elitecodex went right to work, trying to figure out what was going on. My antivirus software alerted me, anyway. And with the other site, the page that kept loading was obvious enough I knew to avoid it. So I've not really felt the need to use an ad blocker on either site.

momathome wrote on October 20, 2014, 2:28 PM

Ruby3881 I don't really have a choice. The computer I use is supplied by my kids school and it came pre-installed with ad blocker. It doesn't block every ad but it does block any pop-up or "adult" ads.