Wired Becomes Another UX Clueless Publisher

Blocking Ad Blockers Makes No Sense

So, here is Wired's stand: How WIRED Is Going to Handle Ad Blocking | WIRED

There are two problems that Wired faces though.

People won't pay $50+ a year for their content.

They may have some good articles now and then, but nothing that can't be replaced by other sites. A few good articles also do not add up to $50+ per visitor in the online advertising world. They'll get a few clueless folks onboarded, but not enough to cover the loss of 20% of their web traffic.

“They're not making money on that 20% traffic,” some will say. However, those ad blocking 20% share links to Wired with others who don't have ad blockers enabled yet. So, Wired will be losing that network effect. Also, lower traffic means ultimately lower ad revenue in the long run.

Wired doesn't earn trust.

Here's one comment from the Hacker News communuty:

I'm generally not inclined to fully whitelist anyplace because even if everything it loads today is safe, who's to say what's going to be loaded after the site gets hacked. That said, I tried to go through and do some allowing of requests and scripts for places I recognized, including whitelisting the site in Ghostery to keep it from interfering.

After adding 19 separate exceptions in uMatrix for both whole domains and for types of requests/actions on domains, I still don't see any ads but I do see an ever-increasing list of third-party sites Wired is pulling requests from. Given a choice between throwing up my hands … and whitelisting Wired's requests to all of (disqus, optimizely, amazon-adsystem, condenastdigital, demdex, typekit, adobetm, chartbeat, cloudfront, doubleclick, googleadservices, googlesyndication, googletagservices, mediavoice, mookie1, omtrdc, outbrain, parsely, scorecardresearch, yldbt and zqtk) plus whatever others would be pulled in were I actually to whitelist, I guess I'll have to do without Wired.

So far without ever actually loosening things up far enough to see ads that's AT LEAST 21 different top-level domains Wired is pulling from, not counting its own (and yes, I realize it's part of Conde Nast). Most of those top-level domains have at least 2 subdomains being pulled from, sometimes more. My basic reaction to this is that even if I trust Wired and Conde Nast, I don't know that I trust all those other sites like “mookie1,” “yldbt,” “zqtk” and whatever other obscurely-named domains.
Frankly, were I to see “yldbt” or “zqtk” as a running process or folder name on a system I was working on, I'd immediately rename them and start virus and malware scans.

So I guess my reading of Wired online will suffer much the same fate as my reading of Wired on paper, because while I like seeing occasional items from Wired it's not a daily destination for me, and I'm certainly not coughing up $50+/year for it.

In other words, Wired still does not quite understand how to address the core reasons for using ad blockers. Rather than going after the ad industry and ad-tech, it has decided to go after its visitors instead. It won't tackle the root cause of the problem.

Ummm, remember PandoDaily? Ask HN: Is Pando doomed? | Hacker News

Wired doesn't earn trust by their position and will become less relevent.

The advertising industry and ad-tech are the culprits that publishers need to stand up to, not their own visitors. It's UX common sense – but not so common.

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