By Barend Greyling 14 Aug, 2016
Enjoying the digital social space becomes more difficult than ever before with large social networks like Facebook ignoring user requests for more control and less invasion with their latest announcement.  We live an era where people are always connected with an overload of information, being digitally traced across all platforms, their behavior being predicted, yet they long for lost privacy which is flatly ignored by networks and their increasing drive for revenue.

Now, nothing wrong driving for revenue, but certainly not above all costs.  We have a social responsibility towards users by serving them when they have the need, respecting their privacy and wishes. That is true for the networks and businesses promoting their products - the CUSTOMER is not the product, but someone that deserve the respect, after all it is their money that keep business afloat and shareholders happy.

The time has come where users will follow and connect with businesses and social networks that show them the respect they deserve instead of those viewing them as a cash machine for their business irrespective of the cost to the individual.

Uneeqo created the business and social ecosystem, serving the need of both sides of the equation - consumers need needs sales - without the intrusion of privacy and respecting all aspects of the users digital world. The "Holy Grail of Marketing". 
By Barend Greyling 07 Jul, 2016

The conventional wisdom about ad blockers goes like this: Users would stop using ad blockers if they got more value, or less annoyance, or less privacy invasion, or less malware from online ads.

But that’s missing a key statistic that ties feelings about ads to action about ad blockers.

Two weeks ago, for instance, the Reuters Digital News report   found   two of the leading reasons in the US for ad blocking were “volume of ads” and “ads that follow people.”

In December, Digital Content Next   released   its Consumer Ad Block Report, which found that:

  • more than 70 percent dislike ads that expand over content or play with sound;
  • 68 percent are concerned when ads track their behavior; and
  • 57 percent notes their webpages load too slowly with ads.

These are just a few of the findings documenting what users don’t like about digital ads. And major responses are based on this conventional wisdom. For instance, The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s   LEAN initiative   — Light, Encrypted, Ad choice-supported, Non-invasive ads — aims to give ads a more user-friendly profile in order to counter the ad-blocking movement. Google’s AMP effort wants mobile pages and ads to   load faster .

But there’s a major missing stat.

Where is the data showing that, if ads were more relevant or less annoying or less privacy-invading or loaded quicker, most if not all users of ad blockers would stop using them, or would delete the one they have, or would not download one?

I haven’t seen that stat. Neither has mobile marketer Tune’s mobile economist, John Koetsier, who has studied whether there are enough users to support mobile content through payments instead of ads. (Spoiler alert:   There aren’t .) Nor has Alanna Gombert, VP and general manager of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab.

(If you know of such a stat — one that shows people will drop their ad blockers if ads are made better — please email the source to my attention at

No clear threshold

Without that stat, it would seem, the conventional wisdom is based on an assumption that if you remove things people don’t like about ads or you add value to ads, they will drop their blockers.

But it’s an assumption that doesn’t necessarily connect the cause with the outcome.

It’s like saying that if non-voters say they hate long speeches by politicians, it follows (without evidence) that they will start voting once politicians give shorter speeches. It’s an unproven IF/THEN statement.

It could be, for instance, that a better user experience attracts a more appreciative non-blocking crowd, rather than changing the habits of ad-blocking users.

For example, I recently stopped visiting a well-known editorial site for several weeks because a takeover ad popped up every minute or two. Not only was that annoying, but the ad often froze, leaving me nowhere. Instead, I spent that time on other sites.

There’s also the little matter that you and I and everyone else are different. There is no clear threshold of user experience that will satisfy all of us, or possibly even most of us.

“They don’t like ads”

For instance, Matt Smith, chief evangelist at online video company   Anvato, told me that he “can’t stand something taking over my screen.” In fact, he said he would stop using his ad blocker if all ad takeovers were abolished.

But that’s only one of many ad-related issues on users’ long list of complaints, and, at the moment, it only applies to Matt Smith.

And, in just one example of the impossibility of an all-satisfying user experience, the oft-cited value of relevancy depends heavily on the user.

Is an ad relevant or annoying if it recommends an ice cream parlor around the corner on a hot summer day when you’re trying to lose weight? What is the relevancy threshold?

Without the missing stat, and with great, across-the-board user experience an elusive goal, it’s possible the situation is as   Block Adblock   CEO James Roven told me:

“Even if you address all these [user experience] concerns, even if you solve privacy issues, a huge percentage will block ads because they don’t like ads.”

That leaves two other possible solutions.

One is technological. Many people argue that technology solutions are an arms race, with developers of blockers upping the ante every time another solution is offered.

But Anvato’s Smith believes that   server-side ad stitching, which his company provides, “totally defeats all kinds of ad blockers” because the ad is served in the same encrypted stream as the video. Eliminating a separate ad server, and encrypting the delivery, certainly would seem to confound the ad blockers’ strategy.

Other providers, like   Revive Ads , block the blocker and then serve substitute ads that aren’t blocked. It generates “a fresh ad zone,” CEO Mark Bauman told me.

The political remedy

While improving user experience is an unproven counter-blocker strategy with no clear threshold, and technological solutions can do end-runs around blockers’ strategy that may or may not be long-term, the final remedy may actually be political.

Block Adblock, for instance, is one of those solutions that first tries to convince the user through a nice message from the publisher, asking that the site be whitelisted. If the visitor continues without whitelisting, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy: the ad-blocking user is himself blocked.

Tune’s Koetsier notes that 50 percent of users say yes to whitelisting if asked nicely. Essentially, this is a campaign to convince, followed by a refusal of service. Like asking a guy entering a restaurant without a shirt to come back when he is minimally attired. If he tries again without a shirt, he could be permanently barred.

There’s also a new level of political response that may emerge: class action. In Sweden, for instance, major publishers are   banding together   to block ad blockers en masse, so they won’t be played off against one another.

If that happens, a new conventional wisdom might actually be backed by a clear stat showing that users, confronted by a massive loss of quality content, drop their blockers.

´╗┐Acknowledgement:  Barry Levine

By Barend Greyling 26 Jun, 2016

The call to action [CTA] feature had been popular with broadcasters, who used it as a way to steer users to their own sites.

The change in policy was made earlier this month without warning.

Experts say the decision is another illustration of the power that Facebook now has over how the public reads and watches the news.

According to a recent study , 28% of people in the UK use Facebook as a news source at least once a week, with that figure rising to 41% for the under-35s.

Full article from the BBC:

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