by PhilipJ on 5 May 2006
I was wondering how long it would take for this to happen.
ScienceBlogs is an extremely cool idea: grab a bunch of the interesting science writers from a variety of disciplines and localise them in one place. Basically a one-site-fits-all approach to science weblogging. This is great for a couple of reasons: it lends credibility and professionalism to scientists who enjoy writing on the web (Blogger templates leave something to be desired, no matter how intelligent the posts are!), and, by grabbing people from physics (Uncertain Principles), evolutionary biology (Pharyngula), climate science (Stoat), etc, we get exposed to excellent writing and opinions from areas that we aren’t all experts in, so for that I am truly grateful. But…
The problem with ScienceBlogs, of course, is that popular sites require a reasonable amount of resources to keep going, and and these resources aren’t cheap. Seed Media (the brains behind ScienceBlogs and Seed magazine) are offsetting these costs with ads. At first, the ads were unobtrusive, being relegated to the sidebar and were, for the most part, simply static images. Now, however, there are what basically amount to TV commercials sitting amidst the list of articles on the home page, and one particularly obnoxious ad gets overlaid on the excerpts of entries! (click for full size):
Holy cow indeed! This is doubly annoying because many of these sites didn’t have ads before the big move to ScienceBlogs. One way to get around this is to simply grab stories via RSS, but that doesn’t help when you want to participate in a comment thread of a particular entry. So, if enough of us voice our displeasure about these ads, perhaps Seed will require advertisers to be a little less obtrusive and get rid of the flashing, swirling, overlaying, and noise.
What’s wrong with simple, relevant text ads, anyway?