Wanna annoy your readers away? Force them to turn off ad blockers

It’s officially 2020 and I find it baffling to see websites that literally force readers to turn off ad-blockers or sign in and give away personal information before being able to read content that may not even require a subscription. Take Forbes and BusinessInsider as examples. Here is what you’ll be greeted with when arriving at a Forbes article

On BusinessInsider

There are sites that require readers to subscribe before consuming content such as The Information or Washington Post. That’s fair game. When readers subscribe, the policy brings in immediate revenue. Some prominent publishers such as Bloomberg offer a trial in the form of a few articles or a significant discount before the actual commitment. With ads, the most common result of forcing an ad-block turn-off is just views. The downside is that the audience is annoyed. We are demanding consumers. Even one more unnecessary click can affect our experience with a brand or a website. When they don’t visit, websites risk not being able to show the sponsored content.

The Internet brings frictionless access to information. Websites will re-distribute your content, if it is good, in one way or another. Asking the audience to subscribe is a risk worth taking. Forcing the audience to turn off adblocks for some views isn’t, in my opinion.

CNBC provides a respectable example of how to ask audience to turn off adblocks while giving them an option to continue on

I learned new things about Rwanda today

I came across two cool videos on Bloomberg YouTube channel on Rwanda, a country in East Africa. The first video is about how Kigali in Rwanda is nowadays. It’s surprising and cool to learn about a city where there is no plastic bag, coffee is good, cleanliness is prioritized and economy is throwing.

The second video is about how drones produced by Zipline, an American country, are used to aid doctors and patients in Rwanda. As the road infrastructure in the country is in so bad a shape that it’s challenging at times for doctors and hospitals to procure blood. The drones alleviate such a problem. This is one of the best examples of how technology can be used to save lives. The part where the drones are stopped and grounded is awesome. Such precision.

Weekly Readings – 23rd March 2019

Chi Dung’s R collection. This guy’s work is impressive. If you are interested in R, take a look.

The Big Brexit Short. I really like this kind of investigative videos by Bloomberg. I honestly don’t follow Brexit enough. Hence, it’s good to know about this potential scheme. I highly recommend you check out Bloomberg’s Youtube channel. Treasure trove of good information.

What the hell is going on. A very long, yet informative study on how the switch from information scarcity to information abundance affects business, education and politics.

On the Hunt for Japan’s Elaborate, Colorful Manhole Covers. An interesting story on a beautiful aspect of Japan’s culture.

How India conquered YouTube. I find the article fascinating and informative. A good overview of Youtube’s popularity in India and the media consumption behavior in the country.

Howard Marks’ memos. His excellent and insightful memos are praised and read by Warren Buffets and many investors.

I found two links here and here that are very helpful in understanding the subscription model.

Nine Reasons Why Disney+ Will Succeed (And Why Four Criticisms are Overhyped). A fair and detailed piece on Disney+, Disney’s upcoming streaming service. I cannot wait to try the service myself

Inside AirBnb’s “Guerrilla War” against Local Governments. A very good article on how AirBnb fought local governments in the US to avoid taxes and restrictions that the local lawmakers sought to put on them. I am a believer in the fact that if the law allows you to avoid taxes, you have every right to not pay taxes and stay competitive. However, fighting hard to stop new laws (laws always play catch-up with the business world) intended to make AirBnb pay taxes is a bit too far. Loss of taxes strips a local government of necessary revenue to fund projects that will benefit citizens. If your business earns millions of dollars in revenue and profit, what’s the reason for not paying taxes? Simply by “being a platform”?

Pinterest S-1. The photo bookmarking company filed to go public.