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What happened to all the ads?
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 08:16 AM GMT+7
I'm running Windows 10 as my OS. I went into settings and turned back on Ad blocker+, then into the ABP icon located in the upper right corner of the top taskbar, and deactivated ABP for this site only. Now the ads are all back.

Joel
rdt1953
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 08:48 AM GMT+7
Ads are here on the desk top i Mac - don't ask me why - Richard
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 09:33 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Ads are here on the desk top i Mac - don't ask me why - Richard



Richard,
I know next to nothing about anything Apple related other then how to use them at work. But like I did, check your ABP settings. I had to reset mine then exclude Aeroscale, and I never touched a thing.
Joel
pbhawkin
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 09:56 AM GMT+7
well if a number of people are having the same issue then it MUST be something that has changed at Aeroscale end.
MY work computer does NOT have adblocker at all (although I am just a terminal run through a server) and this page only has the ad across the top and one ad on the left side (this space for sale) and two ads on the right side.
AussieReg
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 01:43 PM GMT+7
http://aeroscale.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=254097

Jim gives a lengthy and good explanation in this thread guys.

Cheers, D
Merlin
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 10:05 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

well, in contradiction to some folks here...

I worry that there are too few publicity banners at the moment. Don't forget that this site, like any site, must generate some money to stay alive.



Cheers Drabslab

Well said.

All the best

Rowan
alpha_tango
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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 11:31 PM GMT+7
Hi all,

Kitmaker is a business and has to generate money. As long as the adds are modelkit business related I can live with that

BUT

Ad Servers are a great source to get your computer infected with all kind of "interesting stuff" and I am also not very fond of googleads and doubleclick (just as an example, and the adds look like the places are sold to google) permacookies on my computer. Besides some HLJ ads I get a bunch of German ads that have nothing to do with model kits ... just waiting for ED pills and dating site stuff ... and the first try to install something on my computer.

So while I can understand the point I dislike the very aggressive way to make me disable Adblock+.

Steffen
drabslab
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Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 06:10 AM GMT+7
Internet has done something very strange to us. Before internet it was perfectly normal to BUY books and magazines, and searching for months to find one specific reference.

Today we are used to have everything immediately available FOR FREE and even feel disturbed when someone points out that a huge reference like Kitmaker must be paid for, or when someone takes countermeasures to user habits that threaten a sites survival.

Comparing to the old days; imagine that you find a subscription to a paper magazine under the X-mas tree, and that magazine welcomes you by sending all their monthlies since issue number 1 (back in 1997 or something) for free. Would you not be surprised?

For Aeroscale/Kitmaker, you donít even need Santa to access all content and we all browse the net, visiting dozens of on-line magazines, without considering that someone-somehow pays it all.

The question is how an honest business model on the net, and specifically for Kitmaker, looks like. Adds, personal and big data, are a new goldmine (ask Facebook) and much depends on how clever a site owner is exploiting the data of the users. In some cases, clever includes quite scary peeking into personal lives.

Does anyone have a bright idea?
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 07:37 AM GMT+7
Drabslab Does bring up an interesting point about the good old days of model magazines, and having to actually buy research material.

I do fondly remember when a new monthly magazine came out that I skimmed the issue and looked at just about every ad. No one ever complained about two many ads or even the fact that there were ads in the 1st place.

Personally, the ads are fine with me as long as they directly relate to plastic modeling.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, January 02, 2017 - 03:06 AM GMT+7
Took a few days to visit all the KitMaker sites I visit to disable ABP. the only issue I have now is that the vast majority of ads on the right side have absolutely nothing to do with modeling. Nissan, Pirates/Tides of Fortune, leaf Filter Gutter Systems, and even Verizon are there as I type this. Not a single modeling ad. The left side still has "This Space for Sale", but right next to my reply box has an ad for a Tanker Techniques magazine. At least the header is a modeling ad.

There has to be some kind of happy medium between selling ads to anyone for anything, and keeping it strictly about modeling.

Honestly, I can't imagine any of those companies having a interest in advertising on a plastic modeling site. Just how are these ads sold? Makes almost no sense if you ask me. I'm sure that they're targeted at least by region, but on the whole the advertisers seem to just be wasting their money.

I also have the same concerns as Steffen about Malware, Spyware, and Hijacking. And yes I've had my computer hijacked once already. Had to completely format win10. What a pain in the butt that was. At least I back up literally everything these days.

Joel
drabslab
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Posted: Monday, January 02, 2017 - 04:55 AM GMT+7
Hai Joel,

The adds shown on the right are those of google adds. You can read their general conditions here:

google adsense terms

There is not much a site like kitmaker can influence .

In fact, you can yourself. In most cases google tracks all the google searches that you perform and stores this info on you PC in coockies. The publicity they show is directly related to that data.

Said differently, the adds do not target kitmaker or modelling, they target you directly using all data google can find about you and your interests.

Just try, google for a few days about buying a car (or something more kinky ) and I ensure you that you will get plenty of car adds.

It also depends whether the kit manufacturers are paying (sufficient amounts of) money to Google for advertisement. If no-one pays google for advertising, then google will not do it out of philanthropy.

What is worrying is that so few model companies seem interested to publish directly on a site like kitmaker where they find their target audience. Apparently, they still trust the paper magazines more.

And this may have a lot to do with payment. Paper mags have an audience that is committed to pay for the content they get, very few internet sites can claim the same. Statements from sites "we have so many registered users" are not always taken seriously because it is for free anyway.




Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, January 02, 2017 - 05:28 AM GMT+7
Drabslab,
Thanks for the info, I really didn't know that.

I do my computer maintenance once per week, and run CCleaner after I see which cookies I want to keep, and which ones I don't. Will have to see if there is a way to delete those Google files on my computer.

Just went to my google account and checked the activities log which is a listing of every site I've gone to using Google. Most are modeling related sites and You tube. Half the ads have no bearing on any site I've visited in more then 6 months. I also edited my personal preferences and unchecked all but 3. Lets see what they track now.

So if you use a direct link, then Google can't keep track of it, which would explain why sites such as Aeroscale, and LSP never show up.

Joel
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 - 06:11 AM GMT+7
Jim,
An admin from another very large modeling site wanted to read through Chuck's Helldiver build, but was really shocked when that Ad blocker pop up appeared across his screen. He absolutely refused to do so, and posted such on his home site. He posted that every free modeling site has ads to support them, but this is the only site he's seen that actively forces members and viewers to disable their ABP. This doesn't speak well for Aeroscale in the general community.

I tried to defend your position when I was emailed about it, but it really didn't go over to well.

Joel

Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 - 01:25 PM GMT+7
I'm kind of ticked off now too-- When I go to the Kitmaker network, I usually start over on Armorama, then just look through "The Entire Network". Today, I started on Armorama as usual, then drifted over here onto Aeroscale-- only to be met by the obnoxious ad blocker banners. So now it looks like every Kitmaker site has to be unblocked individually. I frequently refer other modelers to the site as being the best on the web-- but I can't do that now, as it seems to be the only one where you have to unblock the ads on every part of the site-- I'd think if you'd unblocked the ad blocker on any part, that would do it for all--guess not this is really obnoxious.
VR, Russ
drabslab
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Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 08:30 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

An admin from another very large modeling site



Better tell us which site so that we can have a look at how they fund their site. If by any chance that site is directly related to and gets funded by a paper modelling magazine or a kit manufacturer then the comparison is not totally fair. In any case, never let the competition decide on how you have to run your business.


Quoted Text

He posted that every free modeling site has ads to support them, but this is the only site he's seen that actively forces members and viewers to disable their ABP.



Maybe it is not (yet) common in the modelling environment but I have seen plenty of other sites that do it. I have also seen plenty of sites that don't give you any valuable content until you paid a subscription.


Quoted Text

This doesn't speak well for Aeroscale in the general community.



Equally, it does not speak well for the general community that it seems to expect everything for free. If the general community don't want to see adds then really, they should get a subscription. And maybe the general community should, as an experiment, write to "fine scale modeller" and insist that all publicity is removed from their paper magazine. I wonder how that would go down


Quoted Text

So now it looks like every Kitmaker site has to be unblocked individually.



Yep, quite annoying. This is the kind of disadvantages you get when a site with limited resources tries hard to be the best in its field and puts all effort into keeping the server running, and the bandwidth large enough and thus neglects some other necessary upgrades. There are many other such little shortcomings on kitmaker.

To name a few:

- you can't login with an outlook, twitter or facebook account
- the picture gallery is outdated
- you often need to login several times when visiting different parts of Aeroscale
- ...

and honestly, being a notorious computer freak myself this sometimes annoys me horribly but finally, it does not matter. I find excellent information here, and quite a few very interesting people to share thoughts with, and ask questions ...


Quoted Text

I frequently refer other modelers to the site as being the best on the web



Excellent, the more visitors, the more views, the more add views, the more money to improve the sites technology.


Quoted Text

but I can't do that now



Common, admit, you are saying this for the sake of the argument, aren't you. You really feel that a secondary issue like an add blocker deteriorates the quality of the information here?


By the way,

- apologies when I am sounding a bit harsh, it is not my intention to offend, I am just a very bad diplomate.
- I have not connection of any kind with kitmaker, it is just my regualr modelling hang-out on the web, nothing more, nothing less.
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 08:59 AM GMT+7
I can tell you honestly that other top sites do not do this. Here's two: ARC and LSP. Checkout either and you'd be amazed at the quality, quantity, and content those sites offer. LSP has more IPMS National Winning modelers then I've ever seen anywhere else.

Both sites are supported by selling advertising, all sites are. Neither site requires you to disable your Ad blocker.

The sites are owned by people who earn their income other then from running their site. So outside of administrative costs, all the funds are put back into the site.

If you're referring to sites such as Phil Flory's which is a completely closed site that is run more of a learning site with Phil's builds, there isn't any advertising that I know of. Bobby Waldron' has a similar site that charges for his videos only, as the forums are free. Bobby is a professional Modeler.

Honestly, this is Jim's main issue as he has stated. And that, more then anything else has really ticked me off.

I've haven't been asked if my personal efforts can be used by Jim for his Financial gain. Right or wrong that's how I feel.

Joel

Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 09:24 AM GMT+7
Drabslab,
You did make one comment that isn't entirely true:

"Equally, it does not speak well for the general community that it seems to expect everything for free. If the general community don't want to see adds then really, they should get a subscription. And maybe the general community should, as an experiment, write to "fine scale modeller" and insist that all publicity is removed from their paper magazine. I wonder how that would go down"

I do take exception to your statement. While I'm not paying in funds to be a member, my detailed and long build blogs is part of what make Aeroscale a modeling site. People generally don't come here, nor lurk to read the ads, rather they do so to see the builds and completed models that we, the membership post.

If we go to a pay site, then equally, we should all expect to have a active say in how the site is run, and how it operates. As of now we have absolutely no say what's so ever.

Joel
staff_Jim
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Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 10:53 AM GMT+7
Hi guys,
A couple of comments.

1. Browser cookies work on a domain level. So just as with your logins if you move from one domain to another you have to set them up for both domains. If you use the kitmaker.net domain to move between sites there is one cookie for all those. I believe AdBlocker has a 'whitelisted' domains in the options area and if you want to do all of them you could simply add them there.

2. For those that want to view this site without the side ads and Google ads there is an option for that. Subscribe for $3.49 a month (a huge fee I know) and you can turn them off. You also won't get any adblock thwarting code if you are a subscriber and logged in.

If you want to use the site for free and use AdBlocker all I can say is... no. Sorry right is right and wrong is wrong and I pay the server bills and have devoted 15 years of my life to this. Asking people to disable AdBlocker for KitMaker is not a huge deal. If you want to make it a huge deal go ahead and be my guest.

And Joel... dude... I sent you that Academy F-4J back in March. I used part of my evil "financial gain" to do that (as well as all the prior stuff I sent you). Is it too much to ask that before you start berating me in the forums for profiteering off your personal effort, that I could get the personal effort? Thanks.

Jim
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 12:11 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Hi guys,
A couple of comments.

1. Browser cookies work on a domain level. So just as with your logins if you move from one domain to another you have to set them up for both domains. If you use the kitmaker.net domain to move between sites there is one cookie for all those. I believe AdBlocker has a 'whitelisted' domains in the options area and if you want to do all of them you could simply add them there.

2. For those that want to view this site without the side ads and Google ads there is an option for that. Subscribe for $3.49 a month (a huge fee I know) and you can turn them off. You also won't get any adblock thwarting code if you are a subscriber and logged in.

If you want to use the site for free and use AdBlocker all I can say is... no. Sorry right is right and wrong is wrong and I pay the server bills and have devoted 15 years of my life to this. Asking people to disable AdBlocker for KitMaker is not a huge deal. If you want to make it a huge deal go ahead and be my guest.

And Joel... dude... I sent you that Academy F-4J back in March. I used part of my evil "financial gain" to do that (as well as all the prior stuff I sent you). Is it too much to ask that before you start berating me in the forums for profiteering off your personal effort, that I could get the personal effort? Thanks.

Jim



Jim,
I also over the years received two other models to build, which I did; the B-25B, and the F-15C. I posted long, detailed build blogs, and gave you full credit for the donated models. the F4 is still on my workbench as I'm deep into a few other builds. The Mossie was a personal priority for the 2017 Mosquitocon in Wayne New Jersey, as is the F4F-3. What that has to do with this issue is beyond me. If you're insinuating that I took a model under false pretenses, perhaps you should check your spreadsheet at the number of never built, finished, nor posted models. The list seems rather long. As far as using your personal funds to send me the kit, that's not quite accurate. Your business paid the postage if I remember correctly by the name on the return address portion of the shipping label. So in reality it was a business expense.

What I stated is how I feel. Right or wrong that's my personal opinion. I'm a member of other modeling sites, as well as a few non-modeling sites, and have never run into this issue before. It's just that simple.

BTW. I take personal umbrage at the reference to me as "...Dude..." That was not called for by any means. I'm a senior whose paid his dues here as a rather active member over the long haul. Whose contributions have helped to make Aeroscale what it is today. You certainly can't deny that I haven't.

The price of a membership is a non-issue, the fact of asking for a monthly membership is to me. There in lies the difference. My personal involvement and efforts here as far as I'm concerned more then equates to the status of a paying member.

Joel





Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - 12:26 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

So now it looks like every Kitmaker site has to be unblocked individually...

...I frequently refer other modelers to the site as being the best on the web...

Excellent, the more visitors, the more views, the more add views, the more money to improve the sites technology....

but I can't do that now....

---"Common, admit, you are saying this for the sake of the argument, aren't you. You really feel that a secondary issue like an add blocker deteriorates the quality of the information here?"



Drabslab,
No-- I have no problem with advertising on the Kitmaker Network-- I even like the advertising (the flashing is a little distracting as Joel and others mention-- but I'm even OK with that) and even visit advertisers occasionally. However, we shouldn't assume that everyone that visits is a computer guru (I'm not for sure), and it's very discouraging to us Luddites who use the site to have to clear the ad blocker on each individual site. It's downright frustrating and discouraging, and for me personally embarrassing since I've been telling my modelling buddies at my LHS Armorama and Aeroscale and the others are "the best sites". And yes, I visit LSP, Hyperscale (and it's subsidiary Missing Lynx), The Modelling News, Modeling Madness, ARC, Cybermodeler and a few others almost daily--except for the Modelling News, all of them have advertisers. Last week when I was in my LHS a "fellow old crony" (who can just barely turn on his computer), told me he couldn't get on the site because of the obnoxious ad blocker, so he was giving it up--frankly I was a little embarrassed. I will do as Jim suggests, and turn it off on the Kitmaker Network (which should work for all the sites right?) But it's a tall order for a Luddite like me to re-educate other modelling friends. By the way-- I only have problems on my desktop-- my Ipad and Iphone don't have any issues and there are no obnoxious ad-blockers--please don't mess with those, as I haven't got a clue how to un-screw those devices--hell, I can barely manage typing this message! My adult daughter is a computer programmer, she always tells me PICNIC--but that's the nature of my situation, and I wear that title proudly--but I'm not alone-- there are lots of us out here--one day progress will certainly overtake us and no doubt put us underground--but please, not on Kitmaker Network I hope.
VR, Russ
staff_Jim
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 04:38 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Your business paid the postage if I remember correctly by the name on the return address portion of the shipping label. So in reality it was a business expense.





I assume you were being serious? If this is your understanding of how 'self employment' works... well stick to working for Drug Store corporations. If I pay out $1000 in shipping at the end of the year which is not reimbursed to me, then yes I of course list that as a business expense, but it still cost me $1000 and the tax differed savings on other income is really not all that much. I mean sure if the $1000 just by luck lowered your income into a lower tax bracket then yeah it could save you money, but that is not exactly likely.

Thanks for that laugh though.

Cheers,
Jim
drabslab
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 06:34 AM GMT+7
Guys, seriously, there is no reason to turn this into a flaming match (or how are these encounters described on the net today ?). Please don't let an overall valuable and instructive exchange of views end in conflict.

@Jim: You are absolutely right. Kitmaker is (as far as I know) largely your interpreneurship, your investment, your risk, your programming, your property ... and this gives you every right to decide how you want this site to function. If you need to be reproached for wanting a decent return on investment then we can forget about "business" as a whole.

The business model of paper magazines is well-known; For a site it is not that obvious and it requires more effort finding services that users, and companies, are prepared to pay for.

In a totally different area (nothing to do with modelling) I have seen a reasonably successful business model where a site owner integrated a web service of a general on-line bookstore showing only books related to the subject of his site. Maybe kitmaker could do the same for some kit manufacturers and get a percentage of the profit so generated by that manufacturer?

I know, integrating such service, as do most other proposals we aired earlier on, requires a truckload of programming work and all that hard work remains totally unknown to most users.

Otherwise, Joel (and others) also makes a valid point when he says that the site would not exist without its users (and staff) and therefore it has to take good care of them. A business strategy that alienates a part of those users may not be the best one.

Moreover, some of us do more than visiting and spend their free time to contribute content. Sometimes we get a compensation for that effort by receiving a free kit from the site to review. You can see sending such kit as a cost but I can tell you that (at least in my case) it is also a motivator to write reviews from kits I buy myself.

My small personal annoyance in this respect is that I have recently been kicked out of the "contributors forum" because I have not managed to contribute last year. Really, after 6 features, and 11 reviews this was a bit of a surprise.

Furthermore, and as pointed out by someone here, not everybody is a computer nerd or understands business book keeping. That does not stop them from being faboulous people and good modellers. The site must also keep these people on board by making all "tasks" straightforward.


My 0.01 cents
CMOT
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 07:21 AM GMT+7
Letís try stepping back a minute and consider the issues here.
Jim has to make a certain amount every year to provide the site, some of these are:
To keep the lights on (servers and office)
He runs these sites and the network as a living and so requires a certain income from them.
The cost of posting items out had gone through the roof, and I know he has spent as much as $500+ in a month on postage alone.

Jim has put in place something to make the visitors to the network see the adverts that help pay for the above. If being made to see adverts is such an ordeal I am at a loss, especially as I do not have an advert blocker and I am not being bombarded with adverts.

The staff that run the various aspects of the sites on the network are not paid, they perform the roles as volunteers and so no-one is paying for that. We do get a reward in so much as requests for samples are usually fulfilled.

I appreciate and understand that not everyone who visits or registers with the network is fully able to know all of the ins and outs of the programmes that run on their computers, but it should not be too difficult to learn how to switch aspects on or off as needed. As such I cannot help but think we are making too much of the aspect of preventing people using advert blockers to utilise the network.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 08:54 AM GMT+7
Hi Drabslab,
All good points and I agree with them. Our community is WHY all of you are here and I fully understand that point. I have tried to make our systems and administration work so that modelers can be the driving force behind our sites. I don't mean to sound like I am demeaning Joel for his contributions. I am very happy with his blog on the B-25B for example. However I am only human and in a year where my wife has been chiding me for us earning much less than prior years, that is the point you *don't* want to start posting how you are ticked off that I earn my living on the sites. Seriously.

I talk about the AdBlocker thing a bit more in my recent Mail Call video which I will put up on the site today at some point. If you want to check that out please do.

Best wishes,
Jim

Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2017 - 09:06 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Letís try stepping back a minute and consider the issues here...

...I appreciate and understand that not everyone who visits or registers with the network is fully able to know all of the ins and outs of the programmes that run on their computers, but it should not be too difficult to learn how to switch aspects on or off as needed. As such I cannot help but think we are making too much of the aspect of preventing people using advert blockers to utilise the network.



Darren,
I agree 100% with what you've said. But I don't think the ad blocker announcement was well thought out-- it flashes and blocks the computer screen unmercifully. In my case, (and the case of the person at the LHS I mentioned) I needed help to figure out what to do, especially since the announcement looks suspiciously like a hook for a virus I picked up several years ago. Fortunately, I have a access to a programmer who showed me how to use my ABP button on my Firefox homepage. Others have told me they will just go elsewhere-- which is sad. I very much appreciate and support Jim and the rest of you who work and volunteer on the site-- and I mention "I saw it on Kitmaker" all the time. I'm not knowledgeable enough about the computer to post my work or write reviews, even though I'd love to do so, and have done so on one site in the past. I think many of us of a certain age are looking for simplicity-- and the ad blocker announcement suddenly popping up was kind of jarring. I've never had a complaint with Jim's site-- and I stand by saying it's the best on the internet for beginners and "experts" alike. I support and appreciate that Jim makes a living here too. I've been modeling a few years now (built my first in 1959), and am glad for Kitmaker's existence. But was there another way it could have been announced ahead of time? Perhaps in the topic headlines that appear at the top of the page? could that still be done? And while I'm at it-- those flashing banners on the sides really don't bother me that much, but... can the images be slowed down and cleaned up so we can actually see whats being advertised? The TAKOM one is particularly bad-- and it causes me to avert my old eyes, rather than really "see" the advertisement.
VR, Russ