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    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your posts about the new adblocker support messages. I thought I'd quickly explain why they've started appearing and address a few of the concerns for you.

    The reason we've had to add the messages is down to the fact The Student Room is a free website for everyone - and an important one for many students, one we don't want anyone to have to pay for - but the only way we can provide that service is through generating money to pay for the many servers and infrastructure through advertising. About a 1/3 of our audience use ad blockers which is having quite a big impact.

    We've made big leaps forward in recent years to make ads more relevant for everyone and to provide a better experience. We're also continuing to improve the way we display ads based on your feedback, for instance we are positioning them in places that will ensure uninterrupted content and we are reducing the number of pop up boxes. We know people found the big ad sliding down the page a bit much, so we have moved that one and stopped it from doing that based on your feedback

    The new messages are just a way to explain to people with ad blockers on how much it can cause a problem for us providing that free service for everyone. We'd also rather everyone see ads so we can continue to improve them with your feedback. So we are asking people to consider whitelisting us to support the site if you like using it, and of course you are still free to make the choice.

    Please do consider whitelisting us if you do have adblocker turned on. This removes the banner immediately and helps to keep TSR free for every student. If concerned about the general practice commonly used by sites these days of using data, I believe there is a way of opting out of this through Google.

    In terms of addressing some concerns, if you have whitelisted us and are still seeing the messaging or are then experiencing problems with the site, that shouldn't be happening it's a bug - so please let us know your browser and blocker used so we can investigate.

    Thank you

    Jack
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    While many would appreciate this post, I think it's easy to forget many people block the ads on the site as they cause lag and of course track your data. I've seen some strange adverts on TSR and simply do not wish to see them, the lag is a huge problem and therefore I wish to continue using my ad block for as long as it counts as I don't want my experience to be slowed down.

    And no, I do not have a 'bad' device as my laptop can handle virtually anything. I think in the future, if implementing such changes, you should always run a poll and ask the users what they want and not implement them and then be surprised no one took to the changes.

    Also: considering this is a student website, profiteering off of them is hardly the right thing to do, I really do not understand the logic behind this, and who would have the money to pay for an ad removal pass for every 500 page views. Again, think about what you try to promote because this is all contradictory as you appear to advertise student guides for saving money and budgeting. Shameful really.
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    Captain Jack ,

    (i) I use an adblocker on Studentroom because the page is sooooooo slow to load! Fix your platform, and I'll turn in off.

    (ii) Some of us put a lot of work in supporting your site answering academic queries. Pestering us with another banner is not exactly motivational!
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    I don't think anyone here would be crazy enough to purchase an ad removal pass. As an active user, I would easily use up the 500 page quota within a couple of days. Sure, it is optional but no student would splurge out money like that when the reminder box can easily be blocked.

    Why can't you bring back the membership feature and give your user base additional benefits?

    I wholly agree with what iainvg mentioned in the other thread. Posting it here for reference.

    (Original post by iainvg)
    In the case of TSR, i'd have no problem going back to the old model with subscribers and a monthly fee. But the new model, £5 = 500 page views, so I did an audit of how many page views i've made on here in the past month, and came to the conclusion that to continue at my current rate, I'd need to be spending about £30 a month, i'm not a particularly heavy user, but lets think about this. If you have seen a post that interests you from the front page.

    Page count:
    1. Home Page
    2. Post of interest
    You want to make a comment?
    3. Send reply
    4. returns you to post of interest.

    4 pageviews just to make a comment, and you're going to charge people £5 for 500, or force them to run obtrusive adverts instead.

    I'm still of the opinion that until it's made explicitly clear, the current wording of the ePrivacy Directive, requires that implicit consent must have been given for the running of any adblock detection to occur, rather than the implied they're trying to pull at the moment. When GDPR comes into effect, there will be none of this implied BS, because they'll be legally required to get implicit permission for any data collection.

    A script, running in the background (yes, i've checked, it's an adaptation of a fairly well known one, and it's one of the most obtrusive as well) that is collecting information from the client side of an interaction, is data collection.

    As it stands, i've just set up a whole new set of custom rules for bypassing this, if you want money from me to remove the popups, fine. Use a reasonable model and i'll consider it. Especially as most of the time, i'm personally not here to search for help.

    However, with this model, taking into account that the little quip about 65 staff yada yada, TSR Group is a multimillion pound business according to 2016 filings, blocks are in place, just like every other multimillion business doing this dubious practice.
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    (Original post by dontgivea)
    While many would appreciate this post, I think it's easy to forget many people block the ads on the site as they cause lag and of course track your data. I've seen some strange adverts on TSR and simply do not wish to see them, the lag is a huge problem and therefore I wish to continue using my ad block for as long as it counts as I don't want my experience to be slowed down.

    And no, I do not have a 'bad' device as my laptop can handle virtually anything. I think in the future, if implementing such changes, you should always run a poll and ask the users what they want and not implement them and then be surprised no one took to the changes.

    Also: considering this is a student website, profiteering off of them is hardly the right thing to do, I really do not understand the logic behind this, and who would have the money to pay for an ad removal pass for every 500 page views. Again, think about what you try to promote because this is all contradictory as you appear to advertise student guides for saving money and budgeting. Shameful really.
    (Original post by Gregorius)
    Captain Jack ,

    (i) I use an adblocker on Studentroom because the page is sooooooo slow to load! Fix your platform, and I'll turn in off.

    (ii) Some of us put a lot of work in supporting your site answering academic queries. Pestering us with another banner is not exactly motivational!
    (Original post by UWS)
    I don't think anyone here would be crazy enough to purchase an ad removal pass. As an active user, I would easily use up the 500 page quota within a couple of days. Sure, it is optional but no student would splurge out money like that when the reminder box can easily be blocked.

    Why can't you bring back the membership feature and give your user base additional benefits?

    I wholly agree with what iainvg mentioned in the other thread. Posting it here for reference.
    Hiya everyone,

    Thanks for clarifying the main concerns.

    In terms of speed it's strange because the ads should load after the page has loaded, so shouldn't affect page speed so that is interesting. But yes, if you are seeing a noticeable effect from having ad blockers on for speed I can understand.

    Subscription package wise, I will raise that internally but I think it's unlikely because we went to a lot of effort to remove that package for equality of use where no student was unable to use TSR because they couldn't afford it. So we gave all of the paid for tools away for free to everyone. The trade off is having ads on of course but that gave people the choice to look at them or not for getting the tools free.

    In terms of tracking - which is all anonymous - there are ways to tell companies to stop tracking you and I believe in a few months time, this option will be available through browsers directly making it much easier.

    While the new banner asking for people to support TSR by seeing ads is frustrating, it is quite easy to get rid of by just white listing us.

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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Hiya everyone,

    Thanks for clarifying the main concerns.

    In terms of speed it's strange because the ads should load after the page has loaded, so shouldn't affect page speed so that is interesting. But yes, if you are seeing a noticeable effect from having ad blockers on for speed I can understand.

    Subscription package wise, I will raise that internally but I think it's unlikely because we went to a lot of effort to remove that package for equality of use where no student was unable to use TSR because they couldn't afford it. So we gave all of the paid for tools away for free to everyone. The trade off is having ads on of course but that gave people the choice to look at them or not for getting the tools free.

    In terms of tracking - which is all anonymous - there are ways to tell companies to stop tracking you and I believe in a few months time, this option will be available through browsers directly making it much easier.

    While the new banner asking for people to support TSR by seeing ads is frustrating, it is quite easy to get rid of by just white listing us.

    Jack
    I am genuinely curious if this is why you make the Today on TSR section so clickbait-ish. It's more irritating than the ads, in a weird way; I mean, in one very recent instance, it says about getting into Oxford with a U grade, when the actual context was a person with a crippling disability asking if it would affect them.

    Frankly, I'd pay for a pass to remove that or make it more transparent.
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    Sorry, I give my time for free to help people - perhaps I should ask you for money to pay for my time?

    Seriously stop the ban on ad-blockers - the adverts are irrelevant for teachers and just annoying.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Hiya everyone,

    Thanks for clarifying the main concerns.

    In terms of speed it's strange because the ads should load after the page has loaded, so shouldn't affect page speed so that is interesting. But yes, if you are seeing a noticeable effect from having ad blockers on for speed I can understand.

    Subscription package wise, I will raise that internally but I think it's unlikely because we went to a lot of effort to remove that package for equality of use where no student was unable to use TSR because they couldn't afford it. So we gave all of the paid for tools away for free to everyone. The trade off is having ads on of course but that gave people the choice to look at them or not for getting the tools free.

    In terms of tracking - which is all anonymous - there are ways to tell companies to stop tracking you and I believe in a few months time, this option will be available through browsers directly making it much easier.

    While the new banner asking for people to support TSR by seeing ads is frustrating, it is quite easy to get rid of by just white listing us.

    Jack
    I think that subscription should be available to those who are willing to pay for a better use. Fair point, it may ruin equality but it will still remain free to those who want to use it but more premium things should be available to those who are willing to pay. I don't know why it was scrapped in the first place.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    We know people found the big ad sliding down the page a bit much, so we have moved that one and stopped it from doing that based on your feedback
    The new ad blocker messages are just as annoying and irritating as this, if not more...
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    (Original post by Black Water)
    I think that subscription should be available to those who are willing to pay for a better use. Fair point, it may ruin equality but it will still remain free to those who want to use it but more premium things should be available to those who are willing to pay. I don't know why it was scrapped in the first place.
    Hiya, we removed it because hardly anyone subscribed to it and the main benefit was all of our learning tools. Most of our users asked for those tools to be made free, so we did
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    I white listed it and then got instant lag and everything loaded painfully slowly so I had to put it back on because I simply don't have the patience.

    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your posts about the new adblocker support messages. I thought I'd quickly explain why they've started appearing and address a few of the concerns for you.

    The reason we've had to add the messages is down to the fact The Student Room is a free website for everyone - and an important one for many students, one we don't want anyone to have to pay for - but the only way we can provide that service is through generating money to pay for the many servers and infrastructure through advertising. About a 1/3 of our audience use ad blockers which is having quite a big impact.

    We've made big leaps forward in recent years to make ads more relevant for everyone and to provide a better experience. We're also continuing to improve the way we display ads based on your feedback, for instance we are positioning them in places that will ensure uninterrupted content and we are reducing the number of pop up boxes. We know people found the big ad sliding down the page a bit much, so we have moved that one and stopped it from doing that based on your feedback

    The new messages are just a way to explain to people with ad blockers on how much it can cause a problem for us providing that free service for everyone. We'd also rather everyone see ads so we can continue to improve them with your feedback. So we are asking people to consider whitelisting us to support the site if you like using it, and of course you are still free to make the choice.

    Please do consider whitelisting us if you do have adblocker turned on. This removes the banner immediately and helps to keep TSR free for every student. If concerned about the general practice commonly used by sites these days of using data, I believe there is a way of opting out of this through Google.

    In terms of addressing some concerns, if you have whitelisted us and are still seeing the messaging or are then experiencing problems with the site, that shouldn't be happening it's a bug - so please let us know your browser and blocker used so we can investigate.

    Thank you

    Jack
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Hiya, we removed it because hardly anyone subscribed to it and the main benefit was all of our learning tools. Most of our users asked for those tools to be made free, so we did
    Oh right. I missed out on the colourful name. Can't you give the ability to change the colour of your username and other luxurious features?
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    (Original post by Black Water)
    Oh right. I missed out on the colourful name. Can't you give the ability to change the colour of your username and other luxurious features?
    Yeah maybe we can definitely add more stuff to the site. We're going to be making profiles available on the app soon which might open the way to new usery stuff like this.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Yeah maybe we can definitely add more stuff to the site. We're going to be making profiles available on the app soon which might open the way to new usery stuff like this.
    Thank you. Remember, colourful name.
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    (Original post by Black Water)
    Thank you. Remember, colourful name.
    I will! :lol:
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    Your problem is that you were so aggressive with the advertising. Surely it was pretty obvious that having gigantic scrolling ads obscuring content and obnoxious pop-ups was going to get people to try and block them? If you'd gone for the more reasonable approach to begin with many might have considered not blocking them, but now very few people are going to do anything except instantly block your banner begging them to give you another chance. Too little, too late.
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      What a dumb idea
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        What about some kind of membership feature that people pay for, which includes perks. not sure if that exists already
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        (Original post by Muttley79)
        Sorry, I give my time for free to help people - perhaps I should ask you for money to pay for my time?

        Seriously stop the ban on ad-blockers - the adverts are irrelevant for teachers and just annoying.
        (Original post by Saoirse:3)
        Your problem is that you were so aggressive with the advertising. Surely it was pretty obvious that having gigantic scrolling ads obscuring content and obnoxious pop-ups was going to get people to try and block them? If you'd gone for the more reasonable approach to begin with many might have considered not blocking them, but now very few people are going to do anything except instantly block your banner begging them to give you another chance. Too little, too late.
        Captain Jack Can you respond to these, please.
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        (Original post by Gregorius)
        Captain Jack ,

        (i) I use an adblocker on Studentroom because the page is sooooooo slow to load! Fix your platform, and I'll turn in off.
        I agree. There seems to be some significant slow down with this site (with Chrome, at least) as opposed to many other sites that I use. I haven't tried to investigate in any detail though (broken JS maybe?). I'm not prepared to slow it down any more with ads.

        (ii) Some of us put a lot of work in supporting your site answering academic queries. Pestering us with another banner is not exactly motivational!
        This is even closer to the point. I only come here to help out with maths and physics queries. I'm supplying The Student Room Group Ltd with useful technical content, in my own time, for free. I'm not prepared to do that, and to suffer a slower browser, and use up more of my bandwidth, and expose my device to another attack vector, merely to increase the profitability of The Student Room Group Ltd (or alternatively, to pay them 500 quid a year for the privilege of providing free copy).
       
       
       
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