49 thoughts on “Screenshots

      1. I suspect Dr. Myers is okay with being called a fiend.

        Also, look at it this way: BioLogos is paying Myers to criticize them.

    1. As long as the checks don’t bounce, he’s perfectly happy to let said advertisements remain. He’s been aware of these type for months. Even emails them out with his reader I’m told.

  1. Jerry, perhaps you’ve missed the ads for Christian dating services and online theology degrees. Taking money from the enemy: selling out, or putting their money to better use?

      1. Emphasis on the word think. They could be wrong in this on minor instance. On average they may be right, but in this circumstance, they very well could be wrong.

        1. Ad placement isn’t an exact science. Biologos is probably buying keywords like “evolution,” “religion,” “faith,” etc., and Pharyngula certainly uses those words a lot. Once they look at the clickthrough rates, they’ll presumably adjust and either change their keywords or put Freethought blogs on a blacklist. (Or maybe not; maybe a nontrivial number of people come across Pharyngula casually or via a creationist link and will be interested in the ads.)

          And on the other end of things, since advertising is usually placed through an intermediary network rather than directly (Biologos isn’t writing checks to FtB), it’s not all that easy to screen out “undesired” ads. My understanding is that you can get one particular ad taken down, or even one particular advertiser, but that it’s pretty hard to exclude an entire class of advertisers except by picking them off one by one.

          1. Web advertising is almost entirely automated. It’s not like there’s some person looking through websites and saying “Hm, I think this site would have many potential customers.” They have programs that look for keywords, and unless they can afford to hire the best linguists and computer programmers in the world, those programs aren’t going to be able to detect the context surrounding those keywords.

            Wondering why there’s a Biologos ad on Pharyngula is like wondering why you get spam email from penis enlargement pills even though you’re female. The computer placing the ad doesn’t know, and the person in charge of that computer doesn’t care.

      2. This is what happens when you pay a hack to do your Google AdWords. United House Wrecking is currently advertising on B&W under the AdWord “Science.” Somebody probably dumped a dictionary on AdWords, because targeted marketing is for nerds.

    1. I got my weekly e-mailshot from the New Scientist a few days ago, which included a text-and-link advert for some Christian breeding programme – Date-a-God-Squaddie, or something like that.
      Cue snotty mail back to NS about how offensive I found this and how much less likely it makes me to subscribe to their esteemed journal.
      It’s not likely to help much (NS do keep some sort of Chinese wall between editorial and advertising, so this is probably purely form the advertising department), but if I didn’t object, then I can’t be certain that they know that (some, at least) of their customers are offended by this sort of thing.
      On the other hand … it shows that the God Squaddies are having problems breeding up the next generation of cannon-fodder. Which is a good thing.

  2. Bloggers should realize that addveritisements are not mild distractions that the reader lives with. At a certain point you lose your readers.

    1. It’s not the blogger in these cases, it’s the host not excluding keywords and the advertiser using too many keywords. FTB could get rid of that by making “Paul” a negative keyword… I guess you could blame the blogger for the host but it’s only indirectly their fault.

  3. Huh … and he complainz about the Caturdayz. You just can’t trust those cephalopodz. I never noticed though since I have AdblockPlus.

  4. Ed and PZ (and others) discussed the ad issue in detail soon after Freethought Blogs went online. They want ads they would be of use to their readers (since they don’t make money if no one clicks), but they don’t have full control over that.

  5. Hah.

    The one thing I wish they’d do on Freethoughtblogs: get rid of the popups. Because if they don’t, so help me Dawkins, I’m going to install a popup blocker.

    By the way – if you click on those ads, it costs BioLogos and Rand Paul money.

  6. None of us are happy about it. The problem is that we’re using this ad service that cues on keywords, and they can’t tell that we’re criticizing Rand Paul and Biologos rather than praising them.

    They’re bad for us, too. Yeah, if you click on them, it costs them money…but you’d be more likely to click on the ads if they were actually something appropriate.

    1. For the love of Hitchens, please get rid of the popups at least. I’m this close to installing adblock to get rid of them, and I actually don’t want to get rid of the ads on FTB!

      1. You could ‘Adblock’ the specific script or domain that causes the popups while otherwise whitelisting Pharyngula…

    2. I feel a bit of guilty pleasure clicking on ads like these, even if I’m only costing them a few cents. A few cents worth of guilty pleasure…

    3. There’s this one website that has awesome up-to-date caturday information and lots more (including a minimal amount of squidlyness). Everything’s included without any advertisements, a beautiful gender traitor and friend of the website fixed it up.

        1. There’s an edge to the jest, I guess. I’m certainly not grinding any edge as sharp as anti-caturday.

          My assumption is that Dr. Coyne found the specific advertisements amusing and I see that Dr. Myers finds them, understandably, less so. Regarding cats and squid, I’m possibly a bit excessively fond of all animals. As to Miranda, she is beautiful, she did get the minimal advertising removed, which was a warm and unique gift, and she had a label attached to her which she examined then, it appears, decided to file under amusing.

          So, whatever dude.

    1. lol i presume.
      Also, he is probably pointing out the irony of having creationist ads on an atheist/freethought website.

  7. “The enemy of my enemy or someone distantly related to the jerk I am related to that I can’t stand who may or may not be my friend, but sure owes me money and tools they burrowed, etc.”

    or sumptin like that.

  8. You think those ads are inappropriate? Why, look what I found on the sidebar of this web site:

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  9. I never read blogs on that network outside of my RSS reader. The ads, especially the popups that somehow find a way around my blocker, are annoying as hell.

  10. More recently I saw this on the sidebar on PZ’s site:

    “# $1.4 billion pissed away by PZ Myers”

    I didn’t know UMM paid its professors so much.

      1. “Trophy Wife”?
        Is that not FAR more offensive to 50% of humanity than having the admittedly egregious “Biologos” potentially but trivially and inadvertently fund one’s efforts?
        Some one should all OZ to account for his boastingly proud demeaning of his partner.

        1. With a little research just now, I learned that you identify as an atheist and a feminist. How ironic that you use an avatar that could easily mislead someone into thinking you were very religious. I have to assume there’s some history to it that is hidden on first glance. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s the case here with PZ.

          If you had taken the time to search his blog, you would have learned not only the origin of the Trophy Wife catch phrase but also how strongly and frequently he advocates for feminism.

          Consider yourself called to account.

    1. And I’m just a small-time prof at a little liberal arts university. Imagine the billions a Jerry Coyne must get paid!

  11. It’s the popups that are truly disgraceful (even though their contents aren’t as offensive). Only other sites that actually do popups anymore are the seedier file hosting sites (meaning the ones that aren’t very particular about the contents of hosted files), for Athe’s sake!

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