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X Marks the Spot That Makes Online Ads So Maddening – The New York Times.

Ads pop up and play automatically, daring readers to shut them down with feats of fine motor control. The ads commandeer the screen. They expand and contract. They cover the text and refuse to budge.

And then there is the dreaded X — the one that invites you to close the ad yet seems impervious to repeated clicks of the cursor or the jabs and thrusts of even the most powerful fingers. (Perhaps you have tried a hammer?)
Sometimes the ads dance and move across the screen, forcing the user into a hot pursuit of the X.

“How many times have you hit the X and it doesn’t work?” said Tony Weisman, the chief executive of the digital agency DigitasLBi North America. “Now it’s just a cruel joke.”

Read more.

One of the things we’ve seen visiting “maker sites” in our arena is the forced pop-up, a forced newsletter sign up and not being able to close the pop-up, we even made a post about this to promise our community and customers we would not do that (Our promise 2014 / 2015). This isn’t new, we posted about this back in 2010 “Our promise – no social network malware on Adafruit (Facebook, etc)“.

Foolish? Leaving money on the table? Maybe, but the customers and community like knowing they can visit our site in an enjoyable way – they tell us so, repeat visitors consistently goes up, return customers consistently goes up – we are hoping that this cycle of advertising and forced sign-up-for-newsletter quickly ends as community and customers give their feedback with their voice and their wallet.