I use Adblock. I would use it less, except for a few very good reasons:
1. I have no way of preventing ads which are abusive and misbehave, these are the ones which make noise and flash irritatingly and pop up right in the middle of the screen and beg for your attention. There are also ads which are obviously skeevy too, and these make my blood boil because I'm an IT guy. I get angry when I see an ad which is directed to some random domain which is probably serving up the latest malware exploit or phishing attempt. This makes my blood boil because everybody agrees that people shouldn't be doing that! The advertising companies, bless their hearts, try so hard to keep their ads clean, but they've only got so many folks they can put to the task.
2. Although Adblock allows me to choose which sites I allow ads for, oftentimes I find it much much easier to block all the random advertisement crap and just donate to the damn website. I love reddit! I hate ads! Reddit freaking Gold man. It's just $3..and that's probably no more than they'd make off of me seeing ads, I never click the damn things.
3. While they do try to track me by my behavior to tailor ads to my interests, computers STILL fail at this. They STILL FAIL at picking up subtle social things like oh...context? You could be on a very homophobic blog and see ads for a gay dating site. Now as ironic and comical as this is...It goes to show you how really stupid computers are at picking up context. This gets pretty old, pretty fast.
4. I cannot easily choose who a website picks to serve their advertisements. That being said, there are plenty of pieces of freeware out there which install browser toolbars and junk, which probably also steal all of your advertising traffic anyway. Well, the skeevier ones do. So there's really no way in hell I can be sure the right person is being compensated if something I have installed is doing this. Now I'm pretty savvy at computers, hell I'm a Computer Networking major, so I can usually spot skeeves who steal that traffic from a mile away. However, I am also human, and my knowledge is not "common knowledge". Most users don't know any better. I've serviced computers with 10 different browser toolbars from miscellaneous programs, these computers also almost always make me cringe. That many toolbars....shudder
5. Most companies who advertise can be trusted to respect my privacy. Most. Not all. This gets really damn old, really damn fast, and it's why I use a Pseudonym online. I don't mind if they use my browsing habits to determine what to pitch to me, that's attempted intelligence, but damn it...don't freaking sell it! I expect every new ad network to start from scratch with me. No cheating and trading information, that's just damn creepy and dishonest in my opinion. Oftentimes the info they buy is just old and stale. My interests do change, like any person's.
6. I don't write the filter lists for Adblock Plus. So I don't decide, who is a bad player, who gets the block. Now I could disable things on a page-by-page basis, but this gets old quick. Maybe if websites would stick to easily ignorable text ads more often I'd be fine with unblocking more sites ads. But they don't. And you know what happens next...
In the end it's like being a giblet in a pirahna tank. So maybe advertisers should talk to the maintainers of these lists and get UNBLOCKED after changing their habits and making sure their ads are properly vetted and are non-intrusive. Since this is almost impossible for them to do, I'm sorry...no hard feelings but I will have to block ads. You honest and polite advertisers can blame your less honorable peers for being too loud, annoying and otherwise dishonest. I shouldn't have to mute my damn computer to browse in a public library, nor should that library be forced to install headphones on every workstation or disable sound to avoid disturbing other patrons.
Advertisements shouldn't be a nuisance. If they become a nuisance, they get blocked and ignored. There's no way around it and there are as many intelligent folks who work at Google as there are intelligent folks contributing to open source projects like Adblock Plus block lists. Don't start an arms war, that will just piss people off more.
It's especially annoying when a web developer disrespects me as a user and codes around the Adblock or puts restrictions in place when it is detected. I've been known to refuse to traffic sites like this and use my skills to work around such things to spite them. I've contributed blocklist fixes for chumps like that. Now I'm a typically honest guy, and if I really traffic your site and I love it, I do reward that when I can afford it if you leave a usable donate button around somewhere...most people do.
You can argue "But internet, it would be broken..." all day long, but the short of it is that it's not. Because the world turns, regardless of how I am. I don't go out and preach to people that they should use Adblock, though I might recommend it to a less intelligent user who's computer I'm fixing to save them from the one thing they're being tempted to click on but I can't be there to tell them not to do it for their computer's sake and their sanity.
Love, Zazie Violet Lavender