You Get What You Give

It should come as no surprise to me that my favorite, and perhaps most level-headed, reaction to the ad-blocking brouhaha that emerged this past week comes from none other than The Macalope.

Oh, ad blocking. See, despite Patel’s contention, it’s very clearly about business and user experience. If it’s not at all about user experience, why in the heck are people paying for ad blockers? Because Apple told them to?

Marco Arment’s decision to pull his ad-blocking app Peace from the App Store after only a few days on sale revealed his humanity as a developer, but that certainly didn’t end the conversation on ad blocking. A common refrain among Arment’s detractors was the irony of selling an app to block ads. Insinuating that selling something to someone who is willing to pay a fair and reasonable price – or, for that matter, any price at all – only revels how vapid content creators on this issue have become. Irony, in Arment’s case would have been releasing the app for free, but somehow supporting its development with in app ads, not selling it to willing buyers.

Back to The Macalope, who astutely concludes that content creators are not the sole contributors to the economic model of publishing gone awry – yes, we the content consumers, carry the burden of blame as well (emphasis mine):

Sadly, the Macalope has to leave you with a pox on both houses that, as Patel correctly notes, is going to affect us all. People who say “Ad blockers are evil!” are wrong and so are people who expect to get the web for free. There’s a middle ground to be had here, but the chance to find it is probably gone and Patel’s hell is a very real possibility.

The lesson: Find something you like or need, pay a fair and reasonable price for it, and don’t groan and complain every time you find it somewhere else for a dollar less.