I’ve decided to remove 3rd party advertising from the website. All external content ad-spaces (Google Ads) have already gone and also most affiliate scheme banner ads. A few direct referral text links remain, almost all on the Links page or in the picture gallery pages. These are relatively unproblematic but will be reviewed in the near future.
This is largely in response to the recent well publicised discussions about online privacy. 3rd party web adverts are known to give the possibility of tracking user’s behaviour. I’m uncomfortable about the fact that I have little direct control of 3rd party content and also aware that unwanted adverts can simply be annoying. It goes without saying that I’ve always been totally respectful of our user’s privacy.
Like the majority of websites, we have used adverts as a source of much needed income in order to pay for the website running costs. They have always been used with moderation and restraint. Although I don’t believe any there has been any significant problem in the past, I think the site is better without them.
This does mean a significant loss of revenue needed to keep the site going. Since the business has been substantially downscaled, this may be a real problem. In the hope (possibly over-optimistic!) of compensating a little there will be some new PayPal Donate buttons added to certain pages. A few small donations could go a long way towards keeping things running.