Ok most websites have ads but i like THG because to me its more personal, and to me at least it seems to stay true to hardware fans. having ads however seems to diminish that and just makes it another one of 'those' companies...
By the way i saw the ad on the gamespot firing of the employee video. Something to do with looking out a window and then showing a cell phone i think... (I wasnt really paying attention..)
Ads are OK when they are not invasive, which these are.
I can't even get the video for ST to play in Firefox, if I click anywhere on the video (including the play button) I get send to the advertisers site. VERY irritating.
I have to use IE tab to get the video to work at all, thats after being put the ad site numerous times. ST is good which is why I have not just given up on this, but its very annoying and if it doesn't get fixed, I'll find my games info elsewhere - poor show TH.
If you use Adblock with FF, that is why you are having problems watching the videos. I've had to tweak my filter settings to get the damn videos to play.
Honestly Ben & Rob are difficult to watch anyway, and for the most part weren't worth the effort. Sorry guys, just this reviewers opinion I guess. Blame it on my short attention span if it makes you feel better. FWIW, I think X-play is very lame, and I'd rather watch your segments. That's something, but I guess that depends on your view of X-play. However, I was interested in the subject matter (Gamespotgate) which wasn't being widely covered elsewhere. That video is what prompted me to spend 30 or so minutes adjusting my block settings to watch the videos properly.
On the topic of ads I have one very important point to make:
The advertisement on THG since it's purchase by Bestofmedia has been nothing short of ridiculous. They (the ads) are being ratcheted up too quickly and too hard to enjoy many aspects of the site anymore. I use FF for 99% of my browsing. I also run adblock which takes care of again 99% of my problems with Ads, additionally causing 1% of headache with sites that force users to view ads before content. However, the banner ads, the "shop for this product" ads, and even the hated, no LOATHED smart-tags you put into your articles are nothing compared to the commercialization of the articles themselves. This year's Holiday Buyer's guide is nothing more than a thinly veiled advertisement for certain manufacturers, whose banners I often see block right at the top of the page. How credible is a product review from your website when you say things like:
It's easy to see what Gigabyte had in mind when they named their new power supply after Odin, the Viking god of war and wisdom. The ODIN GT 800 watt PSU has the juice to handle even the most intense quad core overclocker, and the intelligence to manage every critical system within the power supply via a conveniently accessible software interface.
WTF were you thinking when you posted this article? Are you a THG editor/contributor or a Gigabyte marketer moonlighting as a hardware reviewer? You didn't even pull off the Odin tie-in properly. Wisdom and intelligence could only mean the same thing in an advertisement. Though I shouldn't really be surprised. The original article that featured this product: PC Power Supplies: More Important than You Think was again a thinly veiled attempt to hawk the very same gigabyte product.
I hate to single out anyone's writing in particular, because most of the '07 Holiday buyer's guide *really* makes me feel as if I'm passing kiosks in a mall where hawkers are constantly pawing on me to try their latest ware. I get that all day, I don't need it from THG as well.
I used to visit THG daily, and for a long time I have found myself visiting less and less often without a concrete understanding of why. Eventually, after reading of the acquisition of THG by BoM it began to click why THG seemed so much more sales focused than before. I understand you purchased THG in order to round out your portfolio of publishing vehicles. I also understand that the website needs to generate revenue in order to continue functioning. However, I promise you that if you don't slow down on the marketing, you're going to lose your core audience that made THG a worthwhile purchase in the first place. Whatever back office deals are taking place that are leading to these commercialized articles needs to come to a stop, now. Put up whatever banner ads and smart tags you want, but if you continue dicking with the content to sell what you are reviewing you'll lose at least one reader permanently.
Dark_Knigh t33 makes an excellent point. Until I discovered THG, I had no loyalty to any website (unless you count google). But after realizing that THG was by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts I felt like I had found my home. Lately it seems to be going the way of all the other over-commercialized, mass market, pseudo-informative ad campaign sites that I'd rather (and do) live without (just like television).
The internet was built to facilitate communication and sharing of invaluable information. Let's hope THG doesn't stray any farther from that ideal.
PS: I still love THG, which is why I don't want to see it tainted.
My contingency plan? Legion Hardware, X-bit labs, HardOCP to name just a few. There is certainly no shortage of quality hardware review websites out there. Most aren't trying to soak me in commercials when I step out the door to read the news either. If THG or rather Bestofmedia, since I know it's their initiative, doesn't chill the F*** out with the (as dzmcm put it) "pseudo-informative ad campaign", I'll drop this website like the bad habit it's become. A quality review is an ad itself, it doesn't need a sales pitch not-so-cleverly written within it as well.
In addition to posting on the forums, if you want to e-mail me directly with any questions or concerns, please feel free to do so. It's firstname.lastname@example.org.
I did just that. I'm sure you're probably too busy to respond to all of your emails, but I hope the feedback & suggestions helps your video segments. I'm watching x-play as I type this, and everything I said about it (above and in the email) is true. In fact it's funny because Morgan is talking about how the announcer in Need for speed ro-street is annoying because he won't shut up, and I'm thinking the same thing about her. If you're going to do comedy, it should at least be funny. Anyways, I look forward to seeing if your segments continue to improve regardless of if you use my suggestions or not.