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How Econet Will Kill My Two Year Old Start-Up with AD-Blocking

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How Econet Will Kill My Two Year Old Start-Up with AD-Blocking

During the re-branding of Econet Wireless this year, Econet CEO, Mr Mboweni hinted about how the company was trying to implement AD blocking and how it would help its customers “save data”. This one move would pits a multi-million-dollar industry against a few lines of code.

Dear Econet , server costs, maintenance, research, creating content are all things that cost a lot of money, and Econet blocking our advertising revenue. We will have to close shop and be added to the statistics of over 10 million unemployed Zimbabweans sites.

Is it right for Econet to issue ad blocker to its customers? Although it seems logical, ad blocker will have a devastating effect on bloggers like me, and other online.

On one hand, should people have to look at pop-ups, banners, autoplay videos and the other attention-grabbing tactics that subsidize most free websites?

dead startups

To me this is a big problem because a great deal of the Internet is built around advertising. It pays for everything on the internet that is “free” from news, videos, social media, search, email, maps, music and a lot more. Most of our visitors have gotten used to free content and services, and have agreed to “pay” for them by getting used to ads and exposing our identities. If Econet blocks ADs, many local websites will see their oxygen cut off and fall into a black hole.

How many times have you seen a pop-up ad or a video ad automatically playing out of the blue? None, because we local bloggers know how irritating it is.

When we think of the benefits of having an ad-free Internet, seldom do we stop to consider the consequences it has on content access and content quality. As it turns out, while ad blocking may have short-term benefits for the user, the costs for both user and content creators are numerous and interdependent.

Going the subscription route can be an option but we know Zimbabweans love free gifts. For some of us donations could be the only way of paying the hosting and other bills. And, as all contributions know, donations can go down as well as up and with our economy….

If Econet implements ad blocking it is refusing to acknowledge the usefulness and purpose of online content. It shows contempt towards those that make possible for you to learn about the latest developments in our case technology.

I’d like to know what’s Econet’s justification is. Because my current theory is that they haven’t given it a second’s thought.

Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.

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