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The web sites my roommate visits that utilize Flash is mostly advertisement.
Why that one got my attention is because not 5 minutes before that, I read a similar topic in one of the Styling newsgroups - about why NOT to use Flash - more and more people are turning it off.
And today, for the first time in years, I turned off my Flash in IE.
Since an estimated 90%+ of internet users now have popup blockers installed, the new rage is the "unblockable" Flash ads. The only way to stop them now is to kill Flash completely.
I predict that it will not be long before someone comes out with a good Flash blocker. And when that happens it will kill Flash - or at least severely wound it.
What happens to all the sites using Flash - especially for navigation etc - when 90%+ of all Flash is blocked or turned off?
Macromedia's site (and others risky enough to build flash-only sites) sure would be hosed though! :-)
The AdBlock extension to Firefox doesn't make a difference between the type of content it blocks. It just removes anything that matches your defined patterns.
On top of that, it can "hide" loaded flash elements by placing a grey area on top of them, so that annoying animations become invisible. Unfortunately, they'll still use up CPU capacity.
Yes, flash is great but it should be kept off main pages and users should be told they are entering a flash page.
I think Flash's greatest days are still to come. It only gets better with each version. As soon as they create a video format that equals the rest (quicktime, wmv, rm, mpg) they will dominate that market. Now apple forces you to download some iTunes crap along with quicktime, wmv is fine unless you don't use windows, realmedia is a HUGE pain in the but and very annoying to install anymore and mpg is just to big. Flash has a quick and easy install and not only could be a great video player replacement but already is a great mp3 replacement. Even if you offer a mp3 to download always nice to be able to preview it in flash right on the webpage without opening an external player. Not to mention the quality games that are popping up more and more everyday.
A quick anecdote: I sent my father to my photography site to take a look and test it out. I figured he's a good average candidate for testing. He uses the internet daily, he doesn't really get how it works, and I figured he was still surfing with his browser's default settings. He reported back that he didn't see any pictures. Over the telephone, we walked through his IE browser preferences, and we discovered he had disabled all JPEG and GIF images! He'd been surfing this way for months! He said he did this for fear of getting a virus, as per a friend's piece of advice. I can only hope that a user purposely visiting a photo web site would know to enable images, but I cannot assume they'd be willing to turn their Flash on, if it were disabled.
As for people turning off Flash because it delivers ads, what is to stop people eventually switching off all ads ie graphics, video, sound, affiliate code etc.
People can already do that. A text or image ad either doesn't distract you while you're trying to read something or it can be stopped by hitting escape or your browser's stop button. The ad is still there, but, it's not distracting you. You can't do that with Flash ads. Smart publishers would be wise to always have an ad that is served if a Flash ad cannot be.
Another bad thing about Flash is that if you don't have it installed yet or if you don't have the latest version, you're prompted to install it -- over and over and there's NO alternative to NOT installing it other than blocking Flash entirely. This is the same kind of prompt that appears for evil cursor/dialer/spyware programs (when people are told, "Never install anything from a website"). Not smart.
This is the same kind of prompt that appears for evil cursor/dialer/spyware programs (when people are told, "Never install anything from a website"). Not smart.
This is my fear with using cookies. Either people have them permanently disabled or they get the dreaded popup asking if they want to allow cookies from my website. At least with flash I can put a warning on the link to the page or the page itself saying it will require a special type of program called Flash in order to work but it would be impossible to explain to people that the next page requires cookies. I really wished they had picked a name other than cookies. Imagine your grandmas computer telling her she needs cookies.