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soccr Mar 4th, 2003 09:06 AM

A comment on free speech on this forum
My initial response to the big Expedia ad that now confronts us when we arrive at the &quot;Travel Talk&quot; main forums page was to be annoyed. But then it occurred to me that I have seen plenty of discussion of the value of Expedia (along with Orbitz, etc.) on this website and some has been negative. So let me just say I'm grateful to Fodors for not knocking off the negative comments about a sponsor and grateful to the sponsor for being willing to support a website that may not always serve its interests.<BR><BR>(But I still find the great big ad annoying.)

Rhea Mar 4th, 2003 09:29 AM

Yes, it is annoying but what a small price to pay for instant info &amp; witty repartee...ok some not so witty but informative.<BR><BR>We should all be grateful as you indicate. No matter what Fodors site I go to for info there's a person who can advise.

Patrick Mar 4th, 2003 10:40 AM

The way I look at it, I have to pay for cable so I can watch TV, which is always filled with commercials. I have to pay for my newspaper which is easily 4/5 advertising. I subscribe to a number of magazines which cost me money. All of them are 9/10 advertising. So why would I complain about this website that literally costs me nothing at all -- because of a few advertisements?

Suzie Mar 4th, 2003 10:50 AM

Does it mean anything that the Fodors logo and the Expedia logo are nearly identical? Is Fodors (Random House) associated with Expedia?

buckeyemom Mar 4th, 2003 10:58 AM

Actually Patrick with cable you can either mute the darn things or flip channels. You can't do that here. I really don't object to ads here however, the size of these new ads take forever for the page to load.

Patrick Mar 4th, 2003 11:08 AM

Actually, buckeyemom, your comparison to cable is interesting. I'm not sure about your computer, but I can mute mine -- but this ad doesn't make any noise anyway, so that is a &quot;mute&quot; point, pardon the pun. And you can always &quot;flip channels&quot; here too. Frankly I think it's better that you can continue to visit and use this site while the ad only takes up a small portion of the screen here, as opposed to television, where your ability to watch the show comes to a total stop until the commercial is over. I'd prefer this system anyday! I've installed a pop-up stoper on my computer, so at least I'm not bothered by those ads. Can anyone tell me how I can get a pop-up stopper for my television???

Loki Mar 4th, 2003 11:15 AM

I have some reservations about allowing Expedia to advertise on a travel discussion group. People come here for true and objective information. Like soccr said, as long as Fodors doesn't censor posts critical of a sponsor, then it's fine with me, but I would rather see banners for Target, JC Penney,, and other companies less tied to the travel industry. There was some controversy with a magazine, Popular Photography, where they were accused of some sort of practice where they would not publish poor ratings of advertisers products, and I think they admitted it to be true to some degree. They wouldn't publish false info, but some accurate info would find it's way to the trash can. Again, I have no problem with the advertising but there can be conflict of interest.

Owen_ONeill Mar 4th, 2003 11:24 AM

Not completely off-topic.... as a frequent movie-goer, I've become a bit irritated at the paid commercial ads that now preced the atrt of trailers and previews. It went from a relatively innocuous ad or two of a few seconds duration to five minutes or more of ads before previews even start. A consumer group has just filed a class action suit against a major theatre chain because the ads are starting at the advertised start time of the feature rather than beforehand. Interesting to note that when I went to the movies again a few days ago (at a different chain - no the one that is being sued), the ads now show BEFORE the advertised starting time.<BR><BR>As for Fodor's... if I could pay $5 or $10 per year for an ad free site I'd gladly do so but I'll live with the ads in the meantime.

Myrna Mar 4th, 2003 01:25 PM

Owen-I am with you about ads in movie theaters.<BR><BR>As to Expedia advertising, aren't they technically a travel agency? So, if they can advertise, why can't every other agency? Don't they taint the site?

Andrew Mar 4th, 2003 02:09 PM

Free speech? Fodors is a business and can do whatever they want with their forum. They could put a dozen ads on this page - but if everyone left, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot. Even though banner ads don't raise much money anymore, Fodors does need to do something to support keeping this forum running. Actually I doubt it really helps their business today.<BR><BR>buckeyemom, the Fodors banner ads are not huge in (file) size. I just saved one - 13.4K. That's absolutely nothing. Unless you have an old 28.8K modem these ads should not be slowing down loading of the page. The page does sometimes load slowly for me even with DSL, but it has little to do with the banner ads. I think it has to do with all the other little graphics and the frames. If they took off the banner ads completely it would load at about the same speed.<BR><BR>Andrew<BR>

Jack Mar 4th, 2003 03:30 PM

Fodors may not like this but it is easy to download (for free) and install a pop up ad stopper. They work great at eliminating most pop up ads. One source is There are others.

soccr Mar 4th, 2003 03:41 PM

Andrew, I hope you &quot;got&quot; that my reference to free speech was intended to get the attention of all those who somehow think this is a place where the First Amendment is supposed to apply -- which, of course, it doesn't because it is a private enterprise. <BR><BR>buckeyemom, I'm guessing you have dial-up service, but even if you don't, the loading time for Fodors has been seriously quirky of late, so it may or it may not have anything to do with the banner or pop-up ads. <BR><BR>Loki, advertisers who have only minimal relationship to traveling are unlikely to think this is a good place to spend their advertising dollars.

buckeyemom Mar 4th, 2003 04:59 PM

Yes, I do have dial-up. While I would love DSL, my dh is a tightwad! ;-) I have been having problems loading the board the past couple of days so it could be Fodor's.<BR><BR>Patrick-Just drink a margarita for every commercial then you won't need a zapper.

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