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In a more sane model, webmaster directly pays for his site. If a complaint is made, company will generally be much slower on trigger, and much more likely to listen to webmasters than in advertising based model.
As advertisers have become more savvy to fact that promotion on internet is not nearly as cut-and-dry or simple as expected, they are spending their money more carefully. This has resulted in far less income for internet companies (resulting in many business failures), and it can be quite entertaining to see how desperate survivors are becoming.
Egroups moved their ads from bottom of their emails to top, and changed them from text links to graphics banners. Users of service hate this change almost without exception, but advertisers want their banners seen, and top is better suited for that purpose. It's completely irrelevant what users think (unless, of course, they defected in mass, which they have not done).
In addition, egroups subscribers were recently shocked to learn that they will now, by default, receive numerous spam emails in exchange for using service. There is now a new screen which lists all of different categories for this spam along with a yes/no option to allow it to be stopped. The default for everyone is YES, because Yahoo knows that most people will not bother to change it.
This naturally puts more advertisements in front of more people.
On other hand, Yahoo has obviously concluded that advertising model does not work well for it's GeoCities product. If you have a web site you are only allowed a tiny amount of bandwidth before site is shut off for rest of month. This means far fewer ads are shown. The purpose is to get webmasters to pay for their web sites (which would be a poor decision on part of most webmasters as their are many web hosts with far better service available at less cost).
So what is answer for consumer? Find services in which you are direct customer. You will generally receive far better customer service, and you might be surprised to find out that cost is not as bad as you might have thought.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.