Is it you?  Are you the one who clicks on the banner ads on social media and social networking sites like Digg, MySpace, Reddit, Facebook, Propeller, and everywhere else (except Mixx, where I haven’t really seen them yet)?  I’ve been looking for whoever it is that still thinks they’re the 9,999th visitor or that they really just won a free Xbox 360.  When I find this person, I have one word.

Stop.

It’s 2008.  Banner advertisements, as wonderful and beautiful as they were before the turn of the millenium, are now worthless.  Or are they?  They still seem to be on just about every website (this one included, though I don’t know why I bother since nobody clicks on them).  I would think that most people, especially the astute, tech-saavy readers of social media and users of social networks, are immune to them and barely register that they’re even there.

Throw in adblocker plug-ins, and one would think that this arcane form of advertising generates pennies per million impressions.  Since smarter people than me run most of these sites, I can assume that someone, somewhere, is still clicking on banner advertisements to get their $9.99 unlimited email (WOOHOO!).  Please, for the love of Al Gore…

Stop!

Here’s an alternative.  Instead of trying to lure us “unwitting simple folk” into getting a free cell phone, why don’t advertisers and websites just come out and say it.  Here’s what I would love to see on a site:

This Website brought to you Banner-Free by our Sponsors.

We know you probably won’t click on them, but at least read their names for branding purposes.

If you happen to be in the market for a cell phone, new shoes, or cheap airline tickets, remember the websites who happily pay us money so we can deliver this site to you without seizure-inducing banner ads:

Link to Sponsor 1 – Description of sponsor 1

Link to Sponsor 2 – Description of sponsor 2

yadayadayada – yadayadayada

Wasn’t that simple?  Can you picture it?  More importantly, wouldn’t you be more willing to actually see who it is that is making the website free for you to browse, use, and enjoy?  Remove the banners, replace it with a “blogroll” style of advertising, and in the end, we might actually click on something just as a reward.

This can never happen if people continue to reward the banner advertisers with clicks.  If you’re one of them, please…

STOP!

Now where are banners acceptable?  On websites that are designed to sell stuff such as this Washington DC Nissan dealer. 

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Read more annoyances and general rants (though few they are) at Soshable, or check out one recent post that we liked at Facebook User Data Gathering Goes Viral.  Check out some of our social media recommendations.

Written by JD Rucker
+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.