Question for those of you who used to be Contributing Members

jenswrensAugust 25, 2006

Have you updated your My Page since the iV takeover and abandonment of the $15 membership option? I want to update My Page, but I am afraid to do so because I don't want to lose my ad-free world here at GW. So, if you were a contributing member, do you still see your beautiful ad-free forums? Did you lose that if you updated your Page? Thanks!

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No, I haven't updated my page. I understand that if you try, you have to give them a lot more information, so nothing every changes in my life!

I do see ad-free forums, and I'm very happy about it. Every few weeks, it will bump me out of my logged-in state. I always know this because the ads pop up. I log in and the ads go away.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 4:26PM
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Yes, momj47, that's what I'd heard too. So naturally, I figure that if they want more info when I try to update, they'll probably switch us out of our happy little GW state into their obnoxious iV state.

Anyone else? I'm hoping there's someone out there who can prove my suspicions wrong.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Do you ad-free guys so no ads, whats so ever, not even banner and side bar ads? I never see pop-ups, but I do see top of page ads and the side ones, some of which are tedious to load on my sloooow dial-up. Before I paid a scription fee I had lots of pop-ups, but afterwards none, and then none when I re-registered w/o paying any more.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 4:55PM
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What do you mean, Molly, when you "re-registered"? As a CM, were you ever completely ad-free, including banners?

I see no ads whatsoever, no banner, no nothing, thank goodness, unless it kicks me out, which it does every now and then. Then I only see blank/white/green spaces where the ads usually go, I suppose, because I have all the iV ad stuff blocked. I might see if I can post a screen shot of what I see when I'm logged in. But it is clean, clean, clean. And I want to keep it that way for as long as possible.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 5:49PM
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No ads, no banners, no nothing. Here's what the page looks like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenweb with no ads!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Right after ivilliage took over, I was asked to update my page by taking my website off of it (they said that a couple of the forums linked on my site, like John Bridge's were considered a competing site). So I did, and I'm still add free.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Thanks Bill. And actually, how rude of them... I see John Bridge (and yours!) as a complementary site, not a competing one, but I guess that's just MO.

Still scared to take the plunge...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:49PM
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Change your browser to Firefox, and download some of their extensions that will block ads and banners on any web page. Here is what looks like. The "What's New" section is a little annoying, but overall I can browse GW unmolested ;)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:17PM
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I see John Bridge (and yours!) as a complementary site, not a competing one

That's the way I see it, too, and said so in a return email, but I got still another email demanding it be taken down. Oh well.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 12:08PM
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Here is something that might work for you. So far, I have been unable to get it to work for me, but others report success. Could be that because I have dialup or AOL, something is different enough to make it not work. It's a little bit tricky, but not too bad, and if it works will remove most ads (including banners and those animated things) from all sites.

First, go to this website:

It will direct you through the steps for blocking ads by updating your host file. This works for all browswers--IE, Firefox, Netscape. The directions on the webpage above do not really explain too well how to open the host file, so here are the preliminary steps:

--First, open Notepad (on my computer, Notepad can be found by going to Start, All Programs, Accessories and clicking Notepad).

--Next, click File and then Open.

--You will be looking for a directory that can be found in one of the following places:
Windows 98 C:\WINDOWS
*Note: I have XP but found the directory in the place shown for Windows 2K (WINNT). The website above shows a table that is pretty accurate and includes other operating systems besides Windows.

--Now, open the file in Notepad. On my computer, once I had 'etc' I had to change "Files of type:" to "All Files" with the arrow and then click on 'hosts' and Open.

From there you can use the directions from the website given above and paste in all of the entries to add to your host file. Supposedly, this will tell your browser that these ad servers are located on your machine and so attempts to retrieve the ads will fail. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked yet for me, but others say it works great for them.

In addition, here are some more entries that I found from a Gardenweb post a while back that are specifically targeting GW ads. I don't know whether or not they are also covered by the entries above, but here they are just in case:

Edit each entry above so that there is a tab between the IP address and the URLs. Click Save and you're finished. Close and re-open your browser and hopefully all the ads will be gone.

Now, the second part of the directions on the webpage tell you to update your proxy configuration (even if you aren't behind a proxy). I can't figure out how to do it, though. I get to where I paste in the long line into the No Proxy box, but my computer then tells me I need more info in the address/port box and I have no idea what I'm supposed to put in there. If anyone knows this, let me know!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 1:36PM
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Thanks, seeking. And actually I do have all that and more in my hostfile. Thank goodness for the hostfile modification. But even having that, if I'm logged out, I still see the big blank green space at the top and the little dodads (not really ads, just little pictures) over on the side.

However, when I'm logged IN, I get the special beautiful clean screen that I've had for years. No big blank space where an ad should be at the top -- nothing at all on the right side -- I mean NOTHING, not a square, not a red X, nothing -- but blank space. Even if I log in at the library or somewhere that doesn't have a modified host file, using IE, I still get my beautiful clean screen. THAT is what I'm afraid of losing forever if I alert iV by updating my page.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 3:16PM
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Oh, I get ya! I don't know the answer, though. I can't even get rid of the ads doing the above. Luckily, I have the ad-free version as long as I'm logged in, but those times when I'm automatically logged off it's insane. I'm fearful that one of these days (were we given a year?) I'm going to find that I'm no longer ad free.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Me too... I fear that day. That's why I'm kinda secretly hoping they forgot about us. Shhh.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 5:51PM
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It's been much more than a year since I renewed, so far, so good.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:36PM
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