Housekeeping: Have You Been Redirected To The App Store?
If you visit Badass Digest on a phone you may have had the experience of being immediately shunted to the App Store page for a game like Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. It's happened to a bunch of people, including me, over the last few weeks. Turns out the problem is a big one - it's hit sites like eBay, Something Awful, the AP and NBC. It's some crummy redirect hidden deep in the ads, possibly the ones placed by Google AdWords (which make up the bulk of our banner advertising most weeks).
The reality is that this is a game of whack-a-mole. We report the problem to our ad provider and they remove the ad - if we can pinpoint which one it is - from the rotation. The problem is widespread and hard to target - read this article for more info, including the fact that nobody is even sure who is making these auto-redirect ads (some people think it's the ad networks themselves, attempting to get more money from advertisers by forcing more redirects). We're looking into options, but the reality is that we cannot get rid of the ads completely. This is not exactly a profitable business, and those ads represent some of the only revenue we get.
The good news is that 2014 is the year of alternative revenue for us. We have lots of new ideas on how to make the money we need to keep this site running and our staff paid (and maybe even make enough money to bring in new staff), and hopefully you'll be onboard with some of these programs. In the meantime you can do stuff like buy Film Crit Hulk's book or make Amazon purchases through the 'related products' section at the bottom of articles.
Until we get some of these new revenue concepts off the ground you can let us know if you're being hijacked or experiencing other website problems using our Contact Us page. This is THE BEST way to report issues with the site, whether it be ad redirects or PHP errors or any other issue. Sending an email to me or Meredith or tweeting at us will get the job done, but this form submits directly to the people who actually fix the problems, so you're getting results much faster that way.
I've worked for sites where the reader experience was ignored. I saw first hand how that hurts a community. More than that, I know how frustrating it is to be a reader and experience technical problems. I'm not always going to write stuff you like, but you should at least have the ability to read it! I will keep doing my best to communicate with you guys whenever stuff like this happens. Thanks for your patience.