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Internet

TheGlobe tries pop-up ads

The online community is the latest to implement pop-up ads, which have garnered mixed responses from members of other Net communities.

    Despite complaints about them in some circles, pop-up ads, are becoming increasingly popular with online services.

    Web-based community TheGlobe.com is the most recent site to join the ranks of sites that have pop-ups--ads that launch new browser windows when you click on key links. TheGlobe is informing its members in an email message that "you no longer will need to make a choice between an in-line banner ad or pop-up ad that appears when your page is accessed," the email message states. "We're eliminating in-line banner ads on home pages."

    Instead, all pages will have a pop-up window "that will appear automatically with all free TheGlobe.com member home pages," the firm said in the message.

    When competing site GeoCities started adding pop-ups in December 1997, members rebelled. But Tripod has faced little opposition since implementing pop-ups the same month.

    Pop-ups, while incurring the wrath of some, are generally liked by advertisers because unlike banner ads, they naturally call attention to themselves by literally popping up on screen.

    TheGlobe said it made the choice to go with pop-ups rather than banner ads because they allow the user to create a home page that is otherwise free of ads. "It's something we're doing in our efforts to make things more comfortable for our members," said Jennifer Zwiebel, spokeswoman for TheGlobe.

    "We actually did a beta test with different advertisers and the response was positive with our members," she said.

    While site visitors complain when an unwanted window pops into view, members like them because they don't intrude upon their pages, she said.

    "I think we're trying to make it less intrusive and make it more comfortable," she added. "It's inevitable there's going to be advertising, so this is the least of all evils."