Ad-Blocking and the Future of Free Stuff on the Web

Opening a web page recently I was alerted to a new feature in the Firefox browser: its automatic ad and cookie blocker. While ad-blockers are nothing new, the fact that this feature is active by default is. I suspect that it also extends to Amazon and Google Analytics cookies.  In my opinion, as ad revenue falls, this will speed up the demise of the ever dwindling number of sites offering material for free online. While you can turn off the Firefox ad-blocker by following the instructions here, I think the writing is on the wall.

No Paywalls!

I am committed to keeping access to Theology on the Web completely free, with no paywalls or privileged content. For this reason I am encouraging everyone who uses the sites regularly – and can afford to do so – to consider supporting them regularly using a PayPal subscription or by a Bank Standing Order (though it is worth noting that PayPal no longer appears to offer this service to personal account holders).

Regular support will mean that I can increase the amount of material I make freely available each month. You can support the sites for as little as £1 ($2) a month. Alternatively, if you would like to make a one-off donation you can do it via PayPal in the normal way or through the tip jar (which you will find on each page). If your Bible College or Seminary makes use of the sites, they might also consider supporting them. I hope shortly to announce a new partnership which will illustrate one way in which that might be done.

If you are able to support Theology on the Web in this way (or in ways that won’t cost you anything) please visit this page. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supports the sites, whether that is on a regular basis or by one-off donation. Every contribution is gratefully received!

A Word of Encouragement from South Africa

South African FlagI have had a great deal of positive feedback to my last post announcing the launch of a new project to produce an Open Source Commentary Survey. A number of scholars have responded offering to write a survey of commentaries on a book, or group of books of the Bible. Today I also received the following e-mail, which is reproduced here by permission:

My name is Basil Dwyer

I live in a place called Matatiele in South Africa which is a small village in amongst the Drakensberg Mountains.

I have lived in this place for about 35 years, practising as an attorney.

I have also for the same number of years been a local preacher in the Methodist Church and have lead bible studies amongst the town folk and local farmers.

Access to Theological libraries is non – existent and the purchase of Theological books is prohibitive due to the very poor state of our exchange rate.

Your website is therefore literally a Godsend.

If it would be useful to you I would be happy to be part of your survey. Let me know.

Regards

Basil Dwyer

I cannot say how encouraging it is to know that the websites are reaching their intended audience around the globe and that they are making a difference for the Gospel. It is sobering to realise the difficulties that people in South Africa have in getting access to printed academic theological material, and this is mirrored in many other countries around the globe. I would also like to express my thanks to Basil and also to those who through their support make running the websites possible.