See cats instead of ads, and support sites you like

Google Contributor is an experimental system that allows you to directly financially support websites you visit. If you sign up for it, then Contributor charges you a small monthly amount (you set how much), and on some sites you see a thank-you message where you might normally see an ad; the site owner gets a tiny amount of money directly from you, to replace the money they might've made by showing an ad.

So it's kind of like a combination ad blocker and tip jar. It won't hide all ads, but the more you contribute, the fewer ads you see.

You can tell Contributor to reduce ads on all of the millions of sites that are set up to use the system, or only on the sites you specify, that you want to pay to support.

You even have some control over what you see in place of ads. By default, it'll be a thank-you message, but using advanced settings, you can (for example) replace ads with pictures of cats and kittens.

I'm a happy Contributor user; it's always a pleasure to be scrolling through some page and find a picture of a kitten. A nicer experience than seeing ads, imo. And I've always wanted a good easy way to financially support sites that I like.

If all this sounds interesting to you, sign up!

There are a couple of ad- and cookie-related settings that you'll have to set (they provide instructions on how to do that); I suspect some of you won't be willing to change those settings, and thus that you won't be able to use Contributor. I'm sorry about that. I was a little hesitant myself. But in the end, I decided that the system is valuable enough to me that I was willing to try changing those settings. If I change my mind, I'll change the settings back, and Contributor will stop working for me.

(Wrote this a week ago, but somehow forgot to post it.)

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