I too had the same views you’re sharing right now, and no, I do not enjoy pop-ups and I do not have a monetizable blog that could take best advantage of these tools.
But giving credit where credit is due helps to better shape the target audience one is looking for…
Some people are our best fans, and they do not know it until a pop-up reminds them those blog post are valuable and come at a price, that would be the price of the laptop life you wrote about above. And it’s also a finite source where EVERYTHING written there, and not just the latest updates, were written for a reason.
When you get things out there for free, you’re selling out at the lowest price. “For Free” means “I can enjoy this whenever and wherever I see fit, regardless of the intentions of the author/blogger”… and that is just not how things are. Because that would imply what you have done with your time is disposable and postponable (gee, I wonder how many artists would really say this out loud with a straight face).
Everyone have different answers I guess… but certainly, “things for free” is the worst price tag for everyone, since it turns authors and artists into forceful bohemians that are obliged to live on charity to keep doing what they love. And for people like me that do what they do, that is certainly an unsustainable enterprise, regardless of what the majority says.
Those annoying pop-ups, at least, make the reader THINK about the place where s/he got that narcoticarticle that changed his/her life (and we, stupid humans, tend to forget where we came from, and who helped us get where we are).
All that said, this is a great article.