Strong opinions, weakly held

Tag: advertising

Why stickiness is obsolete

Chris Dixon explains why Facebook isn’t making more money:

Facebook has tons of visitors but they generally come to socialize, not to buy things, and they rarely click on ads that take them to other sites. Facebook is like a Starbucks where everyone hangs out for hours but almost never buys anything.

The thing that’s most telling is that the ads you see on Facebook are almost always very low quality ads.

An adult discussion of ads

ArsTechnica explains why they ran an experiment Friday that hid their content for people running ad blocking software. It’s a very grown up and pragmatic explanation, and it’s almost too obvious to even quote. The point I found interesting was the discussion of the advertising death spiral — when advertising impressions go down, sites have to take on ads that pay more per impression — those are the ads that take over the whole page, hide the links you want to click on, and so forth. Those ads are awful for users and many publications are running them on the front page. If I ran an advertising-funded site, and I could increase (or maintain) revenue by either shutting down ad blockers or presenting more obnoxious ads to the people who aren’t running ad blockers, the decision would be a no-brainer. I’d prefer to inconvenience the people who think they should get my content for free every time.

Links for September 14

Links for August 26

  • Nefarious idea of the day: requiring users to view and regurgitate an ad to prove that they’re human. (Microsoft has applied for a patent on this approach.)
  • Frank Bruni’s final column as the New York Times restaurant critic. I loved his advice for navigating a menu, which ends with, “Then scratch off anything that mentions truffle oil. Choose among the remaining dishes.”
  • By way of the Footnotes of Mad Men, a newsreel from the 1964 World’s Fair. Worth watching for the explanation of computers alone.
  • Andrew Sullivan on the American way of torture. I’m just going to keep linking to this stuff until I stop encountering people who believe that the way we have treated detainees does not constitute torture.
  • Hypocrisy watch: we send Bill Clinton to North Korea to retrieve US journalists who have been unjustly imprisoned, and we also imprison Iraqi journalists without charging them with any crimes.
  • Today’s compromise is tomorrow’s landmark legislation. Let’s pass a health care reform bill.
  • Ted Kennedy was the first member of Congress with an official Web site.

Every cop is a criminal

Popular JavaScript-blocking Firefox extension NoScript interferes with popular ad blocking extension AdBlock Plus to insure that ads on the NoScript site are displayed. There are also a number of sites that are included on NoScript’s whitelist to insure that NoScript users see NoScript’s ads.

Google’s new ads

Nelson Minar has a short post explaining Google’s new interest-based ads and the privacy controls available to users associated with them.

Here’s the crux:

I’m usually quick to criticize Google on privacy issues. But not this time. Because along with this juicy new ad product, they’re giving users unprecedented control and visibility into the ads they are shown. We can opt out of tracking entirely. Or we can set our ad preferences, viewing and altering Google’s profile of ourselves. And Google has a detailed and readable page describing how their ad products works with personal user data. All of this privacy protection looks real, a user-focussed product, not just some sham to satisify lawyers.

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