Linked by David Adams on Fri 19th Mar 2010 21:07 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Online advertising has been a hot topic for the past week or so, with Ars Technica trying out an interesting, somewhat desperate experiment wherein they blocked access to their content for people using Adblock. Of course, if this were to become some kind of movement among publishers, it would probably just spark a technological cat-and-mouse game that would surely be reminiscent of DRM cracking or iPhone jailbreaking. But in their post-mortem, Ars states that it was a worthwhile awareness campaign, and I hope that's true. But I thought it would be a good idea to try to bring the collective OSNews brainpower together and crowdsource the idea of how to raise money for a web site in an age where advertising is increasingly un-viable.
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So, here's the problem
by google_ninja on Fri 19th Mar 2010 21:41 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Ads aren't a feature, or a topic of interest. They are something that people put up with to the the content. I have yet to see an ad on the internet that entertained me enough for me to say "Man, I would love to see that ad again"

So, there are legitimate grips against internet ads: flash is buggy, slow, and has boatloads of vulnerabilities, and animated ads are incredibly distracting. For people who block ads and only target those two categories, engagement is irrelivent, building a service that just doesn't deliver irritating ads or flash ads will accomplish the same thing.

Second category are the people who don't care about whether or not you cover your costs with osnews, and will just block everything if they can. Unfortunately, out of the ad blocking populace, this makes up the majority. For these people, engagement is irrelivent, because they don't care about you, and feel entitled to the content.

If there is one thing you can count on, its that most people will only play fair if there is a chance they will get caught. There is no chance with ad blocking, there is no law against it, and it is insanely easy to do. To me, that means it is a model that is destined to die.

IMO, the way of the future is not advertising, it is pay-for content. You have an account that you put money into, when you visit a site, it automatically takes 1c or something, and you periodically re-fill that account. This won't be a viable model until the whole ad thing completely collapses, because again, people want a free lunch, so unfortunately, it may mean existing big content outlets need to die before the new wave can happen.

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