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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Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 19th Mar 2010 22:31 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Each medium gets the type of ads it deserves.

In print, advertising has become an art form for many. Pick up any decent car magazine, for instance (say, the British Top Gear Magazine), and even though it's filled with advertising, it's no problem and not bothersome at all. Why? Because those ads are classy, tasteful, and in many cases, pure art. They're almost as enjoyable to read/look at as the actual articles.

It makes sense: the publishers of Top Gear Magazine UK will only pick ads that fit within the magazine. So, instead of *BLINK* *BLINK* ENLARGE YOUR PENIS *BLINK* *BLINK*, you get tasteful Aston Martin ads, beautifully photographed chronograph stuff, and so on.

In print, publishers feel responsible for the content they deliver - including the ads. As such, it gets the ads it deserves: good ones. Memorable ones. Beautiful ones.

On TV, something similar happens, but to a lesser degree. Some of the world's most beautiful advertisements are TV ones - in fact, I know of several that still send shivers down my spine, no matter how often I've seen them. Like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEFIs3fVjTk

Again, this is because TV stations feel responsible for the content they deliver. The Netherlands has a somewhat more complicated TV/media landscape than other countries, but rest assured, especially the three national public channels are incredibly picky about what stuff they run. Again - you won't see any *BLINK* *BLINK* ENLARGE YOUR PENIS *BLINK* *BLINK* ads there.

And then there's the internet. Content is free everywhere, nobody gives a crap about their website, and publishers do not have ANY control over what ads they run on their sites. As David rightfully points out, managing your own ads is incredibly hard, because the ad market has clustered around these ad brockers - and nobody gives a damn any more about the little, independent guy.

As a result, we get the ads that we deserve: crap ones. Since we don't "care" about our ads (whether that's out of necessity or neglect is irrelevant), our ads will suck. So yes, we on the 'net get *BLINK* *BLINK* ENLARGE YOUR PENIS *BLINK* *BLINK*.

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The only way to truly combat this is to bite the through the sour apple (there it is again, sorry) and start managing our ads on our own. Gruber managed to do it - so shouldn't we be able to do it too? I really have no idea. I have no experience with this kind of thing.

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And no, I don't use adblock. Ads generally don't bother me - it's kind of like when one of my best friends and I play Left 4 Dead 1/2; we've become so incredibly good at the game, and we've been through the campaigns so many times, we don't even see the actual levels any more. All we distinguish between is INANIMATE PIXELS and ZOMBIE PIXELS. We ignore the former, shoot at the latter.

I wade through the internet in the same way. I ignore the ads, focus on the content. One thing I do want to say is that the person who invented those in-text ads should be executed - death by draw and quarter, preferably. On Times Square.

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