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.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So, here's the problem
by Invincible Cow on Sat 20th Mar 2010 09:11 in reply to "So, here's the problem"
Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

"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."
Oh the typical primitive moral thinking and suspiciousness. This kind of thinking is childish and counter-productive.
http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/kohlberg.htm

People will often play fair if they are treated fairly. If a flash ad uses a lot of cpu, I'd say it's stealing my cpu power. They are actually using my computer without my conscent. They may even play sounds in my own home without my conscent. So I give them the boot.
People didn't start blocking ads until they became annoying. But when that happened, people started blocking all ads, not just the annoying ones.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: So, here's the problem
by google_ninja on Sat 20th Mar 2010 16:05 in reply to "RE: So, here's the problem"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Using flashblock eliminates 99% of those. If people only block some ads, that will push publishers not to use them. That isn't what we are talking about, we are talking about people blocking everything.

I work for a company where we spend 40-50k/mo on bandwidth costs serving content. In our case, it is very clear who is paying that cost and why they are paying it. Some of our clients ask us to put up ads to mitigate some costs, and I can totally understand that. But regardless, running a big site costs a lot of money. If you are a site like ars, offering high quality content for free, where should that money come from?

Reply Parent Score: 2