Where did the content go?

NY Times ad

There are exper­i­ments and then there are…well…I’m not really sure what this is. It’s so off-putting I want to think it’s a mis­take. Unfor­tu­nately it’s likely the future, or something.

News sites as “Angry fruit salad on meth”

Don’t let your drive for adver­tis­ing dol­lars under­cut your purpose:

I made the mis­take of going to a web­site today. It’s under­stand­able, of course — every­body does it, from time to time — and I’m sure I’ll for­give myself, eventually.

I don’t mean just any web­site, of course, I mean a pub­li­ca­tion. A place where a busi­ness pub­lishes inter­est­ing things that I like to read.

I couldn’t hit the Reader but­ton in Safari fast enough. In fact, I couldn’t hit it at all, so stunned was I by the flick­er­ing col­or­ful cir­cus the page pre­sented. It was like angry fruit salad on meth.

Brent Sim­mons — The Pum­mel­ing Pages.


Maybe these dif­fer­ent stan­dards are because the con­texts are so dif­fer­ent: mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers, and TV all feel cheap, since they’ve shat on con­sumers to make a few more cents for decades, but the iPad or a well-designed web­site are clean, high qual­ity, and customer-centric.

Or maybe it’s just me. I just don’t feel com­fort­able pay­ing for an iPad or web pub­li­ca­tion, no mat­ter how good it is, and then hav­ing ads shoved down my throat. It makes me feel ripped off: what did I pay for?

Marco Arment — Double-dipping.

Just a myth

The key word, I think, is spir­i­tual. Mytho­log­i­cal brands make a spir­i­tual con­nec­tion with the user, deliv­er­ing some­thing that we can’t find on our own… or, at the very least, giv­ing us a slate we can use to write our own spir­i­tu­al­ity on.

Peo­ple use a Dell. They are an Apple.

Seth Godin — Just a myth.

Why Google cares if you use your real name

There’s a very sim­ple busi­ness rea­son why Google cares if they have your real name. It means it’s pos­si­ble to cross-relate your account with your buy­ing behav­ior with their part­ners, who might be banks, retail­ers, super­mar­kets, hos­pi­tals, air­lines. To con­nect with your use of cell phones that might be run­ning their mobile oper­at­ing sys­tem. To pro­vide iden­tity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them infor­ma­tion about what you do on the Inter­net, with­out obfus­ca­tion of pseudonyms.

Sim­ply put, a real name is worth more than a fake one.

Dave Winer — Why Google cares if you use your real name.

Failing at a business model for news

There was hub­bub a cou­ple of days ago when Zite, the new per­son­al­ized mag­a­zine app for iPads, was sent a cease and desist let­ter by a who’s who of media com­pa­nies.

Techdirt pub­lished a strongly worded con­dem­na­tion, includ­ing this gem:

And, hon­estly, if cre­at­ing an app that makes it eas­ier to read your con­tent is a threat to your busi­ness, you’re doing busi­ness wrong. 1

Part of the prob­lem for the media com­pa­nies was that Zite was mak­ing con­tent read­able remov­ing ads and, thus, cut­ting off a rev­enue stream for the con­tent producers.

It’s too bad media com­pa­nies viewed this as a rea­son to send a cease and desist let­ter. Instead they could have read it for what it was: a state­ment that peo­ple hate the ads on news sites. It could have given media some data for improv­ing adver­tis­ing. Oh well, oppor­tu­nity lost.

News adver­tis­ing should take a hint from soft­ware devel­op­ers. Include ads that your users want enabled and will miss when they are gone.

Don’t think that pos­si­ble? Check out the response when Tweetie/Twitter for Mac dropped Fusion ads last year.


  1. via @ryanpitts

Twitter and its plan to run advertising

I wanted to jot down two quick thoughts about Twitter’s announce­ment ear­lier today.

First, the money for Twit­ter is not going to be in run­ning ads against search terms. I just do not think most peo­ple use Twit­ter as a way to con­sis­tently search for infor­ma­tion. Google can get away with this because a search engine is not tra­di­tion­ally a per­sonal thing. Google lever­ages the power of the many, Twit­ter relies upon rela­tion­ships between users.

Twitter’s true value in adver­tis­ing, is going to lie in lever­ag­ing what it knows about users you fol­low. If Hunch is able to build some­thing that pre­dicts tastes based upon fol­low­ing habits Twit­ter ought to able to develop some­thing sim­i­lar to deliver tar­geted recommendations.

This last part is what has me actu­ally excited about adver­tis­ing on Twit­ter. This could be huge. It could take the type of recommendation-engine that is true of adver­tis­ing on The Deck and Fusion Ads and extrap­o­late it to a ser­vice with mil­lions of users.

MTV and video ad formats

Just got around to watch­ing this. It’s a good dis­cus­sion of try­ing to build an online video expe­ri­ence that is best for both the user and the adver­tiser. For a lit­tle more infor­ma­tion on the study check out the full arti­cle.

The arrogance of Rupert Murdoch

A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s writes:

How did [Howard Stern] go from a must-hear per­son­al­ity who was con­stantly in the news for his antics or his out­ra­geous­ness to a “what­ever hap­pened to?” has been? Sim­ply, he was put behind a pay wall. Oprah has her own chan­nel, but I’ve never heard it men­tioned. If the King of All Media and a woman who has enough influ­ence to swing a national elec­tion can’t get peo­ple to pay, why on earth does Mur­doch think he can?

A good point for sure.