I confess, I use ad blockers. I block ads. I even had an ad or two on my website and still I use them. I can’t even say I’m anti-ads. I want sites to make money and the people providing them with content to get paid, but honestly, ads drag down web pages something awful. More and more reports are bearing that out.
Nothing makes us titter like people getting mad that they didn’t get enough likes on something. What will make us howl even quicker is people who think getting a lotta likes on something means anything either, or as a measure of their popularity! Then when we want uncontrollable belly laughter that might make us wet our pants we watch the big internet companies report on their “user” numbers.
What you’ll learn in this installment:
- Vanity metrics hurt & often kill dreams
- Your paying attention to all the wrong things
- Use this simple trick to see clearly
- We all hate math, hence the dashboard
- What they can’t or won’t tell you
- Why all analysts are liars
Why your news site should be more readable for the visually impaired
Over eight million Americans have trouble with their vision. Here’s how newsrooms can (and should) design with them in mind.
Dear Forbes, we are not giving you another chance, we unblocked you (or actually paused Adblock) previously and the results were disastrous. You will not fool us into a second chance. “Lengthen Your Healthspan” and improve your site by not promising things like “ad-light” experiences. That is not L.E.A.N or a D.E.A.L.
Facebook is eating the world
Here is a definite must-read for everyone. Pondering the long-term viability of publishing when they are no longer in control of the distribution channels. How you get to read or who gets to decide what you see?
Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past five hundred. We are seeing huge leaps in technical capability—virtual reality, live video, artificially intelligent news bots, instant messaging, and chat apps. We are seeing massive changes in control, and finance, putting the future of our publishing ecosystem into the hands of a few, who now control the destiny of many.
Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security. The phone in our pocket is our portal to the world.
Here’s the thing about this situation, as soon as the first scroll on the page this took over the entire screen. Having read the ‘above the fold’ paragraph & half, and skipped the video. So you offer a “deal” at $1 per WEEK. Okay, that seems reasonable, even if not very tempting. Read More
So if you wanted to cast a vote against the attention economy, how would you do it?
There is no paid version of Facebook. Most websites don’t give you the option to pay them directly. Meaningful governmental regulation is unlikely. And the “attention economy” can’t fix itself: players in the ecosystem don’t even measure the things they’d need to measure in order to monetize our intentions rather than our attention. Ultimately, the ethical challenge of the attention economy is not one of individual actors but rather the system as a whole (a perspective Luciano Floridi has termed“infraethics”).
In reality, ad blockers are one of the few tools that we as users have if we want to push back against the perverse design logic that has cannibalized the soul of the Web.
+Note: The entire thing, and the comments are a great read!
Ad Blocking and The PR Ripple Effect
A careful examination of some of the largest stories circling around most technophile circles in the past couple of weeks reveals both cheers and jeers around the idea of ad blocking. It’s not that ad blocking is new — it’s been around for years, but it honestly hasn’t been all that exciting … until now.
Apple’s new content-blocking extensions available in the new iOS upgrade has pushed the technology back to the media surface faster than most publicists respond to a HARO query. The reason is because Apple has always had the ability to change technology landscapes, even at times with seemingly innocuous developments.
Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook & the slow death of the web
Those huge chunks — the ads! — are almost certainly the part you don’t want. What you want is the content, hot sticky content, snaking its way around your body and mainlining itself directly into your brain. Plug that RSS firehose straight into your optic nerve and surf surf surf ’til you die.
Unfortunately, the ads pay for all that content, an uneasy compromise between the real cost of media production and the prices consumers are willing to pay that has existed since the first human scratched the first antelope on a wall somewhere. Media has always compromised user experience for advertising: that’s why magazine stories are abruptly continued on page 96, and why 30-minute sitcoms are really just 22 minutes long. Media companies put advertising in the path of your attention, and those interruptions are a valuable product. Your attention is a valuable product.
+Commentary: YOUR ATTENTION is the product. Welcome to a post-consumerist information society that is built upon the architecture of social media, what will they do if content is suddenly not subsidized? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. This is a conversation we definitely want to have 🙂
Google’s ad penalties are more significant than Apple’s Ad-Blocker
“Highly unlikely” would probably be how you’d have responded a year ago to someone telling you two of the largest tech companies in the world — Apple and Google — would both try to fix mobile advertising by blocking ads, but that’s currently the case.
For instance, much has been made of a new feature allowing iPhone and iPad owners to block advertisements in Safari when iOS 9 debuts –with the rationale that it will enhance web browsing. But Google’s recent decision to start penalizing websites featuring app install ads –intrusive ad units that slow page load times and engulf the entire screen — might be a more significant way to improve the browsing experience.
+Note: Good read if you do any sort of display advertising!