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by Glenn Franxman, Django Developer / Stunt Programmer.

drive click thrus by being honest

posted: 2004-01-16 05:51:56 perma-link, RSS comments feed

Finally, the sites can go back to simpler advertising schemes that don't make websites suck.

A lot of effort has been put into ways to add value to online advertising for advertisers.
But pop-ups, pop-unders,schoskeles, etc were really about abusing readership instead of adding value to both sides of the equation. Let's be honest, pop-ups and pop-unders are the web equivalent of those 4x6 cards and subscription forms inside magazines. THe first thing I do is shake them out, then tear out the rest. I sure don't read them. Lesson: advertising should not be annoying.

As a result, a market was born for tools to suppress these forms of advertising. It's a natural and predictable reaction. The internet is known for routing around problems.

So what I'm proposing is that content sites come clean: admit openly that the advertisers are what makes the sites possible, and thus the sites depend upon a readership that patronizes its advertisers. Of course everyone knows this, but I don't think it crosses their mind while they're installing popup blockers or entering bogus registration information to read a story.

What I propose is a reminder that works similar to the calendar in Outlook or other PIM's, but for the web. It works like nag-ware, letting the users know that they should stop to peruse the ads that are on the site and check out what some of our advertisers have to offer. In return, the site will not nag you for some period of time.

The result, I'm hoping, is that the readership clicks through on ads that might matter to them, the readership pleases the advertisers, the advertisers please the sites, and the sites in turn please the readers.

Finally, the sites can go back to simpler advertising schemes that don't make websites suck.

Are there downsides?

glenn1you0 said on 2004-01-25 16:23:36:
Well, clearly, I've over thought the cookie composition -- a simple date would would suffice in this case. Anyway, as far as users blocking or deleting their cookies -- fine. They'll just just get reminded on every request. I view the cookie requirement as being akin to a "no shoes, no shirt, no service" policy. Re: the web not working as a business model, I don't think it was meant to. It's just infrastructure.

jc said on 2004-01-22 14:29:02:
A big problem you'll see with a cookie based method is that, though the site in this case is being honest, users won't be. They'll clear their cookies or block cookies. But I agree. Something must be done. The web as it is doesn't work well as a business model. HTML doesn't allow for attractive design, but web applications such as flash are notorious for not letting users get at the direct text for traslation or handicapped asistance or bookmarking just a particular portion of the content. Email is impossible to deal with without putting people through additional trouble. The industry as a whole should be ashamed, you'd expect things to have evolved by now. I, and I'm sure others have ideas, but I'm still waiting for something to happen. I don't have the time to work on my own site, much less work on a new way of doing things.


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