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The Internet

How Web Advertising May Go 229

Anti-Globalism sends us to Ars Technica for Jon Stokes's musing on the falling value of Web advertising. Stokes put forward the outlying possibility — not a prediction — that ad rates could fall by 40% before turning up again, if they ever do. "A web page, in contrast, is typically festooned with hyperlinked visual objects that fall all over themselves in competing to take you elsewhere immediately once you're done consuming whatever it is that you came to that page for. So the page itself is just one very small slice of an unbounded media experience in which a nearly infinite number of media objects are scrambling for a vanishingly small sliver of your attention. ... We've had a few hundred years to learn to monetize print, over 75 years to monetize TV, and, most importantly, millennia to build business models based on scarcity. In contrast, our collective effort to monetize post-scarcity digital media have only just begun."

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!