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The Media The Almighty Buck

New Online Advertising Model Riles Journalists 181

Wynken de Word writes "A new online advertising model linking commercial messages to individual words of editorial content aims 'to tap one of the last ad-free frontiers of the Internet -- the text of articles and message boards -- in what [company backers] bill as the ultimate contextual advertising play' according to this article at Ad Age, a leading advertising industry magazine. On the other hand, the article notes: 'If it looks like a pop-up, feels like a pop-up or interrupts like a pop-up, we might as well just assume consumers will outright hate and reject the format,' said Pete Blackshaw, chief marketing officer of Intelliseek, a Cincinnati research firm that tracks online consumer buzz."
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New Online Advertising Model Riles Journalists

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  • Pfft. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Liselle ( 684663 ) * <(ten.ellesil) (ta) (todhsals)> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:36AM (#8802211) Journal
    This is what happens when you look at a successful advertising model, like google's AdWords, and learn the wrong lesson from it. Although I'd be willing to bet that someone sufficiently brain-addled will see "24x more clickthroughs than banner ads!" and think the idea is the best thing since the discovery of fire. Get your ads out of my content!
    • And with my limited experience with Google Ads being put on webboard pages, sometimes the results are less than perfect. They can even be amusing.
      • I was browsing through a CVS repository on Sourceforge and got adverts for services relating to "CVs" (curricula vitae, like resumes).
        • Dunno... Kinda makes sense, if you're using a CVS, you're an IT type and therefore you've likely have been or are about to be laid off and could use some help sprucing up your resume:)
    • Re:Pfft. (Score:2, Informative)

      by blowdart ( 31458 )
      It's not exactly new either, I've been seeing it for the past 6 months on places like neowin [neowin.net] (who dropped it after a few months) and a few developer sites.

      It sucked badly as it slowed page loads down while it scaned through the page looking for the keywords to highlight.

    • Re:Pfft. (Score:2, Funny)

      by kahei ( 466208 )
      There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo.

      And popup.

    • Re:Pfft. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Craig Nagy ( 605528 )
      Get your ads out of my content!

      It's not your content.
  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) * <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:36AM (#8802213)
    Does this mean were going to start seeing a lot more ads from Microsoft here on slashdot?
  • Does any else rememeber the stupid text highlighting popup tosser that used to install along with things like gator? It used to highlight words in anything you read on the computer, making them hyperlinks to advertisements related to the words...
  • ads (Score:2, Funny)

    by psycht ( 233176 )
    If it looks like an ad, feels like an ad, or smells like an ad...

    I won't read it anyway.
  • Guess what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JNighthawk ( 769575 ) <NihirNighthawkNO@SPAMaol.com> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:39AM (#8802233)
    This is nothing new. This has been around for a while. For an example, check out www.experts-exchange.com. A lot of websites and forums already have this implemented.
    • Uh huh. I is one of them people who needs to run me finger along the text as I is reading it. I does the same with me mouse pointer when I is reading web pages.

      They have designed them ads for people like me. I knows it. :)
    • anandtech.com has been doing this. At first I though it was highlighting words like Celeron that would link to back articles or definitions. Then I realized it was NOT doing this, and quickly kept my house from hovering over these words.

      Its stupid cause the popup has nothing to do with the article being read. How can one expect to shift his mental zones for some totally unrelated content.
  • Google Ads (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fortress ( 763470 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:40AM (#8802239) Homepage
    Anyone else find it amusing that the banner ads supplied by Google on the article page are all for pop-up blockers?
    • Amusing - maybe. Relevant - definitely.

      After all we all remember what used to happen when someone typed into google "More Evil then the devil himself". In btw, it has changed lately... Apparently chads in Florida can do miracles...
    • Where it is really funny is with news sites.
      For instance eariler this week one site had an article on how in support of some sport player people wear afro wig. Some principal or someone like that wore one got photographed and then got into trouble for racal insensitivily. The google ads were filled with wig sellers.
  • Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <CGP.ColinGregoryPalmer@net> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:40AM (#8802240) Homepage
    Boy, if the hyperlinking habits of bloggers messed with google's pagerank algorithm, just imagine the damage this will do.


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • Re:Google. (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Plus, excessive hyperlinkage is the most annoying way to absorb written materials on the internet. For something like a summary (i.e. slashdot excerpt) it's sufficient, but if you want to see a usability mess, head on over to wikipedia or e2. Every second word, regardless of its defining value, is hyperlinked. It takes the focus away from the paragraphs.

      Incredibly dumb idea. Thanks, Ad geniuses for turning the internet into junk delivery vehicle.
    • If you have more than 100 links in the same page, Google doesn't index it. I've had some pages kept precisely at 50 links [aloofhosting.com] and google visited once, then never returned. Content link-advertising would most certainly get the page banned by Google.
  • no mind to me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:40AM (#8802247) Homepage Journal
    If it's a pop up then my browser will block it like it does the rest. If it's not then I will just ignore it like I do all the rest that are all ready out there. Oh well.
  • 'to tap one of the last ad-free frontiers of the Internet -- the text of articles and message boards
    So we'll be seeing plenty of ads for SCO licenses on Groklaw? What a wonderful idea.
  • by Krik Johnson ( 764568 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:43AM (#8802263) Homepage
    A wiki is a collection of community written documents, with useful links to related articles. For example Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], an encyclopedia written in Wiki. See those blue links scattered on the page? They lead to articles.

    Seems like they took the idea, but they sell the words! It will be annoying.

    For example See the word Linux on a page. Joe user will think great, I'm going to learn about linux! But get in your face adverts for linux support services instead!

    Wikis are good, Adwords are bad!
    • Great, now when I read an article full of links, I don't know if those links have relevant information put there by the author (like slashdot stories)
      Or if it is just garbage trying to sell me yet another penis enlargement kit.
    • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:54AM (#8802332)
      yes, but a wiki requires that you click on the blue link... these shove a mouseover box in your face when you hover the mouse pointer over it...

      not only that, but it smacks too much like what Microsoft wanted to do with their browser putting "Smart Tags" on top of ordinary webcontent [sdnpk.org]. That got shot down very fast as a breach of the writers copyright as they were messing with original works in an unauthorised manner...
      • This is different than "smart tags" (or other Adware crap like Gator, I believe), which are integrated into the browser, overriding what the publisher was presenting.

        This is hosted at the server end, and the effect is exactly what the publisher wants to happen. Of course, it seems like any old popup blocker will work here, no problem.

        Speaking of popups, I've been using Mozilla for almost two years now, and of course I've never seen a popup in that time. X10 cameras are but a distant memory! Are popups
    • The web is a collection of documents, with useful links to other documents. For example [any website]. See those blue links scattered on the page? They lead to other documents.

      Seems like they took the idea, but they sell the links! It will be annoying.

      That last sentence I do agree with. I've no problem with AdWords, however, as long as they are unobstructive (no pop-ups) and properly distinguished from the content, which it doesn't look like these will be. What's the alternative? Subscription Google?

      • That last sentence I do agree with. I've no problem with AdWords, however, as long as they are unobstructive (no pop-ups) and properly distinguished from the content, which it doesn't look like these will be. What's the alternative? Subscription Google?

        Maybe someone will find a way to enable content to be shared without the need for advertising or subscriptions.
        OK, OK, perhaps it's a total pipe-dream. But I find even AdWords annoying. The simple reason is that I'm relatively clued in enough to already k

  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:44AM (#8802266) Homepage Journal
    If the links provided are actually on-topic, this isn't a bad thing. Mention stock annuities and get pointed to the stock annuities definition on Charles Schwab's site.

    But we all know that it's not going to be like that. Someone's going to use the word 'prevention' when discussing Enron finances, and the link will jump to the site of Trojan prophylactics.

    The best we can hope for is a few really badly conceived links, or news stories which start to look like an Everything2 node with fifty links per paragraph, so that this form of ad will fade away, too.

    • by re-Verse ( 121709 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:58AM (#8802358) Homepage Journal
      Are you kidding? I mean, If I'm reading an article, and I see part of it highlighted as a link - I'm going to assume its going to be more content for the story I am reading, maybe adding a deeper explaination or background to whatever phrase is highlighted. If I am seriously studying a story, and follow a link to somehting like "air saferty", I want to see an article on air safety, not some page with 100 flashing banner ads trying to convince me that i need to buy a 'terrorist detector 2000' for only 29.95.

      The only way that I could ever see this justified AT ALL, and i still think its not cool, would be that Every ad linkd from the story is labelled "AD" somehow - either by bracketed text, or maybe the link being a different colour from normal links.

      I find it very hard to see any way that this isn't a bad thing. I think it could turn in to a very bad think.

      Remember - Adverts were first picked up by old paper media as a way to support the actual journalism - It would cover the costs to create and deliver the content. Now it seems we're getting closer and closer to the content being made to deliver the adverts. How long until articles are being changed to fit in certain key words from advertisers? Scary.
      • Are you kidding? I mean, If I'm reading an article, and I see part of it highlighted as a link - I'm going to assume its [commnet.edu] going to be more content for the story I am reading, maybe adding a deeper explaination [reference.com] or background to whatever phrase is highlighted. If I am seriously studying a story, and follow a link to somehting [reference.com] like "air saferty [reference.com]", I want to see an article on air safety, not some page with 100 flashing banner ads trying to convince me that i [purdue.edu] need to buy a 'terrorist detector 2000' for only 29.95.
  • It will be less than a month before popular browsers have plug-ins to stop this ads, they are too easy to stop. Depending on how it's done they may be stopped by conventional pop-up blockers.

    BTW, I think the ads down the side of that article show how a good ad's system works. Google has given 4 (nicely subtle) ads, all about stopping (not so subtle) ads. Great!
    • Pray tell, but how would you propose to block a link? Let's say that MS gives CNN a wad of cash to link every word Microsoft [microsoft.com] to Microsoft.com. How would you propose to block that?

      On a more selfish level, I keep a weblog about London [colingregorypalmer.net]. If some local pub gave me a wad of cash (please!) to work them into my weekly articles and link to them, how would to write a plugin that could distinguish between the paid content an the article? You couldn't.


      -Colin
      • Did you read the article? (Stupid question, i know) The links don't link the the company's website, they link to an advert. That is much easier to detect and block.
      • If some local pub gave me a wad of cash (please!) to work them into my weekly articles and link to them, how would to write a plugin that could distinguish between the paid content an the article? You couldn't.

        I'll bet that it's this sort of back and forth that will finally lead to real AI.

  • Disgusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by re-Verse ( 121709 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:46AM (#8802272) Homepage Journal
    Maybe its because I'm from a journalistic background, but I really think that the one sacred ground is the journalistic content. You can add adverts and flying noisy banners, nags and clickthroughs, and i'll still read the article.. I won't like it, but it hasn't crossed That Line. This does.
    Hiding adverts inside of the content, appearing as part of the context, is disgusting. I'm sickened by the concept.

    News 20 years from now: "This just in... McDonalds tastier than ever! More at 11." I only can hope something changes to destroy this trend by then.
    • "News 20 years from now: "This just in... McDonalds tastier than ever! More at 11." I only can hope something changes to destroy this trend by then.

      The only thing which would ever change this trend is to get the people who own the newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters to quit with the funny idea that news is there to be manipulated into profits for themselves as well as others.
      • Re:Disgusting (Score:3, Interesting)

        by re-Verse ( 121709 )
        Some of these people still exist. My mother owns a small weeky newspaper The Brighton Independent [eastnorthumberland.com] and has been trying to Do The Right Thing for over 30 years. And shes not the only one. The problem is this: she is being crowded and suffocated by large chains all around her only trying to make a buck. Most independent media outlets feel the same thing. Cheap, pandering rags that care nothing for the community around them or even for the people who buy their papers.

        Its very hard for the precious few people
  • Deja vu! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toby ( 759 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:46AM (#8802280) Homepage Journal
    This is just the M$ "Smart Tags" concept recycled, right? - And we all remember how popular that was! Maybe M$ has a patent on this "patently" idiotic idea and will squash these fools :-)

    • On the subject of similar ideas, does anyone remember ThirdVoice [c2.com]? It started out as a way for users to leave comments on websites, but before it died in 2001, I seem to remember it transforming into more of an ad network. Feel free to correct me on this point. At any rate, it was quite close to the smart tags idea.
    • And for those who don't remember smart tags, here's an amusing writeup [archive.org] which hammers the point home, courtesy of ye olde archive.
  • Isn't this the same thing as microsoft smart text, a feature where internet explorer would be "helpful" and add hyperlinks to microsoft sites in whatever page you were browsing based on keywords?

    I think widespread consumer criticism about hijacking webpages put the kibosh on that. But I use firefox, so I don't know what IE is doing these days
    • Not the same as SmartTags (which are Office related, not IE). I got a free copy of Office2k3, which has the SmartTags 'feature' and have found it be be fairly useful - mostly for mapping directions to address (though it obviously goes thru MSN maps).

      -bZj
    • by vsync64 ( 155958 ) <vsync@quadium.net> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @12:25PM (#8805346) Homepage
      Here's what I had to say [quadium.net] about Smart Tags at the time. Of course they catered to the "designers" and the one interesting feature they had was cancelled.

      it stealses our precious vision!

      There's been a lot of whinging [wsj.com] about Micros~1's latest Innovation [microsoft.com], with talk of the horrible nerve they have to "re-edit anybody's site, without the owner's knowledge or permission, in a way that tempts users to leave".

      Aside from the usual Micros~1 practice of claiming others' technology as their own, and the icky ripoff of the Aqua GUI in their screenshot (What is with this fascination with white or almost-white backgrounds? GUIs, Web pages, everything. White backgrounds are too harsh and make reading difficult. One of the more significant advances between Win3.1 and Win9x was the death of the horrible white background everywhere, and now they're doing their best to revive it.), I see this as a good thing.

      For once, they seem to be behaving somewhat responsibly in the integration of new functionality (although I wonder how true this would be were the specter of an antitrust breakup not looming over them). Smart Tags are quite visibly different, both in appearance and behavior. They aren't including any tag packages with IE (although I have no doubt they'll plug their ad-pimping package as much as they possibly can). All processing is done locally, which saves bandwidth and prevents a list of all the URLs you visit being sent to Redmond ("What's Related", anyone?).

      Smart Tags scare Web "designers" to no end, because they exploit the most fundamental and useful feature of the World Wide Web: hyperlinks. Hyperlinks scare them for 2 simple reasons:

      1. Their sites are boring.
      2. They lie to their readers.

      Obviously, these can't be used as arguments against the introduction of these tags, so instead they complain about how their sites are being edited behind their backs. But this is a lie and everyone knows it. Their pages are still stored on their server in exactly the same pattern of bytes as before. What frightens them is that the reader might be given the option to go read something else, and this is not right.

      What they don't realize is that they never had the right nor the ability to control the presentation of their site. From the moment their pages are posted on a public server, I have the right to do anything I want with them. I can view the source. I can critique their site and their product. And I can disable their grotesque colors, their unreadable fonts, and their gratuitous JavaScript. I can see if their site contains any value to me, and if not, I can leave. A browser is not a television for them to flash pretty images on. It is a tool for me to explore publications, and as such I expect it to provide me with cross-referencing features.

      There is public documentation on creating Smart Tag packages [microsoft.com]. Anyone can write their own annotations and distribute them to friends or the world at large. Of course, this ability is only useful to "the hate groups, the spammers and the junk marketers on the Web". I want to see Smart Tags in Mozilla. I want to see widespread grassroots dictionaries [tuxedo.org], references [ic.ac.uk], and

  • Quit whining. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mystery_bowler ( 472698 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:48AM (#8802291) Homepage
    Recently a National Cash Register executive related a story in Business 2.0 magazine. I'm paraphrasing but the short of it goes like this:

    Joe is a new salesman and brings in his first order from a customer. The processing clerk tells Joe he has to take the order back because it's not filled out correctly. Joe's manager drops by to see how the new salesman is doing. Down in the mouth, Joe relates the story about how the processing clerk is sending him back out to the customer to get a corrected order.

    The manager is livid. He marches to the processing clerk and tells him: "When my man comes in here with a sale, you get up and shake his hand because he's keeping you employed! If there's a problem with the order, you fix it!"

    So where does this relate to this story? Easy: the bills have to get paid. There's bandwidth to pay for, computers, journalists salaries or freelancing fees...something has to pay for it. You can argue all you want about whether or not some of those things are paid at the level they should be (high executive salaries, high sales commissions)...but they still have to be paid. And after all that, mass media conglomerates have shareholders to think about, too.

    Plus...there's a glut of freelance journalists out there. Freelancers especially should be glad they get their stuff published anywhere. It may leave a bad taste in your mouth to see links in your article or pop-ups because of keywords in your article, but it could be worse: your article could have not been published.

    If this "trend" is all you've got to worry about, you've got too much time on your hands.
    • If this "trend" is all you've got to worry about, you've got too much time on your hands.
      Nah, I just have a day job that doesn't depend on the deranged imaginations of second-time dot-com losers. Not to gloat or anything :-)
    • Re:Quit whining. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:08AM (#8802434) Journal
      To a certain extent, I agree with your post, but you're missing one critical point: To a journalist, credibility is key and it's the product he's selling. Without credibility, their only career option is the Weekly World News or the New York Times (zing!). When you start to intersperse ads into journalistic content, it blurs the line between impartial reporting and paid shilling and is diametrically opposed to journalism's most basic foundations.
  • CWS.WINSHOW has been hyperlinking random web text on Internet Explorer for weeks now. Rather annoying. Anybody know how I can remove it permanently? I use the the Shredder, but the little bastard keeps on coming back.
  • If this linking takes place at the content provider end, then we either don't return there, or we develop a plug-in to block them...

    If they try and weasel it into the browser-end, then HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <Falcon5768@@@comcast...net> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:50AM (#8802308) Journal
    Bull [lycos.com] I cant see [eyesight.org] this becoming a problem for us... its just another way to advetise [americanadagencies.com]

    awww crap [northshorecare.com]

  • ...and this might be somewhat OT, but since the advent of popup-blocking browsers I've more or less retrained my brain to ignore all advertising and just focus in on the content, so I don't even notice 99.9% of ads. Unless advertisers go to a more intrusive format (like the ad that loads before the front page of The Onion), I'm not likely to notice whatever new stuff they have up their sleeve.

    It's like the old adage says - you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Or, as my college room

  • Insanely Stupid (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_mad_poster ( 640772 ) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:52AM (#8802316) Homepage Journal

    'If it looks like a pop-up, feels like a pop-up or interrupts like a pop-up, we might as well just assume consumers will outright hate and reject the format,'

    Didn't Einstien say that insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again expecting different results?

    They keep trying with the boorish, intrusive ads as if an irritating ad wasn't necessarily an irritating ad. All web marketers must be insane. Or stupid. Wait wait... let's not be narrow-minded about this.... they could easily be both.

    On a more serious note: whatever. I don't care. Go ahead and put ads right in the context of something I'm trying to read. It's really irritating trying to read a forum post or an article and having the text keep changing color because there are ads weaved into it. Put that on your site, and you can rest assured that I'll leave in a heartbeat and never come back, just like I've already done with some sites. Hell, even I can remember from the one marketing class I had to take that ads were supposed to heighten interest in or raise awareness of a product in a positive manner. Yet, these bumbling morons keep turning the advertising into the content, or pushing the content out of the way in favor of the advertising so that people get pissed off by a popup or whatever, THEN see what's being advertised.

    What good does it do me to have to struggle with ads to read content? Why should I come back? If the ads destroy the value of the site.... how is it even an idea worth trying? What good does it do the advertiser to raise product awareness with a medium that's making them MAD. What, you want people to be angry when they think of your car? Idiots...

    • Ad Agencies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:15AM (#8802489)
      If you're familiar with the Prisoner's Dilema, you can understand ad agencies... if only one ad out there is intrusive, it will bore its way into the conciousness of a huge number of people. If they all do it, people get irritated or just filter it out.

      So, if everyone plays nice ads are modestly effective. If one person plays dirty, they win by a good margin. If everyone plays dirty, ads are less than modestly effective. Human nature being what it is, nobody wants to play nice if the guy playing dirty will beat them... so everyone plays dirty and everyone loses.

      Also, ad agencies don't care if they ruin the quality of everything their campaigns touch, so long as the client sees enough effect from the effort to pay for the next campaign. They get their souls from the same place as most lawyers, and Darl.
      • Re:Ad Agencies (Score:4, Informative)

        by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @11:14AM (#8804425) Homepage Journal

        They even target sick people using 'tele-screens' [bbc.co.uk].

        Seriously fucked-up psychology.

        • Dear God. Everyone involved from the guy who came up with the idea to the tech who installed it should be beaten to within an inch of their life.

          I seriously thought your post was a joke until I followed the link. That's just sick.
        • Dear... god.....

          That is the single most disgusting thing I think I've ever seen in my life.... every employee involved in the process of selling, developing, or managing those sets for Patientline needs to be skinned alive and dipped in the Dead Sea....

      • by Kphrak ( 230261 )

        They get their souls from the same place as most lawyers, and Darl.

        For those who thought the parent wasn't specific enough, that would be /dev/null...

      • Re:Ad Agencies (Score:3, Interesting)

        As someone in advertising/marketing, and who understands this quite well, I should add that the one way the most successful ad agencies (Fallon, Campbell Mithun, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Satchii and Satchii, etc) stay at the top is by distinguishing themselves by their content.

        There will always be the agencies who play dirty. They are just trying to make a buck the quickest way possible, and it usually doesn't get them as far as you might think. The best ad agencies are the ones who shoot for quality.

        • One good advert amongst thousands of crappy ones doesn't validate marketing at all. Let me quote Bill Hicks on the subject:

          "By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself. No, no, no it's just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they'll take root - I don't know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself. Seriously though, if you are, do. Aaah, no really, there's no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers, Okay - kill your

    • I browse with popups disabled. Generally, I leave banner ads alone, but whenever I see one with ugly flashing colors or the ones that jump about like a Chihuahua on meth, I block all images from that server.

      When advertisers started using flash to get around that sort of thing (and drag the poor little laptop I use for casual browsing to a crawl in the process), I added the flash blocker where you can click to actually load the flash.

      Simple ads have supported newspapers and magazines for years, there's n

  • by bhima ( 46039 )
    I quit reading OSnews for this very reason. Then I found OSVIEWS which is better but doesn't help with my BeOS addiction.
  • Now that's news!
  • I wonder if writers will start using obscure words and literary allusions in order to confuse these ad-words systems (And Google's GMail). Deft use of langugage should help both elevate reader's vocabulary and muddle the automated systems.

    Time to go see if the Amazon ranking for Thesauri are up.
  • by blcamp ( 211756 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:03AM (#8802400) Homepage

    So when we get our next serial killer story, we will see an ad for a better, more powerful gun?

    When we read about a tanker truck accident on I-94 outside of Battle Creek, MI will we start reading ads about Kellogg's Corn Flakes (based in Battle Creek)?

    Will an Amtrak derailment story prompt Greyhound ads?

    Where the hell does this stop?

  • What I don't understand is that ever since the first ad was put in a magazine it was just fine to have the ads appear above, below or beside an article. Print advertisers never felt the need to infest the content with ads the way web advertisers do.

    I guess it's because, unlike print ads, we can measure how successful a web ad is by how many times the link is clicked and they now realize that people have been ignoring print ads for years.

    I know we need advertisers so we can pay for the content and deliver
  • have been using misleading links for years for years
  • by phunhippy ( 86447 ) <zavoid&gmail,com> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:12AM (#8802463) Journal
    Not only is it annoying see these types of ads on news sites and what not but one of the places I enjoy playing CS/DOD/NS at(shameless plug http://www.dexworld.org) has started putting the same types of ads into our POSTS in the forums.

    So when i'm posting in the tech support forum or whatever and mention one of 9-16 keywords they have relating to different companies from IBM to Nvidia to ATI those words automatically get highlighted and linked to a site where you can buy those companies products..

    I don't particullary care for this because while I'm not sure of the legality of it, I don't want MY post and MY thoughts to be the vehicle for targeted ads that I may or may not support. Its one thing with banner ads n such.. but on my posts? i find that to be a new low and now I make sure to use spaces to defeat it.

    And to all of you who will say it pays for the site blah blah.. I donate to the site regulary to help keep it running.. I just don't like my forum posts being turned into ADS!!
    • "i find that to be a new low and now I make sure to use spaces to defeat it." ...use the same method I use to get around swear filters when I want to. For example, if you're on one of those boards that uses tags bounded by [], then FU[B][/B]CK YOU will read as "FUCK YOU" in your post, but the filter won't be able to realize it. On all forums software I've seen with these ads, it works there too.
  • This is GOOD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jesus IS the Devil ( 317662 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:16AM (#8802501)
    I see some people comparing this to Microsoft's failed "Smart Text". However there's a HUGE difference. Here it is the web site owners that are receiving the revenues and deciding whether or not to put these text ads. With Smart Text it was Microsoft that decided universally what a user sees on ALL websites, while no ad revenues go to the respective site owners.

    I for one don't see a problem with this model. Here are my reasons:

    #1. The rightful people are receiving the rewards for their hard work. And why not? The more ad dollars you allow them, the better and more content we all get. Do you really want more subscription-based content sites, or is free more appealing to you?

    #2. How annoying exactly is it? Ok I agree that the inline popups can be annoying, but then you're reading the article. Why in the world would you go mouse exploring all over the words if you're not interested in their ads? To me this type of advertising is NOT annoying at all. Much better than the popups or the skyscraper ads that pollute your screen.

    #3. Whenever the issue of advertising arises, you see a boatload of people whining about how ads are not remotely interesting nor pertinent to their interests. Guys would be presented with tampon banners, etc. Well, here you have context-specific ads. If you happen to be reading an article about cars and you see a link for Mercedes (and you just so happen to be interested in that), you can now click on it and be happy!
    • How annoying? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jott42 ( 702470 )
      Very annoying!
      -If the linked words are marked by another colour or underlined. A well trained reader has a few fixations of the eye on each row of text. But these markings would not be seen as standard text, and will thus generate more fixations and a "stuttered" reading experience.
      -Trying to read a wiki text with a lot of references illustrates this point: It is OK if the text is short, but a longer text is virtually unreadable.
  • If it looks like a pop-up, feels like a pop-up or interrupts like a pop-up, you are not running Mozilla.

    Boom!
  • The sad thing about all the advertising that inundates us is that it simply pushes up the cost of doing business. Company A must advertise more because company B does, and the consumer always pays for it in the end. There is only so much money the consumer has to spend.
  • View the demo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jesus IS the Devil ( 317662 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:23AM (#8802570)
    Go here and click the demo link to see what it's all about. The popup is relatively small and un-intrusive, so stop exaggerating things and find out for yourself.

    https://www.vibrantmedia.com/content/intellitxt_ pr oduct_page/how.htm
    • Re:View the demo (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BenjyD ( 316700 )
      Unintrusive? In what way is a bunch of irrelevant links and reasonably large popups in the *middle* of the article I'm trying to read unintrusive? The reader is trying to read an article on a subject, not looking to buy something.

      It means the reader has to distinguish between paid links and real ones. Link styles are different all over the place, so it's not trivial to distinguish the two. It means I have to keep the mouse cursor away from the text for fear of triggering a pop-up.
      Most importantly, it blurs
  • This seems like an ok idea as long as they dont take too many liberties, really its all about better browsers with more tools to help the masses stop annoying scripts. The reason advertisers take such liberties is because people dont care and will still buy a product that interests them - its exactly the same with sex - a girl/guy isnt gonna care if a hot guy/girl is being a asshole/bitch, they still wanna get off with them, don't tell me it aint true y'all.
  • One way to do it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sunnan ( 466558 ) <sunnan@handgranat.org> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:33AM (#8802639) Homepage Journal
    Have a separate page, labeled simply "Advertisments". Put all advertising there. Keep it away from the news and editorial content.

    Provide a visible link to the ad-page from your front page and in your navigational construct. (For example, Slashdot could put this link in the left-hand link list, under it's own heading or under, say, Services.)

    Keep statistics for how much this pays off. Don't knock the idea until it's been thoroughly tried.

    This will force advertisers to be truly interesting. Maybe sort the ads into categories, or prioritize ads that are related to recently visited pages.

    The idea is to be maximally non-annoying.

    As an aside, I find google-text-ad-style ads to be very intrusive since they are harder to block. There are periods in my life (for example when I'm flush for cash) that I am extremely disinterested in (commercial and other) solicitation, and exposing me to advertising then only causes me to feel hostility towards the advertiser.

    Please, spread this idea.

    We experimented with this in a paper magazine I worked for - putting all the commercials in a clearly designated spot in the back. Other magazines have tried the same approach. AFAIK, however, they haven't kept statistics and neither did we.

    The effects on good-will this has will be interesting to observe.

    (For television, this would be analogous to putting all of a networks commercial spots on a separate channel.)
  • What riles people is the notion that some link exists between news reporting, editorials and advertisers.

    In theory, journalists like to think of themselves as crusaders, exposing the truth to the public. It's a noble goal and I'm happy they're carrying on the crusade.

    But in practice, we're all conditioned by what we've been exposed to in the past, and much of what we read, see and hear only serves to reinforce points of view that were formed earlier.

    The tie between money, media and politics is not new.

  • by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:49AM (#8802776) Journal
    The origin of these lays with a long-time wish for many writers of documents, such as technical documents.

    Rather than explain on every single page what a "TFT" is, highlight the first (or first three, or every, whatever) occurance of the word on the page and have it create a small pop-up with brief description. Optionally, a link to another document could be offered.
    This could be done manually, but instead including an external javascript (src="") is much easier to control and maintain.

    In a way, it behaves like CSS - applying itself to word-elements, rather than mark-up elements.

    Of course, ad-people quickly saw the opportunity to use it for advertising. That doesn't make the technology bad, though. Much like P2P services and those using it for illicit acts.
  • by sir_cello ( 634395 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:54AM (#8802850)
    In some places, e.g. UK, the authors of a work can assert "moral rights" and object to derogatory treatment and so on - in France the ability to do this is stronger (interesting, the US consistently resisted implementing moral rights to satisfy Berne). It's impossible to transfer these moral rights: they _always_ remain with the original authors, even if the publishers own the economic rights in the copyright. I wonder if this kind of manipulation to the text could be objected to by the authors, on the grounds that it is subjecting their work to derogatory treatment. One of the problems with moral rights is that there is little case law: they've been _very_ hard to pursue, the court have been very relucant to give authors leverage over publishers and those who own the economic rights.

    Popups clearly do not affect the work per se, they just add junk around the edges. Same goes for all other sorts of advertising. Also, some reasonable allowance is made for commercial purposes (e.g. splitting a work up into separate parts to make it easier for people to read it, or whatever). However, this new type of advertising is really quite insidious: it manipulates the text, and possibly it can be considered derogatory because the authors of the text may mean one thing, but the "subtext" of the advertising message may suggest something else: I mean, authors often leave words and phrases to the interpretation of the reader, but when you overload those words with advertising, the advertising may "suggest" something that the author did not intend. I think there's a lot of scope of problems here.

  • You could probably configure a personal proxy server like privoxy [privoxy.org] to filter out links within a body of text greater than X characters from certain sites, &c. In fact they already have this sort of functionality in an experimental feature that replaces buzzwords on the page with the word "bingo" (don't ask...) so ad texts, especially ones that differ from the context, shouldn't be insurmountable.
  • You may need to add an option to "de-link" words (or other parts of a page) that point to certain cites. Similar to the way I can choose not to load images from doubleclick. This will allow us to "block" the worst advertisers using this method. For an initial test, just have it de-link stuff that I already declared I don't want content from - i.e. share the blocking list.

  • For a period of maybe two years, I often watched the old Arsenio Hall show on TV. During that time, I noticed I spent less than $8 on things that I saw advertised.

    I think the pool of poorly educated people who would buy something because they saw an ad is diminishing.

    Froogle [google.com] is great for people like me who buy things after doing research.
  • Has anybody, anywhere, ever found a pop-up ad both in context and immediately useful?

    Where are all the relevant, context sensitive ads we were promised?

    For additional credit, did the X10 company go bust or did they learn a valuable lesson?
  • Response rate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by danila ( 69889 ) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @09:30AM (#8803227) Homepage
    "We've seen response rates 24 times that of banners," Mr. Stevenson said, indicating Web users like IntelliTXT better than other forms of online advertising they encounter.
    I though everyone already knew that new advertisement technologies always have dramatically higher response rates not because they are more effective, but simply because they are new. Personally I know that after I see it for the first ten times, I will spend a minute and add a filter to Proxomitron to never see it again.
  • - 40 lbs of junk snail mail ( about the equivalent
    of a box of computer printer paper ) for every
    man, woman, and child are thrown away each year

    - movie theaters are now showing television
    commercials

    - google is going to read email to target
    advertising

    - all sorts of businesses AND US governments
    redistributing personal information without
    permission.

    Now this, where does it stop?

    When does the right of a business to make the maximum possible profit ( not stated in the constitution ) __sto
  • Hmmm, what are these popups and why everybody hates them so much? /me clicks middle button on link to read article in another tab later...
  • tagword.com has had this same thing for quite some time.
    They do little dhtml popups over certain words. It works on the base HTML without having to mess with the page.
    Same thing..
  • " On the other hand, the article notes: 'If it looks like a pop-up, feels like a pop-up or interrupts like a pop-up, we might as well just assume consumers will outright hate and reject the format,"

    It is so much more than this. If it looks like an ad that is interrupting me, or insults me or my intelligence by attempting to sneak its way into the text I am reading when I have clearly rejected looking at the ad in a more traditional location (banner ad, popup, popunder, etc), it won't work.

    In fact, if that

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