The Death Of Media In The Age Of Trump

“An informed citizenry,” said Thomas Jefferson in 1816, “is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” (Or something to that effect; other versions include, “An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic.”) America’s third president was aware that representative politics call for more than just representation -- after all, without understanding what is going on, how can we know how we want to be represented?

The Online Ad Ecosystem, Along With Others, Is Unwell

“The perfect business is a computer plugged into the Internet. Starting with me, every human thereafter is overhead.” -- Henry Ward, eShares CEO
The year is 2010. In the small town of Ashburton, New Zealand, a young lady named Jade Temepara has an insight. The insight involves old people, young people, inexperience and wisdom. It involves food and self-sufficiency, connection to the land and to each other, the ability to create and the ability to provide. Hand Over A Hundy is born.

A Seven-Year-Old Could Predict The Consequences Of Ad Blockers

“Your Aunt Trudi is coming over today,” said my mom. “And she always brings you chocolates. But I don’t want you to eat them. Give them to me instead. If you eat them, I won’t let you compete in the gymnastics tournament.”
“No problem!” I replied cheerfully. I was seven.
Aunt Trudi arrived, and handed me the chocolate box. I promptly took it to my room, ate half of it, and hid the rest in my drawer.

Wanted -- No, Needed: Digital Philosophers

On a fall day in 2010, a young man walked into the library at MIT. He had a lithe build, a shock of black hair, thick eyebrows, and a superbly mischievous air about him. Once in the library, as is common, he connected to the JSTOR archive of scholarly journals. As is uncommon, he proceeded to unleash a bot he had written, which over the next several months downloaded 4.8 million articles maintained by JSTOR.
That young man, of course, was Aaron Swartz: Internet pioneer, co-founder of Reddit, key contributor to the development of Creative Commons, co-creator of the W3C standard. He had every right to be at MIT. The articles were freely available through the library system. Yet the activity that was legal at a micro scale became illegal at a macro scale. Swartz was persecuted by the FBI for two years on charges of hacking. On Jan. 11, 2013, facing a penalty of up to 50 years in prison, the 26-year-old Swartz killed himself.

To Stop The Ad-Blockers, Forget About The Ads



So we have established that the ad-blocking thing is a bit of a crisis. And we’ve looked at the measures the IAB is taking to make advertising more awesome for people -- too little, too late. What, then, might the solution be?
Call me a hopeless optimist, but I suspect the solution is not the one advocated by my MediaPost colleague Sean Hargrave, who earlier this week said that ad-blockers are the “digital equivalent of shoplifters” and called U.K. publication City AM “pioneering” for fighting back, only showing blurry text to anyone using an ad blocker.

Ad-Blocking Horse Leaves; IAB Closes Barn Door

Have you heard? Online ads are annoying. People are installing ad-blockers at an epidemic rate. It’s a crisis, not only for advertisers but also for the entire economic ecosystem underpinning the Internet. We are semi-unintentionally undermining the entire foundation of the Web world.
But of course you know this already. Everyone has heard this. Except, apparently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which has only just been brought up to speed -- and let me tell you, its principals are stunned.

Organizational Enlightenment Risks Throwing Management Baby Out With Bathwater

There is a temptation among progressive, pro-social entrepreneurs — people like Tony Hsieh of Zappos or Ben Kaufman, (formerly) of Quirky —  driven, I believe, by a desire to to do things in a more awesome way. I suspect that most who succumb to this temptation are acting out of goodwill and benevolence of purpose.
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Ad Blocking Is Destroying The Internet -- And That Might Be Just What It Needs

  • Published in Online Spin, September 25, 2015.

  • Psst. Over here. Yes, you. I have a secret. Promise you won’t tell? OK, here goes:
  • You know how you can get all this amazing free stuff on the Internet? You can read anything you want, learn anything you want, watch anything you want? Well, that’s the secret: It isn’t actually free.

  • It’s been said that if you’re not the customer, you’re the product -- and this is exactly what’s happening online. The free content is used to lure in the bait (that’s you, the reader), and the bait is used to catch the big fish (that’s the advertisers).

Sorry, Morgan Brown: Growth IS Marketing, Just Not The Way You Think

He wrote it back in June of 2014, but it only hit my newsfeed last week: a piece by co-founder Morgan Brown, attractively (as you’d expect) titled ”Ten Things I Learned Researching Ten of the World’s Fastest Growing Startups.”
It’s a good piece, and GrowthHackers is a good site, explicitly rejecting spam and other shady tactics. Lessons One and Two contain such worthwhile advice as, “Growth is nothing without the product” and “Growth is never ‘done.’”
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