I love adbusters. I think this campaign is also brilliant:
On March 11, Google revealed its latest plan to violate your privacy: they will now record the types of websites you visit in order to gather a behavioral profile of your interests purportedly so that they can send you targeted advertising. This policy is in addition to their current policy of keeping a record of every single web search you have ever made along with as much other personally identifying information as they can gather.
I propose that we collectively embark on a civil disobedience campaign of intentional, automated â€œclick fraudâ€ in order to undermine Googleâ€™s advertising program with the goal of forcing Google to adopt a pro-privacy corporate policy.
Too much leftism there to be really coherent. First, why just Google? Every other search engine is doing the same thing, because our current business model for the internet is unsustainable:
The online world is scrambling for a new business model that reflects the potential and reach of online marketing. As traditional media is losing ground with its push mechanism and high cost [ cost per impression ], and the model for getting paid for online content is still up in the air, the question on everyoneâ€™s lips is â€œWHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?â€
U.S.S. Content is sinking into the ocean, namely because it is really easy for a person to find whatever they need online if theyâ€™ve got mad Googling skills. This is best exemplified by the Millennials, or the generation that launched a thousand marketing Powerpoints who tend not to pay for anything on the Internet because they either know how to torrent or have friends who do.
Second, you didn’t mind when Google used Wikipedia to wash out better sources and put the control of “facts” in the hands of amateurs and dilettantes. Oh wait… those are “your people,” the crowd. OK. You didn’t seem to mind when your ISPs started giving you fixed IPs and keeping records, did you? But you did complain when they raised rates on your exhorbitant downloads.
I guess liberals are just surface-skimmers: they see effects, and they whine, but they steadfastly refuse to learn about things like the design and operations of infrastructure. It reminds me of computer nerds who whine about management and then dismiss getting involved, as if it were all voodoo science. Give me a break. This isn’t science — it’s ignorance pretending to be profundity. If there’s anything out there in the world, we can look into it, and with disciplined minds find out how it works and fix it.
Twenty-seven top Internet publishers — including the New York Times, CNN, CBS Interactive, ESPN and the Wall Street Journal — say they’ll try the supersize ads in an attempt to get the attention of Web surfers who have learned to ignore banners.
The new formats represent an effort to boost an ad market that has grown dramatically in recent years but is suffering in the slumping economy.
Research firm EMarketer Inc. predicts that the Internet is the only advertising segment that will grow in 2009. But most of that growth will be in Web search, while spending on so-called display ads is expected to fall.
EMarketer said in November that U.S. online ad spending would reach $23.6 billion in 2008 and $25.7 billion this year, but senior analyst David Hallerman said those figures would be revised downward soon.
But the problem remains: the internet is about free content. Yet it takes money to make that free content. We know from socialism and trust funds that if the reward comes before the labor, people don’t strain. The resulting decline in quality makes it hard to give a damn about anything. What’s the future? My guess is that it involves a period of big media falling apart, and then some real chaos as the amateurs take over, making clones of big media stuff so that they get the egopoints for being big men on the internet, like Wikipedia editors.
In the meantime, the big winners are going to be book publishers and magazine publishers who do not make PDF editions, making it harder to pirate their magazines and less likely to happen. At some point, a system like the Amazon Kindle will appear with a sensible licensing model, but my guess is that most publishers are going to stick to physical objects. The net makes it too easy for people to steal, and as in socialism, they simply do and the infrastructure collapses as a result.
I’m not sorry to see Hollywood and the music industry in trouble. Classical music purchases continue to be strong. It tells you something about the difference in audience. In the meantime, Hollywood is making less money pumping out trivial and venal plot lines that only derive momentum from whatever controversy they can create by insulting traditions or positive values. The rock and rap bubble has burst too, meaning that hiring five idiots to make an interchangeable product is no longer a sure way to profit. Good, heady times we’re in.