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How True Advertising Can Save Journalism From Drowning in a Sea of Content

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Journalism is in a world of hurt because it has been marginalized by a new business model that requires maximizing “content” instead. That model is calle d adtech. We can see adtech’s effects in The New York Times ’ In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs Are Left , by David Chen.

Is the online advertising bubble finally starting to pop?

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I started calling online advertising a bubble in 2008. I made “ The Advertising Bubble” a chapter in The Intention Economy in 2012. I’ve been unpacking what I figure ought to be obvious (but isn’t) in 52 posts and articles (so far) in the Adblock War Series.

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Brands need to fire adtech

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Two days ago, the New York Times said AT&T and Johnson & Johnson are pulling their ads from YouTube. They’re concerned that “Google is not doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material, like hate speech.” ” Yesterday, Business Insider said “more than 250” advertisers were bailing as well.

The problem for people isn’t advertising, and the problem for advertising isn’t blocking. The problem for both is tracking.

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In Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking , @JuliaAngwin and @ProPublica unpack what the subhead says well enough: “Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user’s names.”

Rethinking John Wanamaker

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He didn’t say it, but let’s look at why it’s wrong anyway. This is an improved edit of a post I made to a list I’m on. Rather than let it scroll off to oblivion, I decided to put it here as well. The other parties are in italics. I’m in plain text.

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The Internet deserves its proper noun

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The NYTimes says the Mandarins of language are demoting the Internet to a common noun. It is to be just “internet” from now on. Reasons : Thomas Kent, The A.P.’s

Dear Adobe, Please buy Flickr

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This photo of Utah is the dozens of thousands I’ve put on Flickr. it might be collateral damage if Yahoo dies or fails unload the service to a worthy buyer. Flickr is far from perfect, but it is also by far the best online service for serious photographers.

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Moron the IQ myth (pun intended)

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On Quora an anonymous somebody asked, My IQ is 131. Can I get into MIT? Yeah, it’s easy to call that a dumb question.

Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff

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Advertising used to be simple. You knew what it was, and where it came from. Whether it was an ad you heard on the radio, saw in a magazine or spotted on a billboard, you knew it came straight from the advertiser through that medium.

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If marketing listened to markets, they’d hear what ad blocking is telling them

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What follows is my comment (the first one!) under Confusion Reigns as Apple Puts the Spotlight on Mobile Ad Blocking , in AdAge. I’ve added some links. Marketers should be looking at what the market wants, and why.

TV Viewers to Madison Avenue: Please quit driving drunk on digital

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Today AdAge gives us Clinton and Sanders Using Addressable Advertising in New York Market: Precision Targeting Is Especially Relevant in NYC, Say Political Media Observers , by @LowBrowKate.

After Facebook fails

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Making the rounds is The Facebook Fallacy , a killer essay by Michael Wolff in MIT Technology Review.

Nobody else owns our experiences

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Who Owns the Mobile Experience? is a report by Unlockd on mobile advertising in the U.K. To clarify the way toward an answer, the report adds, “mobile operators or advertisers?” ” The correct answer is neither. Nobody’s experience is “owned” by somebody else. True, somebody else may cause a person’s experience to happen. But causing isn’t the same as owning. We own our selves. That includes our experiences. This is an essential distinction.

Uber’s pending sale of your personal data

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Uber has new terms for you : User Provided Content. Uber may, in Uber’s sole discretion, permit you from time to time to submit, upload, publish or otherwise make available to Uber through the Services textual, audio, and/or visual content and information, including commentary and feedback related to the Services, initiation of support requests, and submission of entries for competitions and promotions (“User Content”). Any User Content provided by you remains your property.

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Fake ad sources on Facebook

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Nearly all the ads I see on Facebook are ones like these two, next to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest post : Besides being false and misleading clickbait, they are not from espn.com. They’re from [link] , and bait for a topic switch:to pitching a diet supplement called Alpha Fuel.

Edging toward the fully licensed world

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I own a lot of books and music CDs — enough to fill many shelves. Here’s just one: They are relatively uncomplicated possessions. There are no limits (other than mine) on who can read my books, or what else I can do with them, shy of abusing fairly obvious copyright laws.

How adtech, not ad blocking, breaks the social contract

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Let’s reset our thinking to what a user’s expectations are, when operating a browser and interacting with pages and sites. In my browser, when I visit a page, I am requesting that page. I am not requesting stuff other than that page itself. This was, and remains, what the hypertext protocol (http) provides. Protocols are ritualized manners, like handshakes, bows and smiles. They also scaffold the social contract.).

Have we passed peak phone?

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I should start by admitting I shot this picture with my phone. Also that on my rectangle with the rest of these people through most of this very typical subway trip yesterday. I don’t know what they were doing, though it’s not hard to guess.

Help: why don’t images load in https?

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For some reason, many or most of the images in this blog don’t load in some browsers. Same goes for the ProjectVRM blog as well. This is new, and I don’t know exactly why it’s happening. So far, I gather it happens only when the URL is https and not http. Or so I gather.

We can all make TV. Now what?

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Look where Meerkat and Periscope point. I mean, historically. They vector toward a future where anybody anywhere can send live video out to the glowing rectangles of the world. If you’ve looked at the output of either, several things become clear about their inevitable evolutionary path: Mobile phone/data systems will get their gears stripped, in both directions. And it will get worse before it gets better. Stereo sound recording is coming. Binaural recording too. Next… 3D.

Earth to Mozilla: Come back home

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In her blog post explaining the Brendan Eich resignation , Mitchell Baker , Chair of the Mozilla Foundation , writes, “We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”

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The cash model of “customer experience”

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Here’s the handy thing about cash: it gives customers scale. It does that by working the same way for everybody, everywhere it’s accepted. Cash has also been doing that for thousands of years.

Apple is a clothing company

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The headline above came to me this morning after reading Walt Mossberg ’s latest, titled The post-Jobs Apple has soared financially, but lacks a breakthrough product. Because the main things Apple makes are extensions of ourselves. That’s what our phones and laptops have become.

TV 3.0

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We’re not watching any less TV. In fact, we’re watching more of it, on more different kinds of screens. Does this mean that TV absorbs the Net, or vice versa? Or neither? That’s what I’m exploring here. TV 1.0: The Antenna Age.

Thoughts on privacy

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In Here Is New York , E.B. White opens with this sentence: “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.” ” Sixty-four years have passed since White wrote that, and it still makes perfect sense to me, hunched behind a desk in a back room of a Manhattan apartment. That’s because privacy is mostly a settled issue in the physical world, and a grace of civilized life.

Toward an ethics of influence

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Stop now and go to TimeWellSpent.io , where @TristanHarris , the guy on the left above, has produced and gathered much wisdom about a subject most of us think little about and all of us cannot value more: our time.

Debugging adtech assumptions

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(The original version of this post appeared in my Liveblog , on Fri, Sep 11, 2015.). Advertiser’s Mandate In The Age Of Ad Blocking: Blend In , by Pat LaPointe in MediaPost , provides an excellent chance to correct delusional assumptions, by many in adtech (tracking-based online advertising), about why a growing number of people use ad and tracking blockers. (A

How Apple will turn the Net’s top into TV’s bottom

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Apple TV (whatever it ends up being called) will kill cable. It will also give TV new life in a new form. It won’t kill the cable companies, which will still carry data to your house, and which will still get a cut of the content action, somehow.

Take us to The Rivers

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News rivers were a brilliant idea in the first place. Perhaps, now that at least one high-profile publisher has embraced them, the rest might follow. But first, some history, in the best chronological order I can muster —.

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Why to avoid advertising as a business model

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I just ran across this item below , which ran almost fourteen years ago in my original blog , and think it’s worth re-running today. The characters have all changed, but the issues have not. In fact they are more present and worth debating than ever. — An Open Letter to Meg Whitman. Meg Whitman. President and CEO. eBay. 7 October 2000. Dear Meg, Since The Cluetrain Manifesto came out (first on the Web , then as a book) , I am often asked to name “clueful” companies.

The Real Story of Send

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With The Story of Send , Google follows a single email as it travels through wires, under streets, through an ISP’s high-rise, in and out of Google’s various gear, including one of its vast data centers, and finally up a tower and out via a telco’s data system into a smartphone.

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The Data Bubble redux

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It didn’t happen in 2010, but it will in 2016. This Post ran on my blog almost six years ago. I was wrong about the timing, but not about the turning: because it’s about to happen this month at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. More about that below the post. __.

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Let’s use the ‘No Track’ button we already have

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( Cross-posted from the ProjectVRM blog.). For as long as we’ve had economies, demand and supply have been attracted to each other like a pair of magnets. Ideally, they should match up evenly and produce good outcomes.

A New Data Deal, starting today

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There was a time when personal computer was an oxymoron: a contradiction in terms. That ended when personal computing got real in the ’80s. There was a time when personal networking , where every person has status, reach and power equal to that of corporations and governments, was unthinkable. That ended when the Internet got real in the ’90s. There was a time when putting both those powers, plus a zillion mobile apps, in everybody’s pocket , was a pie in the distant sky.

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Yes, please meet the Chief Executive Customer

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Looks like IBM and I are in agreement. Last week the first image you saw at IBM’s site (at least here in the U.S.) was a larger version of the one on the left, with the headline “Meet the new Chief Executive Customer. That’s who’s driving the new science of marketing.”

A few words about trust

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So i was on a panel at WebScience@10 in London ( @WebScienceTrust , #WebSci10 ), where the first question asked was, “What are two aspects of ‘trust and the Web’ that you think are most relevant/important at the moment?” ” My answer went something like this:::: 1) The Net is young, and the Web with it. Both were born in their current forms on 30 April 1995, when the NSFnet backed off on its forbidding commercial traffic on its pipes.

The slow sidelining of over-the-air radio

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You won’t find an AM radio in a Tesla Model X or in other electric cars, such as the BMW i3. One reason is that AM reception is wrecked by electrical noise — especially the kind computing things radiate. Another is that the best AM reception requires a whip antenna outside the car, which no car maker offers any more. Another is that car makers have been cheaping out on the chips used in their AM radios for years, and the ones in home radios are even worse.

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How to rescue radio

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Radio used to be wireless audio on a broadcast band. That’s still the short version of every dictionary definition. But now radio is streamed audio. That was already the case when webcasting showed up in the ’90s, and even more so with the rise of Last.fm , SiriusXM , Pandora , rdio , Spotify and every other audio service delivered over the Net. And now Apple delivers the crowning blow, with this: This isn’t just the height of presumption on Apple’s part.

If you hate Big Government, fight SOPA.

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Nobody who opposes Big Government and favors degregulation should favor the Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA , or H.R. It’s a big new can of worms that will cripple use of the Net, slow innovation on it, clog the courts with lawsuits, employ litigators in perpetuity and deliver copyright maximalists in the “content” business a hollow victory for the ages.

At last, Cluetrain’s time has come

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While The Cluetrain Manifesto is best known for its 95 theses (especially its first, “Markets are conversations”), the clue that matters most is this one, which runs above the whole list: we are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. we are human beings and our reach exceeds your grasp. deal with it. That was the first clue we wrote. And by “we” I mean Christopher Locke (aka RageBoy ), who sent it to the other three authors in early 1999.

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