• The Data Tsunami Is Coming
    The premium publishing business online is an unequivocal disaster because we operate it as if consumers will always visit our sites regardless of how badly we treat them. The mentality from the very beginning was, don't worry about this month's audience returning to the site. There will be a brand-new group next month. So let's call them unique monthly users, and let's use them back however we see fit.
  • Not Tonight, Honey, I Have A Headache
    Timing, as they say, is everything. This age-old saying appears to have been completely forgotten in today's digital world: If you ask online publishers and advertisers when is the best time to reach a reader with a promotional message, the answer seems to be "any time." And this, in my opinion, is the most egregious mistake that publishers are making in the way they treat their readers.
  • The Online Digital Video Myth Soars On
    Headlines are bursting with praise this week for the growth of this segment of digital advertising: "Online Digital Video Soars" according to some guy named Joe Mandese. There was also a commentary piece in Adweek that sources a study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (conducted by Advertising Perceptions) diving into the reasons behind this soaring growth.
  • The Future Of Video Ads Starts Today!
    A few months ago I wrote a post in which I argued that 30-second and 60-second video ads, especially when they cannot be skipped, are a terrible idea because they are considered the most annoying ad format, and because I don't believe you need that much time to get your point across. This should be of great concern to publishers, because ad annoyance causes readers to leave and to be annoyed with the publication, not with the brand. Since that time, three things have happened that give me hope that I am not alone in my views.
  • Why The Ad-Supported Model Will Destroy Online Publishing
    The online publishing industry is in a state of major turmoil; the relationships that bind advertisers, publishers and readers are increasingly tense and adversarial. I believe that the ad-supported business model is the root problem of online publishing, which will destroy online publishing as we know it today.
  • Of Wolves And Sheep
    In a recent post, I jokingly referred to consumers, publishers and advertisers as populations of predators and prey. The analogy reminded me of an area of mathematics known as system dynamics, which studies the behavior of complex systems over time. One of the best-known system dynamics models is the predator-prey model, an example of population dynamics models. The idea is simple: imagine a world in which only two species of animals exist: wolves and sheep. The wolves need other wolves to reproduce, and they must eat sheep to survive. The sheep need other sheep to reproduce, and in order to ...
  • Targeting Bayshore Boulevard
    I was driving on 101 South toward the San Francisco airport last week when I abruptly took the Cesar Chavez exit and followed signs to Bayshore Boulevard. I had plenty of time before my flight back to New York left, and seemingly no control over where my car took me. I had to pull into the parking lot of 3240 Bayshore Boulevard again - 13 years since I'd last pulled out.
  • Blendle: A Viable Micropayment Solution For Online Publishers
    Last week I wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek post titled "Why Readers Should Pay For All Content." Unbeknownst to me, just one day earlier, the Dutch company Blendle launched a beta program in the U.S., an event I think will revolutionize online publishing while addressing many of the problems I raised in my post.
  • Why Readers Should Pay For All Content
    In previous posts, I have complained about the short-sighted approach of publishers and advertisers alike in the way they treat readers. I have argued vehemently against those who have accused readers of "stealing" or "breaking agreements" if they use ad blockers. I have suggested that publishers and advertisers should find ways to make the reader experience less offensive. However, I have finally come to the conclusion that none of these approaches could ever work. Instead, I think the best solution is for all publishers to come together and agree to charge readers for content.
  • IAB Talks About Consumers, But Doesn't Listen To Them
    A reader of this column invited me as his guest to a digital conference for local publishers two weeks ago in New York, hosted by Borrell Associates. Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO Randall Rothenberg was giving a speech on Adblock Plus, and my reader (thank you, Lubin) thought I would enjoy hearing it.
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