The Internet is Destroying Advertising
This should be a cause for great rejoicing, since advertising has done its best to stupefy us and pick our pockets – in other words, to destroy us. Except that we are forced to realize that this is what we really want.
We want all those worthless freebies (such as Television programs) that we got for nothing.
But let me back up to the beginning. I subscribe to Technology Review – why I got this I do not remember, probably because it was too cheap to refuse. And the August issue, which I just got, is full of articles about Facebook.
Technology Review, published by MIT, is quite a contrast to Scientific American, which I also get. For one thing, it is brutally honest. Consider the summary for this article:
For all its valuation, the social network is just another ad-supported site. Without an earth-changing idea, it will collapse and take down the Web.
“Take down the Web?” Not likely, but “Take down the advertising industry,” is all too likely. It takes some careful reading (and thinking) to figure out why. Basically, Internet advertising is too efficient. Got that? Too efficient.
And this results in the ultimate catastrophe for the Advertising industry – low advertising prices. For them, the end of the world.
And also the end of the world for all the idiotic businesses who thought the Internet was an automatic road to riches. As the article says – we been there before, with the dot-com boom and bust. Now another one is on the horizon – the social site boom and bust.
It doesn’t have to be this way – we don’t always have to be this stupid. But an honest observer has to take things at face value, and call a spade a spade.
Actually, a substitute for advertising already exists – on the Web. Reviews for nearly everything are out there – only a Google search away. For software, I subscribe to slashdot, which is full of some really cutting comments. Sites are available for nearly any other field – such as education, or for socially-responsible businesses. Or you can download history books from Audible. Or you can take some free courses on places like Coursera.
Or you can read Technology Review – including this review What Happened to A123?
You don’t have to be stupid if you don’t want to be.