Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Alternative Advertising Approaches For The Independent Online Publisher: No More Banner Ads

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No more banner ads.
In the coming weeks I will be finalizing my full overhaul of advertising banners. Never my favorites, I have been using them to bring in some income only on the site, where you can still see a few.


But starting February 2005, my Web sites, and will no longer run traditional advertising banners nor side-column promoboxes.
I am up against intrusive and interruptive advertising.
The new passwords are: text-based, targeted, relevant, and always supporting/providing access to additional and complementary information.
Be your own judge of my arguments:

Yes, you read it correctly, against all of the mainstream odds, I will no longer be accepting traditional banner ads nor any other kind of visual, distracting, grab-my-attention, graphical display that competes with my own content for attention and physical display space.
This conflict has no need to exist.
Why write or provide a great article, if you then have to break it, split it, or force it into unnatural layouts in order to fit ads that often don't even accommodate the content published?
I just rejected $80 for an advertisement from a tailor/dress company that wanted to have it displayed on my web site. MasterViews provides information about presentations, PowerPoint and related matters. What does a tailor have to do with this content?
I know it is difficult to give up money like this, but my feeling is that I need to shoot for quality and value before I get rich by starting to collect the money coming in.
So, I will not sell myself out just for the money.
I am here to provide high-quality content, reference, support and news services while defending freedom of choice ethics, open access to information, and intelligent grassroots use of such powerful new-media communication technologies.
So, you say: "How are you going to sustain yourself, Robin?"
Well, what I have thought out, is a small revolution on how, on my online media properties, I will give space and exposure to selected products and services.
Here are the key ingredients for a new approach to better advertising:

  1. No interruptive ads. No interstitials, no pop-ups, no banners.

  2. No grab-your-attention visual ads. No animations. No special colors.

  3. No marketing hype: best, fastest, cheapest, etc. I want the facts.

  4. No irrelevant products.

  5. Yes to complementary, contextual, topic relevant ads.

  6. Yes to text-based advertisements.

  7. Yes to extra info, try-outs, demos, tutorials.

  8. Yes to products I endorse, not to anyone who can pay for it.

  9. Yes to advertisers/sponsors who pay for providing/supporting additional high-quality content sections.

And here a short list of my initial "open for sponsorship" offerings in this direction:

  1. Good Conversations. These are audio interviews with experts, thought leaders and power-users on themes and topics relevant to the site industry. Recordings are delivered through a Web-based media playback device running on all operating systems and compatible with any type of Web browser. The goal is to provide a friendlier and more engaging user experience, space for providing complementary information and resources, and valuable sponsorship options both in the media playback device, in the areas reserved to complementary info and in the audio (or video) stream itself.

  2. Topic-specific News Channels. This is what I have been calling newsmaster feeds. Based on RSS, these are nothing less than Web-based news pages capable of automatically aggregating all of the most relevant news, articles and online resources appearing on the Internet. Think of them as live, constantly refreshed newspapers that work in real time by searching, filtering and aggregating only news bits relevant to the selected theme. Obviously each channel generates its own RSS feed too. This is probably the hottest item on the plate.

  3. Premium Reference. At the end of Web articles there is a growing need to provide related and complementary information helping the task of those readers, who, having enjoyed the main content, want to go for more. By providing a high-quality Premium Reference section that contains annotated links to other valuable articles and resources online, to selected books, or to previously published material on the same topic, a high-value content area is created that presents itself as an ideal sponsorship opportunity. Selected sponsors appear on Premium Reference sections of selected content categories only, as to provide maximum relevance and targeting.

  4. Focus On: ... Mini-Guides. I have now collected and composed so considerable amounts of content on quite a number of specific topics and research areas. I will turn this into a tangible and immediate advantage by selecting, editing and collecting all of my articles on a certain issue, adding my up-to-date take on it and releasing it as either a PDF eBook or a print-on-demand physical mini-guide. This is existing content that gains tremendous value by being selected, aggregated and packaged into a whole. Again, another perfect sponsorship opportunity for one or two brands.

There is more indeed.
But I will keep confidential for now.
This is how I see the near-term future of online advertising:
High quality, sell-side driven, contextual, relevant, non-interruptive and always providing access to extra relevant complementary content/info.

What are you thinking?

Readers' Comments    
2006-03-28 17:14:17

gaby de wilde

LOL, I didn't know where I was. pretty good joke (jes it relates) :P

I do think you have a good point, it's hard to find text ads that do-not look a lot like spam comments.

Maybe, one comment, one backtrack and one advert block in about the same size is a Good idea.

posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, January 19 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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