Television content used to be bad because it was supported almost entirely by advertising. You didn’t have to prove to an advertiser that you had good content. It was just content reaching a particular audience, and since there was little competition, everybody got to reach that audience. The content itself was an afterthought. The audience wasn’t making a conscious decision to accept or reject that content.
That’s pretty much the Web model now. (…)
So now it’s all advertising supported, and it is all dross. The quality of the content has no precise relationship to what advertisers are paying for when they buy an ad. Worse, the technological marvel of the Web allowed websites to boast that they could measure that audience, and how it responded to ads. And when it turned out that very few people were clicking on those ads, that only drove the cost of online ads down further.
Advertisingul online se schimbă, AdBlock devine standard pentru utilizatori, iar organizaţiile româneşti din media (fie presă ori publicitate) nu fac nimic. Codurile de conduită, standardele, rămân neaplicate sau la stadii de discuţii, rata de click rămâne mică, mia de afişări se tot ieftineşte, clientul e nemulţumit, publisherul falimentează.
I’ve never been tempted to run ad-blocking software before — I make most of my living from ads, as do many of my friends and colleagues, and I’ve always wanted to support the free media I consume. But in the last few years, possibly due to the dominance of low-quality ad networks and the increased share of mobile browsing (which is far less lucrative for ads, and more sensitive to ad intrusiveness, than PC browsing), web ad quality and tolerability have plummeted, and annoyance, abuse, misdirection, and tracking have skyrocketed.
The Internet is a swirling death trap of dubious gossip, outraged tweet-to-tweet combat and a million identical pieces of over-processed, hormone-injected “news content” written for fourth-graders. There’s a reason for that. It’s called money.
When it comes to the economics of online publishing, the first thing to remember is that job No 1 isn’t to get the news to you. Rather, it is to monetise you, by selling you off, in real time, to the highest bidder. This happens every time you click on a link, before the page has even started to load on your phone. Once upon a time, if you and I both visited the same web page at the same time using the same web browser, we would end up seeing the same thing. Today, however, an almost unthinkably enormous ecosystem of scripts and cookies and auctions and often astonishingly personal information is used to show you a set of brand messages and sales pitches which are tailored almost uniquely to you.
Most of our social networks are anything but calm.
“The one complaint about the Internet that I wholeheartedly endorse is that most of these tools have been designed to peck at us like ducks,” said Clive Thompson, an optimistic but incisive Wired writer, a few years ago. “Their business models are built on advertising, and advertising wants as many minutes of your day as possible.”
Instead of highlighting the realities of single life, Esquire‘s portrayal of bachelorhood was based on looking and acting the part of the swinging ladies’ man, even though most of the magazine’s readers were married. Esquire’s idealized postwar bachelor had no obligations outside of his own desire for women and luxury products (often considered one in the same). He bought his own clothes, drove his own car, and took solo vacations to exotic places. The bachelor became a symbol of postwar consumerism and hedonism, and as a result, became a symbol of freedom for white American men looking for a way to feel important again.
Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, seems to have plenty of money, but I’d like to give him some of mine. I want to pay a small fee for the right to keep my information private and to be able to hear from the people I want — not the sponsored-content makers I want to avoid. I want to be a customer, not a product.
A couple years ago, Rachel Law, a grad student at Parsons at the time, had this to say: “The ‘Internet’ does not exist. Instead, it is many overlapping filter bubbles which selectively curate us into data objects to be consumed and purchased by advertisers.” As she also said, a bit less academically, “Browsing is now determined by your consumer profile and what you see, hear and the feeds you receive are tailored from your friends’ lists, emails, online purchases, etc.”
In legătură cu întrebarea lui Iulian Comănescu – cine plătește pentru presa gratuită? – Jason Kottke scrie despre modelul de business aservit brandurilor, și nu oamenilor:
Newspapers, magazines, and television networks have dealt with this same issue for decades now. They derive large portions of their revenue from advertisers and, in the case of the TV networks, from the cable companies who pay to carry their channels. That results in all sorts of user hostile behavior, from hiding a magazine’s table of contents in 20 pages of ads to shrieking online advertising to commercials that are louder than the shows to clunky product placement to trimming scenes from syndicated shows to cram in more commercials. From ABC to Vogue to the New York Times, you’re not the customer and it shows.
De cîte ori citiţi un lucru senzaţional, atrăgător, diferit, trebuie să vă puneţi două întrebări: cine scrie şi cine plăteşte? Asta, mai ales dacă citiţi pe gratis.
The citizen will pay for his telephone, his railroad rides, his motor car, his entertainment. But he does not pay openly for his news. He will, however, pay handsomely for the privilege of having someone read about him. He will pay directly to advertise. And he will pay indirectly for the advertisements of other people, because that payment, being concealed in the price of commodities is part of an invisible environment that he does not effectively comprehend. It would be regarded as an outrage to have to pay openly the price of a good ice cream soda for all the news of the world, though the public will pay that and more when it buys the advertised commodities. The public pays for the press, but only when the payment is concealed.
The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy – but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as human passions – envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it all avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains – the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live – lives.
Fragment dintr-o reclamă clasică la Cadillac din 1915 – The Penalty of Leadership
Abordările tabloide sînt la ele acasă în modelul de presă bazat pe publicitate, unde ai nevoie de milioane de oameni care să dea plictisiţi click pe titlul senzaţionalist şi peste cinci secunde să închidă pagina. Oamenii care donează sînt cei puţini, care parcurg pînă la final un articol, înţeleg şi apreciază demersul jurnalistic.
Pentru unii, a contribui la jurnalismul independent este un gest de contra-cultură. Alţii donează la subiecte pozitive. Alţii, la subiecte mizerabiliste. Dar majoritatea sînt, pur şi simplu, bucuroşi că au ce citi în limba română, că se mişcă ceva şi la noi. Diversitatea donatorilor ne-a asigurat o libertate greu de imaginat.
Cu cât ai mai multi cititori loiali, cu atât ai mai multă libertate editorială. O ecuație la fel de veche ca jurnalismul. Walter Lippmann, într-o carte apărută în 1922:
A newspaper that can really depend upon the loyalty of its readers is as independent as a newspaper can be, given the economics of modern journalism. A body of readers who stay by it through thick and thin is a power greater than any which the individual advertiser can wield, and a power great enough to break up a combination of advertisers. Therefore, whenever you find a newspaper betraying its readers for the sake of an advertiser, you can be fairly certain either that the publisher sincerely shares the views of the advertiser, or that he thinks, perhaps mistakenly, he cannot count upon the support of his readers if he openly resists dictation. It is a question of whether the readers, who do not pay in cash for their news, will pay for it in loyalty.