Come on! Are online newsletters eligible for Pulitzer Prizes? If so, substack should already have nominated Ted G. for the award for criticism. This is world-class stuff, well written and even-better reasoned and synthesized. Thanks Ted!

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There are many free apps that allow you to watch Youtube ad free. My browser has an ad and script blocker built in. On some web pages I only see text (if I want to), no images, no ads, with a thing built in called Speedreader.

If you're rich or just don't care, you pay for a subscription. If you do care, a tiny bit of research pays off handsomely by reclaiming your valuable time/attention.

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It kind of feels that there's a digital advertising apocalypse on the way. Facebook are beginning to engineer themselves out of existence with poor product decisions that were designed to increase ad revenues, but have ended up driving people away.

Meanwhile, more people are starting to question the value of big data analytics, which was supposed to be the magic bullet of advertising ROI. Analytics can help get an ad in front of the right person but, as you say, there's no guarantee that you're going to sell that person anything.

If digital advertising does collapse, it takes us right back to were we were in the 90s, asking how we can possibly monetize digital content. Nobody has really come up with a better idea than "ask the audience to pay for it".

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"The result of all this is that the Internet is turning into the epicenter of crap."

I nominate this quote as the sentence of the year!

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This fine essay is not quite accurate. Many videos at GoogleTube _are_ free. Free for Google, that is. My music videos there have been played 97,499 times, and I have yet to receive a farthing for providing free content to this popular site. What is worse, if I want to watch my own videos there, I must first watch their ads. And if I want to listen to a symphony someone has posted, the music will be interrupted by ads.

Now, the subscription fee for YT is not that expensive, and I could afford it, but the very concept that I must pay Googlebet to view my own work is so offensive that I refuse to pay them anything.

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I always told my students: “if you’re not the customer, you’re the product”

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Sep 19, 2022·edited Sep 19, 2022

Uh yeah, I told my colleagues (and our students, but who's listening) that Da WWW had one function, and only one function: to sell! This is what ALL mass media do, inevitably.

As an amateur historian of media, I've taken note that each new one promises a surefire brave new world, e.g. Edison's talking machine, telephone, telegraph, radio, "educational" TV, and Da WWW (World Wide Wrestling?) Herbert Hoover–when Secretary of Commerce, opined that "radio is such a noble medium that advertising could never appear on it!" (Quoted from memory.)

A computer can be hugely helpful–one can write a novel, compose music, make artworks on it, but I suggest that we shouldn't hook it up to anything but A.C.

The more we know about each other–the less we like us . . . tune in, drop out, disconnect!

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I dearly yearn to live in a world without advertising. People would still buy things, of course they would. But it isn’t likely to happen.

Let me confess to some chagrin and bemusement - I won’t say “irony” that overused and misused term - when I consider Google. I wasn’t perhaps the first kid on the block, but I cottoned on to Google at an early stage, when it was in what they call “beta”. I cannot now recall what search engine I’d previously been relying upon, but Google was a marked improvement. And what I liked most about it was that there weren’t any advertisements. You typed in your search request, received a impressively prompt response, and the page was clean without any flashing, annoying commercialism. Little did I know…

And as we decry the barrage of adverts which assail us these days, stop and consider what the late-Victorian world looked like. Every inch of London was plastered with advertising: the sides of buildings, the trolleys and omnibus. They just didn't have video screens, though certainly would have used them if available. Modes may change with new technology, the look and the feel, but the core intent remains notably constant. Someone out there has something to sell. One's only recourse is not to buy.

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The most annoying thing about all this is that for the most part, the people collecting all the ad revenue are not the same people who worked to create the content.

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The obvious reply to this would be to shout out your favorite ad blocker (Ublock Origin), but that's only a temporary fix. I'm sure if more people started blocking ads outright, that would lead to more mid-roll ad reads, or worse, native advertising and product placement.

Not really sure what the long-term solution to this would be, but for now it seems ad blockers are the only solution for those not willing to be advertised to for every waking minute of their life... that said, seems things only travel in one direction anyway, so the "worse" thing is likely on its way regardless if we choose to endure sitting through ads or not.

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I would say that if you've grown wanting for nothing, everything provided free with little effort then the idea that everything on the internet is free wouldn't arouse any suspicion.

Way back when we used to say 'There is no such thing as a free lunch'

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The Snapchat settlement is an interesting part of a larger phenomena. It applies only to qualifying Illinois residents as that's a violation of a state law on biometric information gathered by Big Tech. As an Illinois resident, there have been a couple of times where digital services have been unavailable to me as a result of that violating that state law--an intriguing '... oh yeah!' moment/reminder of the nature of big tech and what they're collecting on me when some info-harvesting scheme trends on a social media feed. There's also the size of these settlements and their benefits to state residents; earlier this year I received $397 from a similar class action lawsuit Snapchat is paying out for. And this applies only to IL residents, again.

It's ... concerning the amount of data gathered and losses experienced by people as a result of Big Tech trying to make a few bucks on advertising here. I'm not just considering cultural loss and homogenization here, considering how BT foments partisanship and animosity in American, but also full-on hatred and ethnic cleansing around the globe, notably in South Asia. The monetary figure that stays in my mind is $200 -- that's the annual value of an American Facebook profile to advertisers and whomever else extracts value (besides me) from it, as of a few years ago. So that $397 settlement I got is, like, of 2 years' value to me using Facebook. Is that a fair price for using the service? Are my rights and I that valuable? Are they that valueless? Is the ROI all parties gain through use of the services worth it? How much value is any advertiser getting from 1 ad to me that I take in, and is that worth it? Digital advertising has built a giant house of cards, caused massive collateral damage in its assembly and operations has caused, and I can only hope accountability and regulation can help clean up bad actions before we all are further up to our necks in digital shit.

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Having destroyed the old world, the erstwhile revolutionaries are now painstakingly rebuilding it, only with themselves in charge, of course. A familiar tale!

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This is a job for a browser extension. i christen it: Blipvert Preroll

When a page contains a URL for a YouTube

element, The browser launches a background thread that starts the YouTube reference running, buffering or just dropping the first N seconds and then pauses the stream until the UToob ref is clicked. then it swaps the screen image and lets the UToob roll.

This not only reduces user aggravation, widespread adoption will make it clear that

puking blipverts for the first 30-60 seconds will guarantee that real users never see them. That renders the entire

effort pointless and no advertiser will pay

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I’m thinking of the way that advertisement dollars used to finance TV and local journalism. Tide and Pepsi, or the like, paid for All in the Family and Cheers and also paid for The Local Post or Times or Intelligencer or whatever name. That money is still around for basic cable but it’s mostly gone for the local paper.

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

I think there's something to be learned (what, I do not have polite words to express) from the commodification of the commodification of the old television networks. Cable tv freed the networks from the old 'free tv' model so the nets were able to shrug off equal access for dissenting opinions, charge for access and still swamp the zone with ads. Now, it's an open question how the nets (however that is defined anymore) will respond to the new googly model of paying for the privilege of not being pummeled by ads. But they had their chance way back in the day. Raise your weary hand if you remember the promises made that subscribing to cable would raise you to states of bliss thanks to no ads. Anyone? No one? I, for one, drew the line then and there which is why I've not owned a television for decades.

There's plenty good stuff on youtube (and probly on several of the other outlets that I do not have time for). There's plenty good stuff onstacks. Subscribing to half a dozen of those things is still cheaper than a cable subscription and most subscriptions will zero out the ads(if they do not, cancel 'em.)

Note that the new Atlantic has an article I've not read yet about rich people paying for silence, which I think may be the same thing...

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