"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
WiserEarth is a user-editable relational database that aspires to list, categorize, and describe every non profit and civil society organization on Earth. It currently includes 104,304 organizations which can be viewed by name, location, or areas of focus. You can perform complex searches. You can post (or search) jobs, events, and resources. You can discuss areas of focus, such as Urban Forestry, Evolutionary Ecology, or government oversight and reform. You can also visualize the networks connecting these areas of focus and the various organizations.
Silly name, but fun all the same ... Free web (2.0, natch) chat site that allows users to search for chat rooms based on tags or to set up their own room(s) that are either public or private.
The First Community Blog? Five years ago today, Caleb Donaldson pulled the plug on Geek Cereal, a social experiment that began on March 21, 1996. Some of the links don't work like they should anymore, but the calendar will get you to all the juicy bits. An interesting little time capsule. The site's demise is mentioned in this Ghost Sites 1997 obit, and in this virtual eulogy from Caleb's dad on MIT's website.
Bike Messengers Love IndyMedia -- Bike messenger Harim Veracruz says that the IndyMedia site has been "a godsend" for him and his colleagues. "All the messengers are using it," he said. "There's a map of the city, information on who is going to be where, what parts of the city to avoid, how to get from here to there fast, even restaurant recommendations. It's a very helpful site." Veracruz said he's even "gotten educated as to why these people are so angry" by reading some of the political news on the site, and is considering joining a protest walk to the U.N. on Friday.