"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]
David Collier has discovered a pleasant trick (requiring Firefox and AdBlock Plus) that brings the mighty Facebook Connect empire to its knees.
Ars Technica recently experimented with blocking the content of their site from users who use ad blockers. They have now written an editorial about the experiment, and the effects of ad blockers on their site. [more inside]
Recently, the Mozilla FireFox community encountered a bit of a hacking showdown between two of the more popular extensions, AdBlock Plus and NoScript. In a series of escalating updates, the two software packages fought a battle over the ability to display ads by default on NoScript developer Giorgio Maone's homepages for users who have installed the EasyList blacklist filters for AdBlock Plus. [more inside]
Yes, I'm going to give you up, let you down, run around and desert you. I'm going to make you cry, say goodbye, and tell a lie and hurt you.
Finally, eliminate the rickroll from your online life. I know, you're hesitant to click on that because you think that in moments, you'll find yourself on a YouTube page seeing Rick Astley doing the white-boy-80s-groove dance. (Have no idea what a rickroll is? First, consider yourself lucky, and then wiki it, or, more amusingly, Rocketboom.) But thanks to Adblock Plus, subscription filters, and collaborative flagging, you can banish Astley back to the '80s where he belongs.