Sony writes 'article' for Salon. In an effort to find new revenue streams, Salon has published an ad/article written by Sony Corp. National Geographic and Parent Soup have also published ad/articles, though the New York Times said no. While the articles do not directly reference Sony products, the feature people who do fascinating things with technology... technology which, it just so happens, is advertised conveniently right next to the technology featuring passage. Is this sort of thing ever ethical? If so, what sort of disclosures are necessary. Clearly the ad/articles are intended to appear to be regular content.
Critics call Abercrombie & Fitch catalog soft porn. I can't comment on the catalog itself, since I haven't seen it; I just had to laugh out loud though when I read this sentence: "Boycott organizers contend the company... is wooing younger customers and using sex to popularize its image." Oh, the horror! Also striking was A&F's spin on it, calling it " the Norman Rockwell of 2001." Clearly, a divide in perceptions. Can anyone who has seen the offensive/inoffensive material in question explain why it is/isn't any different from the marketing practices of, oh, say, everyone else?
Is this a typo? Salon's David Talbot in the NYT: "'A lot of our audience pays $300 a year to join National Public Radio and they don't have to pay anything,' he said. As early as next year, Mr. Talbot said, Salon hopes to impose a fee of $75 to $150 a year to read any of its site with ads." Now, I would have read that last sentence as "to read any of its site without ads", but perhaps I'm just being naive.
Can Salon make it? A great article, if you're interested in Salon, content on the web, and/or online journalism in general. A few things I learned: Salon's peak readership is 3 million unique visitors a month; Salon's office got bomb threats after they broke the Hyde affair story; and Salon's founding editor made $175,000 last year, plus a $50,000 bonus.
Salon's new strategy: make the banner ads AS ANNOYING AS HUMANLY FUCKING POSSIBLE. Now it's either the subscription model or horrifying Flash ads that take up more column inches than the articles. Are they on crack, or merely dumb?
Salon admits banner ads don't work and asks for subscriptions, with the alternative being bigger, new (probably flash-enhanced) banners. I wish more companies did this, allowing users to pay to get rid of ads. I've paid for Eudora 5, and I'll be paying Salon for the same luxury. Will Salon be the first of many or the last? (via rc3)
Salon gives in. Back to readability, baby.