Support the Source

Tom wrote an interesting piece about Fair Use and an alternative monetization model. In the comments he posted this and it’s something I fear he is spot on right about.

I’m afraid that the future is going to be a largely closed web and a web where the usefull information is going to be expensive and the preserve of the rich… and it will benefit the rich.

[From Support the Source: Creating a New Media Business Model and Keeping the Web Open]

The cold hard fact is that eyeball monetization isn’t working broadly outside of search, as this piece in today’s Chronicle aptly points out.

To be really crystal clear, I don’t think this is about people expecting things for free, I do think we are witnessing the gasps and spasms of a dominant advertising model that is failing – display ads. For all the talk about behavioral targeting and pay-per-performance, the fact is that people buying advertising and people selling advertising are guilty of seldom looking beyond impressions.

Unlike television where you sample a market or in print where there’s a wink-and-a-nod that the numbers are good, online is pretty exact and up-to-the-minute. Most display ads are simply ineffective because of a failure to target a demographic or technographic, and as a consequence they are priced that way. It’s remnant advertising on a massive scale, and it shows with clickthrough rates that rarely break .45%.

I wish I could point to something as the future, but I just can’t.

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