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Along the way, we ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser’s toolkit: the pop-up ad.
It was a way to associate an ad with a user’s page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content.
But even if we ignore the important idea of “free cultural labor” that makes a business like Facebook (or Tripod!
) possible, it’s striking that our attention, as viewers, is worth only a penny an hour to Facebook’s advertisers.
Web startups could contract their revenue growth to an ad network and focus on building an audience.
If revenues were insufficient to cover the costs of providing the content or service, it didn't matter—what mattered was audience growth, as a site with tens of millions of loyal users would surely find a way to generate revenue.
This “print dollars, digital dimes” problem is an apparent paradox: Why are targeted digital ads worth an order of magnitude less than untargeted print ads, in terms of “attention minutes”?
With apologies to Carlson: What we wanted to do was to build a tool that made it easy for everyone, everywhere to share knowledge, opinions, ideas and photos of cute cats.
His talk is a patient explanation of how we’ve ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.
The talk is hilarious and insightful, and poignant precisely for the reasons Carlson’s story is.
Investor storytime is when someone pays you to tell them how rich they’ll get when you finally put ads on your site.
Pinterest is a site that runs on investor storytime. Investor storytime is not exactly advertising, but it is related to advertising.