Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The ad-driven revenue model for content sites

I have no problems with them from this moment. And here are some points.

I understand that advertisements offer a way for content-driven sites to survive and earn. So far it's innocuous.

I used to get disturbed whenever I clicked an ad flashing right beside the article I would be reading, or a promo-link embedded within a piece of text. Imagine rushing out of a meeting that felt like worthy of your time and never returning to the room again. What's the purpose of that publisher who published the text that resides beside the tempting ad?

The problem gets yet more compounded when the writer talks about the nuisance of using cars on the congested Indian roads and there's an ad promoting a long sedan right beside that post. What does a reader believe? What does a reader believe about what the publisher believes in? Is the aim of such publishing to make the reader understand the virtues of believing paradoxes? And does the reader visit such sites to learn the skill of paradox assimilation?

Motorcycle ads on motorcycle blogs seem a great match. Yesterday I visited this blog that I often visit. The post I was reading was cautiously critical of the move of launching Mahindra Centuro. Right beside I noticed an ad promoting that very motorcycle. No problem so far but if I had left the post midway by clicking the ad, guess it would be an incomplete sort of experience. I read the post and then checked out the motorcycle by clicking the ad. Felt appropriate.

And it isn't a stretch of imagination to apply these occurrences to other media like TV or Radio or newspaper/magazines et al. And I have no doubts that the damage to people's understanding of the world is unprecedented even though seemingly unmeasurable.

One thing I can say for such content-driven sites, where conflicts between advertising and their messages are rampant and blatant, is the publishers aren't doing enough to enhance a reader's understanding in spite of the revenues they earn because of the readers visiting their sites. I think that's such a waste of the opportunity that the readers have given them.