Who needs web banners in the evolving world of content advertising?

No one. That is the answer to this question. I ask this question and answer it when I’m on a website and my experience is interrupted by intrusive and annoying ads.

Case in point: Wanting to check out how the weather would be like this weekend for Saturday’s baseball game (Go Tigers!), I went to weather.com. When I tried to click on the “5-day forecast” link, an ad had loaded quickly and my cursor went to another link before I could click. Thus, I was taken to some other page (I forget what it was) and it took me that much longer to get to the content I was seeking out. Would I be a traitor to my industry if I downloaded Chrome’s add on Adblocker?

Rule of thumb for web ads: DO NOT GET IN THE WAY OF WHAT A USER IS TRYING TO DO!

Dammit you web banner! I didn't want to click on you but you loaded so slow that you moved to the location I actually DID want to click!

Dammit you web banner! I didn’t want to click on you but you loaded so slow that you moved to the location I actually DID want to click!

The web has changed, and so has the need to use banner ads. It’s a mournful notion, I know, as I work at an ad agency. But web advertising is one area that is evolving rapidly and advertisers need to evolve even faster.

For example, have you seen buzzfeed lately? No banner ads, but they have an “efficiency manager” from GE that organizes the site based on content you’re interested in.

Efficiency Machine by GE for buzz feed.

The GE efficiency machine on buzzfeed organizes the site for you.

Seen the NYTimes.com interactive ad for Prudential? You enter your birthday and you are shown the front page of NT Times on your day of birth. The lead into Prudentials’ site:

Prudential’s interactive ad on NYTimes.com lets you see the front page of New York times as it was on your birthday.

Banner ads won’t go completely away, but will go away as we know them. Instead of being that block of pixels we now avoid when reading an article or the slow loading nemesis for your click, banner ads will need to transform into a conduit between the content we already seek (or would already be interested in) into the advertiser’s intention.

Also, I won’t be downloading adblock for Chrome. If I can’t see how ineffective some ads are for site, I’m making myself useless in recommending what advertisings/sites/publishers should and should not be doing.

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Guess I won’t be working at Conde Nast anytime soon…

Things that show the end is near.

1) More cuts at Conde Nast.

I needs 'em!

I needs 'em!

2) About 400 people let go from NY Times.

Anyways, I bring up Conde Nast because I saw an internship position available there. In these hard times, I figured I would save up some money for life, intern with them for a while, then who knows. If  more experienced professionals in publishing are admitting they’re settling for salaries a fraction of what they were making before are doing this, who am I do be above this trend? And right now, it looks like they need all the interns they can get. Well, not for the actual journalism part, but for all the other parts I’m interested in like production and marketing. I’m still young, why not?

But I’m thinking, that “who knows” part I mentioned in the previous paragraph is starting to look like a “we know, and it’s not good” type of future musing.

Hmm. I still might do it anyways.  I wonder what the plans of others hold.

Special Issues make money. So, special issue on Darfur someone?

Make money, and help the world.

Yesterday as I was walking to work, I thought about how the conflict in Darfur was still happening and wondered if most people even knew what was going on. No lie. The thought just went into my head and stayed. Though, I guess if more people read Time magazine or actively sought out information about it, they would know.

And, according to this article in the New York Times, special issues are basically a godsend right now for magazines. More advertising dollars go along with the “more coveted” issues of publications as opposed to their duller counterparts. Fair enough. I got to thinking. What if every issue of a publication was a special issue? Hmmm? Hmmm? Kinda like making everyday Christmas. I think this could work with the right marketing.

The "Help the World as You Explore it" Issue. No Kidding. I'd buy it.

The "Help the World as You Explore it" Issue. No Kidding. I'd buy it.

Anyways, this news kinda merged with a thought I had about Darfur yesterday. I was walking to work wondering if most people in the world knew about/knew how they could help stop the conflict in the region. It used to get a lot more press when I was in college, but now I’m hard pressed to see it in major newspapers lest I go seek it out on Google. The merging thoughts: What if a major magazine came out with a major special issue on Darfur (not counting that piece that Angelina Jolie did for Time this year) with a lot of publicity surrounding it?

Maybe a new travel magazine like Afar even. I would love to buy that. And, if the magazine gave a donation to a Darfur charity or humanitarian foundation, I would be helping Afar and Darfur at the same time.

Just a thought.

Kronkite would be prowd

The New York Times factually and grammatically mangled an article about Walter Cronkite.

After the anchor’s death, a story ran in New York Times with seven major errors including historic dates.

And people thought print news was in trouble

And people thought print was in trouble

There’s really nothing I can say about this besides “Wow”.