Home > Archive >  2008 >  November >  14

Internet idiots

Friday, November 14, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named carafe.jpgYcombinator and Reddit loved my piece about advertising being dead, most of the people thinking I was wrong (to paraphrase them with more respect than most of them had). I'm sure I was right. You had to click on the links and actually read the piece and have an IQ over 85 to understand what I was saying. I wasn't writing it for them, rather I was writing it for the small number of people who read this site regularly. It has been an evolving story. You don't have to believe me, or agree with me, but you could of course think about it and maybe get an idea or two of your own that isn't guttural. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

However many people understood exactly what I was saying.  Permalink to this paragraph

The Internet is a wonderful commercial environment. It has trained me to expect the impossible from real-world retail. When I last visited Fry's I wished I could hide all the items on the shelf that don't match my search criteria. I was looking for a DVI to HDMI adapter. The perfect product was sitting there right on the shelf, but it took me five minutes to find it, and I almost gave up. Had I been on Amazon, or even Fry's website, I would have found it much more quickly.  Permalink to this paragraph

A commenter named Hartsock put it perfectly: "I look forward to the day when I can search like this: "pants waist:38in inseam:32in cargo" and find a listing of cargo pants that fit me and places I can go and buy them." Permalink to this paragraph

However this is not advertising! It is commercial information. The former is in our way, the latter is what we seek.  Permalink to this paragraph

It's amazing that we're not there yet. But it would be unbelievable to think we're not going there.  Permalink to this paragraph

So dear Internet idiots, that's what I'm talking about.  Permalink to this paragraph

The death of advertising is on its way. The recesssion is going to slow down advertising (no not completely, of course) for the next few quarters at least. When the economy comes back there will have been enough progress in developing the commercial information side of things that marketers will not need to hitch a ride on other people's content, nor will there be any value in doing so, in order to be able to spread the memes, ideas, and info about their latest products.  Permalink to this paragraph

For another example, how many ads have you seen for netbooks? Yet it's the hottest category in computers. No need to advertise, nor would ads have helped.  Permalink to this paragraph

We're adept at influencing each other, we don't need to go through Madison Avenue for that anymore. Permalink to this paragraph


Recent stories:

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

© Copyright 1994-2008 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 12/16/2008; 5:22:12 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.