News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus picture Re: Web Ads Are Intrusive
By Wesley Felter, wesf@mail.utexas.edu.

In response to Web Ads Are Intrusive:

You're right that the top of the page is not where ads should go. But sites don't have much of a choice. On paper, you can see the whole page at once, so ads can go anywhere on a page and still be effective. Web pages are usually long and narrow, so you have to scroll to get to the bottom. Many people won't scroll that far. And since paper provides a sense of context (several pages are usually bound together), ads can go on their own page and still get seen. On the Web, there's much less context.

Your idea about putting ads on the side seems to be popular with HotWired and their subsidiary Suck. I particularly like the way ads are set up on Packet.

The idea of advertisers reimbursing people for looking at ads is not new, however it is part of a larger, variable-rate pricing scheme that has to be in place for it to work. An important part of this is that the reimbursment need not be in US dollars or any other kind of "real" currency. On the Internet, anything that you can trade is currency.

Ideas are being floated on the Cypherpunks mailing list that anonymous remailers should require a form of postage called "hashcash". Hashcash has no value in the real world, but to generate a certain amount of hashcash requires a certain amount of processing time. So you have to run a program on your computer that generates hashcash, and you send the hashcash with the email. The amount of hashcash you include is proportional to your abuse of the server. Spammers would have to have huge render farms of computers to generate enough postage for their mail.

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