#37: more senseless violence

By admin, January 26, 2001

blah blah blah this here is the shiznat nobody fucking reads.

so the comic.. dillinger informs me that he is “not satisfied” with it, claiming he was driving at a decidedly penny-arcadian feel to it… but i hit him in the face with a bat so it stays.

that being said…

i consider myself to be a fairly wired (on a side note, if you rearrange wired you get weird) individual, and as such i find the collapse of the internet business model a fascinating subject. if you need some background on the massive shakedown that is currently rocking the internet to its core, head over to the compost. also, check out somethingawful.com and their story, in which the site, a mainstay and arguably one of the most popular gaming news site on the web, is again at risk of being shut down due to lack of funding… but i digress (and with all this space to write it’s rather hard not to).

as well-known e-commerce sites, gaming affiliates, and other internet-related businesses suffer incredible losses and many are dropping off the face of the web, it is apparent that the boom that rocked the online world from mid-1999 until late-2000 is decidedly over. companies can show sales in the hundreds of millions, but invariably expenses are higher. perhaps more significantly, advertising revenue is drying up as the dismal failure of banner ads and other forms of advertising on the web are becoming more and more evident. it is this sudden uncertainty with regards to web-based advertising that is crippling well-known and respected news sites across the web. blue’s news, somethingawful.com, and even the giant ugo.com- hell, even penny-arcade is having their doubts and have resorted to quoting laverne and shirley theme song lyrics- all share the dubious distinction of having a very uncertain future. we are living in an exciting time; a scary time for sure, but an exciting one nonetheless. in years to come, schools will teach early 2001 as the death of the so-called new economy, how the future of the internet was drastically changed in this time, and along with it, the future of society as we know it. and it’s already beginning- advertising, as always, will the first to be noticed. make no mistakes, it is money above all else that drives this world to continue its existence, and it will be money that is the first to begin to reshape the web. pop-up windows and banner ads have proven their failure, and stand as possibly the most ignored form of advertising in any of the mass media.

since i’m not even going to dignify the existence of pop-up ads by writing about them, i’ll talk about banner ads. for me, their inherent failure lies not in the product they advertise. firstly, banner ads slow down my browsing experience. broadband is quickly taking mainstream hold across the internet, but no matter what the speed of the home user, the webserver that is being accessed will often slow down- banner ads take time to load. sometimes too long. on a tabled site, where data is often not displayed until the entire table is loaded, waiting for a banner ad is aggrivating. far more importantly, however, is the fact that to make use of a banner ad- by clicking on it- i must take myself away from the task at hand. if i’m reading penny-arcade, then goddammit i’m reading penny arcade. i don’t want to bother clicking an ad that will either open a new window on top of my current browser, or transfer me to another site within the same window. i don’t trust banner ads anymore, either, as they all seem to pander and shamefully (quote unquote cleverly) draw the reader’s attention by being terribly enigmatic about what the whole point of the ad is… but i’m carrying on a bit too much here. i am predicing the death of the banner ad in the year 2001. want a glimpse into the future of web-based advertising? check out c-net’s new ad system. it’s fast, to the point, and most revolutionary- i can play with it in that little window. i don’t have to load up a new webpage. all of these ads i’ve seen are so far full of information, with very little in the way of the crazy and mysterious, a la click the monkey to win money style we’ve come to know and hate. refresh that page until you get the ad from c-net that discusses their new ad to get the full story, but i honestly think it’s great. i read all about oracle and sun microsystems, and c-net’s new ads… when i was done, i just looked back at the story. like an ad in a magazine, all i do is turn my eyes if i like and read, which usually i will.

so maybe ads like that, as well as others we have yet to see, will reassure ad agencies and bring the money back, and the net won’t be drastically changed. maybe companies will stay away from the stock markets and therefore not rely on investors, and maybe after this unprecedented shakedown, this staggering wakeup call, it will be business as usual- companies will return, the money will flow, and all that will change is the method of advertising. or maybe we are living on the verge of the most significant technological revolution our world has ever seen . perhaps it’s melodramatic of me, but i’d like to believe the latter. consider that broadband internet access such as cable modems and high-speed isdn lines are becoming more and more common; programming languages like macromedia’s flash are revolutionizing the way the web is viewed, rich-media and interactive content is on the rise; consider that the internet stands poised to combine every previous iteration of the mass media- newspapers, magazines, radio, television, etc. – into one single medium… consider all this and tell me that we aren’t standing on the brink of something big. the future of the web is, at the moment, neither bleak nor optimistic. it’s just a future. it’s different. it’s critically important in the development of every modern society. and maybe i’m just a geek, but it’s exciting.

so what exactly am i predicting out of all this? next for the web are new styles of advertising that are helpful, simple, and not terribly aggrivating to the surfer and a shakedown that’s going to drive a lot of e-commerce companies out of business. the web is going to integrate and get integrated- as the internet combines all of the mass media, so too will the internet be combined into more and more technologies- as the fusion of the laptop, cell phone, and personal data assistant (the cellular data phone, maybe?) grows closer everyday, the web will play a key component in any mainstream all-in-wonderful device. what needs to happen? impending power crises similiar to those currently devastating the state of california must be planned for and avoided. e-commerce must, must find a way to operate without driving themselves out of business. advertisers are going to have to start putting money back into the web. those responsible for the delivery of the internet, the big boys like rogers and bell, are going to have to start putting a heavy dose of new equipment, lines, and service into the world. across the atlantic, european-broadband access has to take hold. and collectively, we all have to take a deep breath and step into the future.

personally, i’m ready. i’m looking into the fog and i desperately want to see what comes out, because when history starts to shape itself around me, i don’t want to read about it after the fact, i want to live it…

what the hell was that? are you still reading this? i fucking love you corrine.

i’m going to bed. thanks for reading. hopefully next week will see: a new vote + links to old vote results, a new cast page.. check the archives- now in reverse order. later