More than anything else, trudging through the numbers on these various campaigns got me thinking about information pollution, and the sheer amount of space in our day that’s monetized. Introducing limits sounds pleasant enough—who wouldn’t want fewer ads?—but that might also tip the balance even further in favor of huge brands with budgets to burn on the ad spaces that would become costlier through artificial scarcity. Maybe aggressive ad density could be taxed like cigarettes, air pollution, or anything else with negative externalities. I’m not the first or last person to see the reliance on advertising—especially online—as flawed, and we should all be deeply concerned by the way it incentivizes the sort of mass data collection Facebook and Google do.


everything old is new again

Compare and contrast: CPM comes from traditional advertising - web guys call it 'cost per click' because there is no Nielsen verification but CPM for broadcast network television in the United States is between $15 and $30. Reddit's ads are paltry cheap by comparison, probably because they're thunderously ineffective. I can't remember who calculated it but the click rate on banner ads is like 0.06%, and it's estimated that half of that number is accidental.

But then, that's what you get when you aren't targeting for shit. If I buy Facebook ads I can target college-educated women between 25 and 35 within a 5-mile radius of my business. My CPM is closer to $10. Or I can go Yelp - I can target people searching for "midwife" and pay $10 per click.

And neither f'n one of them are half as effective as a little SEO 101. The economics of the Internet 101 right there: 4 hours following Google's guides on page rank are more effective for my business than a years' worth of Facebook ads at $200 a month... and that 4 hours is about as effective as a big fuckin' sign on the corner.

posted 478 days ago