The internet doesn’t understand the advertising business. Then again, neither do most advertisers. A Preview of a Medium Premium series from NewCo Shift.
One of the first Medium Premium series created in conjunction with noted authors and journalists, Which Half Is Wasted, by agency vet Rick Webb, explores the role of advertising in our society and economy, with a particular focus on digital advertising, which Webb argues presumes the migration of television brand dollars to the internet (a presumption that he declares false). In this exclusive series (membership is required, but Medium does have a “metered paywall’), Webb asks if we really understand the advertising business, and explores the effects the business has on what gets built online.
The first article in the series, which you can read here, states that society has thrown out the social contract that made advertising moral, as more and more advertising money is spent on online platforms like Facebook & Google, rather than supporting news gathering and content creation. It wasn’t long ago when advertising’s upside was that it allowed media creation to flourish.
Cheap distribution already changed the world once. It most likely will happen again.
In the late 1990s, my father became a thief.
He would stay up late into the night in his office upstairs, his desk perched where my bed used to be. The green glow of the CRT reflecting off his forehead in the dark, he would sit nearly motionless, hour after hour watching the progress bar fill as he pirated old radio shows, books on tape, and music from the golden age of rock and roll.
Back in the early 1990s, it was not obvious that the internet would launch a global army of greying men into the world’s most tedious crime spree. It was not obvious college students and housewives and kids obsessed with Jamiroquai would join them to take down the record industry. And journalism. And video stores, encyclopedias, and travel agents.
This essay contains my thoughts, analysis, and supporting links about how Internet has been evolving over the past 20 years. These ideas have been driving me over the past decade to develop a set of improved technologies, practices and standards.
Let’s come together and fulfill the dream that was at the core of Internet: to unleash the potential of networked humanity. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. stock markets have boomed since Donald Trump’s unexpected victory last November. The conventional explanation is that investors got excited by the twin prospect of business tax cuts, which seemed inevitable given Republican domination of the federal government, and of huge infrastructure spending programs that Trump promised. (If you’re doing the math, you can see that investors did not worry about the government taxing less while spending more. Deficits? What deficits?)
By now, however, it should be clear to everyone that virtually none of the GOP program is going to get enacted any time soon, if ever, given the dysfunction in Washington and the Trump administration’s limp grasp on the levers of power. Yet the markets remain ebullient. What’s up with that?
By Miguel Gamiño, Chief Technology Officer for New York City
ICYMI — We were troubled by the news from FCC Chairman Pai this week. So much so that NYC Mayor’s Office made our position clear right here on Medium. An act of leadership that makes me proud to be part of this team! My tweet sums it up pretty well.
While the world was transfixed by the legislative train wreck of the Obamacare repeal effort in the House, the Senate was busy with its own mischief. On Thursday, it passed a bill that would remove Obama-era privacy restrictions from internet service providers (Buzzfeed). Republicans supported the bill, arguing that they were barring onerous rules that impede innovation, while Democrats maintained that the rules protect consumers. The bill still needs House approval and a presidential signature, but those are expected to come soon. “The Senate Prepares to Send Internet Privacy Down a Black Hole,” Wired headlined its story.
The FCC rules that are being trashed drew a distinction between ISPs like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T, and online firms like Google and Facebook that build services on top of the internet access you pay those other companies for. The distinction may feel abstract and increasingly outdated in an era when your ISP might also be peddling its own content. Why should one kind of media company be more heavily regulated than another?
It should come as a surprise to no one that the arrival of a new conservative Republican administration means a reordering of telecommunications policy — away from regulation, and towards a freer hand for the semi-monopolists who control our network access. Now that this change is taking concrete form, it’s worth taking a closer look at.
Ajit Pai, who is already a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (and before that was a lawyer for Verizon), will be the new FCC chairman (The Washington Post). Critics say Pai was a staunch opponent of his predecessor Tom Wheeler’s moves to make network neutrality the law, and we should expect the FCC to begin unravelling that initiative — making it easier for Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and other network providers to create different tiers of internet access and to bundle content channels that they control with the basic network services they provide (Motherboard). Also in the offing: a loosening of privacy rules and less support for municipal broadband initiatives.