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As web publishers all scurry around trying to appease investors by turning their loss-making ventures into profit-making ones we're starting to see some worrying changes taking place.

How are online publishers going to convince advertisers to part with their money and buy enough advertising, at a high enough rate, to offset the cost of content production and (gasp!) maybe even create a small operating surplus?

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Pop Ups... - Jon

online shopping stuffs up banner ads... - David

Have Your Say

Well it looks as if many websites are now so far up against the wall that they're prepared to risk tactics which, just 12 months ago, would have been considered online suicide.

By this I mean:

  • The use of pop-up advertising windows
  • Interstitial ad pages
  • Rich media adverts with streaming media
  • Huge areas of the page given to ads

As an example of that last one, just take a look at stories published on the CNet site.

The regular 468x60 pixel banner at the top of the page has gone -- now replaced by a hulking great 360x300 pixel block of advertising graphic buried in the text of the article and weighing in at a hefty 25 Kbytes.

Obviously this, thanks to its positioning and size, offers the advertiser more exposure -- but is it likely to annoy readers enough to drive them away?

I don't think so -- after all, how many magazines have quarter or half-page ads in them?

Actually, of all the non-banner web-based advertising tactics, I find these bigger ad areas to be the least irritating. Unlike pop-up windows I don't have to close them or move them to read the content and, unlike rich-media ads, they don't suddenly kick my PC's speakers into gear with unexpected noises and clock my modem with unwanted crappy-quality video.

What's more -- the bigger ad space allows the advertiser to provide enough information to make the ad meaningful and (possibly even) interesting! Come on -- admit it -- once you've ready all the articles, don't you go back through your old magazines and browse the ads?

One thing's for sure, despite denials by the ad industry, the day of the 468x60 banner are definitely numbered -- it just doesn't perform!

Let's hope that the replacement is something we can all live with.

Let's have your feedback -- what do you think about these "big ads", pop-ups, rich-media (audio/video), Flash-based ads and interstitial ads?

Send me your comments.

Rest assured that, for the foreseeable future, Aardvark Daily will remain an advertising-free zone.

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Security Alerts
Windows Media Player 7 opens system for hackers (IDG - 18/01/2001t)

Net worm hobbles Linux servers ZDNet - 18/01/2001)

Interbase Server Contains Compiled-in Back Door Account (CERT - 10/01/2001)

AIM Flaw Could Open Users' Computers to Attack (InternetNews)

Denial-of-Service Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Stacks: (CERT)

Sun advises of a potential compromise of 2 specific security certificates (CERT)

Virus Alerts
Melissa-X disguised as Mac doc (ZDNet - 22/01/2001)

Kriz virus makes return appearance (ZDNet)

Tool to beat killer Xmas virus promised (IDG)

Virus: Snow White not so innocent ZDNet

Wild Worm With Pro-Linux Message (Wired)

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4 = open in new window
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4  Web Attacks Show Balance of Power Favors Crude Hack
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4  Sneak peek: Next Palms to slim down, weigh barely 3 ounces
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4  World Leaders: Web to Build Firms, Not Fast Cash
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Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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