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The Solution To Online Advertising! 11 December 2001 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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Sorry to bring up the irritating issue of online advertising -- but I think I've found a solution to the problem of ever-declining effectiveness and ever-increasing intrusiveness.

Think about this for a moment...

What about a system that embodies many concepts already tried -- but in a way that uniquely combines them into a design that not only drives traffic to the advertiser's website -- but also means that once they get their they'll browse around and actually learn about the products or services being promoted?

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What about a system that is no more intrusive than the average banner ad? No pop-up/under windows, no annoying animations and nothing to get between you and the content you've come to see.

What about a system that also gives website operators the chance to earn what could potentially be quite big money from advertising?

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    Sounds too good to be true right?

    Well I reckon that what I've come up with achieves all those goals.

    If properly implemented, I sincerely believe that this concept and the technology used to deliver it, could give the online advertising market a much-needed shot in the arm -- which is good for everyone.

    More paying advertisers/advertising means more revenues for content providers -- and that means more content for Net users.

    At last we could regain control of our computers and avoid continuing down the road of ever more irritating hijacking of our browsers by hungry publishers prepared to do anything to attract the ad-dollars.

    Speaking of which -- the very latest in "let's annoy you" advertising is the transparent Flash ad.

    If you haven't seen these yet then (if you're an Internet Explorer user) you soon will.

    Pages with these ads installed can use the entire browser window to deliver their message. This means that the advertiser can use such annoying and distracting techniques as banner which scrolls right around the entire edge of the page, or even a semi-transparent message which sits boldly across the entire window -- requiring you to read through it to view the content.

    Fortunately Netscape users are spared such abuse -- but thanks to Microsoft's dominance, using a browser which isn't IE is becoming increasingly difficult as more and more web designers opt to make IE-specific sites.

    Now I don't have the time or the energy to develop and commercialise this great new advertising idea -- but if there's an ad agency out there who's interested (and prepared to pay) then please contact me and we'll talk turkey.

    Microsoft Bribing Customers
    Boy, Microsoft is really using some primitive tactics to recruit users to its Passport e-wallet service -- they're bribing them!

    Following a rather embarrassing security snafu with e-wallet that completely shattered the software giant's claims of security and safety, it's now offering (sorry Netscape users -- won't work for you) to pay people up to US$100 to use it.

    I suspect this is also a bit of an intelligence test -- who's dumb enough to believe that Bill's boys have really got a handle on security?

    It's not as if you're betting just $100 on the matter -- if the e-wallet system gets its pocket picked again then those gullible enough to fall for the up to $100 hand-out could lose a whole lot more than that amount.

    I must check and see whether Microsoft has purchased the trademark P.T. Barnum yet -- after all, they also seem to believe that "There's a sucker born every minute."

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