RE: and taller ads

From: Michael Martinez <>
Date: Mon 16 Apr 2001 10:35:15 -0600


>I agree with Stephanie's main point, which was that
>readers need to understand that most of the worthwhile
>and free content on the Net is made possible by advertisers.


>I sure wouldn't go around saying that too much. It is
>completely subjective to the definition of the terms
>worthwhile and free.


>What if newspapers didn't have advertising. Do you
>think more people would read the Sunday paper ?

Heck yeah! At least, *I* would go back to reading the
Sunday paper, if it didn't have ads. Right up until it
went out of business. But the Internet is not a newspaper,
and the Sunday paper isn't free, even with the ads.

The free content was originally provided by people paying
for Web space with their own ISP accounts. The
proliferation of ad-supported Web hosting services met
needs that the ISPs weren't meeting. But many of the ISPs
are now trying to meet those needs.

I pay about $400 a year for my Web-hosting. And though
I do make that money back, or try to, if I didn't make a
dime I'd still be putting up my content, supporting my
communities, etc.

I'd love to make a billion dollars on the Net. But I'm
too busy creating free content for other people to really
get into that. And there are a million more just like me,
some with deeper pockets, some with less deep pockets.

If anyone on this list thinks that the business community
can just CHARGE FOR CONTENT, forget it! Wash that nonsense
out of your hair right now! The only content people will
pay for is content which is important to them, and which
they cannot get for free elsewhere.

So you're not going to make a fortune selling access to
syndicated content. I can run all the same headlines on
my site for free thanks to Moreover, and if they start
charging someone else will come along and give me free
access to the news feeds.

You can't just bury your head in the prospectus and say,
"Oh, yeah! If we all agree to charge for content, the
people will pay." The business community may control
Internet ACCESS, but they don't control its use. And if
you don't control the use to which the Net is put, you
cannot dictate what surfers will do, or demand that they
pay for content.

Give it up. It's time to be innovative. If the business
community is really going to profit from the Internet on
a widespread scale, it has to get rid of the pipe dreams
and find some real methods of generating revenues.
Otherwise, you're just setting yourselves up to be undercut
by unscrupulous or very crafty competitors.

And as far as the advertising community goes, you industry
professional folks are in the same boat as guys like me.
You have to figure out how to get people to choose CONTENT
SET A over CONTENT SET B. It doesn't matter who is making
money off their content. All that matters is whose content
you (or I) want people to look at, and how we get them to
do it.

Michael Martinez

 Science Fiction and Fantasy
  Visualizing Middle-earth, a book for all Tolkien fans

Received on Mon Apr 16 2001 - 11:35:15 CDT


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