04 June 2012

Subtraction By Ad-ition

My long time reader might remember that I've been preaching the Gospel of Codd from the beginning, and that multi-stuff/RDBMS/SSD is the saviour of applications. Further, the mobile/tablet space is ripe for a paradigm shift to fully normalized relational datastores, which can thus be easily served up to a pick-able (finger or mouse, doesn't matter) small data interface. This stock promotion page reveals that the other, but related, paradigm shift is finally recognized by Main Stream Pundits. To quote: "... up until now the primary form of Internet advertising has been the display ad, and it's hard to display a static ad on a 3.5 inch screen size without annoying the user."

What the piece misses, of course, is that what did in newspapers (less so, magazines) wasn't Google and such but Craig's List. What CL took was classified adverts, and this was the cash cow of (local) newspapers. While not quite the meme that some would have us believe, it proved the main point: any endeavour which depends on adverts for revenue is ultimately doomed. As my Pappy used to say about women, "They're like buses, there'll be another one along in 10 minutes." The same is true for adverts. Some other way, which is more alluring to ad buyers, will soon enough pop up.

As I've been drum banging for some time: advert business is tough. For those of a certain age, or perhaps certain undergraduate major, "The Hidden Persuaders" is a very early tale of how the advert business works. I haven't re-read it in years, by the way. Whether the notion of "engagement ads" provides any real improvement to ad buyers is up for debate. That won't stop the sites from making them. Just because they can. Kind of like GUI-fied software, distract the user into the trivial, while avoiding the substance. I guess that's the advert business in a nutshell.

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