I continually revisit Matthew Butterick's speech The Bomb in the Garden (I just discovered the video here). My latest return was sparked by this Last Week Tonight segment about the dissolving of real journalism and the rise of clickbait.
"Information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable … On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower … So you have these two fighting against each other."
Matthew's 2013 speech touches on web typography, design, advertising and standards, and the cost of information. Some of the websites he references for bad design have since gone through successful redesigns, notably Wired.com. However, advertising on the web is still a problem.
"We need to make it much easier for information to be expensive."
I'm guilty of using an ad blocker even though many of the sites I frequently visit beg me not to. The irony is that I'm responsible for creating some of the very ads I'm blocking. 👹
The Internet's Original Sin
Another fascinating article about advertising on the internet, The Internet's Original Sin, dives into how we got to where we are today. The article focuses on targeted advertising and its reliance on surveillance.
"But 20 years in to the ad-supported web, we can see that our current model is bad, broken, and corrosive. It’s time to start paying for privacy, to support services we love, and to abandon those that are free, but sell us—the users and our attention—as the product."
The article proposes solutions to replace the ad-supported web business model, but makes it clear that any solution will come with its own unintended consequences.
Published by: darrondavis in Internet