Things are going from bad to worse when we look at the future of the Internet, as we have been doing since I wrote my book Broken Web.
The problem was underscored in Monday’s column when I explained how Texas Governor Greg Abbott went “consumer-direct” in his signing of the new Texas law that forbids public officials for interfering with ICE enforcement efforts.
This led me to suggest that the MSM is in trouble and may not know it yet.
As reader Curtis correctly observed:
“The MSM is dying, and everyone knows it…except them !! Americans will not remain dumb forever. They eventually wake up and turn their backs on the stupidity that has been passed off on them.”
While that’s certainly a correct assessment, there are actually two problems the MSM is dealing with.
The first is the Trump-led method of going “consumer-direct” and getting out of the ad-based old mainstream media model. Where in the past, a presidential wannabe could go from “neighborhood organizer” to president by clever manipulation of a few central media pundits, the reality is that t5he Trump innovation involved tweeting out whatever was on his mind, whenever he felt like it, even at 3 AM.
So that is one way the Internet begins to implode. The MSM loses its “lock” on the public as the “sole news source” and this is quickly turning from interesting academic discussion into an accomplished fact.
All About Business Models
The other way, though is much more subtle.
What is the future of the Internet as more and more users are running ad blockers? None of those “sidebar ads” show up on most phones, too.
I’ll tell you from running some numbers here for this web site. UrbanSurvival.com generates about $300-$400 per month from ad revenue.
However, most users are (don’t get pissy when I mention this) “free-loaders” in the sense that they are not supporting the website in any way. Think of blocked ads as blocked revenue/
Of course blocked ads is MUST faster computing and therein layeth el problemo.
A few do support this whole shebang by spending the $40 per year for our www.peoplenomics.com premium content. But they get more than their money’s worth because of our proprietary way of looking at markets. Some of our subscribers have made upwards of 40% since last November I n the market. And as we correctly forecast when BTCs were at $400, an Elliott Wave 3 up ($2,400+ range_ was expected..
And one stock recently that I mentioned when it was $2.00 per share was trading as high as $2.83 yesterday.
There’s a funny back-story here, you might get a kick out of: I accidentally bought a round lot at $2.08 and sold it six days later for $2.2935 a share, lol. I should have such trading accidents all the time: 10.26% in a week.
Back to point, about the web implosion to come: a LOT of content that people see on the internet would not be there without a good working business model. Online ad sales account for perhaps half the content on the web, or even more.
Can you imagine what the internet would be like if Bad News wasn’t so easy to monetize?
Ad blockers may return the country to some semblance of “accidental sanity.”
Say I have a web site and I want to imitate that business model guru George Ure’s UrbanSurvival.com site.
I simply take a theme that George has written about (pardon my dropping into multiple-personality disorder in the process here) and blow it up all out of proportion. World’s going to end, comets willo crash, great quakes asunder////blah blah blah.
Then I go out to the easy to monetize operations (think Amazon, as an example) and I find some spendy widget that goes nicely with whatever today’s doom story is.
Presto: A web site that makes money. Can’t be beat, right?
Except for the ad blockers. If the spendy gaudy gadget happens to be a graphic served up by another site (Amazon Web Services is dandy, don’t get me wrong and so are Google ad servers) but the Ad Blockers look at that part of the Urbanwhatever site and say “Hmmm…that ain’t coming from urbanwhatever…so it won’t be displayed.”
Now put on your “Extensibility Beanie” as we hold hands and think a bit.
What happens when the NY Times or the Washington Post find that there is no longer any value to having ads on the right side column on their pages? Newspapers are good for window washing, fish wrap, and napping on park benches for the homeless and all, but online…that’s where the people are.
And we the peeps are sick of ads.
I like to (ahem) experiment on Elaine. So I put an ad blocker on her computer because she’s one of those delightful (but few-remaining) souls who falls easily for Link Bait.
With the link bait gone, she is more focused in her computer work and, oh yeah, her computer is about 3X faster because she’s not waiting for some ad server in wherever to pipe in a 30 second videos that she doesn’t want.
Now you see the problem: Unlike television, where there was a long-term lack of competition, local channel watching is quickly shifting over to what? Streaming.
And even on video, YouTube as a business model is also ad supported so why would they (as a matter of policy) allow users to put up videos that aren’t monetized?
I know…you’re thinking “Awe crap! Commercials everywhere!!!”
Yes, there is a common delusion that the Internet would be a wonderful place because it would be “free!” Except that the reality is that free really means you are still paying it’s just that writing a check is more painful than wasting time on ads.
Ad Blockers will fix you right up. See www.ghostery.com for a simple browser extension for FF or MSFT browsers.
When you start blocking ads, you will start enjoying the web a lot more and things will definitely be faster.
And don’t worry about UrbanSurvival going away. We will simply hit a point when our revenue falls far enough, that we will have an archive on this site and point everyone over to Peoplenomics.
The way I have it figured, my value isn’t as a writer. There’s automatic rewriting software that will do that all day long. In fact here (a Google search) is a whole raft of products that will do just that. Hell, you could take some of them and rewrite the NY Times or Drudge on the fly…but then you’d come up against the save business model problem that the MSM has.
So instead, I don’t think of myself so much as a clever writer (for obvious reasons). But I do picture myself as having a worthy brain.
And my job is to sell subscriptions to access that that “value bump” between my shoulders.
So when I tell Peoplenomics subscribers about the NEXT big battle for your mind in Peoplenomics tomorrow – which BTW is DRM Declares War on DIY… well, THAT ain’t gonna be on the free side of things because of what?
In the end, you get what you pay for.
Coming soon -but in slow motion because we are thick-headed apes – to an Internet near you.
Write when you get rich,