Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: MegaBox: From f**k-all to zero

136 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Shallow must be my middle name, unlike most of the commenters. I'm a magpie when it comes to something shiny, so I often click on Discover Me and Felt to see what's about. But that is also because I know it aids PAS. As for buying through the sites, never: I'm far more likely to impulse shop in person when I can feel, touch and smell the object (not everything needs a sniff).
    The point of net ads to me is research -- and that has become acute in Christchurch when the first questions are: is the shop existing, and where is it now?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2613 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    As someone who uses Adblock to control what I see, I have zero sympathy for advertisers getting "hijacked" in this way. Sorry, but its my screen, not yours, and I'll decide what I see there thanks.

    I dislike giving advertisers rent-free space in my head, BUT if I choose to read a site such as this regularly I accept that, without subs or a paywall, those ads are enabling a good thing to keep going. And unless the ad is one of those bloody horrible flashing or pop-out things, I pretty much filter out the message -- like the billboards at the traffic lights, the weather sponsorships et al.

    Adblock if you like; but expect to pay in some way. It amazes me that RB keeps this one going for so little return. I'm willing to help him kill the CactusLab debt.... is anyone else? Idiot Savant?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2613 posts Report Reply

  • Anthony Behrens Esq,

    As someone who not only needs advertising for my website to survive, but has also paid for web advertsing, I'm all for Dotcom's Megabox.
    As it stands at the moment web advertsing is buggered...there is no real business model for it and no-one has as yet come up with a solution. It is very vulnerable to fraud, manipulation and blocking - which in my mind makes it worth...just about nothing.
    If the world's biggest (real) media organisations can't make money from it what chance do the small players have.
    Kill it off Kim or whoever...web advertising, as it stands, needs to be put out of its misery so that we are forced to find something that actually works...for readers and publishers..

    Manawatu • Since Nov 2012 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Anthony Behrens Esq,

    Kill it off Kim or whoever…web advertising, as it stands, needs to be put out of its misery so that we are forced to find something that actually works…for readers and publishers..

    Heh. While I don't particularly disagree with you about the state of internet advertising, I'm not sure that killing the whole thing dead with a more toxic version is quite where I'd go ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    When we started taking advertising, I really thought that we'd get a lot more bFM -level advertising -- ads from people who were part of the same communities as the readership -- but that has never really happened. As I said, I like the music and arts ads we carry, but it ain't a business.

    Well from my position. I unblock sites where they have clear and obvious ways to do so (ie put up things like "please unblock this filter "blah.blah.blah.blah xxx blah etc" to display our ads and support us". I have been so far unable to identify anything non-generic in regards to the PA ads to unblock them.

    Only the following filters are active for PA for me.

    ###ad-leaderboard
    ##.adverts
    http://partner.googleadservices.com/gampad/google_service.js
    http://secure-nz.imrworldwide.com/v60.js

    None of these are specific enough for me to be happy disabling (and they all come from my filter subscription). Especially the javascript ones (which will get blocked by scriptblocker as well).

    My reasons for blocking ads are less about getting stuff for free, and more about not having my computer systems compromised by virus's from compromised advertising networks (doubleclick is really bad in respect of this).

    So when it's possible for me to support site operators by viewing their ads I will always do so, and in the instance of sites being pretty militant/incessant about it (arstechnica.com) I simply stop going there, which I guess is a win-win :)

    So I guess my request, if its not too much hassle, is to maybe put a link up saying "please support our ads" and then supplying filter exceptions that will work, and you might find people will add them. As long as the ads stay sensible and none of the "punch the monkey" style ads appear.

    Since Aug 2008 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Anthony Behrens Esq,

    It's not particularly nice...but we really do have to stop kidding ourselves. There is no accountability, no surety and no plan as far as web advertising goes.
    Unless a publisher has TOTAL control of its pages, advertising on them is like pissing into the wind.
    Media can't rely on readers being philanthropic as Hebe suggests. We, you and even the likes of Fairfax need to sort it...it's really nothing more than a fraud...a nice polite fraud...but a fraud none-the-less. (I feel really bad saying this...it's not particularly palatable...but its real)
    Advertisers need to know they are being seen for their money to be worth anything. I would argue that very few websites can guarantee advertising eyeballs.

    Manawatu • Since Nov 2012 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Yeah this was way back on page one but...

    Sorry, but its my screen, not yours, and I'll decide what I see there thanks.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha! Shit that's funny.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, Chris Keall's Mega launch report for Ars Technica has this at the end:

    Onstage, Dotcom talked up two new services that will follow Mega in around six months time. First is Megabox, which will offer music, cutting in artists on profits. The second is Megakey, which will allow people to access that content for free if they earn credits by installing a plugin that substitutes ads served up by websites with those fed from the Mega network. (A service called "Megamovie" is also in the works, and will offer a similar setup for films.)

    Offstage, Kim offered further details. All Megabox users will be given a dollop of free Megakey credit to hook people into the service. And for those who don’t want to use the ad-serving Megakey plugin, “You can choose to just straight-out buy the music that is on the [Megabox] site, just like you would on iTunes.”

    But wait, won’t media sites be hostile to their own ads being blocked and replaced by those served by the Megakey browser plugin as a visitor seeks to build ad-viewing credits to ‘buy’ music from Dotcom?

    “No.”

    No?

    “No. Here’s how we’ll do it at first,” Dotcom explains. “Only 10 percent of the ads you see will be ‘adjusted.’ This is not a general removal of ads. We’re not going to replace ads off small publishers, for example, or sites that have an Alexa rating below 100,” he pledges. “That is not our goal. We’ll be taking it [ad revenue] from the big guys, and giving it to the smaller artists.”

    How on earth this is actually going to work is beyond me. He won't get the consent of the most popular artists -- will he just offer their music anyway?

    Who is going to sell this advertising? Who is going to buy it? How large will these profits actually be, spread across the whole cohort of popular music?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I don’t have a dog in this fight so I can see both sides of the mega-key and ad-blocker yay/nay argument. To be honest, I am more troubled by the potential of unbreakable encryption to be used by paedophile rings and the like than KDC’s grab for ad revenue via a piece of mega-key spamware, which I won’t download anyway.

    However from the perspective of a pure consumer I find the argument that the website owner has some sort of right to dictate what I see a weaker one than the right of the consumer to choose what he or she sees delivered to their screen, and it kinda flies in the face of the whole trend towards customising the customer experience. The customer, after all, is always king.

    From my POV I reason that I pay for Sky TV so I can use MySky to filter the ads (x12 baby!!!). I bitterly resent Sky’s abuse of it’s monopoly position to continually siphon of the best content to Rialto and the Arts channel and whatever else new channels they may invent behind the new paywalls they throw up, so I keep an eye on the listings of what might be interesting on those channels and then use torrent sites to pull down those shows – a good example of that would be the Art Nouveau documentaries currently being advertised as showing on the arts channel. Saw the ad, downloaded the documentaries, watched them all in one enthralled sitting, job done and two fingers to Sky’s monopolisitic business practices (BTW – I only ever download via an anonymous proxy and our sky account is in someone else’s name). So I pay for a service where I see it as reasonable and where I don’t, I don’t – and nowadays I have the power to not just refuse to pay, but to circumvent what I see as unreasonable corporate behaviour. The point is I keep the control of my commercial relationship with Sky with me as much as I can.

    Now, I also pay for my internet connection in exactly the same way as I pay for my Sky subscription. Because I pay for a good broadband connection I expect to be able to fashion my web experience exactly as I want it, not as anyone says I should see it – and that includes ads, within reason. For example, I use pop-up blockers but not ad blockers, but recently the SMH started running ads which consisted of annoying embedded video so now I ad block those. I will sit through 15 second ads on Youtube because I like to give the artists something, but I wouldn’t bother with 30 seconds. The principle is, again, that I am the one who pays the service provider, so I have a reasonable expectation to control my experience. So while I may chose to view ads, to my mind it is entirely my perogative to do so, and it cannot be an expectation to be set by the site owner, ever.

    As for Kim Dotcom – he has done us all an enormous favour by reminding us that in this country our so-called security and intelligent services use a veil of secrecy largely to conceal the fact they are incompetent buffoons who regard themselves as above the law and who routinely engage in criminal behaviour. His exposure of our neo-colonial political establishment as generally incompetent and venal and outright Quisling when it comes to dealings with the United States also deserves thanks. And anyone who can say, when asked by RNZ what he would say to John Key if he were at the launch of Megaupload, that he wouldn’t say much because the PM would probably just forget it anyway, has got to melt even just a little the iciest of socialist hearts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1822 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Anthony Behrens Esq,

    It is very vulnerable to fraud, manipulation and blocking – which in my mind makes it worth…just about nothing.

    In particular, there's a certain pyramid investment model - "I make $x a day!" - that resorts to Twitter hacking and fake news websites. In fact, when Rod Oram's Twitter account was hijacked, I immediately knew it was out of character.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The actual business model:

    - launch the site
    - make massive revenues and lose > 100% on every dollar
    - recruit a former All Black, a National party politician and a senile ex-businessman
    - take the firm public and raise billions from NZ's huge retard community (sorry, Mom and Pop investors )

    - profit

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Jarrod Baker,

    Maybe this comes from being a (reformed) marketer, but I actually quite like some web advertising. If it's nicely designed, and the site owner is carefully curating which ads get posted, ads can be at worst inoffensive and at best of actual value to me (aside for the value inherent in underwriting free content).

    Where I have a problem is when the ad spots get filled up with any old crap. I compare the advertising on Public Address, which is often relevant to my interests, to the advertising on Facebook - who despite in theory having amassed a significant amount of knowledge about me still manage to present me with ads for "cheap name-brand sunglasses" more often than not.

    I think there's a place for thoughtful human-curated advertising. You just don't often see it.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to richard,

    Another question is what sort of advertisers would buy space that had been, um, liberated from Google? Am predicting it will be all classy stuff – you know, Make Money From Home, Free iPods, Cheap Viagra, Meet Your New Russian Girlfriend, Machines in Your Basement to Make Free Energy, One Simple Trick to Help you Lose Belly Fat, Vaccine Denialists…

    Holy crap! You can get all that stuff?! Got any links?

    Since Nov 2006 • 879 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Jarrod Baker,

    True. The advertising partnerships PA had for People's Coffee and Slingshot were something different and got their brands across, I think.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    To be honest, I am more troubled by the potential of unbreakable encryption to be used by paedophile rings and the like

    This bothers me hugely and I've seen it in relation to Mega a number of times.

    This argument, taken to it's logical conclusion, basically applies to the whole internet or any form of decent encryption.

    There are many reasons for people to want their data encrypted (especially on cloud services with offshore servers where laws are different). To simply lump anyone who wants privacy along with paedophiles is absurd and offensive.

    The fact is that encryption is already possible and easy, especially for those who are motivated by illegality. Counting Mega's democratisation of that technology as something suspect isn't very reasonable.

    In the same way that the Skynet law doesn't impact any serious pirates who understand how to avoid it, the lack of encryption on file sharing services doesn't impact on paedophiles who are already more than capable of hiding their activities with existing technology.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    True. The advertising partnerships PA had for People’s Coffee and Slingshot were something different and got their brands across, I think.

    Tragically, that would actually be Karajoz and Eden Coffee, and Orcon ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Because I pay for a good broadband connection I expect to be able to fashion my web experience exactly as I want it, not as anyone says I should see it – and that includes ads, within reason. For example, I use pop-up blockers but not ad blockers, but recently the SMH started running ads which consisted of annoying embedded video so now I ad block those. I will sit through 15 second ads on Youtube because I like to give the artists something, but I wouldn’t bother with 30 seconds. The principle is, again, that I am the one who pays the service provider, so I have a reasonable expectation to control my experience. So while I may chose to view ads, to my mind it is entirely my perogative to do so, and it cannot be an expectation to be set by the site owner, ever.

    If you subscribe to an old-fashioned printed magazine, you pay two amounts for it. Amount one for the actual magazine – writers, printing etc, and amount two for it to be posted to you. Just because you pay for the magazine to be posted to you, doesn’t mean you expect it to arrive without the adverts that help pay for it.

    Your internet service provider is taking care of the second, but not the first – you’re not paying anything for content. If the adverts aren’t paying for content, then no one is.

    Which is all fine for you, however somewhere in this new world we need to provide money to people who provide quality content.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6221 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And so my right to decide what’s displayed on my site, next to my work, is unimportant? Good to know.

    Pretty much. Adblock. Killfiles. "If you don't like it, don't read it". This is the way the internet has always worked, both culturally and as a practical reality. Substituting content for other content is part of this, and isn't new either. If I want, I can wear a filter which will reduce all your carefully-crafted prose to Piratespeak. At its heart, this isn't any different.

    (And as for ethically: my screen, my eyeballs, my brain. Absolutely I get to control and filter my inputs however I like. Your rights as a creator do not extend to parasitizing my brain space, or to dictating how I experience and interact with your product)

    The good news is that MegaBox's spamware will likely suffer exactly the same fate.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    that would actually be Karajoz and Eden Coffee, and Orcon

    and I reckon the latter has done really well by a more active partnership in the Blend events.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Your rights as a creator do not extend to .. dictating how I experience and interact with your product

    Actually, copyright has always done that as one of its functions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    we need to provide money to people who provide quality content

    Agreed. The old business arrangements in creative industries funneled income and control largely to intermediaries like record companies and movie studios.

    New techologies allow a more direct connection between creators and audiences, but the business models have not caught up. The old industry is also resisting change by strong-arming lawmakers to preserve their advantage, often cloaked in the name of the artists.

    That does neither creators nor audiences any favours. Both deserve better.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You’re not about to bring down anything by using an ad-blocker as an individual – but if everyone took the same stance as you, there wouldn’t be any Scoop to rely on. You may wish to consider parallels with, say, taxes and resource use. Or at least come down from that high horse.

    (shrug) The invention of the car put buggy-whip sellers out of business. I love and use Scoop, but technology has shitcanned its business model, just as it has for newspapers. And if they want to stay in business, its up to them, not me, to come up with an alternative to secure their future.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Hey I/S have you heard of the public good problem?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1389 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    I use an ad blocker, but I only block ads that have movement in them. Any static ads are fine. Ads that have anything moving get blocked. On sites such as public address, if any ad served up by google has movement, I block it, but after awhile I get sick of blocking each ad so widen the block to all ads from that source, so that all ads served up in that space get blocked. If ads did not move, then I wouldn't be using an ad blocker at. (Those news tickers on news sites annoy me as well, but I cannot work out how to block them.)

    So unfortunately for advertisers, bad ads (ie ones I actively dislike) kill all opportunity to advertise to me.

    Whenever this subject comes up I usually clear my filters, but after a couple of weeks they are pretty much back to where they were.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 427 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    if they want to stay in business, its up to them, not me, to come up with an alternative

    That's a bit nihilistic/solipsist.Why take any responsibility for anything worthwhile?
    Payment for digital content creation is a grand puzzle. Not saying it's easy. (But maybe it is. Maybe we just need to put up our money.) Just that one way or t'other, it definitely effects us all.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1590 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.