Friday, 14 September 2012

Where's H. G. Wells when you need him?

Is advertising really legalised lying? In cyberspace, it seems, the answer is still yes.

Bad and wrong. But is this coming to YouTube?
Okay, I’m back. Sorry about my long period of absence from this blog. Much as I enjoy a blog on software testing, actual software testing got in the way and I’ve been super-busy for the best part of two months. But this work has finally come to a close so I can now get back to this. And the thing that I’ve wanted to get off my chest for the last two months is a pet hate to many people: internet advertising. Yes, I can hear you all now going "Oh God, I hate those things".

I’ll start with an obvious defence: if we want an internet, we need ads. Some websites, such as this one, are done by people in their spare time (which can be sporadic, as this one has just shown), whilst others, such as BBC News, are funded by other means. But for many sites, somebody has to be paid to create the content, and the only source of revenue is from the website itself. Even ad-free sites can depend on adverts. This blog, for instance, has no adverts, and I want to keep it that way, but I’ll admit that Blogger would never have developed the blogging tools and hosted the blog for free without the cut Google gets from adverts on other blogs they host. There are some interesting suggestions for online micro-payments as an alternative to ads or subscriptions, but there is little interest in making this a reality. Like it or not, adverts are just as much a part of the internet as they are to ITV.