In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: We Now Pause For A Message From Our Sponsor
2. Today's Top Story
- Black Hat: Feds Look To Arrest ID Theft With New Industry Alliance
- Black Hat: Standards Issues Open Network Security Holes
3. Breaking News
- AOL Says Workforce Apt To Shrink By 5,000 Globally
- Monster Sees Sharp Decline In Online Job Recruiting In July
- Q&A: Cisco's Chief Security Officer Explains NAC Strategy Shift
- Global Chip Sales Rise, But Prices Weaken
- RealNetworks, Google, Mozilla Sign Distribution Deals
- Brief: Google Breaks 60% Search Market Share
- Apple Deal Calls For iPod Integration In Most Ford, GM Cars
- Teradata Adds Master Data Management Capabilities To Its Lineup
- Oracle Turns To Germany To Compete In Business Process Management
- Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Set Click-Fraud Guidelines
4. Grab Bag
- Publishers Try To Sell Words With Moving Pictures (NY Times - reg. required)
- Storm Communications No Big Easy (Wired)
- Film-To-Digital Transition Carries Unexpected Benefits (Ars Technica)
5. In Depth
- Review: Google Mobile Maps Goes In A New Direction
- Review: Pharos Melds GPS With A PDA
- Review: Sonos ZP80
- Best Bits: Vista And The Hardware Monster, Part 3
- Napster Sale A Possibility
- Yahoo Combines Clients For Music Services
6. Voice Of Authority
- Microsoft Gets Over Itself (At Least A Little Bit)
7. White Papers
- Managing The Mobile/Remote Client
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Seeing a murder on television can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some." -- Alfred Hitchcock
1. Editor's Note: We Now Pause For A Message From Our Sponsor
Last night, intrigued by the idea of a "new" (actually, revamped) Microsoft social networking site, I wandered over to Windows Live Spaces, registered under a fictitious name (no, you don't get to find out what it is), and checked it out.
Since this isn't a review, I won't go into the design of the site (reasonable, but not revolutionary), the themes available (hideous), or the gadgets available (limited). I'm not even going to comment on the artificiality of a highly corporate entity trying desperately to create a "cool new Windows Live look & feel." What I will mention is the one feature of the page that jumped out at me immediately: the banner ad.
Now, I'm not part of the intended market for Windows Live SpacesI'm a couple of generations beyond that. In fact, I'm old enough to remember when the Internet was a playground mainly for academics and tech geeks, most of whom swore up and down that they would fight to keep cyberspace free from the evil specter of commercialism. Then the Web hit, with all its pretty and seductive graphics, and the idea of keeping advertisers off the Internet became as likely as keeping programmers away from the latte machine.
These days, Web advertising is everywhere. If you're lucky, it's just there to be read. If you're not as lucky, it moves, sings, or dances around the page in a Flash-generated attempt to get your attention.
I freely concede that Web companies have to earn their keep in order to remain alive, and that short of asking users to pay to visit sites (which was proven long ago to be largely futile), advertising is the only way to keep the virtual wolf from the door. In fact, this opinion is being brought to you courtesy of InformationWeek.com, which is published online with a healthy serving of advertising, the proceeds of which help pay my salary.
However, there's an inherent conflict with sites such as Windows Live Spaces. Social networking sites are commercial, but they're also places where peoplemostly, but not exclusively, young peopleare exercising their creativity. They're gathering together photos, art, ideas, opinions, and interesting digital objects and using these to both express themselves and to link up with others out there. Making themselves heard. Using the Web to poke a hole in political and corporate complacency.
So how can they express their individuality with a large ad for dog food sitting above their entries? Especially if that ad moves, sings, or jumps directly in front of the text?
One way they can get around it is to pay for the privilege. Windows Live Spaces will get rid of graphical ads and include more space for file storage and attachments for $19.95 annually. But MySpace, the gathering place of thousands of teens, displays several graphical ads on their home pagesand there's no current pay-to-play option.
Another way is to ignore the adsor get rid of them. The tech-savvy use utilities or extensions such as AdsGone or, for Firefox users, Adblock to blank them outwhich is something like taping your favorite TV show and then fast-forwarding past the commercials. (Yes, I've heard the warnings that if everyone did it, our advertising-based economy would collapse in a smoking heap.)
Perhaps some enterprising Web genius will come up with a new paradigm for these sites. In the meantime, social networking fans who don't have either the desire or the capacity to pay for the privilege will just have to put up with increasingly intrusive advertising. I hope whatever message they're trying to sendwhether it's political, social, or simply I-want-a-friend emotionalwon't get diluted in the process.
What do you think? How do you deal with advertising on your favorite sites? Let me know at my blog post.
Managing Services: Security
Learn how global technology and security professionals are integrating managed service providers into their security mix in the 9th annual Global Information Security Survey, a joint research project between InformationWeek Research and Accenture.
NEW WEB SITE!TECHSEARCH.COM
Search more than 60 CMP technology sites, read blogs, and find the best tech content from across the World Wide Web--all in one place.
Storm Communications No Big Easy (Wired)
When the next hurricane hits Louisiana, will authorities be able to cope? As storm season looms, the gargantuan task of gathering accurate informationand passing it on to the public--remains daunting.
Review: Sonos ZP80 Sound Integrator
The company's newest offering is a more affordable, entry-level system than its original product, but you'll have to spend considerably more than the initial $1,000 by the time you put music in every room.
Yahoo Combines Clients For Music Services
The integration into the new Yahoo Music Jukebox marks the beginning of migrating Musicmatch subscribers to one media player that will be used by all Yahoo subscribers.
Managing The Mobile/Remote Client
This white paper provides a close look at the management issues that plague remote desktop and laptop computers in three industries: insurance, business consulting, and health care.
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