Lunchtime links

Written by Adrian Holovaty on August 9, 2002

BBC: Why ads on the net don't work -- "The solution may be for the web merchants to stop acting so desperate and instead to respect site visitors and try to give them stuff they find useful, rather than irritating." Hallelujah, brother. News sites need to listen up. -- An outstanding resource I stumbled upon today in my efforts to convert's home page to an all-CSS-based layout. Especially useful are the browser bug reports.

The Second-Level Digital Divide of the Web and Its Impact on Journalism -- Overly academic but somewhat insightful.

Mario Garcia on centering headlines -- Any news sites do this? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

I won't be posting a site review this evening; I'll be at a Tom Petty concert.


Posted by AgentKen on August 9, 2002, at 9:06 p.m.:

I would tend to agree -- so much so that we've tried to launch "vertical advertising" that presents content to users rather than obvious sales offers.

Look at our Visitor's Guide to see how we try to funnel readers to the information that they want. The information is paid advertising, but no one minds because we are providing a useful information service.

The only complaints we get are about not having _enough_ advertising on that section (i.e. we don't list all the restaurants b/c it is a paid section).

We also offer the reader multiple contact options beyond the usual "Click here to visit our [useless] web site"

But, when we roll out more designs that do away with banners, etc., the ad staff calls me up and asks what the heck I'm trying to do.

Balance profitability with usefulness, that's what.

Posted by Adrian on August 16, 2002, at 12:55 a.m.:

That Visitor's Guide is very good-looking and well-organized; thanks for pointing it out!

One argument that might be made: The ads are only identified as such in a rather small font at the bottom of the page, and due to the nature of the Web, users might not see that disclaimer until they've visited several of the detail pages -- or, heck, maybe not even at all. I think that might be one reason users complain about not having enough. Have you received any criticism for this, or is it unfounded?

My opinion is split...

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