Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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On Internet Advertising

I got an email from Ryan yesterday asking me if I had any thoughts on the TechCrunch internet advertising is dead post. I hadn’t read it yet (I kind of suspected it wasn’t that good when everyone was linking to it … plus, how much could I really add), but then I left it open on the plane and read it en route to Boston last night.

I wrote Ryan a long and rambling email, and then this morning I read Rick’s post over the Barbarian Group site that pretty much sums up my rambles in coherent bullet points (thanks Rick). I added three points in the comments that I thought I’d share as well:

  1. The most interesting stuff on the web for a brand to do will continue to be not “advertising” (using the definition of buying space to spread your message) but rather everything else a company can do on the web (example: most of our work).
  2. The vast majority of people don’t need to/want to make money on the web. This is a problem for 1% of the web world (if that). BG.com makes plenty of money as a promotion tool for the company, we don’t need to put ads up (though I guess we could if we really wanted to). I feel like he totally glosses over this point.
  3. He says advertising is dying because print publications are going out of business. This is plainly untrue. Many of those print publications relied on classified ads in addition to the big full page stuff. Those classified ads have moved online in both a free and paid way. They are doing exceedingly well (how many people do you know who have found an apartment from the newspaper lately?). This is a place where advertising excels (job classifieds is another one). No one ever talks about this, but this is advertising and it’s working even better than it did offline on the web!

March 31, 2009