[MUD-Dev] [BIZ] Advertising sprawl (yahoo)

J C Lawrence claw at 2wire.com
Wed Apr 18 16:08:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Wed, 18 Apr 2001 19:54:01 +0000 (GMT) 
Matt Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 18 Apr 2001, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:

>> Sometimes I'll go to a site and see a banner I would REALLY like
>> to click on -- in a few minutes, once I get done with what I'm
>> doing.

> I certainly know that feeling.

The browsing habit of opening new browser windows on interesting
links rather than drilling down through interesting links solves
that one.  You tend to end up with a great many browser windows open
(I average in the low 20's), but its a manageable problem with tools
like virtual desktops, filtered process/window list tools, etc.  I
use FVWM IconMans:

  ftp://ftp.kanga.nu/pub/JCL/Images/Desktop/JCL.Desktop.10.jpg
  ftp://ftp.kanga.nu/pub/JCL/Images/Desktop/JCL.Desktop.12.png

The blue boxes in the corners are IconMans, the upper right one
listing netscape windows.
 
> I'm not sure one of those stupid little windows has ever gotten
> fully loaded before I closed it. 

Squid and JunkBuster (IIRC) both come with configs to strip
newwindow JavaScript (see freshmeat for the appropriate sites).
There are similar and related tools for Windows if that's your
poison.  Even simpler is to just disable JavaScript on your browser
(I rarely to never have it turned on, JavaScript is Evil).

> I can tell you right now too that even if I wanted to look at
> porn, I'd never go to a porn site because of those blasted little
> boxes that hijack your browser even after you're off the page.

An approach to the security concerns from a network level is to
insert a filtering proxy which strips Javascript from page HTML as
it comes through the DMZ.  If you're concerned about having to have
your users configure their browsers for the proxy, just put the
proxy in as an ethernet bridge and then set your firewall rules to
redirect port 80 traffic through the proxy.  Its a little tougher to
do the same for SSL (they'll get key-mismatch warnings until they
manually configure for the proxy), but in the end you get the same
gain: No more javascript.

Works well.
 
> See, I think they do work. They have worked fine for Achaea, for
> instance. I just think the expectations of them were unrealistic.

My browsing habits are admittedly atypical.  That said I don't use a
banner ad stripping proxy, but I do run with JavaScript turned off.
My rate of banner ad clicks is probably in the low single digits per
year.

In a woeful and doomed attempt to finally move this message
somewhere that was at least heard of topic, I question whether
placement advertising, in games or otherwise) will remain valuable
over the next few years or whether it will subsume to the magazine
and newspaper models where the interest is not in eyeballs but in
brand and image building.  (John Bertoglio has mentioned some
interesting data in this area on and off list).  For me, the latter
is definitely currently the case.  

The interesting aspect of this is that from a game design
perspective we are in the business, much like Hollywood, we are in
the business of building emotive and visceral imagery and event
sequences.  At a generic level, we want our players to care about
our games and what happens in them.  From an advertising
perspective, and in particular from a branding perspective, this
must be awfully tempting:

  You not only get to pull the punters heartstrings when Hero
  defeats the Great Evil, but you get to indelibly associate
  SnotWaterSoda with those visual memories...

I suspect that urrent player bases have not been large enough to
really grab the advertising media's attention.  Given current player
base sizes in the larger commercial offerings, especially given
their apparent demographics, I (sadly) doubt it will be so much
longer.

--
J C Lawrence                                       claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                          http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--
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