I recently came accross a great quote from the internet pioneer Dave Winer regarding advertising. Interesting. People's attitude to advertising can be funny. Many (most?) simply don't care. Some love (certain kinds of) advertising. And some are very vocal opponents of advertising and want to 'protect' as much of the world from advertising as is possible - including the virtual world. For them any kind of advertising is 'evil'.
My own attitude is somewhat mixed. I have no TV anymore, for example. The reason for this decision was (mostly) that advertising made most of the programming unbearable to me. I finally gave up when - sometime in the late 90s - a movie was interrupted by advertising 6 times with two of the interruptions happening in the first 30 minutes! That was annoying. On the other hand I am a user of many 'free' (ad supported!) services on the web. Most of them use adsense-type contextual advertising and - lo and behold - I regularly click on some of the ads.
Whats the difference? Two big differences exist, actually:
- Acceptable advertising does not keep me from doing what I want to do (getting into the flow with a good movie for example)
- Acceptable advertising strifes to be relevant (and succeeds in at least some cases)
Dave Winer phrased it like this:
Advertising will get more and more targeted until it disappears, because perfectly targeted advertising is just information.
Couldn't have said it better. (But I am afraid, some people will still don't like it, because it's 'commercial'. Can't help these guys .)
Disclaimer: The Otherland Group is currently maintaining one of the larger professional ad networks in Second Life. My opinions might be biased ...