Well, with Andrew Sullivan hoovering up all the testosterone his glutes can handle, is there really anything unSullied to say about online content anymore?
Yes. But we again bemoan the limitation of the Weblog format, which tends toward the reactive. We suppose this means we should publish more white papers.
En tout cas, some quickies:
Do we need “The Broadcast Web”?
While it is generally accepted that the Holy Grail in Internet terms is the provision of broadband access, the available technology appears to be limited in its ability to deliver.... As for mobiles: [...W]hy do you need broadband on a mobile anyway? [...E]ven the most powerful network rapidly clogs up when a multiple of users use bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time.
A classic recent example was the collapse of a major French bank’s network when their traders logged on en masse to the Big Brother website to view a particularly risqué segment.
The solution? Load up World System Teletext with Web data!
The outcome would be that the former ViewData becomes an Internet BackChannel. And teletext becomes the Broadcast Web where rather than scroll though a few teletext pages we actually download Websites, frames and all. We could watch TV on half the screen and access the Web at half the speed the permutations and combinations are endless: major websites and TV channels converge.
“The broadcast Web,” whether dressed in a skirt or just a bra and panties, is still convergence in drag. And anyway, if you don’t need broadband on your “mobile,” does that not imply that some content lends itself to quick delivery? Some content, in other words, is not multimedia? And some people are perfectly happy with content that doesn’t look like television?
So why use television to broadcast it?
Broadcasting is happy as it is, and so is the Web. Why try to hitch the two of them up? Is somebody pregnant and showing here?
“The Beauty of Single-Column, Sequential Text” is perhaps overrated, if only because Nick Usborne advocates it for the wrong reasons.
Let’s say you offer some kind of professional service and have three things on your home page you absolutely want your visitors to consider.... On many home pages, you would find these three elements separated across different columns and presented in different ways. The logos of the partner companies may be off on the right-hand side, while the invitation to take a trial may be in a left-hand column. Descriptions of the services may be in the center. The trouble is when you do that, you lose control over the sequence in which visitors gather and absorb the information.
You betcha you lose control. That’s what the Web is all about. Not only are you wasting your time trying to force visitors to read your content in the order you specify, you can actively antagonize readers this way, as by interposing full-screen, separate-URL advertising between the reader and the content.
Oh, and newsflash for marketing apologist Usborne: People have skipped through “single-column, sequential text” since the first bodice-ripper was written. (“Just give me the dirty bits!”)
Let’s give credit to Little Shit™ Jason McCabe Calacanis, though. He at least admits that online advertising exists to disrupt and worsen our lives:
The biggest mistake we’ve ever made, as an industry, is the banner ad. It is ineffective and was created by what is best described as the Wired magazine hippie crowd. These folks were interested in preserving the user experience, which is, of course, not what advertising is about. Good advertising is first and foremost about breaking the user experience in order to get a sponsor’s message across.
Do that too often, Jason, and we’ll want to hack through your own “user experience.” Ludivoco Technique, anyone?
Posted on 2002-04-09