I spend my waking hours thinking about online content publishers (both print leapsters as well as pure plays that started out as a blog in Mom’s Basement), monetization of content and how monetization interacts with users. I therefore watched with fascination as John Gruber published an angry memo against Tynt, a company that helps publishers track copy/paste and appends deep links back to publisher content when content is shared.
With my obvious monetization bias declared, I’ll make my rebuttal short and to the point:
- There is absolutely nothing wrong with publishers deciding to “break” copy/paste if you grab content from their site. On the scale of intrusion of advertising, this one is one step worse than the right rail Google ads (gold standard for great experience coupled with greater monetization). Most in-text advertising is FAR worse, and don’t even get me started on the quality and efficacy of display advertising. I actually *like* advertising and most display ads make me want to gouge my eyes out.
- Tynt’s opt-out process will likely have to be made easier/better/more-discoverable sooner than they anticipated, but hey, that’s life.
- Content publishers aren’t in the content business. They’re in the audience business – a fundamental flaw with all advertising-based businesses that manifests itself with in-game advertising, product placements and every other way an audience is going to be “forced” to see an ad no matter how good DVRs or AdBlock Plus gets. Tynt is simply free advertising for the content author when the content is sent around over the Interweb wires. So why so much anger over it? Most advertising (except for search ads and Super Bowl ads) is a necessary evil anyways.
- Blaming the issue on dead tree publishers who “don’t get it” is a cop-out. Tynt does billions of pageviews a month, so clearly they’ve identified a widespread *publisher* need that goes beyond the weird New York types who think editorial still matters (okay, I kid, I know it does). Let’s find other ways to heap scorn on print dinosaurs, really, its like shooting fish in a barrel.
Am I missing something here? I’m all for working folks up into a lather over Punch The Monkey banner ads but getting ticked over copy/paste? Really?
[ And let me state the obvious disclosure again; this post has no affiliation with my employer Kosmix or my work with them. If anyone’s crazy enough to think they’d pay me for my opinions, call me. Have I got a scheme to lighten your wallet for you! ]
From the Everyone’s-covered-it-but-I’m-still-going-to-talk-about-it department: Apple passing Microsoft in market cap is just an outstanding achievement that leaves one stunned.
As a technophile, its simply impossible to not be awed at this singularly amazing story of second chances, redemption and the power of second chances. I only wish I’d bought more stock when I had the chance, in October 2008 or May 2009!
Here’s an article you must read if you haven’t already: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/technology/27apple.html?ref=technology