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Subject: Re: UKNM: Advertising might actually be dead
From: Tom Hukins
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 14:23:45 GMT

Ben Thompson wrote:
>Solid Oak maker of CyberSitter has announced a new banner advert eating
>program. There was a previous program of this type but it dead amid legal
>threats two years ago.

This has been discussed on the I-Advertising list
<URL:http://www.exposure-usa.com/i-advertising/> over the past few days or
so. It's not a UK-specific issue, so you might like to read what's been
said over there.

>This by itself is not that important (the vast majority of people will not
>know how to implement it) but Navigator 5 is freeware and is enhancable /
>reprogrammable (I assume everyone is aware of that). This is where the
>problems begin.
>One of the weaknesses of Navigator is that its HTML parser (the code that
>displays the HTML page) is not as forgiving as its IE competitor. Changes
>made to the HTML parser are likely to be the most popuar enhancements in non
>Netscape versions of Navigator. Most people I know looking into re-writing
>Netscape are looking at this area more than any other.

There's a simple solution to this. Write valid HTML. Don't rely on
proprietry extensions for browsers which may not be around in a few years.
In 1994 most people used Mosaic, by 1996 Netscape had an extremely dominant
market share, now Microsoft is taking over that. Who knows where we'll be
in four more years?

There is a well-documented, freely available HTML specification available.
Read it. Learn from it.

>Now the code needed to identify and remove banners from an HTML page is not
>difficult. You merely remove any reference to graphics sized 468 by 60
>pixels or redirect the request to another site (say your own). The problem
>has always been accessing the HTML parser that processes and displays the
>page. Previously this has not been possible and so there has been little
>reason for people to try.

Innovate. Why does all advertising on the Internet have to be 468 by 60
banners on Web sites? Are advertisers really too unimaginative to use
email, and other applications of the Internet, let alone using the Web in
some way other than a 468 by 60 banner?

>All that is required is for the idea to be planted in people's minds (and it
>has been) and we will see banner eating browsers. Most people probably would
>not even realise it was being done.

I suspect the Internet advertising community is powerful enough easily
generate plenty of news coverage about how site publishers are being
exploited by those who seek to steal their content.

Alternatively, give people a reason to want to see your adverts. Innovate.

You suggest that any move towards diversification in Web browser software
is a bad thing. The Web is such an exciting medium because it is the first
medium which allows viewers/readers to display content in a way which they
prefer. This is a *strength* of the medium; clueless advertisers who are
trying to apply the "rules" they've learnt for other media have to adapt or
fail. Intelligent advertisers are aware of this fact and are exploiting it.

Anyone who would like to read more about what the Web really is, rather
than hearing more mindless hype about "multimedia experiences" should take
a look at Jakob Nielsen's work at <URL:http://www.useit.com/>, amongst
other places.



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  UKNM: Advertising might actually not be , Paul Cook

  No Subject, Ben Thompson

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