On Advertising, Networking, and Web 2.0

Doc Searls is waiting for the new internet advertising paradigm. Commenting on a post by Jeff Jarvis:

Advertising is [...] a model that never got past 1954. Worse, we’ve dragged it over to the Web and blogging and everything else here.
No, I’m not saying advertising will go away. But I am saying it’s inefficient, inappropriate and stuck in a sell-side perspective and mentality. We have to do better than advertising. Building a Relationship Economy offers some pointers. There have to be others. Go find them. Or make them.

What did Jarvis say?

We can nurture an explosion of creativity and commerce. But we have to do it right.

Blogs didn’t do it right. Not the economic side of the equation. We bloggers make it extremely difficult for advertisers to love us – and many want to. They can’t find the right matches: the blogs that write about what they care about, with authority and trust and popularity. They can’t measure us – and to advertisers, metrics are sex. Size matters. They can’t find our names and email addresses to negotiate with us. They can’t put ad hoc buys of us together across many incompatible networks. They can’t serve ads because we don’t all have 15-year-old sons who can dig into the PHP to put up the ad call. They can’t track their ads’ performance. Their clients fear us. And so they give up. And thus they still give too much money to old, shrinking media. They buy dumb. They lose. So do we.

On top of that, it has always been hard for our fated friends and readers to find us. That’s not the fault of bloggers or the technology, but it has long been an opportunity: helping people find the good stuff, as each of us defines good.

The new economy is starting to look much more like the old (really old) economy. Niches. Stalls in the public square, even. It’s not that advertisers can’t find us, it’s that their model of ‘economy of scale’ in buying ads does not work so well on the Web 2.0 framework. The big advertising purveyors have built empires based on the framework of mass disribution. There is a new framework of distribution that is tightly focused and even user-generated. How do you market your product or service to these people?

Web 2.0 is not TV with a “buy now” button.

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