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RE: [decentralization] Re: Opting-out by websites

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  • Robert Scoble
    ... Actually, it wouldn t. User research finds that people are far more likely to click on a link that looks like it was put there by the site s owner, than on
    Message 1 of 62 , Jun 16, 2001
      >It has been possible
      >for Microsoft to embed advertisements (fairly easily) in your
      >Netscape or Opera pages for years now. In fact, if Microsoft were
      >going to start embedding advertisements in your pages, Smart Tags
      >would be a fairly crude and dumb way to do it.

      Actually, it wouldn't. User research finds that people are far more likely
      to click on a link that looks like it was put there by the site's owner,
      than on any other form of advertising. In fact, on my Train Simulator Fan
      Site (an MSN property) I have two links to Amazon.com that were put there by
      me. So far 10,000 people have clicked on those two text links. Multiply that
      over the Internet and you can see what an effective way for Microsoft to get
      more traffic to its sites it would be.

      >Smart tags in no way
      >give Microsoft *more* power. It seems like they give everyone else
      >*except* Microsoft more power.

      Please post screen shots. Obviously you and I aren't looking at the same
      piece of software. I can't have a rational discussion until I "see" what
      you're talking about. Thanks!

      >But this is power Microsoft already
      >had.

      Wrong. Microsoft doesn't have the power to do whatever it wants. The DOJ
      trial should prove that to you. And this is FAR beyond "innovating a better
      product to get people to switch from Netscape to IE."

      >Really, this is an honest question, what do you think was has
      >stopped Microsoft from embedding adverts in your page so far?

      The DOJ, for one. The bad public perception that would happen, for two. And,
      keep in mind that once upon a time we had choice in the browser equation.
      You know, your words here make me realize that my dream of having a single
      browser on the Internet was a bad dream after all.

      >What
      >is to stop Microsoft (or anyone else) from embedding adverts in your
      >Opera or Netscape window?

      Public perception and the DOJ. And a sense of fair play. I guess that's
      gone. So, the world's gonna switch to "whatever we can get away with is
      what's gonna happen?" Yeah, that's really the world I want my son growing up
      in.

      I'm done arguing. Please post some screen shots so we can all decide for
      ourselves whether or not we can support this technology. No one will listen
      to me anyway.

      Robert Scoble
      http://scobleizer.manilasites.com

      ###
    • Phil Wolff
      Are Smart Tags merely more user control over their surfing experience? I remember a similar complaint in the mid 1990s. Some creators of content (in particular
      Message 62 of 62 , Jun 20, 2001
        Are Smart Tags merely more user control over their surfing experience?

        I remember a similar complaint in the mid 1990s. Some creators of
        content (in particular designers coming from print media) did not
        want web surfers adjusting background or text colors or choosing
        their own fonts and text sizes or resizing window shapes or changing
        how links looked or behaved. The authors wanted control over how
        every dot and tiddle looked. Why? First, because they knew better
        than the user how to make aesthetic design decisions. Second, because
        all those decisions created a collective effect and messing with a
        few changed the whole experience of the publication.

        One response was the creation and adoption of Adobe Acrobat. Absolute
        control, reduced interaction, proprietary technology.

        Another was the acknowledgement that sometimes users know better how
        to consume information. e.g. weak eyesight, bigger text.

        And the semantic web is the latest response: metadata and context are
        a surfer's best friend in an infoglut world.

        So I gotta ask:

        If you haven't been worried when users:
        - read your whois to find out who you really are vs. who you say you
        are,
        - run your site through a translator to see it in piglatin or Italian
        (Babelfish),
        - transcode it for delivery on a 2 inch black and white reduced-
        interaction screen (AvantGo),
        - turn off your bloated pictures
        - turn off your carefully crafted javascript or applets or flash,
        - get flashing red lights if your site fails a morality-filter,
        - see what other people think of your products while still surfing
        your site, or
        - play your site through a text-to-speech converter

        Then what concerns do you have now about users exercising their
        apparent "fair use" right to add another layer of cross references
        and context to their experience of your site?

        Users have been messing with your content for a while. What has
        changed that you don't trust them?

        ---- pause. deep breath. ---

        There is that thing about Microsoft. It owns my desktop. It owns my
        view of the web. It owns most of the tools I use to compose my ideas.

        A concentration of power.

        The public architecture [I almost said open but you won't catch me
        doing that in *this* forum] creates a marketplace for annotation and
        augmentation services. So that users can choose what kinds of context
        and commentary they want to add to their surfing experience.

        Microsoft still has the first word. I'd just like to assure that
        their customers have the last.

        - phil wolff, http://dijest.com
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