02 January 2017

Viewing the Ad-Driven Internet as a Commons

Here's a thought... 

The Ad-revenue-driven Internet is (yet another example of a) Tragedy of the Commons

The ad-funded website derives some (small, perhaps, but measurable) benefit from placing ads, drives clicks through them with least-cost clickbait, makes some money. The Commons of the Internet, "We, the Readers" carry the cost. Not only the cost of our attention, the time of our lives, but literally the cost of delivery; we pay for the bandwidth and infrastructure needed to get those ads in front of us. So the benefactors of this scheme, the ad-funded websites, the Facebooks and Googles and Twitters and Instagrams, are simply more examples of Exploiters of The Commons, driven to maximise the exploitation in ever-increasing ways (because "if we don't catch those fish, someone else will, so we'd best get there first and fish them the hardest.")

BUT. We all know what happens in every other Race To Eat The Commons... Sooner or later the Commons collapses. The fish get fished out; the grassy pasture becomes the Sahara, the air becomes unbreathable.

It's not the ad-blockers those sites have to fear. Ad-blockers are clearly just a form of immune response, just like the [fish] that keep getting smaller and smaller. They should bless and welcome the rise of the ad-blockers, because the nett effect of those is merely to prolong the life of the Commons.

No, what the ad-revenue sites ought to fear is the ultimate and inevitable Collapse of the Commons. It is hard to see what form that is likely to take, as is the timing. All we can confidently predict is that the end of the ad-driven Internet model is a certainty.

It can't come soon enough.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...