This morning, I was half attending to the Test Match. And I was switching back and forth between the Cricinfo page that showed the latest few deliveries with written ball-by-ball commentary (“live”), and the version that showed the complete England scorecard (“scorecard”). I was doing this because I was trying to track how the England stand in progress, being accomplished by Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad, compared to other stands in the innings, and also how Buttler’s personal score compared to other personal scores in the England innings. In the end, the Buttler/Broad stand was the biggest in the England innings, and Buttler was the top individual England scorer. Following a terrible evening yesterday, England had a very good morning this morning.
But this is not a posting only about cricket, it is mostly a posting about internet advertising, and about what I suspect is deliberate deception in the matter of how effective internet advertising actually is.
I know, I know, if I’m not paying, I’m not watching the product; I am the product. But I suspect that I, the product, am being lied about.
Every time I performed one of the above switches, from the “live” version of the Cricinfo test match page to the “scorecard” version, a noisy video advert cranked itself up at my new destination. Silencing such video adverts can be difficult. You tell them to shut up but they just ignore you and carry on shouting, like they own the site, which they sort of do. However, I have discovered a way to silence these adverts. Click on them, and immediately close the window that this click opens. The advert feels that its job is done, and it stops shouting. Its job is to get “clicks” to whatever the hell it was advertising.
But what were my clicks? Were they attempts to learn more about the product in question. No. They were simply me getting the advert to shut the hell up. I paid no attention to the adverts.
How many others have discovered this trick? I can’t be the only one. So, you stick your annoying advert on a popular website. People click on the advert, close the window as soon as it opens, but the people who placed this advert assure the purveyor of the product that the advert got “attention”, from me and all the others who clicked purely to shut the advert up. Because, look how many people clicked on the noisy bloody advert! I did it half a dozen times for several different adverts, every time I switched from one version of that Cricinfo page to the other, which I did a lot. That’s a lot of attention!
No it isn’t. It is a small amount of contempt, for bad-mannered tradesmen shouting at me in my kitchen.
What’s that you say? I’m a libertarian? Yes I am. So, why am I complaining about capitalism?
Try reading my piece for Samizdata entitled “The overheating Samsung S24F356 – and thoughts about why there are so many complaints about capitalism“.
That link there hasn’t been shouting at you all the time you’ve been reading this posting. This is a link with manners. You can follow this link, in silence. Or you can ignore it, in silence. You are welcome.