Archive for 'The Wild Web'

The Tragedy of the Internet

Ok, it’s one well intentioned but ultimately wrong headed piece about ad blocking over the full bucket and time to put this all into perspective. My problem with Arment’s piece and others like it is the good versus evil narrative they create for the topic. Ad networks are perpetrating “rampant abuse”, people are “fighting back” and in turn being “demonized”. […]

A Rogues Gallery of Ad Formats

Ever wondered what on earth people were thinking when they came up with invasive ad formats that completely undermine the user experience on your favorite websites? Well, here it is in their own words. These are videos by a company that positions itself as an ad network and “digital advertising solution for brands.” The 970×260 […]

Native Versus Web: A Moment In Time

Whenever I see punditry about web versus app, or worse, web versus mobile, I see a graph in my mind’s eye. It is inspired by disruption theory, but I’m not a deep student of Christensen’s work so please don’t read his implicit support into anything I’m writing here. Skipping to the punchline, here’s that graph. […]

Judge, Jury and Social Media Executioner

It seems more and more often that we see people shamed on social media. They do something greedy, stupid, or bigoted, or a combination of all three, and it comes to the attention of someone who’s internet famous. Tweets go out, virtual mobs assemble, and pretty soon there are real world consequences. Firings, defacement of […]

Privacy on iOS 6 is a Wake Up Call for 3rd Party Web Analytics Tools

There is much discussion of the way that the goals of advertising and privacy are at odds. But advertising is not the only casualty when browser makers clamp down their privacy settings. Another big category that this will affect is 3rd party analytics tools. Google Analytics (GA), for example, is an extremely powerful (and free) way for […]

Lessons from the Failure of Readability’s Author Payment Plan

Yesterday Readability announced that they were shutting down their experiment to take payments on behalf of authors and then distribute them (minus a 30% cut) to those authors. The announcement talks about learning from the experiment, the main learning being that while readers seemed to like the model, it was impossible to get enough publishers […]

Consumer Startups without Revenue are Products, not Businesses

Nick Bilton recently wrote about stratospheric valuations for companies that don’t generate any revenue and there has been much debate on whether or not this represents a bubble. The more interesting thing from my point of view is how the incentives of venture capital encourage consumer-oriented startups to adopt an ad-based1 business model and simultaneously […]

The Growing Business of Monetizing Other People’s Content

For the last couple of years I have been an active user of Instapaper, Marco Arment’s excellent service for saving online articles for later reading. According to his press kit the service has more than 1 million signed up users and is profitable. Instapaper is successful for good reason — it offers a lot of […]

Stripe’s New Online Payments Service: Where’s the Catch?

When I wrote about recurring payment solutions in March I called Saasy “without doubt the simplest recurring billing payments solution the world has ever seen.” I thought it was expensive though, and it doesn’t have data portability. You can’t move your customers’ credit card data to another provider. You are locked in. Braintree was my […]

Comparing Recurring Payment Solutions

I’ve spent some time investigating billing solutions for a premium subscription feature we are considering for YLF. This area is a minefield. Until recently, it has been a lot of work to get an online business set up with recurring billing. Over the last year or so several startups identified this pain and set out […]