"before advertising"? When was that, exactly? From Wikipedia:
Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters. Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. ... In ancient China, the earliest advertising known was oral, as recorded in the Classic of Poetry (11th to 7th centuries BC) of bamboo flutes played to sell candy. Advertisement usually takes in the form of calligraphic signboards and inked papers. A copper printing plate dated back to the Song dynasty used to print posters in the form of a square sheet of paper with a rabbit logo with "Jinan Liu’s Fine Needle Shop" and "We buy high quality steel rods and make fine quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time" written above and below is considered the world's earliest identified printed advertising medium.
If I live in a small to medium town, and I've just finished training as a landscaper or a roofer and now want to go into business, can I put some flyers up around town? Can I ask the friends and family who are my first few clients to put a sign on their lawn for a week, with my name and number? Or would you rather see laws banning that activity?
Does banning roadway billboards apply to the farmers on country roads who put up big signs during harvest season advertising their fresh vegetables and pies for sale?
Here at Techdirt, is it wrong of us to put a thanks & a link to Namecheap in the header in exchange for them sponsoring our SSL switch? Should that be somehow banned -- even though it would likely mean we'd have taken longer, or had to sacrifice more in other places, in order to be able to properly secure our website for our readers?
It's not that I'm trying to say the majority of advertising is like this -- I concede that it's mostly very loud and annoying, and I'm not always thrilled with its pervasiveness either. But ultimately, it is a form of speech, so you can't treat it as flippantly as you are -- how is it possible to ban it without hugely impinging on free speech? Advertising happens on private property -- so are you calling for laws that dictate what kinds of signs/structures/etc. people can put up on their private property?
Maybe there's a way to do that -- by somehow delineating a public nuisance, such that advertising falls afoul of regulations in the same way excessive noise or obscenity might -- but that still seems like a touchy issue that, at least, must be handled with extreme care, and not the BOMBASTIC certainty of CAPS-laced RANTS that you offer...
What exactly do you propose? Ads are free speech too, and companies are going to advertise to you - so banning or eliminating them is both impossible and unpalatable. So what's the solution?
Nobody's saying that there will be an instant, easy or complete switch to better quality advertising -- but it's an evolution in a positive direction. Simply raging against it isn't helping anybody. If the very concept of advertising makes you so angry, I ask again, what do you propose?
We've talked about doing some sort of campaign like Penny Arcade did, where we crowdfund the money to get rid of banner advertising for [x] amount of time, but ultimately, while we think such things are great experiments, we really want to focus on doing something more sustainable.
We do believe that there is good advertising that does have a place on Techdirt -- the example mentioned in the podcast is one of our most popular posts of all time, which was a sponsored post that we got paid for. Despite being very clearly a sponsorship piece, it was quality content that not only did extremely well on the site, but also hit the #1 spot on reddit (a community you'd expect to be extra-sensitive to paid content) and drove huge amounts of traffic. There are also things like the Namecheap sponsorship of our switch to HTTPS, where we think our users will appreciate knowing that the company supports us, and thus consider them next time they need a domain or hosting or whatnot, without the need for a lot of intrusive advertising (just a bit of prominent branding & thanks).
So while we do kind of like the idea of raising money directly for the removal of advertising, we'd rather take the slow but steady approach -- keep building our base of quality advertising and sponsorship and pushing as much as possible in that direction, plus other revenue streams like the insider shop and our insider subscriptions, to the point that we can phase out banner ads and other lower-quality advertising entirely.
CEA is also sponsoring some of our regular coverage of patent troll issues, and that will be starting this week as well. We think this is a good campaign that our readers will be interested in so we're highlighting it -- but the majority of the sponsorship covers normal Techdirt content, so stay tuned
Wasn't intentional -- I'll admit my knowledge of the history there is patchy. The thing I was reading had only mentioned Bardeen & Brattain as making the original observations on November 17th, but maybe Shockley should be in there too
I'm the one who brought you up in the Insider Chat, because someone else brought up the subject, and you had just posted this entirely irrelevant comment on this post.
You still haven't explained why you are even here talking about this. The post is not about it. It's not a topic we really discuss on Techdirt. I can only assume you were in a debate somewhere else, losing, and thought "folks at Techdirt wil support me and make me feel better!"
Well... we won't. Neither, I don't imagine, will very many of our readers.
When you reach the point where you want to "shoot EVERYONE off the planet" it usually means you're the asshole.
Well, one is a nice-looking eco-friendly bamboo version, one is an ultra-compact version with a built-in metal filter, one is a dual-brewer with adjustable-height funnels, and one is a commercial brewer with a mains hookup and a motorized pouring nozzle.
If none of those things are worth the added price to you then I can totally see going with a cheaper generic solution. I'd probably do the same, ultimately. But I still think these ones are all cool and interesting.
Hmm... what's preventing iTunes from working? One or the other should work... You can also try putting the RSS feed URL directly into iTunes (File -> Subscribe To Podcast) or some other podcast player.
This is a good point. I'm not really ashamed so much as disappointed that there isn't infinite time in the world. I feel like I understand exactly how and why Minecraft is so engaging and I know it would almost certainly work on me (I did get briefly sucked into Terraria, which is like the 2D platformer version of Minecraft).
I should clarify that I didn't mean nobody had ever thought of that model before. Just that these early web services in 1999 were the direct precursors of today's "cloud" version of that -- in that, this was a time when we had the web and websites, and we had web servers that geeks could buy to put files on if they understood the tech and the protocols, but then someone came along and launched a website saying "sign up here and we'll give you an online hard drive with a web-based file manager".
It's one of the rare 1999 posts where the original article is still reachable (Wired is really good about that, bless 'em) and, notably, it uses the term "file storage lockers" for what might very well be one of the first times. It lists a few competitors in the space, of which some are still around -- Freedrive looks a little sketchy like it may have evolved primarily into a pirate filesharing tool, i-drive (which seems to have also bought Driveway) is still around as some sort of Dropbox competitor, and @backup is now Norton Online Backup (actually I'm not sure if it's the same company -- that's just what lies at backup.com now).