Seven years and a few months ago, Yahoo! plunked down billions of dollars for one of the hottest Internet companies around, Broadcast.com whose specialty was to stream radio and other audio via the web.
Today, Google plunked down billions to purchase YouTube, now one of the darlings of the second Internet age whose specialty is to serve user created (and some commercial) videos.The problem with both purchases is a pesky thing called revenue. Broadcast.com didn’t have any in 1999 when Yahoo! bought it and YouTube doesn’t have any today. Hopefullly Google learns from Yahoo!’s stumbles and their gamble pays off. Hopefully they can monetize YouTube so we can keep on wasting our time on the site. If not, then we can expect a repeat of 2000 when all the air of the dotcom boom left the valley when everyone realized the emperor had no clothes.
Either way, I think YouTube is overpriced for what Google gets. A billion dollars is not chump change, even in the silicon valley. It makes a billion for Facebook look like a deal and 500 million for MySpace to look like a steal.
Firefox Adblock is a god send. I no longer need to suffer through annoying ads that won’t stop animating. I now block them. That’s right, I block them. I don’t complain to the advertiser, I don’t complain to the publisher, and I don’t bother with the third party ad servers (e.g. Doubleclick). I block the ad right then and there.
Advertising and Internet publishing industries take heed. I’m not the only one installing Adblock and using it. I understand that advertising pays the bills, but user control is what the Internet is about. You respect us and we’ll respect you. If not, your ad will be blocked. We have the control to let ads live or kill them on the spot.
Unfortunately for all the sites that carry Doubleclick and Atlas ad banners I banned those companies from their root domains. I was sick of seeing ads I had already banned. I’ll lift the ban next quarter when I think the ads have completed their run and give them another chance. Nextag also got the boot, but only because I find them slimey for reasons I won’t go into.
Update (4/13/07): Firefox AdBlock Plus appears to be stable. I’ve had it installed for a few weeks now and haven’t crashed once. Knock on wood. Get it today and take back some control. I don’t recommend following the default AdBlock schemes because cutting out all ads will undermine the companies providing the free products you use. Rather, block only those ads that are truly intrusive, annoying, and disrespectful such as ads that play sound automatically or don’t stop animating. Currently, I only block: (1) everything from fastclick.net for spawning pop-unders; and (2) two ads from Atlas DMT (ATDMT.com) because they wouldn’t stop animating when I read a news article.