@wolftune still... very little to admire about any of them.
> alternative economic model that would work for most websites
I'm working on one @snowdrift
well, I dunno about "most websites" but maybe.
Anyway, there's a zero-sum competition here for attention. Ads drive attention and take attention. If my competitors pay for ads that show up at the top of a search, I have to pay more to get there and compete to get people to MY website. Ads *cost* websites as much or more than they *fund* them!
@wolftune @lightweight @snowdrift Well, but it's not the same websites though: toyota.com buys ads and pays them with revenue from car sales, while, say, lwn.net and phoronix.com use the ads income to finance daily Linux news.
Both these sites also ask users to subscribe (which I do), but won't you agree that they might have to scale down their operations if they were forced to survive solely on subscription revenue?
In a world without all the harms advertising supports, all the people who struggle to keep LWN going could be better off and not need as much direct income.
If Apple/Microsoft/Google ads disappeared, it would be easier to get GNU messages to people's attention. If LWN had 100× audience size, they could have at least 5× subscribers.
Snowdrift.coop and crowdmatching aims to increase the portion of readers who donate too.
I'm not pushing unilateral disarmament
I support reasonable regulations on ads. And yes, blocking the advertising of some of the worst things is good. But it's sorta like my quip elsewhere in this thread about social-investing.
Yes, we should ban marketing of prescription medication directly to consumers. But that's just a start.
I do find far more sympathy with arguments that maybe bans and regulations won't work or will have unintended consequences. I don't sympathize as much with "ads are fine"
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