Bandwagons are not really my thing – if anything, if there’s a bandwagon to be jumped on, you’ll generally find me jumping off, just to be perverse and awkward. However, with nothing particularly yelling ‘write about me!’ at the moment, i figured what the heck… let’s plunge into the melee – after all, if pretty much every other sl blogger is going to be doing a subject to death over the coming days, why shouldn’t i join in?
The subject is, of course, the hot topic of the moment – Linden Labs’ foray into the world of Adsense.
Even those of you far from the white heat of current sl affairs may well have noticed the recent advertisements that have appeared, splattered all over your control panel – and have also made an appearance, from today, on the Marketplace. Nestled cheek to jowl with the familiar vampires and premium gift enticements, you’ll find opportunities to invest in IT companies, buy the Lab’s new products and – i was somewhat surprised to see – you can now find the Filipino bride of your dreams direct from the Marketplace!
It’s all explained in the Lab’s latest communication today, although i’m still at a bit of a loss about what exactly ‘web properties’ might be, (real estate for spiders?), but i’m sure it’ll all become abundantly clear as time goes on.
Now, i don’t have a problem with advertising on the web – despite the vast array of ads that we’re constantly bombarded with, i’m afraid that i’m one of those people for whom advertising in its most conventional sense is a completely lost cause. i’ve never bought something as the result of a TV commercial, advertising hoarding or banner ad, and they exert about as much influence over me as… to be honest, i can’t come up with a fitting analogy that could go here, but let’s just say that most adverts just don’t register in my consciousness. As for ‘click-throughs’, i could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of occasions i’ve ever been sufficiently interested in the rubbish that flashes on to my screen to want to click on it. These days, it’s a rare thing for me to even see an ad, thanks to some rather effective and fiendish blocking technology i’ve installed – yep, even those horribly irritating and intrusive Youtube ads are things of the past for me 🙂
They have their place – but i’m not convinced that sl is particularly the right place for generic advertising. To give credit to the Lab, they are planning to give sl users the opportunity to grab slots for their own products, but i can’t help wondering just how successful this will prove to be – what’s the difference between a banner ad on the Marketplace and the scrolling marquee of vendors that we already have there? Who’s going to advertise anyway? – It’s a fair bet that it’ll come down to the land rental barons and perhaps a couple of high profile stores, and let’s face it, most of us looking to buy anything are far more likely to type ‘left-handed Persian scimitar’ into search than click on an ad and trawl through a store in the hope we’ll find what we’re looking for. Although i can see the need to develop new revenue streams – and there’s nothing wrong with advertising, per se – i just think that the nature of sl tends to undermine the whole concept of the Adsense approach.
i have other, possibly unfounded, concerns about where this new line of commercialism may lead – are we to be subjected in future to ‘in-flight’ advertisements as we TP?; Instead of the familiar plywood texture, will freshly rezzed prims come festooned with invitations to try out new products?; And, will snapshots taken inworld be overlaid with product endorsements? Far-fetched – maybe, but make the most of your gestures while you can, because the day may be coming when your favourite ‘Hoo!’, may well be followed by [This gesture was brought to you by Micro$oft – Your potential, our passion.]
here’s popcorn, here’s magazines, here’s milkshakes, here’s blue jeans
here’s padded bras, here’s armpit wax, here’s football shirts, here’s baseball caps
here’s very very very very very very very very very very very very long infomercials
Adam Freeland – We Want Your Soul