letter from the gulag (with native ad sidebar)

Recommended reading: a rundown by Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith on various internet advertising strategies and reasons she rejects them for her blog: for example, the clickbait "Adblade" that sits between a post and the comment section (a grid of six photos, typically of attractive young celebrities, interspersed with brainstem-tingling pictures bearing captions such as "Highly Venomous Sea Snake Spotted for the First Time in 30 Years"), the "Native Ad Sidebar," with headlines that are supposed to blend in with the blog's typical content, "Sponsored Content" banners that enter the blog's normal posting space and confuse authorship, and autoplay videos that squat in the middle of a story like a dog defecating on the sidewalk. Smith has regular blog fundraisers to spare her readers most of these gimmicks (I just noticed she had a native ad sidebar, which I zapped with my Ghostery plugin). Salon (a formerly good magazine I still check regularly out of old habit), seems to employ all of the gimmicks at once.

Smith writes:

Naked Capitalism... has always had a “letter from the gulag” look, and ads sit awkwardly in that. But as we’ll discuss very soon, we actually reject a lot of high-payout per view (per CPM, in the lingo) because we deem them to be too intrusive or downright tacky. So while it may not be evident to you, we are already taking a bit hit in revenue terms in the interest of keeping readers focused on our content. Since we often make complex arguments with a lot of information, we don’t want you to be distracted.

Not being distracted -- what a concept.