Pop-up ad creator: ‘I’m sorry’

“Ethan Zuckerman worked for the webpage hosting site Tripod.com from 1994 to 1999, when it was struggling to develop a revenue model.,” James O’Toole reports for CNNMoney.

“‘Along the way,’ he writes in The Atlantic this week, ‘we ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser’s toolkit: the pop-up ad,'” O’Toole reports. “‘It was a way to associate an ad with a user’s page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content,’ Zuckerman wrote. ‘I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Ethan Zuckerman writes for The Atlantic, “All of us have screwed up situations in our lives so badly that we’ve been forced to explain our actions by reminding everyone of our good intentions. It’s obvious now that what we did was a fiasco, so let me remind you that what we wanted to do was something brave and noble.”

“The fiasco I want to talk about is the World Wide Web, specifically, the advertising-supported, ‘free as in beer’ constellation of social networks, services, and content that represents so much of the present day web industry. I’ve been thinking of this world, one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, as a fiasco since reading a lecture by Maciej Cegłowski, delivered at the Beyond Tellerrand web design conference,” Zuckerman writes. “Cegłowski is an important and influential programmer and an enviably talented writer. His talk is a patient explanation of how we’ve ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.”

“The talk is hilarious and insightful, and poignant precisely for the reasons Carlson’s story is,” Zuckerman writes. “The internet spies at us at every twist and turn not because Zuckerberg, Brin, and Page are scheming, sinister masterminds, but due to good intentions gone awry.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Good intentions gone awry might have been how it started, but I still maintain that Zuckerberg, Brin, and Page are scheming, sinister masterminds. They could still choose to do things a different way… But why should they? Surveillance pays!

  2. Let’s be realistic here: There are certain people in marketing who try everything possible, from great ideas to abominations, in order find out what brings in the bucks. We The Customers are their guinea pigs.

    Unless we scream bloody murder at these Marketing Morons and boycott the products their abuse attempts to sell, these people will joyfully walk all over us, We The Victims. Not a good thing.

  3. How ironic…The site with the most popups on the entire internet…seriously find one with more! Is THIS one…It’s almost unusable with so many rollovers, and popups…
    So aside from the snark “takes” (which are often amusing) and the overt conservative political bent, and the appearance of wildly off topic posts….it has a lot of ads…so..yeah…I know..nobobdy’s forcing me to visit..yeah…whatever…none of the above makes for a pleasant viewing experience. The links are good..thats’ about it.

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