News today that advertising-based Web sites are trying ever more inventive ways to turn clicks into cash isn't unexpected. The question is: when will they learn that intrusive does not equal interesting? Soon, by the look of it -- the New York Times is working on adverts that are designed to tell a story over the duration of a visit, while being focussed on the reader's interests.
Despite the fact that 95 percent of adverts in any medium are at best ignorable, at worst capable of inducing murderous intent, the other 5 percent are worth the price of admission. Everyone's 5 percent varies, of course, but in a world where you only got your 5 percent the whole business of advertising would be transformed. I very much hope that the continuing experiment in making Web adverts work produces something good enough to not only make all our business models make sense, but renders the old scattergun approach obsolete. That alone would justify every cent lost on dot-com foolery.