Publishing is in the midst one the most rapid evolutionary journeys we have ever experienced. Online innovation and business is a crazy concoction that pushes boundaries and gives little concern for tradition or sentimentality. Its goal is to study human behaviour and work out how to monetise. This causes friction because we are discovering that our behaviour does not always line up with the most moral, idealistic or traditional values. In most cases we want more verity, at less cost delivered as fast as possible. Any shortcut that can save us a second of time or improve our user experience will be capitalised on. Enter Ad Blocking services.
For those that don’t know, an ad blocker is some software that is packaged as a service that blocks advertisements popping up or displaying showing on a website. They can be used on your phone, desktop or tablet alike. No doubt about it, they make the user experience better because who like adverts? As a small child I remember my grandfather muting TV during commercial breaks. This is a hobbit that I still use (the principle being basically the same).
The problem with ad blocking is that it cuts out revenue of for publishers. Established publishers face huge challenges keeping up with the younger, cheaper faster ways we consume things. An example of this is that we are beginning to see the death of traditional formats like printed newspapers. We need news, we don’t want to pay for it and we want to know that the news is genuine. However we get this, we know we don’t want adverts and commercials attached.
Social Media plays a huge role in the way we consume content and this includes the kinds of content that traditional publishers would publish. Twitter is now the way millions hear about the latest news headlines. Articles and publications are cut down to bite size chunks allowing us to easily take in whatever we are interested in at our convenience.
Publishers are appealing to people to not use ad blockers, to keep them alive by donating or telling us how bad the world would be without them. But ultimately what can’t stay profitable will not survive. As business man, I believe in letting the free market decide whilst we riding the competitive edge and saying relevant.
When engaging in Social Media, if you don’t make that connection, if you turn your audience off and don’t find success, it all to clear to see in the way people interact with your content. This should keep you constantly trying, testing and evolving on that relevant edge. Be interesting, passionate and try to paint the bigger picture and you will not be one of those that is trying to hold on once everyone else has moved on.