Mark Higginson

How people's attention flows on the web

The web is a social artifact.
Here is a selected collection of related items:


02 August 2012

Agencies know how to build and buy them; publishers know how to sell them.

Why Are Banner Ads All Over the Web, If No One Likes Them?

With a tenth-of-one-percent click-through rate not including fraud or accidental clicks this is one format that needs to be consigned to web history.

Let me know what you think on Twitter


03 July 2012

We do not click on display ads. We do not notice banners. The only ad medium on the web we use consistently is Google. But we are so swamped with hype about online advertising that we seem to have become blind to our own behavior.

Behavior Blindness

Those who sell display advertising refer to this format as though it’s relevant to everyone who uses the web – much like live broadcast television advertising is utterly unavoidable.

I firmly believe this format, despite being plastered everywhere, only appeals to a certain type of user who are by-and-large in the minority. Furthermore such advertising is only applicable to a very limited set of products and services.

The idea that a ‘hover’ is a more applicable measure of success than a click on an advert is questionable. The correlation is trivial in either case and while I see it is possible to generate revenue from this medium and to gain further incremental performance gains via better use of data, I wonder whether this area is ultimately a dead-end.

Danah Boyd is great on this in Who clicks on ads? And what might this mean? by considering who is responding and thus who is being targeted when 99% of web users do not click an ad within a monthly timeframe.

Let me know what you think on Twitter


31 May 2012

If you’re unknown, social media buttons make you look like a dog waiting for the crumbs from the table.

Sweep the Sleaze

As I have grown older I have come to appreciate that one of the great gifts of age is a sense of perspective that, if cultivated, is useful in examining all sorts of things that seem like received wisdom, whether seemingly relevant or not.

By-the-by this is why I quoted from the linked post; I’ve always regarded ‘sharing’ buttons as a pox on the web. I strongly suspect, as with so many behaviours that are treated by marketers as universal and therefore generally applicable, only a subset of users ever click these things.

Let me know what you think on Twitter


30 May 2012

The Facebook Fallacy

Good post. I do not believe there are deep insights to be had from this unstructured data that will directly correlate with vastly superior advertising performance.

Display advertising is ignored. Paid search and SEO is a straightforward response to a clear intent and need not be complicated. The real challenge is in social; coming up with ideas that people actually want to share that also encapsulate a marketing message.

Let me know what you think on Twitter


16 May 2012

Forums are the dinosaurs of the modern web.

Chris Poole - ROFLCON 2012

Some good stuff in here from Chris Poole, founder of 4chan.

“The test of a good, true community is: does it create more value than it captures… value is something that can be abstract… and by that test… harvesting user generated content and wrapping it in ads… I don’t think there’s value there.”

Something to think vis-à-vis aggregators and social platforms.

Let me know what you think on Twitter