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Why Web Content Sucks. Bitcoin Tech Talk #273

The internet runs on ads. This isn’t an exaggeration. The biggest companies in the world profit not by creating useful goods for users, but selling users to advertisers. Google, Facebook and to some degree, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon all are in the ad business. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, TV was the dominant form of advertising. Companies were said to have made it when they could run an ad on prime time TV. This changed in the 00’s and 10’s when digital ads became a bigger thing, particularly with micro-targeting which Google and Facebook pioneered.

Further, there came to be a whole ecosystem of affiliate sites, where a click through to a purchase would result in a kickback. A shockingly large amount of web content is now funded through affiliate links. That is, through some sort of kickback for the products sold to their users, not by the users benefiting from the content. That, too, is a form of advertising. Ads are no small business. It’s literally billions of dollars and the people that optimize ads make lots of money essentially selling user data to companies that want to sell to them.



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