Free To Advertise

I am a fan of WordPress VIP’s new slogan, ”We free you to publish.” This phrase is especially meaningful in this new age where everyone can say what they want to say out there as a publisher. One thing I’ve learned while working at Automattic is how publishers have rules they need to abide by, but classic tech companies aren’t legally classified as publishers so they are subject to different rules.

I am not an expert on this topic, and have been learning along the way with the rest of the world. A few decades ago at the MIT Media Lab I was one of the PIs in the News in the Future (NiF) Consortium. Ironically, nothing seems to exist of that effort anymore on the living Internet so you’ll need to look at the Wayback Machine link — so the future failed us (wink). We thought a lot about advertising models of the future, but I don’t recall us ever imagining that tech companies would rise to have the power that they possess today.

“Digital advertising has been classified in the same way as skywriting or promotional messages on pencils, which avoid the necessity for disclosure for practical reasons.” —Emily Bell in The Guardian

The above quote caught my attention this morning. My first reaction was, “Huh?” Then after a brief moment it was, “Uh oh.” —JM

NiF note:

NiF focuses on four areas: description of news by and for computer; observation and modeling of consumer behavior; presentation and interface design; and application.