After the Death of Advertising, Shopper and Merchants Can Start Talking


Dave Winer at breakfast in SLC

Dave Winer

Dave Winer wrote yesterday about the death of online advertising. He says:

I've been saying it for as long as people have been building businesses on advertising on the web, it's not a longterm thing. Now we're at the end of the road.

Assuming the economy comes back from the recession-depression thing that it's in now, when it does, we will have completely moved on from advertising.

The web will still be used for commercial purposes, people will still buy things from Amazon and Amazon-like sites, but they will find information for products as they do now, by searching for it, and finding out what other people think, not by clicking on ads and buying things on the pages they link to.

No one needs advertising, and there are much better ways to sell products.

From Online advertising is now dead (Scripting News)
Referenced Fri Nov 14 2008 08:02:18 GMT-0700 (MST)

I don't know that I'd go as far as saying it will not come back at all, but merchants will find new, innovative ways to reach customers without advertising when their budgets get tight.

Of course, we might call these new things "advertising." I get that frequently when I explain what Kynetx does. People call any message from a merchant an advertisement even though, in many cases, it's not widely broadcast.

There were plenty of discussions relevant to Dave's post at IIW this week. The VRM crowd was there in force with grounded discussions about how the implicit contract between merchant and shopper can be rewritten in ways that are better for both.

Most exciting to me, the discussions about r-buttons were getting down to the level where you could see real protocols and standards developing behind the talk.

I was troubled by some VRM discussions that still see to border on being hostile to merchants and even commercial efforts in general. I think that only hurts the opportunity to have to redefine what commerce is and how it takes place. I also think that some of the discussion gets lost in relationships in general, not just those that exist between the merchant and shopper. Nothing wrong with figuring out infrastructure for relationships, but it's nice to keep things focused on the task at hand.

The next steps we take can be as important as the final end state. Dave's insight that the economic downturn opens up opportunity is a good one. At Kynetx we're working on new ways for shoppers and merchants to relate. We're creating new channels for relevant messages--both from shopper to merchant and from merchant to shopper. Not advertising--just plain old communication.