[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Friday, September 13, 2002

John Robb has an interesting perspective on trust-based, targetted advertising based on his experiences at Gomez during the heady days of the Internet gold rush.

Nobody believes advertisements any more. There's a lot of evidence that advertising just doesn't work, no matter how targetted, so if you have a product to sell you have no choice but to get into the editorial side, where consumers' defenses are lowered. Product placements are one example of this.

There is an unfortunate tragedy of the commons, here. When advertising first rose to prominence, advertisements did work. We hadn't built up our immunities yet. As more and more advertisers used the opportunity of the medium to lie, we learned not to trust advertisements. But we still trust editorial. And once editorial gets polluted by desperate marketers using PR instead of advertising to promote their message, nobody will believe it either.

HyperDev is the developer playground for building full-stack web apps, fast.

Want to know more?

You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.

About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.

© 2000-2016 Joel Spolsky