Something that’s been weighing on me since Google launched their Contributor service is that it’s not the answer everyone wants it to be. If you’re not familiar with Contributor, it allows the user on certain sites to pay monthly micropayments to suppress banner adds. People are happy with this because a lot of the internet long-timers have been saying for years that micropayments are the future of a world without annoying advertising. The thing is, they’re not.
We need advertising. It’s how our entire culture runs. It’s how we find out about services, and how we think of new ideas (and yes, get sold crap). It is so much deeper than a banner ad. Hiding banner ads (by Google, an advertising network) only pushes sponsors and ads below the surface where they can actually do more harm to the content. No, the problem isn’t the advertising, it’s how we’re advertising online. And we need to create a new format.
If you’re interested in taking up the charge, go read my full thoughts on Medium.