Replace Obnoxious Ads with awesome human curated news!

#2 Product of the DayNovember 11, 2015
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You know those obnoxious ads at the bottom of news stories? The ones that link to spam sites? Well, we're replacing those ads with the best content from around the web. The difference is amazing... let me know what you think!
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@jason the simplicity of this idea is striking to me. one of those "it makes so much sense!" concepts, and something i could really see myself using, particularly on a busy day when i don't have the time to go looking for new material to read. this combined with Pocket could reintroduce a serendipitous effect to an industry (news) that is fast becoming mostly about curation and personalization. sometimes i don't know what news i'll find intriguing until i'm presented with it, so this seems like an ideal way to kill two birds with one stone (wow, what a violent metaphor ha).
@jason Be careful what we wish for. Ad blockers - or worse, "replacers" - are Carthaginian Peaces for people that care about good content. No, I don't care to find out how to "stop Googling names" and the other low grade linkbait that is increasingly ubiquitous. So I don't click on it. But they're apparently a major revenue stream, and a choice for the creator to make. I tested the ad blocker and on Business Insider its not giving me additional information from Business Insider, as implictly suggested above, it's directing me to competitive sites to BI. (If they had been effective: for what its worth I'd say the links are pretty bad. On BI: Science the blocker is giving me links to Dancing with the Stars, a dead Fifth Beatle, and Sepp Blatter has an emotional breakdown: not much better than Taboola.) Effective adblocking inevitably means lower quality content over time, and spam will move deeper and deeper into original content. You produce very good content yourself - I love Twist. If someone feels hearing about Walker Corporate Law is the equivalent of spam celebrity news (I'm happy with my lawyer, I don't need Scott) and writes a podcast ad blocker, what would be your grounds for objecting to that?
I would love to see something similar that just targeted Outbrain and Taboola "recommended from around the Web" ads with ads for meaningful causes. But this is a good step.
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@ugo_alves ohh, cool idea
@ugo_alves thanks a killer idea! we will put it on the roadmap -- do let me know what you think!
@ugo_alves +1 on this - the taboola and outbrains are very sales driven and promise monetization, but monetization through them is ugly and barely generates revenue while diluting the brand. Would love to see this as an alternative - it literally could be dropped into the same ad slot and placement that they work in!
@craigzingerline @ugo_alves Only if done poorly or if you're trying to do it for the wrong type of product. I've seen Taboola and Outbrain work really well for folks.
@jamiequint @ugo_alves I'm sure it has and does work for others but quality control is an issue and I just haven't had much luck in real trials.
Just gave it a whirl on Huffpo and it worked like a charm. Now, if only you could build one to replace horrible articles with better journalism! But really though, it makes me think of lots of other applications and uses of this 'browser trickeration', from securing children's browsing experiences, to corporate public wifi networks, all the way to letting SJW have safe spaces right in their browser!
@akhanukov you are now in a SAFE SPACE (TM)! :-p
@akhanukov You're right-- schools could make great use of this, especially since so many are going 1:1 with Chromebooks. Thanks, @jason.
I'd like to/could see this going beyond the format of content here, currently other news or editorial articles, and expanding into possibly 3rd party content integrations with things like 1. related Quora questions/answers, 2. Medium replies related to the current story, 3. Twitter Moments, videos, etc., or even REALLY go crazy and create a backchannel commenting system layered atop content providers they can't govern. Oh oh.
@akhanukov These are great ideas. I love the idea of Quora integration, maybe even by topic? (Find the 3 most relevant recent Quora threads tagged with the same subject as such-and-such blog post.) Could be pretty powerful, and certainly better than 4 Things You Didn't Know About Cranberries or whatever would normally be there.
@akhanukov That is cool...and could lead to some cool ui design elements as well...mixing in interaction items...instead of blocks of content. That's going on the board :)
@lons Thanks. Yes, exactly. The two biggest problems with news sites is 1. the spam ads and 2. the horrible comments, which are usually just the same trolls rehashing the same argument over and over, if comments exist at all, yet, there are impactful and/or practical related conversations occurring at places like Quora and Medium just to name a few at 4:06 am, and most readers would never think to jump over there and see the topic in another context.
When Apple allowed ad blocking, many journalist and publishers compared it to stealing. I wouldn't go that far for the personal user, but as a business with the intent of generating profit, this doesn't feel right. A little too steal-y. It is essentially replacing other's ads with TLDR's.
@jfals82 actually, we are replacing other people's ads with.... their own content! so, the consumer (not us!) takes taboola or outbrain off of Business Insider and replaces it with quality content -- which includes Business Insider!
@jfals82 oh yeah, we make $0 from this.... so, if you can figure out a way for us to make money with out ads I'm all ears :-)
@jason @jfals82 except they no longer make anything on those pageviews so you're just losing them more money.
@jason Excellent hack. Probably not a business. And the moral point wouldn't keep me up at night so good luck.
@jason @jfals82 Sponsored content that passes a human curation - not spammy but actually interesting and something people might want to read. What Outbrain wants to be but isn't (as far as I can tell).