Thursday, December 08, 2016
Digital Pet Peeves. Time to stop all the sinful behaviour in the digital ecosystem

In my end of year blog I want to talk about what is creeping me out is all the sinful behavior out there in the chase for the ad dollar. Sooner or later this will backfire on the people that are doing this and I am determined to expose these tactics for what they are. I call them digital gamers, tactics that are used to exploit the system to generate eyeballs and thus potentially ad dollars so they think. I wrote a story about it in 2011 -  Marty’s Top 10 - How to irritate and repel your readers and some of the industry is still doing this. You better read this one again as a refresher.



1. Video that starts automatically when I read an article
This was on my list in 2011 and it is still happening today. The only reason I see websites doing this is to inflate the numbers of times a video is seen so when the reports go back to the advertiser they can tell them how many  times their ad was shown. I just shut the video off, but if I want to I will turn it on. There is nothing more irritating for sound to start when it is not requested as I may be in a office environment and the sound will come on and disturb my co-workers.

2. POP-UP ads on my Smartphone
Yes everybody has a smartphone, but what the digital operators don’t get is that ads are uninvited guests and you need to be tasteful and respectful. I thought pop-ups were extinct, but they are making a comeback on my smartphone in the latest websites I have been reading. The chase for clicks (accidental ones by the way as I try to get rid of them) to inflate response for advertisers does not mean I want to buy that product.

3. Ads that have no editorial fit with the website I am reading
The use of click bait is so irritating they are the cockroach of the Internet now. You just can’t get rid it. The chase for ad dollars is so desperate now some sites subscribe to native ad networks and the ads are just plain irritating and I just skip over them now. The issue also plagues the programmatic ad market as one publisher I know has turn off the feed  as it takes away from the brand experience.

4. Planned Obsolesence
To meet greedy Wall Street objectives, public companies have adopted a product strategy that you must buy a new product every 2-3 years that contributes to growing e-waste problem. This happens everywhere as they want you to by a new model to keep sales going. One of the biggest sinners is Apple. I have an Ipad1 and a lot of the new apps will not work on it as the OS is stuck at version 5.0 and the latest apps need 9.0 and the Safarai web browser crashes when I visit websites. I refuse to be sucked into this and will not buy another tablet as this one still works albeit with a limited range. If this was a car manufacturer there would be a product recall and a major uproar as it is like the engine not working.

5. Tabloid Journalism is out of control with fake stories
I know that everybody likes to read about a train wreck as negative stories get the most attention. But this new breed of websites now have fake news to get people's attention now and it is a big issue right now on Facebook as some sinful operators are doing this to generate traffic so they can game the ad networks for revenue on their ad farm.

6. Online Whiners
There has been a lot of online whining by so-called journalists about the real estate market, especially in Vancouver, where they blamed foreigners for the high real estate prices (Yeah they blamed the Chinese, but any seller wants a Chinese buyer for their home). What is this the dark ages where you blame your misfortune on somebody else? The CMHC has gone on record that this is not true and now all the money that flowed into the market has gone to Toronto and Seattle and the whiners still cannot afford to buy a home in Vancouver.

7. Lets stop racism in stories and treat people with respect
This is more personal as the First Nations community is subject to a lot negative reporting. My first beef is that they are called Indigenous, which I find insulting. Some bureaucrat or scientist gave this group this name like they are some native species, like come on they are people and deserve respect. Let’s call them Cree of Objiway people don’t describe then like some species of floral. We need to inspire the community and not create stereotypes that they are drunks, drug addicts and don’t like to work.

Yeah I know I am whining too in this month’s blog too, but these are my pet peeves of the sinful behavior I see online all the time. On a lighter note I am slowly becoming a social media star on YouTube. I was an extra in a movie 30 years ago –The Case of the Shooting Star, a Perry Mason movie and it recently was posted on YouTube. I started my career as a Chinese goon and I am in the opening scene that you want to check out. It has 361 views and climbing fast. So for all the sinners out there you can repent your sins by making a donation to the Salvation Army this Christmas at this link. Have a great Holiday Season.
- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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