High street outlets for media content and delivery are in serious trouble. I’m thinking of audio, video and photography retail. This led me to think about how the advertising business deals with its audiences.
Someone asked on BBC’s Question Time this week, “Is the Internet ruining the high street?” as customers abandon retail chains such as HMV, Jessops, and Blockbuster, preferring to buy online. What about the reverse question: Is the high street ruining the Internet?
I remember the time before e-commerce when the Internet was a people’s medium for intellectual exchange, the fomenting of new ideas, the promotion of radical self-help activism, risk-taking entrepreneurs, and small-scale businesses and freelancers who wanted to operate internationally. It maneuvered below the radar of regular commerce, challenged convention, and was a fringe medium for the quirky, the experimental and the curious. It’s still all of that — but with advertisements. Web innovators race to exploit the Internet’s mass media potential, but is anyone else annoyed by all those pop-up ads, intrusive slow-to-load side bar animations, and email spam?