Yes, PepsiBlue, I know. September 23, 2014 7:35 AM   Subscribe

I occasionally post links to ads, if I think they're impressive, interesting, and cool, rather than just, you know, an ad for something. Inevitably there are responses that are along the lines of 'this is an ad' or 'you got suckered into posting an ad' which I personally find frustrating. I see the same kinds of comments in other people's posts, and they frustrate me there, too. It's not like anyone really doesn't understand that GoPro posts all those cool videos to make you want to buy a GoPro, you know? Is there a way to frame that kind of post that'll tend to pre-empt those kinds of responses? Or should I just accept that they are always going to happen in ad posts?
posted by jacquilynne to Etiquette/Policy at 7:35 AM (107 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I think just simply framing the post with acknowledgement that it's a commercial or advertisement.

So, as an example from your most recent posting: "NVIDIA advertisement demonstrates how the lunar landing photos were not faked."
posted by royalsong at 7:39 AM on September 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


Or should I just accept that they are always going to happen in ad posts?

At least people aren't reflexively linking to the Bill Hicks video every single time now. Progress!
posted by griphus at 7:44 AM on September 23, 2014 [36 favorites]


"NVIDIA advertisement demonstrates how the lunar landing photos were not faked."

Why would that be necessary? Who exactly is confused as to why a large corporation is releasing a video to the public? If it was "MIT demonstrates how the lunar landing photos were not faked" and it turns out to be an NVIDIA advertisement, okay, there's room to argue that was misleading. But who would click on that without realizing that NVIDIA is not solely releasing this for the benefit of the right-minded space travel enthusiast?
posted by griphus at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2014 [9 favorites]


I would like to see this type of post include a "PepsiBlue" tag and commentary on/critique of the ad, if possible.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:50 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Like most noise early in threads your best bet is to ignore this and focus on the positive comments. Sometimes this is impossible. But do your best!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:50 AM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


At least people aren't reflexively linking to the Bill Hicks video every single time now. Progress!

UGH YES next on the chopping block that paragraph about the Sam Vimes Boots Theory of Economics. I mean I like Terry Pratchett a lot and all but SERIOUSLY predictable copy-pasted stuff we've all seen a billion times posted reflexively in many threads drives me bonkers.

In terms of jacquilynne's actual point, I agree that those responses are frustrating and I'd even say I find them a bit disrespectful; they feel like someone saying "you got suckered" or "you are too dumb to realize this" or "you are either a poor naive fool or a pathetic shill". I understand some people don't like advertisements at all ever and I get that, we've even had MetaTalk threads about it, but I think the issue here isn't just that it's pointless noise in the thread, it's that these comments are often unnecessarily judgmental of other users.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:52 AM on September 23, 2014 [18 favorites]


The Nvidia thread is great, I didn't see much moaning about it being an advert, more people joking about the stuff moon-hoax believers believe.
posted by marienbad at 8:03 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can't idiot or jerk proof a post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:06 AM on September 23, 2014 [21 favorites]


Or should I just accept that they are always going to happen in ad posts?

Yes, you should accept that people will do this.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:11 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Buzz Aldrin looks great wearing Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm. The fairly neutral peach nude makes his rugged feature pop but in a classy, understated way.
posted by boo_radley at 8:17 AM on September 23, 2014 [32 favorites]


People will just sometimes be dumbshitness and not read and/or think before commenting. (There's an AskMe right now where someone is asking for advice about combatting bags under his eyes, and someone else is saying "why not use makeup to cover your dark circles!")

Everyone's guilty of it one time or another, and some people's dumbshitness comes in having a hobbyhorse they ride in certain posts all the time.

It was ever thus. I usually just ride it out if it's just a couple of early comments, or chalk it up to "maybe this post wasn't as interesting as I thought it was" (I watched one of my posts about a film contest sponsored by London's Tate Modern museum get taken over by a whole bunch of people making jokes about "taters").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Coworker : "Man, if Buzz Aldrin ever finds you, he is going to beat you. Hard."
posted by boo_radley at 8:28 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


It happens to the best of us.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:30 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


1) This will continue to happen despite any precautions.
2) If you see a comment like that, flag it as "noise". Which it is!
3) Profit! Move on~
posted by curious nu at 8:46 AM on September 23, 2014


Coworker : "Man, if Buzz Aldrin ever finds you, he is going to beat you. Hard."

I sort of feel that this should be in the "Sexy Buzz Aldrin" thread in the new MetaSite SlashFare.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:50 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is there a way to frame that kind of post that'll tend to pre-empt those kinds of responses? Or should I just accept that they are always going to happen in ad posts?

Yes to both. You can indicate that at least you know it's an ad somehow and that will get the "Har har you were duped" chuckleheads off your case. But then you have to just deal with the fact that it's the internet, some people are jerks, some people think advertising (especially viral advertising) is seriously toxic, and some people have bad manners. Combine those types of people and you have those comments. I saw a similar response recently (different topic, but same dismissive sneering) about people who use a GUI. You know, most people on the planet? Different people view the rules of Nerd Club differently.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:54 AM on September 23, 2014 [15 favorites]


Single link posts are generally a bit thin. I would have appreciated some information on why this technology is interesting. Is it something the competition aren't doing? Are games coded to take advantage of it? Any more inside would have helped.
posted by asok at 9:00 AM on September 23, 2014


"Sexy Buzz Aldrin"

And to think I already spent a half an hour on that Halloween Costume Generator and the best thing I got was "Sexy National Register of Historic Places listings in Teton County, Idaho".
posted by Copronymus at 9:08 AM on September 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


I saw a similar response recently (different topic, but same dismissive sneering) about people who use a GUI.

>using any kind of operating system whatsoever for any reason
>not using simultaneous real time assembly code to interact with computers
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:20 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't let the negative comments get to you. Maybe they're just having a shitty day.
posted by smackfu at 9:22 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Found something cool on the web and want to share it with everyone else? Great!

Sometimes the cool things we find on the web are ads. That doesn't make them less cool, or less appropriate for MetaFilter.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I too like branding and marketing and advertising. I like posting about it, and I find the "This is an ad" comments about as droll as those who say, "This is like a sport, right?" or "Would I have to have a TV to understand this?"
posted by cjorgensen at 9:36 AM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


You ain't hardcore unless you toggle in bytecode from the front panel switches.
posted by bonehead at 9:49 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I suggest people who want to point out it's an ad can throw a balloon full of paint at their monitors, and culture jam the shit out of that ad.
posted by Hoopo at 10:05 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


UGH YES next on the chopping block that paragraph about the Sam Vimes Boots Theory of Economics. I mean I like Terry Pratchett a lot and all but SERIOUSLY predictable copy-pasted stuff we've all seen a billion times posted reflexively in many threads drives me bonkers.

Oh goody, are we making a list? Because that one Bob the Angry Flower strip about Atlas Shrugged really doesn't need to be linked in every single thread about Ayn Rand.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:07 AM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


If the general philosophy at work here is "live and let live", I think it's fair to ask that ads be labeled such as explicitly as possible. Personally I don't really want any more corporate advertisement in my life than is already pushed into it all day, and I'm happy to pass by it on MeFi and let those who enjoy that enjoy it, but I'd strongly prefer to be able to make the choice before clicking.
posted by threeants at 10:11 AM on September 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


I had several GoPro mounts surgically inserted subcutaneously. The idea was inspired by all the sponsored Metafilter posts.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:12 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


bonehead: "You ain't hardcore unless you toggle in bytecode from the front panel switches."

All you need to be hardcore is a hard disk, a magnetized needle and a steady hand.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:15 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I found the video really interesting, and I'm someone who tends to look askance at marketing stuff.

Perhaps you could have added something about NIVIDIA being a video card manufacturer, for people who don't recognize the name. Maybe something like "NIVIDIA, to promote their new whatever-it-was, demonstrate ...". But it was pretty obvious that it was a promotional piece if you watched just a little of it, unlike, say, that thing where they got strangers to kiss.

I'd advise ignoring most of the comments in that thread. It seems like a lot of people saw the reference to conspiracy theorists and thought "Now's the time for me to trot out my denunciation.", no matter how little it related to the post. A few more saw "Ad!" and had a similar reflex.

Single link FPPs are fine. Keep posting and thanks for that one.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:16 AM on September 23, 2014


Oh goody, are we making a list? Because that one Bob the Angry Flower strip about Atlas Shrugged really doesn't need to be linked in every single thread about Ayn Rand.

To be honest, it would be pretty great if every time someone posted a link to or quote from something they've described as "obligatory" that they stopped and thought about whether it's really adding that much. It's not actually obligatory to reference something (even if it's relevant and good), and if something has reached that level of cultural saturation, maybe we don't need to see it again.
posted by Copronymus at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2014 [9 favorites]


it should be obligatory to link to Copronymus' comment whenever someone posts an "obligatory" link
posted by threeants at 10:31 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


it's obligation all the way down
posted by threeants at 10:31 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


This annoys me too, mostly for the reasons Mrs. Pterodactyl mentioned. We're adults and we're familiar with the internet, of course we know it's an ad! Rrrrrrrrrr.

I think just tagging it as '[whatever]blue' and/or 'ad' should be enough. I mean, people are still going to make those comments, but at least you'll have the satisfaction of thinking to yourself "It's not like I didn't warn 'em."
posted by troika at 10:32 AM on September 23, 2014


To be honest, it would be pretty great if every time someone posted a link to or quote from something they've described as "obligatory" that they stopped and thought about whether it's really adding that much.

YES YES YES I totally agree with this. It is almost definitely NOT "obligatory" and unless you think it actually contributes something please don't post it.

I know this probably doesn't irk other people as much as it irks me because apparently other people are at least occasionally "reasonable" and "not pissed off at dumb stuff all the time" but it drags my mind out of interesting conversations and I DO ignore it but then I know that I'm ignoring it like a little itch at the back of my brain and it makes it harder for me to enjoy the actual content that people are sharing.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:40 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


> At least people aren't reflexively linking to the Bill Hicks video every single time now. Progress!

Wait, you mean it doesn't play as an automatic interstitial for you guys?
posted by scruss at 10:40 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


it should be obligatory to link to Copronymus' comment whenever someone posts an "obligatory" link

Aw, man, I struggle enough with the obligations I've got right now without adding infinitely recursive loops of obligation to my life.
posted by Copronymus at 10:48 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why would that be necessary? Who exactly is confused as to why a large corporation is releasing a video to the public?

Like other large companies, I'd expect nvidia to have a research department. But this was not a research project, this was an advertising project that used their latest and greatest in real time technology. Some up-front acknowledgement of which one I'm about to click on is always appreciated.
posted by Phredward at 10:52 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Obligatory: mention of infinitely recursive loops of obligation.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:59 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Single link posts are generally a bit thin.

Bullshit. You're welcome to prefer monster posts with a zillion links, apparently many people do, but I usually skip them and actually prefer single-link posts, and I know I'm far from alone.
posted by languagehat at 11:14 AM on September 23, 2014 [36 favorites]


I agree that zillion-link FPPs (ZLFPPs) are usually too much to process -- I always mean to read them, but I never do. But single links often lack context. I find that 2-6 link FPPs (26LFPPs) give the most context and satisfaction for the cognitive effort. But, if I have to choose, one link is better than 30.

For me. One guy's opinion. Although I am the measure of all things, I understand that heretics can come by their benighted opinions honestly.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:32 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


But who would click on that without realizing that NVIDIA is not solely releasing this for the benefit of the right-minded space travel enthusiast?

People who haven't heard of NVIDIA, like me. Or people who don't realize that [whatever company] is a for-profit company.

I don't mind ads-as-posts (and occasionally really enjoy them), but definitely appreciate a heads-up that it is an ad.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:37 AM on September 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


i flag these types of comments and sometimes the disappear and then i smile.
posted by nadawi at 11:46 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Fan of the "obligatory" links. One of the more social aspects, I think.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 12:10 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


People who haven't heard of NVIDIA, like me. Or people who don't realize that [whatever company] is a for-profit company.

Point taken.

Also if we're having an Airing of Grievances about "obligatory" links I am glad to say that I have not seen the XKCD "someone is wrong on the internet" one in quite some time, so good job everyone.
posted by griphus at 12:31 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


i flag these types of comments and sometimes they disappear and then i smile.

To make an onerous task more fun on the mod side, heavily flagged comments could appear as hostage-taking bad guys in a one person shooter, and the moderator would have to take them out before they could harm the innocent FPP, though some unfortunate casualties would be inevitable, I suppose.
posted by jamjam at 12:33 PM on September 23, 2014


jamjam: "i flag these types of comments and sometimes they disappear and then i smile.

To make an onerous task more fun on the mod side, heavily flagged comments could appear as hostage-taking bad guys in a one person shooter, and the moderator would have to take them out before they could harm the innocent FPP, though some unfortunate casualties would be inevitable, I suppose.
"

I don't think pb has the time to make PSDoom for MeFi.
posted by zamboni at 12:43 PM on September 23, 2014


The fairly neutral peach nude makes his rugged feature pop

I don't think his feature is all THAT rugged, to be honest. You can tell he takes care of it, tries to keep it young-looking and dewy. He must have a really good moisturizer.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:16 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I watched that Van Damme Volvo commercial, blacked out, and now I own two immense commercial vehicles. Luckily they are large enough to live in.
posted by Winnemac at 1:18 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I know that everybody on the internet doesn't always have a lot of computer knowledge, but you really hadn't EVER heard of NVIDIA? They make the graphics cards that are inside the machine you use to post things to Metafilter?
posted by kuanes at 1:25 PM on September 23, 2014


Pony: Every time someone tries to link the word Obligatory to a URL it replaces it with a random gif like oh i dont know.... this GOAT??
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:50 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have posted two ads. They were both fairly obviously ads. I also used the tags "ad" and "advertisement". Nobody seemed to care. But they were both ads about soccer, so I'm guessing that a reflexive "ewww sports" kept away the sniffy anti-marketers.
posted by Errant at 1:51 PM on September 23, 2014


> I know that everybody on the internet doesn't always have a lot of computer knowledge, but you really hadn't EVER heard of NVIDIA? They make the graphics cards that are inside the machine you use to post things to Metafilter?

Wow, a classic example of nerdview. (No, I've never heard of NVIDIA, and of all the people of my acquaintance I can think of one who certainly knows about it and one who might.)
posted by languagehat at 1:53 PM on September 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


I don't mind most obligatory links. You see, some people are new to the site, and some people (like me if life is going well) don't get to read it as thoroughly as we would like. So yeah, I miss things, even if they might be linked in every thread on, say, Ayn Rand.

Speaking of which, I haven't the slightest idea what Bob the Angry Flower strip y'all are talking about here.
posted by nat at 1:57 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


This one.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:10 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


We're adults and we're familiar with the internet, of course we know it's an ad! Rrrrrrrrrr.
I guess some people haven't moved on from the early days of viral advertising, when it wasn't always clear to everyone that the cute videos popping up all over the place were deliberate attempts to manipulate people.

It's actually not all that dissimilar to expressing surprise that someone would not have heard of a specific tech component manufacturer - the equivalent of being dumbfounded that someone hasn't heard of Weber and saying '... you really hadn't EVER heard of Weber? They make the carburetter that is inside the machine you use to drive to the shop'. Not only do most modern cars not have carburetters, most modern PCs don't have separate video cards (yes, NVIDIA make the chipsets on some integrated hardware too) and, in both cases, how many people would know, or care to know, or need to know, or give a flying fuck really, the name of the manufacturer of each or any component in either?
posted by dg at 2:32 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Because that one Bob the Angry Flower strip about Atlas Shrugged really doesn't need to be linked in every single thread about Ayn Rand.

Except that it really is a fantastic strip that pretty much distills down the essential failing of her position so amazingly well that it should be basically used as the cover for the next print run of Atlas Shrugged.

Anyway, as far as ads go this one was pretty indirect. I'm not even sure what exactly I'm supposed to be buying here - a new video card? Am I supposed to license the Unreal Engine? because honestly neither of those things is going to happen regardless so who cares?
posted by GuyZero at 2:52 PM on September 23, 2014


I never click on advertisements. Notice that I said "advertisement", and not "ad", because "ad" is a nickname, and nicknames are for friends, and advertisements are no friends of mine.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:56 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


More seriously, I understand why people might not like ads, but there is zero value in threadshitting about it. It's nice to warn others that a link is an ad, but that's pretty much the end of it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:58 PM on September 23, 2014


I try to minimize my exposure to advertising wherever possible and am not a great fan of posts about them on Metafilter, but you know: shrug. As long as things are clearly identified as advertising, I can ignore 'em if I want.

Says the guy who's been struggling lately to come up with a nonshitty way to get some ad revenue happening on his websites that doesn't feel like compromising his ethical position and pooping on the fine and upstanding userbase. Sigh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:06 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


but you really hadn't EVER heard of NVIDIA?

Nope, I really hadn't. I am not a gamer, I don't build my own computers, and I know virtually nothing about graphics cards. I'm sure there are plenty of items I talk about all the time that you have never heard of. Not everyone has the same interests, reads the same articles, listens to the same radio stations, you know.
posted by insectosaurus at 3:36 PM on September 23, 2014 [16 favorites]


I have not seen the XKCD "someone is wrong on the internet" one in quite some time, so good job everyone.

That probably means nobody has been wrong for a while!

I found it kind of jarring how nVidia just jumped into talking about Maxwell like we all read AnandTech or whatever every day, and we know all the codenames of the architectures for the chips (whose names are just jumbles of numbers and letters), which are mostly sold on boards by other manufactures (like Gigabyte or EVGA) anyway, and then most of those boards are then put in computers which are actually sold by Dell or AlienWare or whoever.

Okay actually, I'm pretty glad this video actually skipped over all that.
posted by aubilenon at 3:52 PM on September 23, 2014


Advertisers spend a lot of money, time, and energy trying to insert their content into media, conversations, and consciousness of the general public. A ton of energies is also spent trying to obscure the fact that this content is sponsored.

I don't think there is anything wrong with adverts being subjects of posts on the blue, but I think it's a service to everyone to clearly point out that they are such. It doesn't have to be a judgmental ('look at this awful company trying to trick us'), but a simple 'check out this promotional video by NVIDIA' or whatever is fine.

When it's not apparent that something is actually paid content promoting a product people (rightfully) feel manipulated. When the original poster isn't aware of the origin of the content (unknowingly passing along a corporate ad meme) they have been successfully manipulated, and passing it along without context (inadvertently) causes us to be likewise manipulated.

So yeah, post away the ads, and point out they are ads. If you don't point that out (by accident or on purpose) expect someone else to point that out.

As far as things that are clearly marked as ads - well, judge that content on its own merits, and there may be some people that are unhappy (eg: maybe the parent company brutally tickles baby seals against their consent just for fun) and they'll undoubtedly talk about that as well.
posted by el io at 4:53 PM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


Drink Ovaltine!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:31 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Copronymous: To be honest, it would be pretty great if every time someone posted a link to or quote from something they've described as "obligatory" that they stopped and thought about whether it's really adding that much. It's not actually obligatory to reference something (even if it's relevant and good), and if something has reached that level of cultural saturation, maybe we don't need to see it again.

At the peak of this list for me would be the "your not the customer, your the product!" line. I'm hoping Tim Cook killed it to do us all a public service, the way Beyonce killed dj's yelling "all the single ladies raise your hands!". But i guess only time will tell.

I still support my original notion that cell phone GPS e911 style, all new computers should ship with a motorized boot that kicks you in the shin for desktops, and just shock you on laptops/tablets/etc when you try and post that anywhere.

It was pretty clever the first time. But then, like a kid who just realized he can say fuck in his blanket fort with his friends when mom isn't around, it got beat to death.
posted by emptythought at 5:33 PM on September 23, 2014


But then, like a kid who just realized he can say fuck in his blanket fort with his friends when mom isn't around, it got beat to death.

I am so linking to that comment every time some tired cliche gets posted!
posted by TedW at 5:45 PM on September 23, 2014


Ads are viruses. I'm annoyed to see advertising showing up on Metafilter. OTOH if the ad is particularly interesting and clearly marked as advertising, I'm much less bothered. GoPro ads are particularly annoying in that they were deceptive in not ever indicating they were advertisements. It's a form of cultural colonization and I like to think MeFi can be smarter than that.

FWIW the NVIDIA / moon thing seems more like interesting sponsored content than an ad to me.
posted by Nelson at 5:46 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Guys, remember that if you aren't the product, you are the customer.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:43 PM on September 23, 2014


I suggest people who want to point out it's an ad can throw a balloon full of paint at their monitors, and culture jam the shit out of that ad.

I'm beginning to think this whole thread is an ad for GoPro
posted by philip-random at 7:01 PM on September 23, 2014


If you're not the customer, you're an angry flower.
posted by arcticseal at 7:14 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fuck a ad.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:39 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I like to know it's an ad ahead of time, but unless it's some covert ad, calling it out later is just noise.

I also mostly like Obligatory linking because it lets me know it's going to be relevant and a lot of times it's something I missed. If it isn't, then I can say ah yes that, feel pretty hip about things, and hit the back button.
posted by hypersloth at 8:07 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I LIKE COOL STUFF
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:21 PM on September 23, 2014


I don't put together computers or anything, but I have definitely heard of NVIDIA. My husband, before we were married, had never heard of Woodstock, though. And his Dad was a journalist!

Land of contrasts, etc.
posted by misha at 9:07 PM on September 23, 2014


"FWIW the NVIDIA / moon thing seems more like interesting sponsored content than an ad to me."

They accomplish the same thing. Your brand awareness has grown, people in this thread have been made aware of a brand they weren't aware of before, everyone sees a real-world example of the power of their platform (more compelling than some renderings of the latest game, most likely).

Sponsored content, when 'properly' done is more effective than advertising, and potentially cheaper (particularly when the media outlets don't realize the content came from a marketing/ad agency).
posted by el io at 10:12 PM on September 23, 2014


Sponsored content, when 'properly' done is more effective than advertising,

sponsored content is advertising
posted by philip-random at 10:16 PM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah I'm in the pretty much no advertising at all ever if I can help it camp*, and the subterfuge of viral marketing really riles me. I'm never going to threadshit about it but if you tell me clearly that your post is about an ad I won't click on it and get annoyed and then we'll both be happy.


*I am much more ok with business to business marketing. Dealing with products and buying things and sellers competing for my attention is work, I'm much happier doing that work when I am actually at work.
posted by deadwax at 2:01 AM on September 24, 2014


So it seems like in so far as there is a consensus from the advertising-not-likers, it is that as long as we clearly label any posts that are advertising as advertising, they will mostly just ignore the threads rather than jumping in to let us all know that they have discerned that the ads we post are ads.

I would have thought using a company name in the link title was sufficient, but it's also clear that not everyone recognized NVIDIA as a company name. Which is understandable, it does read more like the acronym for some quasi-governmental organization than it does like a corporate name.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:29 AM on September 24, 2014


So it seems like in so far as there is a consensus from the sports-not-likers, it is that as long as we clearly label any posts that are sports as sports, they will mostly just ignore the threads rather than jumping in to let us all know that they have discerned that the sports we post are sports.

I would have thought using a team name in the link title was sufficient, but it's also clear that not everyone recognized the Oakland Raiders as a team name. Which is understandable, it does read more like the nickname for some quasi-governmental strike team than it does like a sports name.

Seriously though, you can make this argument for every single subject on metafilter. I don't see why posts about advertising have to bear some special burden in order for people to agree to not be dickheads about the topic.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:18 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


For various reasons, I try to avoid advertising. Television commercials, sponsored web content and "viral" ad campaigns are visual and mental clutter that I find irritating, distrustful and distracting. One of the reasons I like MetaFilter so much is that it's generally not a place where you come across a lot of that stuff. So when advertising shows up on the site, I do get annoyed by it, and I appreciate when people clearly label it as such.
posted by oulipian at 7:20 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not suggesting that labelling ads should be mandatory, but it seems like doing so will keep people who don't like to view advertising from being annoyed and thus keep them from annoying me. It's a win-win sort of thing as long as I don't mind taking a moment to do that.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:47 AM on September 24, 2014


Except I do find even the implied expectation that something needs to be labeled to placate others annoying. I feel the same way about Lady Gaga as the people expressing a distaste for posts about ads. Pretty much anything is going to have a subset of people that don't like it. Generally the people who have a distaste for something know this. So to pretend they are somehow being tricked into watching an ad and therefor must now comment on how it was an ad is a bit disingenuous at best, and the idea that if only it had been labeled I wouldn't have been forced to comment about how I was tricked! is pearl-clutching at best.

There's also the whole idea of what constitutes advertising? Was my last post an ad? It was a site made by Netflix. They obviously made it to get eyeballs and discussion, so ad, right? Music videos? Ad?

From the current front page:

Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?
Ad?

Before you answer, note that many of these pages actually say "Press Release" right at the top or have a "preorder" button, some are for subscription services, nearly all are links to ad supported sites. Many are links about companies and their practices. Many are products you can buy or movies/shows you can watch. So where does the sensitivity end?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:33 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


I didn't see much moaning about it being an advert

I didn't see any. I would like more advertising to be like this in fact.
posted by juiceCake at 9:04 AM on September 24, 2014


I'm mostly with cjorgensen, particularly with regard to ad-warning labels becoming a "thing" at Metafilter as, for instance, SLYTs were (for a while anyway -- that seems to have mostly dried up).

So to pretend they are somehow being tricked into watching an ad and therefor must now comment on how it was an ad is a bit disingenuous at best, and the idea that if only it had been labeled I wouldn't have been forced to comment about how I was tricked! is pearl-clutching at best.

Well bluntly, the whole point of many things viral is to trick us into thinking that they're something they're not. So just as I won't insist that you always label your viral selections (which, I agree, are often very difficult to define anyway), please don't insist I shut up about being annoyed by it when I do notice it.

What you should insist is that I not be a ponderous, self-righteous, conversation killing bore about it.
posted by philip-random at 9:28 AM on September 24, 2014


I do find even the implied expectation that something needs to be labeled to placate others annoying.

Ads are different than other things posted to Metafilter. Particularly "viral" ads in the current age of deceptive marketing, which exist to trick people into engaging with their #brand without realizing they are being advertised to. The insidious nature of advertising is why ad material must be handled with extra care, as if it were contagious, because it acts like a contagion.

As for the nature of Metafilter conversation itself. I try to be a polite and upbeat contributor. If someone posts something that's just crummy, I just ignore it and move on. But if someone posts something that's crummy but also interesting, and I'm moved to comment, I'm going to say it's crummy but also interesting.

Advertising content by definition is problematic, in that it comes from cynical commercial motivations. And advertising increasingly is engineered explicitly to get free attention from sites like Metafilter, often with deceptive tactics. I'm glad we discuss advertising as a creative medium on Metafilter, and some advertising content is inherently interesting. But it's important to identify it as advertising.
posted by Nelson at 9:36 AM on September 24, 2014 [6 favorites]


Once I contacted the mods to ask if posting a really great collaborative song was okay, and they said no because it seemed like an ad for the soundtrack it came from. So, I've always thought single-(media-type) posts for something that could be directly bought were fair game to be frowned upon.

Maybe they just didn't like the song.
posted by michaelh at 10:15 AM on September 24, 2014


It's like porn, you know it when you see it.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:20 AM on September 24, 2014


it seems like doing so will keep people who don't like to view advertising from being annoyed and thus keep them from annoying me.

Nope. People will be annoying here forever. You will be annoyed by them forever if you are a person who gets annoyed at annoying people. All you can do is work out probabilities. More people prefer to be notified if an ad is an ad. Doing that sort of thing will get fewer people jumping in with one particular sort of irritating-to-many dismissive comment. There are infinite (almost) permutations of ways to be irritating and some people have turned it into an art form. Some people also don't know their own minds and you might think they were the type to not make weird unhelpful comments but give them a combination of a bad day and a clueless sort of post and it's katy bar the door.

It's nice to make efforts if you're someone who is ept enough about these social interactions to notice these patterns but it's not a requirement. If your goal is to make a post that doesn't accrue annoying comments, there are ways to try but none of them are foolproof. I've had decent luck with most of my posts but then every so often I try a thing and the thread fills up with carping nerdboys. It is a thing that happens, even if you're careful.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:21 AM on September 24, 2014 [4 favorites]


Carping nerdboys are with us always. Every age group and gender is chock-full of scolds.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:29 AM on September 24, 2014


Once I contacted the mods to ask if posting a really great collaborative song was okay, and they said no because it seemed like an ad for the soundtrack it came from.

Well, I said it seemed sort of thin if it was just basically a short blog blurb and a bare link to a mp3, and that if it was me I'd give it a pass. That's not the same as "it's not okay", and one of the risks of writing to the contact form to get an opinion on a post is sometimes you'll get a "meh" from one of us about a post that isn't something we'd actually delete if you just decided to post it without pinging us about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:40 AM on September 24, 2014


Nope. People will be annoying here forever.

For sure, I realize this isn't a 100% solution. I'm just aiming to somewhat mitigate the frustrations -- mostly for me, but if I can mitigate my frustration by mitigating of other people then that's a happy side-effect.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:43 AM on September 24, 2014


Is this the thread where I can complain that not every technology-related thread needs a "I didn't realize I'm living in a Neal Stephenson/William Gibson novel!" post, and that not every thread about someone believing something dumb needs a "you can't reason a person out of a position they didn't reason themselves into" post?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:58 PM on September 24, 2014


Only if it is also the thread where I can complain about people confusing comments and posts.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:07 PM on September 24, 2014


Also, just because it's a clicker game doesn't mean you have to make a comment about how cortex is totally gonna plotz about this or whatever just kidding it's always okay to do this it's basically a given I'm gonna comment at some point
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are you playing AdVenture Capitalist, cortex? Because I anticipate getting my Newspapers to 2000 by tomorrow morning, and I might need someone to send excited email about that to.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:21 PM on September 24, 2014


Only if it is also the thread where I can complain about people confusing comments and posts.

Only if I can also blame the edit window timeout where I realized this while sitting on a toilet and decided in favor of personal hygiene against word choice.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 1:21 PM on September 24, 2014


Well, I said it seemed sort of thin if it was just basically a short blog blurb and a bare link to a mp3, and that if it was me I'd give it a pass. That's not the same as "it's not okay", and one of the risks of writing to the contact form to get an opinion on a post is sometimes you'll get a "meh" from one of us about a post that isn't something we'd actually delete if you just decided to post it without pinging us about it.


That's fair. I interpreted the meh as a "don't post this, please" but I see how even that's not the same as saying it's delete-worthy.
posted by michaelh at 1:53 PM on September 24, 2014


Are you playing AdVenture Capitalist, cortex?

Yes and it's the worst and I don't know why I'm playing it and I have like 120 duodecillion venture capital angels so far and it sounds like you're a bit ahead of me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:56 PM on September 24, 2014


Well bluntly, the whole point of many things viral is to trick us into thinking that they're something they're not. So just as I won't insist that you always label your viral selections (which, I agree, are often very difficult to define anyway), please don't insist I shut up about being annoyed by it when I do notice it.

I never asked you to shut up about anything.

I did say pretending that one is incapable of telling something is an ad without being labeled is silly. Sure, I guess, some people might not be media literate, but I am guessing most people on this site are seldom fooled. I also said, the idea that a label is needed to keep people from being asses in threads about advertising is dumb, because one, they still will, and two, why does one need a label to not be a whiner?

In short, I give people credit for being able to quickly identify the content they dislike and hope they move on.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:00 PM on September 24, 2014


I don't hear the expression "Katy bar the door" very often. It's a good one. Good thread.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:03 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


Adventure Capitalist is neither capitalist nor an adventure. Discuss.

(can't stop.)
posted by michaelh at 2:14 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have noticed many posts about Apple. Some seem so hyperfocused on the minutiae of the plans for the brand that there is an implicit suggestion that the brand is important and worth paying attention to.

Many people here are very interested and pay very close attention to these posts, but I don't see how a literal commercial is any worse for the site, or even less cool.
posted by heatvision at 8:32 AM on September 25, 2014


Well bluntly, the whole point of many things viral is to trick us into thinking that they're something they're not.

This may be the case at times, but I disagree that it's the whole point. Another point is the spreading analogy of a virus, without tricking people, as was the case with the Nvidia advertisement.
posted by juiceCake at 9:52 AM on September 25, 2014


I sort of feel that this should be in the "Sexy Buzz Aldrin" thread in the new MetaSite SlashFare.

PONY PONY PONY oh man I would ride this one so hard.
posted by corb at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Single link posts are generally a bit thin.
posted by asok


No, fashion models are generally a bit thin. Single link posts are perfectly fine and canonical for the site since someone put their cat in a scanner.

Most things on the Internet are either advertising directly or created to make you look at ads. That's what an ad supported medium like the Internet or TV is. Saying you don't like advertising and try to avoid it while reading the commercial web for enjoyment is silly.
posted by spitbull at 12:59 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


PONY PONY PONY oh man I would ride this one so hard.

This particular word choice about a proposed "slashfare" site is giving me vaguely uneasy thoughts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:07 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Single posts can be both a bit thin and totally fine, but they usually come across as a bit lazy. In my experience there is very likely to be a comment toward the top of the thread that fleshes the subject out. If it were me posting I would think - why didn't I include that in the OP? It was on the first page of search results for the words I used in the post, I should have been more thorough! I think of it in a similar way to how to make a good Facebook post.
To be unannoying, a Facebook status typically has to be one of two things:

1) Interesting/Informative

2) Funny/Amusing/Entertaining

You know why these are unannoying? Because things in those two categories do something for me, the reader. They make my day a little better.
I think the onus is on the OP to craft the post to be useful and informative, even if it is a single link Youtube post (for example) rather than relying on the hive mind to supply the context. Taking an extra 10 minutes to pull together relevant information isn't a big ask and can engender a conversation that is better informed and more interesting, rather than running over well trod ground. This is one of the reasons the * 101 links were suggested.

I understand that single link posts have a place in the history and future of the site, some people seem very defensive about them to say the least! Sometimes a short context free clip is just a bit of fun that we can all enjoy. Sometimes it's viral advertising, fakery or motivated by some motive that doesn't make any sense out of context. Obviously people weigh these factors differently.

This specific example could be more informative, both in the text and in setting up some context as to why it is interesting.
posted by asok at 4:41 AM on September 29, 2014


Most things on the Internet are either advertising directly or created to make you look at ads. That's what an ad supported medium like the Internet or TV is.

There is no reason the internet has to be an ad-supported medium, though. It certainly didn't start out that way. Sure, the popular web today has been to a large degree coopted by American corporations, but there is nothing inherently capitalist about the web itself, or any reason why advertising should be the only model.
posted by oulipian at 7:02 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


« Older Swipe to Favorite   |   The problem of favorites Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments