InfoWorld RSS ads lower signal-to-noise ratio

Back in June, Dave Winer blogged about the obnoxiously large picture ads in the InfoWorld RSS feed: “Today I unsubbed from a feed because its ads were too big in relation to the value of the content.”

I agreed with Dave’s sentiment. The ads are large and distracting. I regularly read the InfoWorld articles online (I also subscribe to the print magazine), so I get plenty of “impressions” from the ads. I much prefer the RSS feed to be a plain-text lead that tells me what the story is about so I can decide to go to their web site and read the story. My click on their link is my consent to subject myself to their profit-making ads, in exchange for an interesting and relevant article. My subscription to their RSS feed should not be. Adding insult to injury, they include a couple lines of text ad at the bottom of each article, doubling their hit rate at subscriber expense. That said, it is small, text-based, and clearly set off with “ADVERTISEMENT.” I’ll take those over the gaudy bandwidth-wasting graphics any time.

A quick Google of “InfoWorld site:scripting.com” shows that Dave cites them as a source over seven hundred times, a pretty valuable set of links from a highly-ranked source.

I hope InfoWorld reconsiders the over-commercialization of their feed, and goes back to enticing us to their web site instead.

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