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Advertising on a Free Wireless Network? 406

Posted by Cliff
from the anything-to-grab-those-eyeballs dept.
Mischievous0ne asks: "I had an idea yesterday, and I wanted to run it past the Slashdotcommunity. Would you use a honeypot (free wireless access point) that covered a large downtown area (3-4 blocks of restaurants, coffee bars, an iceskating rink, a small park, and general hangout) if you had to have a framed banner ad at the top of every page you visited while on the network? Do advertisers still pay for banner ads? Are banner ads, effective? I live in a college town in Indiana, and I know there are wireless users here, but the campus wireless network is severly limited. I'm also not sure how people would react to the banner ad space in exchange for free access."
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Advertising on a Free Wireless Network?

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  • If its free.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shift (222320)
    Who cares what they think about banners.. They will use it regardless..
    • Re:If its free.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dunkan44 (537519)
      I think your missing the point. I think what he is asking is does banner advertisment work? Could he maybe pay for the bandwidth that he is giving out for free? Doubt it! Not using conventional banner ads. But maybe if you got the local businesses in on it, hit them up to have their name shown to the users of the network, that might bring in a little income.
    • 2 questions
      1) do you remember alladvantage?
      2) where are they now?

      people don't give a shit about web banners... however there was one critical factor they forgot-

      local ads.

      people are way more receptive to hungry howies pizza down the street than than lowermybills.com

      if you advertise local stuff, local companies would be willing to pay.
      go outside the area tho and you'll shoot yourself in the foot.

      don't force advertisements either. show people what they're willing to see.
  • Sure... (Score:2, Funny)

    by mrgrey (319015)
    Sure I would. I still read slashdot....
  • it all depends on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:27PM (#4275527)
    what kind of advertisements you put up. For instance, if you were to advertise goatse [goatse.cx], I'm sure the neighborhood would object to it. However, advertisements for rummage sales or town meetings might be greeted with arms wide open.
    • Re:it all depends on (Score:3, Interesting)

      by doublem (118724)
      This brings up a good point.

      As wireless networks become more and more common, how long will it be before we have a lawsuit involving the content on those networks?

      Can't you imagine some litigation happy jerk finding porn on a shared drive and suing for distributing the content?

      "We must protect the children! My son say porn on my neighbor's hard drive over the wireless network!"
  • is this a joke? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:29PM (#4275543)
    were you entirely asleep during the dot-com boom and meltdown? how does this crapola get on slashdot?


    1. give something valuable out for free.
    2. (nevermind technical, legal, and other liability issues)
    3. (something involving banner ads.)
    4. ???
    5. profit!

    • i thought it was 5. go bankrupt
      • Re:is this a joke? (Score:3, Informative)

        by alienmole (15522)
        "5. profit" was the business plan, based on somehow figuring out what step #4 should be.

        Some companies thought it was "4. Spend IPO money and worthless inflated stock on acquiring other companies with loser business plans, and hope beyond all rational expectation that one of them will succeed and save our butts (and stock options)."

        As one would expect, "5. go bankrupt" was the result.

    • by floppy ears (470810) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:42PM (#4275720) Homepage
      Do advertisers still pay for banner ads?

      Yes, but ...
      • The going rate is less than $1 per 1000 impressions.
      • Most advertisers only like to buy from sites that have a lot of inventory. We're talking hundreds of thousands of impressions per month, generally.
      • Advertisers want to know about the demographics of the people who will be visiting the site. It would be difficult (although not impossible) to develop this information for a honeypot.
      • by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:54PM (#4275834) Homepage Journal
        Advertisers want to know about the demographics of the people who will be visiting the site. It would be difficult (although not impossible) to develop this information for a honeypot.

        In this case they would automatically have a tremendously valuable demographic, which is "people in a certain area". Of course your advertisers wouldn't be Coca Cola (well...unless they had a coke machine near where you are...), but rather local restaurants, book stores, geek hangouts, coffee shops, retailers, computer stores, etc.
      • by marick (144920) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @04:11PM (#4275984)
        * Advertisers want to know about the demographics of the people who will be visiting the site. It would be difficult (although not impossible) to develop this information for a honeypot.

        Ok, how about a guarantee of location. I.e. "Hey, you're just 2 blocks from Bob's Coffee Shop. Mention this ad and get 10 cents off a mocha!"
        • Hey, you may have just hit on something there. Obviously, the closer you are to the business, the better the banner ad works, but I think this would have some appeal for businesses across town. Your banner ad could even offer directions to the store from the viewer's general location.
      • The going rate is less than $1 per 1000 impressions.

        That depends a lot on the audience and the site where you are advertising. For general advertising over a dozen random sites that have nothing to do with what you are advertising, you might be right.

        I run a technical website that serves a niche market. Companies selling their products to that niche market are still paying about $10 per 1000. Granted, I have fewer advertisers than 2 years ago, but from what they've told me that was due to a general cut in advertising budget during the recession, not due to a decision to abandon banner ads.

        Most advertisers only like to buy from sites that have a lot of inventory. We're talking hundreds of thousands of impressions per month, generally

        You are right in that advertisers aren't going to care about some site that gets 10k hits per month. My site does about 350,000 per month and commands the ad revenue mentioned above.

        But actually I would say that there is now relatively more interest in smaller sites (less than a million hits per month) than larger sites since the smaller sites generally are more focused on a specific topic. The visitors to those sites are predisposed to be potentially interested in what the advertisers are offering. My website sells ad space directly, none of those "banner exchange" deals. And we've only run ads that were related to our subject matter. You won't see silly "hit the monkey" banner ads on my site.

        Our most successful advertiser achieved a 1 out of 25 click-thru rate, which was pretty impressive. Others achieve much less. But everyone that advertises builds brand recognition. It might not lead to a click or a sale today, but that doesn't mean the advertising budget was poorly spent. It is doubtful that for every dollar Pepsi spends on advertising they generated a dollar of new income the next day. But over time it keeps "Pepsi" on everyone's mind.

      • Advertisers want to know about the demographics of the people who will be visiting the site. It would be difficult (although not impossible) to develop this information for a honeypot.

        In this case, you wouldn't have demographics, but you would know every site that people using the network visit. This is arguably much more valuable to advertisers.
    • Re:is this a joke? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:50PM (#4275787) Homepage Journal
      1. give something valuable out for free.
      4. ???
      5. profit!

      Actually, that's pretty much exactly what network television does, and they're rolling in the dough.

      In fact, this is a great idea (if it weren't for the technical problems with it) because it solves the primary problem with internet advertisement: A lack of ability to target advertisements to a paricular group of consumers. In this case because it's a wireless network, you know that they are within a small geographical area, and hence it's a gold mine for stores and businesses in the area.

      In any case, while we need to learn from history, history doesn't dictate with certainty: When the first airplane failed to get off the ground, they didn't give up and forget about it. History is full of examples where there are countless failures, followed by success.
      • As detailed by this article [useit.com], the web is not like Network TV, never will be, and trying to emulate the business model of the TV Networks will fail.
      • "hence it's a gold mine for stores and businesses in the area."

        I was quite skeptical about the wireless ad idea until I read the statement quoted above. Keep in mind that some people already expressed a desire to be able to spam local ads to wireless PDA-type devices that're in the local area -- stuff along the lines of "Joe's Hotdog stand is right around the corner and offering a 2-for-1 special."

        So tying these ads to a free wireless service would provide a legitimate reason for the ads (i.e. they're subsidizing the service that the user is using rather than just spamming a user over an existing service that the user pays for), and it provides ads that're much more relevant and useful compared to even local television ads. Overall, it looks like a win/win situation, if the idea can get over the other inherent problems with Internet-based ads.

  • This means all the wireless networks out there could become a revenue stream of the company hosting them!

    I think this is a dangerous idea. I can name several companies that would enable this by default on all wireless connections if it were available. It would be a way to force users to help offset the cost of the wireless networks.
    • I think the real value would lie in location-targeted ads. Just getting money from another "click the money" worthless banner pool probably wouldn't even be worth the trouble. But think how much value targeted advertising would be to local businesses - you can give them people who are literally right next door.
  • I think in my entire time on the net (nearing 10 years now), I've intentionally clicked on less than a dozen banner ads. If they're even selling something I'm interested in, I'll often look for the webpage of the parent rather than click on the ad. BUT, I do appreciate them a LOT more than pop-up/pop-under/go-thru ads.

    If I want to avoid a banner, I can. If someone's going to pay to have the banner there, then that's their business. I can ignore them a lot easier than any of the other mentioned ad types.

  • remember netzero (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pbranes (565105)
    Netzero and other similar companies failed after many strong and repeated attempts to offer the same service, except through dial up. The idea sounds nice except for a couple of problems: no one ever clicks on banner ads (except the great slashdot ads, of course), and people will just find a way to keep the banner ad from displaying on the screen. I would love for your idea to work, but I just don't see that happening, given the past history of free internet access. Today, I don't think there is a single free ISP left (could be mistaken), and this is mostly due to a poor revenue model.
    • Someone's never been wardriving ;)
    • Re:remember netzero (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KUHurdler (584689)
      One of the downsides to the dial up is that there has to be a POP somewhere that can handle many-many phone line connections. I think the monthly fees on that would be huge.

      I dont think it would cost nearly as much to run a monthly wireless if you owned all the access points.
  • ... for wired ISPs. Why should it work now?
  • by g4dget (579145) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:31PM (#4275588)
    A honeypot is a machine that looks suspectible to break-in but is monitored. It's used by sys admins and security "experts" to find out what techniques people use to break into machines.
  • >I'm also not sure how people would react to the >banner ad space in exchange for free access.

    I know how I'd react: block those ads! Are you with me, everybody?
  • I think it's a fine idea. My own slant has always been this: if it's free, as in beer, then subjecting yourself to ads is fine. You pay, no ads.

    On a side note, I think the reason advertising on the internet gets such a negative response is that they are designed badly. Why do banners animate? Banners should not animate. Nor should things pop up/under what you are working on. People are just fine with the ads in magazines and such because they aren't constantly dancing around and flashing things at you. It's distracting, and detracts greatly from the reading experience. I'm sure static banners would raise a minimum of fuss in the average user.

    I mean, we're predators, and our eyes are automatically attracted to movement. That's why good UI design calls for animation only when you want the users attention for something important.

    Aww crap, I just answered my own question. I hate people.

  • Honeypot?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by casio282 (468834) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:32PM (#4275605) Homepage
    Wait, isn't a "honeypot" a dummy system used to trap malicious crackers? Whatis.com [whatis.com] seems to think so too [techtarget.com].

    Does the word "honeypot" now also mean a "free wireless access point?" Nobody tells me these things...
    • by alienmole (15522) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:45PM (#4275742)
      A Google search [google.com] brings up plenty of references, like Honeypots [enteract.com], or What is a honeypot and how is it used? [sans.org].

      What happened here is that the submitter read or heard something about a wireless honeypot being used to trap wardriving/walking etc. activity, and thought that the term just meant a free access point. He's confused.

    • No. Honeypots have nothing to do with Free-access 802.11b service.

      The term most wireless ISP's use is "hot spot", so I can see where the confusion probably stems from.
  • by Subcarrier (262294) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:33PM (#4275622)
    If the banner said things "Would you like another coffee?" and the waitress would bring it within a couple of minutes I might even like it.

    Otherwise I'd probably just ignore the banner.

    If the adverts were too intrusive to ignore I'd stop using the service.

    Locally relevant advertising, that's the thing.
  • It worked for slashdot.
  • by daoine (123140) <[moruadh1013] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:37PM (#4275659)
    Looking at the latest trends, one thing seems to be very clear. Online business models which rely on advertising as their sole source of income generally fail. The sites/portals/whatever you want to call them that succeed tend to do one of three things:
    1. Have a parent company which is willing to fund them at a loss to maintain web presence (like NFL.com)
    2. Have multiple sources of income (a la Yahoo!)
    3. Have such specialized services/content, people are willing to pay for it(like an ISP)
    I can't think of a single site/service which is based on advertising alone and is actually *making* money. Banner ads just don't cut it anymore.
    • Do banners == Revenue? Yes. All you need is one. It is money coming in to the enterprise.

      Enough reveune to turn a profit? That's another question.
  • ...so long as it was free otherwise. Problem is, I doubt it would remain effectively in place for long. It would only be a matter of time until someone (probably a Slashdot reader) programmed something to "block" the banner ads. Since that would increase the speed of downloads, many folks would use it and thus your profitability would plummet. Likewise, AOL IM chatters would be using your network WITHOUT accessing HTML pages which you could inserts ads into. It is unlikely this business model would last long.

    My two cents.

  • As long as the banner size is the same, so I can use Bannerblind [mozdev.org]... ;-)

  • Local ads? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsangc (177574) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:38PM (#4275678)
    What if you spoke to local businesses like a bakery, bookstore, supermarket, etc, and bought location specific ads? You wouldn't need to pay for an online ad brokerage house or use their rates, and you could give geographically targetted ads that people who happen to be surfing while having a coffee might actually be interested in since they're right next door. It's unlikely anyone would be interested in the usual online banner ads, but you never know with something that's right down the street and associated with the area.

    There would be a lot of work involved-such as proving the ads actually worked, but it would be fun to start such a small enterprise up. Try something like arranging to offer a coupon from a local store on the banner ad itself, and see how many people come in with your coupon to determine the retention and usefulness of the service. Then you could turn it around and use that information to sell more ads to local shopowners.

    Calum

  • Advertizing could be done and it might be effective -- but size does matter. I don't think "banner" ads would work well because, think about it, if it's a wireless network, I'm probably on my PDA or small portable laptop, so I don't have much screen to deal with here. And if you fill up the screens with ads, well, then that's just a waste.

    Then again, some advertizing could work because people will put up with some of it, even if they complain. I mean, how many people have actually stopped going to a website due to some small limited advertizing. Done in measures, the users will tolerate it. They may not like it, but they'll keep using the service because it's free, and you'll start having at least a small revenue source.
  • Idle speculation (Score:5, Informative)

    by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:40PM (#4275697) Homepage Journal
    1. Prepare for a constant arms race. They will block your ads.

    2. You might get some love on local ads, from businesses that normally wouldn't use internet ads. Like a local sub shop or bookstore. Your one advantage will be genuine geotargeting. (Sorry, OSDN.)

    3. Figure out some reasonable way to do traffic shaping first or some yahoo will put you out of business by sucking up all your bandwidth. I'm not an expert on this sort of thing but maybe withholding TCP ACKs from abusers as a throttle would help.

    4. Let us know how it works out!

    -Peter
  • Imagine if 802.11b manufacturers put $1 per device sold into a fund for building wireless infrastructure. Hmmm, how many 802.11b devices have been sold? 10 million/year? If you generated $10 million per year, you could probably at least support 1000 wireless access points with T1'ish bandwidth, possibly seeding the purchase of more devices. Or twiddle the
    numbers and make it work out better.

    To answer the question, run-of-the-mill banners do 10 cents per thousand impressions these days. Even factoring in a select audience (like Slashdot) or pop-under/overs (unlike Slashdot), a couple of dollars per thousand impressions is all you can make.
  • Rather than take up valuable real estate (especially on the laptops everyone will be using to access the network), display a full page ad every half-hour of connecting.

    I'm assuming you'd do your banner method via a proxy server that inserts your add, why not do a commercial-like ad for each time interval. I'm thinking of something like what Salon.com does for non-subscribers. Intrusive for just a few seconds, and then its like nothing ever happened.
  • by jukal (523582) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:45PM (#4275745) Journal
    No. [abcnews.com]

    "In the early days of online advertising in the mid-1990s, click through for banner ads might have been any where from 5 percent to 6 percent. But Denise Garcia, a media analyst for GarnterG2, a market research firm in Stamford, Conn., says that click through for banners have fallen to roughly two-tenths of a percent. "It's amazing that it's fallen so dramatically," says Garcia."

  • by Wee (17189) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:45PM (#4275747)
    Sure, I would use your network. And I'd filter your ads, too, so I didn't have to be distracted by the annoying flashing. (I paid for Opera -- on both Linux and Windows -- so that I could toggle off the "Show animated GIFs" and "Use plugins" options, and not have to see the built-in ads. I don't like flashing things when I'm trying to read.) I'd use your network and I wouldn't see your ads. I don't think the idea is a good one. You make more money papering the parking lots of large malls or putting out door hangers or something than you would through banner ads.

    Slow news day?

    -B

  • A better idea... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:45PM (#4275750) Journal
    Step 1) In a major metropolitan area, set up a huge wifi network. Name it "GCN $50/mo 555-1212" where 555-1212 is your phone number and GCN is the name of your ISP.

    Step 2) ...

    Step 3) Profit!

    That's what some folks are doing in Mendocino, and it seems like it'd be a great service. I opened up my laptop in a friends house, and saw I was getting wifi access. I'd have paid them $10 for the weekend, easily.
  • Actually, I'd consider it a service on the order of the ads in the local City Paper if the banner ads were entirely limited to businesses within the access area for your ISP.

    Put restrictions on their design (no flashing, no animation) and size, and I don't see why they couldn't be left on for all subscribers period.
  • I am confused, this doesn't seem much differnt then what Juno and NetZero tried but could never make profitable, didn't they start charging? It is a novel idea, but I think the overhead with wireless would be more then dialup, so I wonder if it would be profitable.
  • Careful how you do this. Don't want to piss off the big boys.
    "Each page," might make the advert look like its loaded from the web site etc., time based would be safer.

    For the linkage adverse, it's about NYTimes and Wash Post etc. suing Gator over pop ups
  • 50/50 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ChickenMaster (466305)
    I really think the people that would use it would be 50/50. For example, I know that I would not. Advertising just bothers me that much, and I would not want to be limited in any way from my browing experience. I am willing to pay to have a decent connection. However, my brother would love to use it. If it's free, then that's $20 a month he can spend on food or a date.
  • by Brian Stretch (5304) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:49PM (#4275782) Homepage
    Offer paid subscribers the option of turning off the ads. That way, the cheapskate users can't complain too much.

    Neat GPS tie-in: click on an ad for a nearby coffee shop, send them your GPS coordinates with your order (paid by credit card or PayPal), and they'll deliver for a fee based on your distance from the shop.

    OK, maybe that's a bit too geeky...
    • Three more ideas:

      Use bandwidth shaping to choke the cheapskates to 64Kbps (paid subscribers get more).

      Have the option to send your picture along with your GPS coords to the coffee shop so they'll have a better chance of finding you.

      See if any local radio stations want pay the hardware costs to webcast over IP Multicast, assuming a) you can get around the RIAA bull----, and b) IP Multicast will actually work for this situation. (I'm utterly unfamiliar with implementing multicast, I just think it's a good idea. There's got to be a way to retransmit 20Mbps HDTV datastreams on gigabit hardline networks.) Might work great for local talk/public/college radio.
    • The real use of banner and popup ads on most sites is as a grating annoyance to encourage people to buy subscriptions so they can turn off the fscking ads.

      It worked on me for Weather Underground [wunderground.com], but they're cool and only $5/year, so I don't mind.
    • That's a *fantastic* idea.

      But what about the coffee shop coupons? I think you'd want to have a site that paid subscribers could visit to take advantage of the local-network deals.

      Here's one last zinger- what if instead of internet access, you just got local network access? What if there were such networks everywhere, connecting to each other? How about a high-latency completlely rebuilt internet?

  • As some poster mentioned, it doesnt seem he is trying to figure out if this would make him rich or support a /corporation/. It sounded as if he was currious as the feasability of funding the bandwidth through adds for at least local places and maybe some larger vendors. Nothing major. Seems to me the biggest problem would be creating a piece of software...cross platform, of course....that would allow for this with no easy run arrounds.....of course since its for a small area...with a relatively close community....you might be able to rely on the honor system....i.e "just dont get arround the banner adds in the software because this is a free not for profit operation for yours and everyone elses benefit kind of thing..so be cool and let the banners be". Which I dont think is an entirely unheard of thing. that said, it might not be too hard to get local shops restaurants to participate now that so many are becoming web/net savy. give them a way to offer up to date specials on the spur of the momment("Till 9pm tonight, one free beer with purchase of Chicken Dinner. At Joe's Chicken Shack!" or "$.50 Kamikazee shots for the next hour @ The Lounge !"). If you get time donated from some of the college geeks for maintenence, and get really lucky some how on a couple of AP's and antenna's....then it seems a few hundred dollars a month is all you would have to generate to cover the bandwidth. Seems like a pretty neat project for a couple of CS students to tackle.

    Dunno, just my .02

    Dimes
  • Wouldn't Work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Raven (30575) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:51PM (#4275805) Homepage
    Banner Ads will not cover the cost of equipment and bandwidth. And even if they do NOW, they won't SOON... this Alertbox article [useit.com] by respected Internet Usability guy Jacob Neilson talks about why web advertising does not work. The article was writtin in 1997, but it has comments at the bottom keeping it up to date.

    Banner ads are slowly dying. Basing a long term business model on them is a bad idea.
  • A total back of the napkin calculation, the answer is probably yes (based on the size of the ad & the detrimental affects to the wireless connection).
  • I would never, ever, use a service like that. I would simply wait until I get to work or get home. I am sick and tired of all the banners on the web already, and I never use adware or similar. And the more you piss me off, the more I will refuse to pay you.

    This is not being unnice or disregarding your idea, it is simply me being tired beyond belief of commercials as a way to do business. If you could come up with a better way to finance it I think that there can be a merit to general wireless access, but not with commercials.
  • Sure, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom7 (102298) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:54PM (#4275835) Homepage Journal
    I'd use this (supposing that my laptop battery worked and my school didn't already have wireless), but:

    - I would probably be spending most of my time over ssh, not the web
    - I would filter out the banners
    - Getting banner sponsors, is really, really hard
  • by ocie (6659)
    I'd say if the advertising will cover the costs, go for it. I don't think complainers would have much ground to stand on. No one would be forcing them to use the service, and they get it for free. Besides, it seems like more than 1/2 of the sites I go to have banner ads of their own anyway.
  • by the red pen (3138) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @03:55PM (#4275840)
    It sounds like you have the out of the box thinking to be a next-generation player. You need to skate where the puck is going to be and I have to say, it's going to be harder than nailing Jell-O the the wall.

    Above all, you need to maximize synergies to develop a strategic go-forward plan to be first to market in the opportunity space. Focus on synthesizing a world-class, robust, scalable solution using best-of-breed technologies. You need to capture eyeballs if you're going to drive revenue generation; you need to get the public to drink the Kool-Aid.

    Develop a leveraged business model and have a fully-realized exit strategy.

    • by mttlg (174815) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @05:10PM (#4276454) Homepage Journal
      Develop a leveraged business model and have a fully-realized exit strategy.

      Whoa there, don't get so far ahead of yourself that you move the goal posts out of the ballpark and lose sight of the big picture. There's a whole knowledge base of lessons learned out there to use for value-added synergy, so there's no need to risk getting left out of the loop by thinking too far outside the box.

      The bottom line is this: for your core business, you'll need a results-driven, client-focused game plan if you want to take the fast track to a win-win situation. You must have it in your mindset to push the envelope and be proactive in the pursuit of a total quality 100% solution that goes the extra mile in customer satisfaction. However, even with a best practice center of excellence, you'll still have to play hardball at the end of the day if you want to keep up with the movers and shakers.

      I think I'm getting a little off-track here, let's take this offline; I'll touch base with you later to pencil in a time when we can revisit this issue and put this one to bed.

  • There are free community wireless projects all going up, and they can't fail because they don't rely on revenue. Talking with these people setting it up, they won't accept contracts with businesses to do advertising of any kind. It's a pure network like your home LAN, all based on charity and whoever has the equipement to help out.

    Introducing a wireless network with advertising is going to go down the hole. Especially with these community wireless projects popping up in most major cities.
  • People need to get out of the "click - through" bullshit!!!

    That upsets me more then anything. When I'm watching T.V., and I see a commercial... I don't drop what I'm doing and head out to the store!! Same goes for the internet. I'm here to read a story... I go there to do some research. If I see something that interests me, I'll then go to it.

    Example: Thinkgeek. I know the web addy now... I've even bought a couple of things off of it. But have I EVER clicked through... NO.

    Once advertizers and web providers remember that it's the idea seed that gets planted and not the click-through, maybe the internet business will return.

    People should really be quantifying, "if I put up and ad, do my # of visits increase as a whole?"

    Now that would be better data.

    Hey.. how did this box get under me?

  • Sure, I'd use it, but that's presuming that somebody would pay you enough for the ad banners to keep you in business. The other thing is that I could easily put some ad blocking software on my laptop to quickly bypass your ad banners. Of course advertisers knows this.
  • Internet != WWW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @04:00PM (#4275891) Homepage
    Would you use a free wireless access point [...] if you had to have a framed banner ad at the top of every page you visited while on the network?

    Sure, as long as you don't mind that I use the access for checking my email, logging in to machines at work or home, apt-get updating my system, chatting/IM'ing with friends and colleagues, playing online games, and other activities that don't involve "visiting" any "pages". (And that's if I'm a nice guy, and don't use junkbuster or mozilla's image-blocking features.)
  • Misuse of terms (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @04:03PM (#4275917) Journal
    A honeypot is certainly not a free wireless access point. Well, a free wireless access point could in *theory* be a honeypot.

    Normally, a honeypot is an apparently vunerable system or network that you deliberately leave around to catch the eye of hackers, usually to monitor them or to grab lists of IPs to block.
  • good wireless access points are tough to find. I'd use one with ads without thought. Of course I can't ever recall having clicked on a banner ad so I am probably not the demographic you are looking for.
  • Repeat after me... (Score:3, Informative)

    by catfood (40112) on Tuesday September 17, 2002 @04:08PM (#4275949) Homepage

    ...the Web is not the Internet. The Internet is not the Web. An IP client is not necessarily a web browser. Etc., etc., etc.

    How do you propose to get this to work? You'd have to force port 80 connections to a proxy server, wouldn't you? Oy... some Internet access you got there.

    • by ryanvm (247662)
      How do you propose to get this to work? You'd have to force port 80 connections to a proxy server, wouldn't you? Oy... some Internet access you got there.

      Uh - he'd probably use NAT. Which, unless you need a world-visible IP address, is as good as genuine Internet access.
      • Which would work great, but IMO feels wrong. "Hey! It's free! It's open! It's... proxied? WTF?"

        I don't know, this idea just doesn't have the ping of greatness.

        It also doesn't--can't--do anything with roving clients who are using something other than HTTP. Considering the geekiness of today's typical wireless user, I would be surprised if this weren't a majority or at least a large minority.

    • This is sort of like a system NetZero moved to before they eventually went to paid service.

      Have some sort of custom login client (Older cablemodem systems had such a client). Unless you're logged in and authed, you don't route.

      Supporting multiple OSes will be a bitch tho.
    • the Web is not the Internet. The Internet is not the Web. An IP client is not necessarily a web browser.

      Who said anything about the Internet or IP? I'm thinking about setting one of these up, and it'll only offer proxied web and email. In fact, I'm still debating whether or not to even offer full web access for free. Probably won't even bother until some local businesses throw me some monetary support.

  • I think a distinction needs to be made between the good banner ads and the bad ones.

    Slashdot ads are good. I frequently click on them. They're not deceptive, not intrusive, and they are targeted for the audience.

    The ads everywhere else are "IF THIS IS FLASHING, YOU WIN!" or "HIT THE LAPTOP AND WIN" or "YOU HAVE 1 NEW MESSAGE". Please...don't insult my intelligence.
  • All though this is very similar to a very naughty tactic by a current company (Would they cry and sue if you used their idea?), what if you did something just redirect ad.doubleclick.net and other prominent ad sites to your own local banner ad server, with, Local banner ads. People couldn't complain about you screwing up the formatting of a page or anything, because the spaces for the ads will already be there. It would involve no proxy, just a little dns twist.

    Does this sound to wrong or or illegal or anything like that?
  • I don't think this is likely to work, users will defeat it as they defeat pop-ups now.

    But the real issue I see here is that Internet access is more than just webpages with banners. Do you intend to intercept people's e-mail to insert ads (something that's less likely to be well received)? Would you block usenet access? What about instant messaging and other application? You need to consider all aspects of network acceess, not just WWW access, in putting togeter a business plan in this area. And you walk a fine line, limit users too much and the system will not be well received, tamper too much with things like e-mail and again I think you'll have problems. Stick to just inserting WW banners and let all users on your netork and it might be overused by applicaions that never generate hits.

  • How about for a cetain metro area, designate the 192.168.*.* IP addresses, as a Local internet (or would that be intranet....I dunno!). Now 192.168.0.1 (or maybe DNSed as www.index.local (note the nonstandard TLD)), would point to a web page that is for the particular area you are in, and link to various shops and businesses in that area, that you might be interested in..... These shops and businesses would pay for the connection, and also the internet that could be accessed from the same location.



    This system would meen I could drive somewhere I had never been before, and instantly look up where the local , for example , Pizza shop is.... Why would that Pizza shop want to advertise to the world, when only people in the local vacinity would be interested in ordering....

  • Alot of people here are saying that you can't make money with this, and I'd agree. Partially the reason being that you can't really sell to random demographics ads. But what if we turned that around?

    What if you instead sold demographic information to stores in the area? (This will get all the privacy people in an uproar, but remember, your giving away a free service, perhaps allow people to pay and you won't save their data) Basically you are going to get alot of people coming down to your part of town to surf the web. You'll know what sites they are going to, so then you can establish some information about their demographics. You could then tell the coffee shop that geeks like their shop, but housewives don't.

    You could also probably make money charging the businesses a small fee. If you make your network small enough people are going to come to that area to use the network. And while they're there they might as well buy a hot dog right! So it is worth it for the hot dog vendor to pay you a little bit of that. You would have to do some advertising then, and find a way to block the network at locations that don't pay.

    Good luck.

  • ...on my ssh session?

    I'd use your service, but I'd never see your banner ad.
  • Along with selling the ads make the users pay to see the ads. Make them useful to the users. Say if they are on the corner of 5th and Main have the system feed them ads from surrounding businesses and let them easily browse for the types of places they want. Make it an instant yellow pages and list specials, have walk-in coupons, etc.
  • by Sloppy (14984)
    If you're providing internet connectivity, then there are going to be many users who never see your ads. If you're just going to provide web access, there's a lot of people who will be frustrated with your service when they can't check their mail, etc.

    You can also expect another type of backlash. Back when Microsoft was floating the "SmartTags" idea, people (even EFF!?!) were bitching about it even though it ultimately just involved a user agent displaying web pages differently than how most w3b d3$ignerz expect. If you're going to be a middleman who changes how other people's web pages look to other people who view them, there will be a firestorm of flames and copyright-related lawsuits.

    Yep, you'll have MPAA and EFF fighting each other just for a place in line to kick you in the nuts, as a reward for your good intentions.

  • On a laptop, a banner would not be too bad. On a PDA...FORGEDDABOUTIT! There's minimal space on a PDA. That screen would then reduced in size to a cell phone wap browser and would be totally unusable as a regular browser. Also, I don't think it would work. On the other hand if it was free and had links for putting in your order like for a coffee or whatever, I would like that. They could give you a slip with the URL on it every time you get a coffee or they could put up a banner or sign telling you what to do.
  • This is actually an intreaguing possibility. You could simply have a small add at the top of each page and append content to it by editing the HTTP stream going to each user.

    The really interesting bit is that if used properly it could provide useful information to users while generating business for local retailers. For example, if I'm surfing in a town square and I happen to notice an add for a band playing at the bar across the street tomorrow, I really might be likely to click on the add and even go to the show. I'd certainly be a lot more likely to clik on that than I am to click on the SourceForge add I'm looking at right now. (We use a different team development tool.)

    Adds work (and can even be usefull) when they're targeted at people who care. This provides an excellent opportunity to offer extremely local, grass-roots information. Doing something like this might even be useful for small towns...put up a few WAPs and have the adds point to community events...

  • Do advertisers still pay for banner ads? Are banner ads, effective?

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