Fighting Surf Wars

April 2003
by Reid Goldsborough

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The metaphor comparing the business world to a battleground is overused. But it’s not trite to say that a fierce struggle is raging between Web advertisers trying to capture your attention and Web consumers who want to surf unfettered.
The stakes are high. With the collapse of the dotcom economy based largely on the simple, unobtrusive banner ad, Web publishers are desperately trying to come up with other, viable business models.
If they fail–if Web site owners can’t bring in adequate revenue–the Internet won’t achieve its potential of near-instant linking for individuals and organizations with the information they need and the entertainment they want.

New Ways to Intrude

To entice you to visit their sites and buy their products, Web advertisers are resorting to ever more intrusive and interruptive technologies. They include:

Pop-up ads. These appear in a new browser window when you arrive at a Web page and block part of that page or all of that page.Pop-under ads. They load in the background under the current page and appear when you close that page.Spawning. It occurs when multiple browser windows open, one after another, when you enter or exit a site.Mouse trapping. This disables your ability to click back to a previous page or to use your mouse to exit your browser.Pop-up spam. Spam of this sort pops up on your screen if you’re connected to the Internet regardless of whether you have…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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