In November I realised a lifelong dream and went to New Zealand for a holiday. While I was there I have to admit I didn’t think about work AT ALL (sorry Councils), but I did notice a few interesting things to do with technology. These were:
- – While watching the film Wall E on the plane it seemed like an accurate portrayal of a potential future.
- – Digital cameras have changed behaviour – everyone, young and old, knows to check the screen to make sure it’s a good snap. Goodbye dodgy pics.
- – Facebook, unlike many other forms of social media is all about the offline world, the website just facilitates offline activity.
- – I only came across one place in the whole of New Zealand that had free WiFi – a tiny café. This was incredibly annoying.
- – Starbucks staff, no matter where you are in the world, will now always ask the exact same question if you ask for an Earl Grey tea “Do you want space for milk?”
- – Adverts on the BBC website are just as non-intrusive as those on any other publisher.
I did intend to moan about the backwardness of paid public WiFi, or go into a lengthy debate about how the internet must have something dastardly to do with the globalisation of the “Do you want space for milk?” question. Instead, I’m going to talk about why it would be a good thing for BBC websites to have advertising in the UK.
To do so, I’ll kick off with something everyone will understand: the BBC website is immensely popular, advertising on it could reduce the TV licence cost, saving you money. I’m not suggesting that all of the BBC media properties have advertising. I’m not even suggesting that their iPlayer should have advertising; I’m a fan of the BBC’s ad free programming as much as the next person. But ads on their website? I wouldn’t mind that one bit.
One of the great things about today’s display advertising is that it doesn’t intrude. Often it can be entertaining, beneficial and targeting really does make it more relevant. Display advertising on bbc.co.uk wouldn’t really affect the quality of the website experience in any way. It could be argued that it would add a new element to the editorial direction of the site, but the BBC is already competing for high quality visitors.
It seems to me that any resistance would be based around ‘tradition’ and a general resistance to advertising. In reality, advertising across bbc.co.uk would be a good thing in my opinion because I would welcome a discount in my £139.50 TV licence, even if it were a small amount. Perhaps then I can start paying off the holiday…