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An Open Letter To The E Commerce Times

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Alan Herrell

Member info

User since: 30 Aug 1999

Articles written: 13

I have read the E-Commerce Times as part of my morning ritual for over a

year to see what is happening on the web. I enjoy the reporting, and the

layout and navigation. I have recommended it to visitors to my site. I feel

it is a valuable contribution to the web. I have used it for background

material for my own writings.

I had even installed the E-Commerce Times News ticker on the news section

of my site.


I had put it up as something that I felt would be of value to the

visitors to my site.

This has changed.

This morning I discovered that it was attempting to set cookies.

I have removed it.

I do not believe in the use of gratuitous use of cookies.

On e-commerce sites they are necessary and valid to enable shopping carts.

For login on community and discussion sites they are valid.

I Believe If you build a friendly site with compelling content, visitors

will come to you.

I have written a number of opinions on this issue.

these links will open in a new


target="_blank">"Click-Thru is Evil II"


target="_blank">"Time to Close the Web?"

target="_blank">"Cookies in the Back Door"

target="_blank">DoubleClick Opts Out

I build websites for a living. It is my day job. It is not a hobby, nor a

placeholder on a resume until something better comes along.

If you build a friendly site with compelling content, visitors

will come to you.

I treat visitors as adults with the power to make their own decisions.

I do not electronically Rape them, by pushing cookies on them.

You already have an arrangement with DoubleClick to serve ads on your


That is a business decision on your part.

You may say without this advertising revenue you could not publish what you

do. I have heard this argument time and time again from sites that serve

banner ads.

This is an old argument.
This is what is directly

responsible for the poor quality of network television, major magazines and


It is not a valid argument for the Internet.

The majority of websites are their own advertisements. They offer

information, viewpoints, commentary, products and services without any help

from banner advertisers.

I would offer a counter proposal.
The Internet is

already the largest source of granular, focused, and target rich

destinations for finding information, discovering new resources, and

targeting select audiences for just about anything the human race can learn,

is thinking about or wants to buy.

Advertisers should be bidding for the opportunity to place ads on you

site, not calling the shots by tying your hands, your hearts and your

editorial freedom with their thirty pieces of silver.

When the advertising revenues and placements take precedence over the

content of whatever medium you publish, you have a problem.

The Internet was conceived as a collaboration tool for the exchange of


It is developing into a plaid suited hucksters bazaar of such commercialism

that the Federal Trade Commission is issuing regulations as fast as they can

write them.

Let's Recap

If you build a friendly site with compelling content, visitors

will come to you.

If you build a friendly site with compelling content, visitors

will recommend you to their friends.

If you build a friendly site with compelling content, advertisers

will come to you.

The final question is:

Whose site is it anyway?

Yours DoubleClicks, or some other advertising agency?

It's your call, but it's not your Internet.

alan herrell - the head lemur

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