The ethics of modern web ad-blocking
Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper and, more recently, Overcast:
I vascillate between Ghostery and uBlock, but they do the same thing: disable the scripts that power advertisements and tracking on the web. Some sites respect their visitors and present unobtrusive, high-quality advertisements. I whitelist those because, even if I’m unlikely to look at the ads and far less likely to actually click on them, the respect the publisher showed me deserves reciprocation.
But Arment is right. There’s no nice way to say it: publishers with shitty ads won’t remain viable much longer in the face of increased user awareness and response. The ability to use ad blockers in iOS 9 will only accelerate the downfall of sites with shitty ads.
The next generation of Instapaper
Marco Arment has turned control of his read-it-later service, Instapaper, over to incubator-turned-company-in-its-own-right Betaworks:
I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks. We’ve structured the deal with Instapaper’s health and longevity as the top priority, with incentives to keep it going well into the future. I will continue advising the project indefinitely, while Betaworks will take over its operations, expand its staff, and develop it further.
What’s really intriguing about this is that the Betaworks website includes the following teaser:
Want early access to the new Instapaper and other products we build and invest in? Join Openbeta.
I wonder whether the “new Instapaper” is already in the works, or this is just a clever marketing ploy to get Instapaper fans signed up for Betaworks’ Openbeta mailing list.
All in all, Instapaper is an amazing product, and if Betaworks’ reanimation of Digg is any indication, they’re a good custodian.
News Corp. Shutters The Daily iPad App – Peter Kafka
I know they’re not the same thing, but it’s interesting to watch News Corp. fail with The Daily while Marco Arment’s The Magazine is gaining altitude, despite production by a relative publishing newb and one other staffer.
One thing is clear: digital publishing does not belong exclusively (or even primarily) to the Old Publishing incumbents.
Marco Arment goes to a Microsoft store
The link above and what it describes are far more damning than any of Microsoft’s shitty advertising and messaging.