Pop-up, under Web ads set to continue to annoy


August 19, 2001



Have you purchased an X-10 camera yet?

If you're like me, you haven't and probably won't -- mainly because you've grown annoyed at the sheer number of X-10 ads that pop-up when you visit sites around the World Wide Web.

Actually, the ads don't pop ``up'' over the top of your Web browser window. They most frequently show up beneath it, and in the industry are known as ``pop-under'' ads.

It doesn't matter what you call them, the ads and others like them are (at least to me) an annoyance. That factor hasn't stopped other companies from jumping in with pop-under campaigns of their own.

Even Yahoo! has started using this form of advertising, though the company says the ads are still being considered a test.

As anyone who surfs the Web much can attest, pop-unders are the latest fad in online advertising. According to Calif.-based Fastclick.com, a company that sells pop-under ads, more than a billion ads will be served online this year.

The shift to pop-unders is another way for online advertisers to try and attract attention from Internet users. They've been used on high-profile sites including AltaVista, The New York Times on the Web, MSNBC.com, GeoCities.com and more.

Pop-under ads are cheaper than other types of ads, and sometimes are even cheaper when sold on a ``cost-per-click'' basis.

If these pop-under ads occasionally overload you, try going into your Web browser preferences and disable Java. That may slow down the number of ads that will show up under your browser window.

But remember that many Web sites make use of Java, so be aware that some features of other sites you visit may not function or display correctly with Java disabled. Fortunately, you can quickly restore Java functionality by returning to the preference menu and checking the box to re-enable it.

HENDRIX HOME AUCTIONED. Top online auction site eBay has what would be one of the ultimate pieces of memorabilia for fans of guitar legend Jim Hendrix -- his boyhood home in Seattle, Wash.

The top bid Saturday morning for the 900-square-foot three-bedroom, one-bath home was $30,500. The auction's reserve price had been met.

The price would be a real estate bargain except for one detail -- the home must be moved. The lot the house occupies has been sold as the site for new condominiums.

Jimi Hendrix's father, Al Hendrix, purchased the home in 1953 when his musician son was 10. The elder Hendrix and his sons Jimi and his brother Leon lived there for several years, according to the seller.

Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose in 1970.

The auction ends Sept. 12.

DOT-COM BOMB. The weekly Industry Standard, a magazine and Web site devoted to the ``New Economy'' announced it was shutting down and planned to file for bankruptcy protection.

During its three-year reign as the top journal focusing on the high-tech sector, the Industry Standard was a victim of two forces, its management said in a press release.

The first was an overly aggressive expansion that about the time the Dot-Com Bubble burst in April of last year.

The second was the evaporation of advertising -- a vital part of any publication regardless of the topic. Ad revenue in the last year plummeted by more than 70 percent for the Industry Standard.

The immediate shutdown came about because of the lack of bridge financing from its majority owner, International Data Group. The magazine's management had hoped to continue publication while shopping for a buyer. The lack of financing made the move to bankruptcy a certainty.

The Standard isn't the only Internet-economy magazine that's seen its fortunes slide downward in the past year.

Red Herring, a monthly publication, has also suffered from a reduction in advertising in its pages. The magazine has laid off workers while searching for new investment capital to keep its doors open.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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