Friday five: ads, pools and the history of garbage

Ad blockers and the new marketing – by Farhad Manjoo, for The New York Times

The scourge of the online media industry? Or a permanent barrier that will force the ad industry to re-invent itself?

“But in the long run, there could be a hidden benefit to blocking ads for advertisers and publishers: Ad blockers could end up saving the ad industry from its worst excesses. If blocking becomes widespread, the ad industry will be pushed to produce ads that are simpler, less invasive, and are far more transparent about the way they’re handling our data — or risk getting blocked forever if they fail.”

Just as we (all of us content producers) have been “forced” to write better content if we want to get ranked in the search engines (no more keyword stuffing, yay!), ad producers should be held to the same standards. No more flashing rectangles or startling bursts of video. We don’t mind attractive, unobtrusive ads, really, but we’re on the page because we want to read the article. Distract us from that, and we’ll resort to ad blockers. Let us read, and we’ll get around to noticing your pitch.

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Not into Instagram? Not important. These images by Tanaka Tatsuya are totally captivating.

tanaka tatsuya

from Tanaka Tatsuya’s Instagram account (@tanaka_tatsuya)

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Innovators under 35 – from MIT Technology Review

Just skimming this list is enough to ramp up your optimism levels. Even if only a fraction of these moon-shots come true, the future will be safer, healthier, more inclusive, more efficient and more connected.

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Now THIS is a swimming pool.

image via The Verge

image via The Verge

Part of an apartment complex under development in Battersea, in London, it should be completed by the end of 2015. (via The Verge)

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What to do about garbage – from CityLabs

The visuals of this concise history of recycling are stunning, an example of a new reporting style that incorporates scrolling into the storyline and draws on the power of infographics to paint a picture.

 

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Vehicles that own themselves – by Ushi Shoham Krausz, via TechCrunch

image via TechCrunch

image via TechCrunch

I’m working on a post about driverless cars, so this futuristic vision of public vehicles that not only drive themselves but also own themselves was fascinating. I’m not sure if the concept is more an extremely helpful Internet of Things or a slightly sinister Artificial Intelligence, but the mind-blowing economics could make us re-think our relationship with our independence, our environment and possibly even our social structure.

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Starting over – by Stephanie Rice, via Medium

A lovely article which points out the negatives and helps you feel the positives. Determination, hope and an unwillingness to settle will get her through, however scary it gets. I can relate, I’m on my second start-over now (embarking on my third career), and I would encourage anyone who can to consider having at least two careers. Our time here is short – wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy more than one type of life?

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Have a GREAT weekend everyone! Here in Madrid it should be our last quiet weekend before the streets fill up again, parking spaces are scarce and bustle returns downtown, as next weekend is the seasonal Return from Holiday.

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