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Oct 24 2007

High-tech bait & switch

One of the most fantastic things about the internet is the way it lets people cross borders.  Thanks to the worldwide web, anyone with an internet connection can get access to news and information from practically every corner of the globe.  And not just the text-formatted stuff but also live radio broadcasts and streaming video.

Lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on some US-based websites where certain media content (usually video) is only available to folks who reside in the U.S., which really flies in the face of the the BEST thing about the ‘Net. I’ve heard various explanations for why websites do this…most seeming to have something to do with sponsorship.

Now the capitalist in me certainly understands that the companies paying for the supporting advertising want to be sure that folks who see their ads are indeed potential customers. I mean, living in Sweden as I do, I couldn’t switch to Gieco for my auto insurance needs even if I wanted to…so I get that. (I don’t like it, but I understand it.)

What I don’t understand is why a website would make me sit though the advert BEFORE informing me that the video I want to watch is not available for viewing outside of the United States. Because that just pisses me off, and insures that I will NEVER buy that particular product even when I do have the opportunity. 

Which got me to wondering if this particular practice is something that’s endorsed by the Ad Wizards in the sponsor’s marketing department, who know very well the danger of honking off reputable influencers like myself. Or is it something being implemented by the Alpha Geeks running the websites, a group of young, male 20-somethings who are used to folks being unhappy with them? (It’s part and parcel of working in IT.)

 My money is on the Alpha Geeks.

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Feed my ego!

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