Facebook is like a bar, but how long will it be open for business?

Why Facebook Is Becoming the Media World’s Black Hole – AdAge, Simon Dumenco


To this point, both articles that I have critiqued came from AdAge. I’ve never gotten into their print publication, but I found myself starting to use the website quite a bit starting last Summer. This might be because I started working at an ad firm at that point in time, but that’s not why I find myself coming back more recently. The biggest question anybody in advertising seems to have these days is, “How do digital ads work?” We’ve all watched the Social Network which boiled down to a narrative about how resistant Mark Z was to monetizing Facebook through advertisements until they figured out how to do it right. The writer of this column, Simon Dumenco, tries to make sense of Facebook’s integration of advertisements through an analogy of being at a bar. Humanity has had a wealth of time to perfect the local watering hole (though to some that could be Buffalo Wild Wings). Today’s model of a bar is filled with television screens and commercial art. Dumenco refers to the neon beer logo signs found in older establishments. If we can consider a bar as it’s own similar social platform, we can compare it to Facebook, and maybe we can see how long it will take Facebook’s users to welcome ads onto news feeds. Hopefully we’ll eventually accept them as elements that add character to the immersive experience that Facebook truly is and maybe we’ll just get used to them and maybe get better at ignoring them.

This article tries to make the point that Facebook ads are an experiment in its early stages. However, it includes statistics and logic that make me wonder if digital ads on Facebook have any chance of being sustainable. Shouldn’t this be the real point of the article?

In his overall analogy, Dumenco hits the nail on the head repeatedly. His insights demonstrate how delicate Facebook must be with every tweak it makes.

AdAge is a great resource for coverage on developments in the digital realm where so much is unknown but that is impacting everyone who has a computer or phone. The key to the AdAge’s and Dumernco’s success is that the human element does not go unanswered. What any digital news means for humanity is typically addressed and after reading, I feel like I have insight into something important that my friends and parents probably don’t.

The column is especially casual though its so beneficial to read especially for industry professionals. This type of journalism is an interesting hybrid of insightful thought that is interesting to the leisurely reader, but also a tool for those looking to make a couple of bucks. Where else can we find writing like this that is relevant to readers on both ends of the “Why I read” spectrum? Did we have analysis like this before the .com/digital era, or was it the blog and twitter atmospheres that invented it? Also, is Facebook going to eat us all?

For anyone interested in reading something cool about David Carr, the writer of this article worked with him at a couple of different publications during their careers. I found this interview between them both about journalism in the digital age to be a treat. Enjoy.

‘Media Has Become a Kind of Reverse Roach Motel …’


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