sites. Highly coveted, targeted ad-insertion technologies have generated a tremendous
amount of hype, but few actual results. Subscriptions and pay-per-view models, at this
point, really only work for porn and sports sites." (Top, 2001)
Market observer Tim Jackson writes, that the "collective mistake" of the ad-based
businesses was to "fatally overestimate the size of the online advertising market and the
amount of money that merchants would be willing to pay to acquire each new customer.
Once VCs [venture capitalists] stopped giving nearly free money to online merchants,
demanding only that they build up as many customers as possible, the sales volume and
prices of advertising slumped." (Jackson, 2001; see also his description of some "weird
and wacky forms" of ad-based businesses).
Percent of web page visitors clicking on an banner ad, June 2001, Source: Connectis, Issue 15, 10/2001, pp. 6-7.
Indirect exploitation of customer relationships
Companies that provide customers opportunities to save costs (e.g. offering products or
services for free, at or below cost) can ask for detailed user information, and re-use it for
their own lines of business, sell the information or elaborated user profiles to other compa-
nies (and, if there are really a lot of customers, also sell the aggregated "eye-balls" to
Buy.com; Idealab!'s Free PC Inc. (an offer that really hit the news pages).
This model is far from being acceptable for cultural heritage institutions.
Lessons learned: in/out-themes of the dot.com survivor club
ON THE RECORD
OUT (what will not work)
Underestimating the effort to change
Selling information bits
Banners and other online advertisements
as a key revenue source
IN (what might work)
Be clear that the service fits into how users
are used to doing things
Why one will become a (loyal) customer
and pay subscription fees should be very
Provide a full information package
Use advertisement partnerships strategically
for yourself (e.g. an affiliate program)