The Social Cost of Bad Online Marketing

Alexandra Samuel, Harvard Business Revew, Apr 20, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I would probably lump 'bad online learning content' into the same category. Here's the issue: As Lyons puts it, marketers "took the Internet, one of the most wonderful and profound inventions of all time, and polluted it with advertising and turned it into a way to sell stuff." This is true of roughly 90 percent of the stuff I read for this newsletter every day. Now of course the author takes the classic 'blame the victom' detour - it's really our fault for 'feeding the bears' by clicking on clickbait or not paying for content. But maybe marketers could try something new too, "by asking one simple question, starting now: how can our marketing effort make the Internet better, instead of worse?" Commercial interests working for the public good? Is it possible?

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