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04 The hidden cost (Advertising on Usenet)




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This article is from the Advertising on Usenet FAQ, by Joel K. Furr jfurr@acpub.duke.edu.

04 The hidden cost (Advertising on Usenet)

One of the things that attracts some people to the idea of advertising via
Usenet is that it costs so little to do it. You pay $20 or $30 per month
for an Internet account, and you can post literally *millions* of
advertisements at no additional cost.

But there *is* a cost. Each message you post takes up disk space on each
site around the world where it lands. People don't much mind paying for
disk space to hold Usenet discussions since they know that people like
taking part in those discussions and since they know that it's sort of
like mutual backscratching: "I let your messages reside on my site for
free, and you let the messages I post reside on your site for free."
Everyone benefits from interesting, informative, or amusing discussions,
so no one really minds paying for the space.

But there's only one person who benefits from advertising: the advertiser.
Sure, you can say that the people who see the ad benefit from the product
or service advertised, but when you balance that against what they lose
when their favorite discussion group is taken over by non-stop
advertising, it's a poor trade.

No one wants to give their disk space for free to someone who selfishly
posts a copy of an advertisement to every newsgroup on Usenet.

 

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