I was following some links from Romensko’s daily email yesterday and one landed me on the New York Post which lo and behold was testing IntelliTXT, the contextual adword technology that automatically highlights keywords in a story and provides a link to an advertiser.
Forbes.com was one of the first pubs out of the gate with the technology but pulled the plug in December when the editorial staff righteously stood up and cried foul. Today’s NYT reports that the Times itself is considering implementing the stupid, stupid, stupid technology. Even though Steven Hall at Adrants was quoted as saying the ads are “easy to ignore.” I disagree. They aren’t. Especially for the clueless who may, at first pass, think they are a hyperlink to more detail on the story or a definition. They are annoying as hell, stupid in their blindness, and probably, sigh, the way of the future.
This crap completely crosses the line between church and state. Penenberg equates them to the comments in Pop-Up Videos. While Hall says they are easy to process and preferable to flashing banners, skyscrapers and other dancing baloney, I disagree — the news hole needs to be sacred — ads need to be labelled ads and kept out of the content well. Figures Popular Mechanics would use them.
Congratulations to the editorial side of Forbes for swatting it down.