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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, August 08, 2022

Alfred Nobel invented the Nobel Prize as a public relations move. A year earlier, French newspapers mistakenly thought Alfred had died (it was his brother who had passed). Alfred stared in horror at obituaries that slammed him for inventing dynamite. He'd created it with good intentions, never thinking it would become a weapon of war.

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...And so perhaps Ethan Zuckerman has the same fear, all because of one well-intended creation, all part of his attempt to be a good employee.

Yet his chapter reads very differently.
The story begins in 1994

Ethan was a brilliant programmer, still in college, and working for Tripod.com.

It was a user-generated online magazine geared at recent college graduates. Its articles discussed saving money, fun things to do, and dating tips.

The web was new and a very, very different place back then. For example, this is Yahoo in 1994: [see article for the image]

The web was also far less competitive....

Tripod realized they needed funds and began running banner ads. They hired several sales agents to go land advertising deals around the country.

This allowed them to keep the site free, and provide assurance to investors that there was a path to monetization in place.

The problems began during a customer visit months later.

A senior sales agent was at Ford's headquarters, giving a boardroom demonstration on a projector, showing Ford's campaign on Tripod.com.

He was using a "Random Page" button which Tripod now admits was an ill-advised tool.

The rep clicked the button and it took them to a gay ---- page -- with a banner ad of Ford trucks floating gleefully at the top.



An interesting look into part of the history of the web...


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-08 12:22 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

"He was using a "Random Page" button which Tripod now admits was an ill-advised tool.
The rep clicked the button and it took them to a gay ---- page -- with a banner ad of Ford trucks floating gleefully at the top."

I made the mistake of using the random button on Reddit about ten years ago. Do NOT recommend.

#2 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-08 12:32 PM | Reply

I'm having a problem reading the story due to all the pop up ads.

#3 | Posted by jakester at 2022-08-10 11:20 AM | Reply

Dynamite and pop-up ads would have been invented eventually anyway.

#4 | Posted by jakester at 2022-08-10 11:21 AM | Reply

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