Commentary: A new way to monetize your website

Seth Godin on his blog, 4/1/11

The challenge of monetizing the web is a tricky one, but a new venture launched right here and right now is out to solve that problem.  It's called whItespAcelInks.  There's all this unused white space on the web. Spaces in between paragraphs or links. Wasted.  Consumers are tired of being overwhelmed by ads and by pages that are stuffed to the gills with ads. What if the ads were invisible? What if we could insert links into the white spaces, links you didn't have to see but could still be clicked on? What if those ads were carefully targeted, location-based and mobile?  This is even better than permission marketing. It's invisible marketing.  In one fell swoop (does anything ever happen in two fell swoops?) we can double or triple the ad inventory of any website!  And there's no need for complicated creative, because, after all, the links are invisible.  Some highlights from the funding plan:

> We will track every user, protecting privacy by never talking about the fact that we're doing it.

> We will create persistent browser tools that permit us to generate whItespAcelInks revenue even when you're not online.

> There will be no push back from regulators because the links are invisible.

> Will there be Android? Yes. There will.

> An iPad app? I can't believe you even need to ask. In fact, the iPad app will be so appy that people will pay for it by subscription.

First round funding, announced today, is $11 million. We wanted to keep it modest and prove ourselves in the marketplace. The biggest challenge for us going forward is that the service only runs one day a year.


Commentary: New project re-imagines the means by which we record live theatre

Andy Field, The Guardian Theatre Blog, 4/1/11

A new project launched today attempts to re-imagine the means by which we record live theatre. Supported by the Arts Council and the National Theatre Bookshop, the project, called simply Mossflower, is starting with three "significant" theatre pieces, each of which it intends to document in a dizzyingly original way.  The first project is to re-conceive of Complicite's maths-themed light and magic show A Disappearing Number as a full-length graphic novel. The aim is to represent the piece's elaborate visual trickery with equal force and poetry as the words of the piece.  Also planned is a dazzling attempt to transform Punchdrunk's majestic The Masque of the Red Death into a beautifully rendered first-person online videogame. Using the same game engine as Half Life 2, the project will allow online players to roam around a stunning simulacrum of BAC's labyrinthine Victorian home.  Finally there comes a daring reanimation of one of Tehching Hsieh's legendary one-year performances via the medium of Twitter. Every hour on the hour for a whole year a tweet will be published announcing simply "Tehching Hsieh was present". At the end of the year the piece will begin again. The hope is that this project will continue indefinitely - a radical means by which audiences everywhere can engage directly with the full durational weight of this truly remarkable piece.  All of this, however, is simply the beginning. Other works by theatremakers including Tim Etchells, Chris Goode and Katie Mitchell are strapped to the operating board awaiting the same treatment. A brave new world awaits, and I for one am looking forward to it.


Related: A new Shakespeare-related project

Leigh Caldwell, Guardian Theatre Blog, 4/1/11

This would be a good place to mention an important project I've been setting up for a while, and which starts this week.  During the next twelve months, I am planning to visit a performance of every one of Shakespeare's plays. I will transcribe -- word for word -- the lines each person says on stage, annotated with brief descriptions of their movements and actions.  At the end of the year I plan to publish the transcriptions in a bound format, so that those unable -- or unwilling -- to enjoy the magic of Shakespeare's live art can see his words written down for the first time.  I'm still exploring the optimal economic model for funding this project -- there may be a monetisation scheme where subscribers will pay a fee in exchange for a copy of the printed documentation of the results. However, we do have Arts Council funding for the ambitious next stage. In summer 2012 we have a three-week run booked at the Tricycle. We will hire actors to perform the words exactly as transcribed. In the Tricycle's now-famous tradition, we will perform a verbatim theatrical rendition of the historical events transpiring on the stage of the Globe and the RSC over the next, momentous, year.  If anyone would like to volunteer to take notes at that performance, please email me.


Happy April Fool's Day, everyone.

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