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Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the wait-till-they-start-delivering-papers-with-drones dept.

Advertising 136

McGruber writes: While reading a story in the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, I saw that the paper had begun embedding Amazon Buy-It-Now links in the middle of story sentences. For example, in this article, a sentence about the sales figures for differing covers of The Great Gatsby read: At Politics and Prose, the traditional [BUY IT NOW] version — featuring the iconic eyes floating on a blue background — sold better than the DiCaprio [BUY IT NOW] cover. This change follows the July news of much larger than expected losses at Amazon and a 10-percent decline in the Amazon's stock value. In related news, the Post reports that the literary executor of George Orwell's estate has accused Amazon.com of doublespeak after they cited one of Orwell's essays in their ebook pricing debate with Hachette and other publishers.

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It's not going to work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685589)

All advertising eventually repels people. It's only a matter of time before someone seizes the opportunity and takes your customers away. Ads associate you with cheapness. There is no coming back from a reputation as an ad whore.

On a side note: Be thankful for ad blockers. I hold quite a few sites in undeserved regard because I don't see the ads.

Re:It's not going to work (2, Insightful)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685599)

Ad blockers repel content providers....

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685659)

> Ad blockers repel content providers....

Ad blockers force content providers to look for alternate sources of revenue.
Like bitcoin micropayments.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685701)

Bitcoin is falling in value so rapidly that it doesn't work. Ads are still the best way of paying for content, other than Slashdot-style subscriptions.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47685805)

I still think there may be a need for a 2nd currency for intellectual property. The potential demand for IP, the thirst for knowledge is immense, but one can totally abstain and live just fine. This is different than food. So for food you could have cold hard US $'s, and for intellectual property, something like bitcoin - and I don't even have a clue what bitcoin is, I just know its a 2nd currency.
Now with intellectual property besides the consumption part being infinite, such as I'd have no problem downloading 1 billion mp3 songs and have them on my portable harddisk so even if there is an apocalypse, or world war, or rolling blackouts, no internet, internet monthly prices going to $2000/mo that I can't afford, there are many reasons to have off line file backups instead of cloud storage halfway across the globe on some island somewhere, and getting blackmailed over it. See the blackmailing does not really work with information, because you can live without it, it works better with food. Also the incremental cost of production, and distribution, is very near zero, so it's not hard to imagine intellectual property prices between 1 and 2 cents per item, and then you might be able to afford a billion songs to download, or a billion science articles, novels, etc. However a lot of song producers can't scrape out a living with such a low cost, but as emusic shows, even the top of the chart artists pushed by the labels as their cash cows, have a hard time competing against everyday folks, the likes that come to American Idol, who can make decent songs, and when there are very limited dollars to spend, and incremental cost of a sale is zero, the prices tend to zero due to competition be the sellers. That's a basic problem with intellectual property. It's like it needs its own little world of finance, and the exchange value for dollars would be very off, by orders of magnitue.
For instance you can assume a fully welfare society, where everyone is on welfare, has guaranteed monthly minimum income that pays for their food, in traditional dollars, and they are free to choose how they spend that, but everyone is busy and preoccupied with intellectual creations - games, game playing, social interaction, tv, movies, music, scientific research, social research, etc. etc., - mostly intellectual property, and there you could have bitcoin manage the situation, and might have like 1 US $ = 1 million bitcoin $, and that's OK, but you may need that level of granularity, or resolution when it comes to intellectual value. If anyone wants to spend their minimal but guaranteed food $ on music, so be it, but you can earn bitcoins and spend bitcoins, like some points in a game, without getting too many dollars for it, but it can manage daily preoccupations, in a world where everyone needs to keep busy, and we cannot trust people to make actual tangible real world things. like gasoline from algae, or nuclear power plant fuel rods, or gun bullets, or even plastic spray nozzles, instead we have to put cameras on every corner, and sort of keep everyone in jail in the real world out there, by putting them into an income pinch, and providing entertainment and books and such. That kind of world would really suck, you'd loose a whole lot of liberties, such as even going to a danceclub on Saturday night and spending real $'s for the entrance fee, and fucking some hoes left and right, who pop babies baby momma style, because you will not be able to afford the entrance fee, or you'd have to starve yourself a couple days to pony up the dough for it from your welfare stipend. In a world where there are no jobs, and everyone is busy buying and selling intellectual property of extremely low value, but keeps busy with it. I'd hate that kind of world. And it's unrealistic in the first place. Overpopulation issues will still arise, together with the apocalypse that would bring on, because, sooner or later something's gotta give, and it usually collapses. I don't wish to live through a world where people are so hungry they eat grass, leaves and each other, because the welfare checks stopped coming, and that kind of world is coming unless people on welfare learn how to put a leash on their dicks and not let it run all over the place popping baby mommas left and right, but maintaining a stable population instead. That means 2, or 2.1 , or 3 kids per male or female.

Re:It's not going to work (2)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47685891)

Welfare is only fair if everybody gets it equally, not just the needy, and pays for food, and on top of it you can have a job, and buy like a fancier place than provided by welfare, or fancier food.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685959)

Universal basic income is decades overdue. It would cost no more than current systems, and I can't imagine a society more productive and enjoyable than one where the employers have to give conditions that people want rather than forcing them to work out of desperation.

Re:It's not going to work (3, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 2 months ago | (#47686057)

It would cost no more than current systems

This is factually incorrect. Even assuming single payer medical care is done separately and paid for all the welfare in the US a generous (Obama's)probable discretionary budget [nationalpriorities.org] generously proportioned (assume 100% of labor, agriculture, housing, veterans benefits, and internal affairs budget go to welfare) gives 320 billion to welfare. Divided by the population of the US that's a little over $1000 per person. Now add mandatory spending (the above link includes this information) and assume 100% of food and social security spending counts as welfare, again divide by the population of the US. That's about $4400 per person. Total: $5400 per person and that assumes not a cent is needed for program administration. Your proposed amount of basic income comes to $450 per person, per month. If you want that to rise to a number people can live on you're going to have to significantly raise taxes or print 33 to 50 percent more money.

Given the percentage of people who cannot be profitably employed today and given the rate at which technology is increasing that percentage I believe basic income is an absolute necessity. But we need to be realistic at how much it costs and create a realistic plan for implementing it.

Or just, y'know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686941)

Just repurpose the IRS to pay it out as a yearly lump sump, like those 600 dollar economic stimulus checks they were pushing a few years back. Coincidentally didn't that pretty well retroactively afford mocking by Futurama for that 'greenback' episode? That option wouldn't cost significantly more in overhead than the IRS already does. If you could add some sort of e-checking option for the IRS to direct deposit it to a citizen provided account attached to their SSN/tax info, you could cut the costs even further by making it no more than a yearly batch processed direct deposit scheme. The costs of that being exponentially less than the IRS spends each year during tax season.

Additionally: if cost benefit analysis was performed on the pharma industry, and based on what I've heard regarding pharma and medical device prices in Norway, as well as MRI prices elsewhere: There's no reason we couldn't afford it and at much reduced price rates compared to US healthcare, if only we could excise the crony system currently in place here.

Providing a basic functioning society is not THAT cost prohibitive. And the few areas where it might be (rural), can handle it the same way they currently do: County or regional funds for supplying their own with medical care. I know there is already a program like this across the California foothills, and up around the oregon border. One of my friends benefitted from it as a resident after getting stuck out there working at a Walmart for a few years (Family had promised him there were tons of jobs out where they were. He got there and found out there weren't. Took him a couple years to financially recover.) Basically they have a tax that goes into a regional pool to provide medical coverage for any/all persons who has been a resident of the area for at least 1 year. The result of it was payment of his medical fees and coverage of his medications until either he reached a high income, or relocated from the region. This helped him out immensely since he was already in debt for thousands for a previous (unrelated) medical condition, which he was still paying off.

Point being: As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, how can we NOT be leading the world in medical coverage for our own citizens? How can we still have poverty when we've got enough food to export to China? How can our citizens go hungry when we can export rice for prices that scare Asian nations about their domestic production?

Last note: Just based off my 'off-the-cuff' numbers, assuming 330 million people in the US and your 5500 per person per year: That only works out to 181 billion dollars a year to provide a minimum income to *ALL* citizens. Just going off GDP, military spending, etc.. is that even a blip in the grand scheme of things? Now mind you if such a system was put into place we'd need to start dealing with individuals abusing breeding to try and make an income (anybody with more than say 3 kids wouldn't recieve benefits, and assuming their income was below a certain threshhold should either be forced to work, told to relocate outside the country, or offered the option of sterilization.) But in the long term the benefit would be in eliminating a slew of 'niche' programs that formerly needed their own budget, oversight, etc that could simply be rolled in under the minimum income guidelines. The benefit is twofold: Laying off inefficient government workers for programs that really serve as a financial burden, and providing them with the minimum standard of unemployment while helping to eliminate the economic burdens that required unemployment and welfare to begin with. This obviously won't help anybody making more than this who 'falls down on their luck', but I'm sure according to your own logic they should either be able to finance their secondary (and luxury) expenses themselves and if not scale back to their basic pay until such time as they can get a job that allows them to return to their former level of luxury.

Of course this would only work if we cut handouts for everyone, especially corporations, and make it illegal to offer the sort of cut your throat financial incentives that are currently crippling our economy in the name of 'economic growth.'

Re:Or just, y'know... (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47687307)

- $5500 x 330,000,000 people = 1,815,000,000,000, or 1815 billion, not 181 billion like you say. That's $1.8 trillion dollars, quite a bit of dough these days. But in places like NYC $5500 does not cover your rent for a single month, let alone a full year.
- I'm not a big fan of sterilization. Or offering to anyone to relocate from the US, which is the "great melting pot." As in good luck trying to keep your identity here, we'll blend you down and dissolve you. I could understand relocating somebody away from a place like Zimbabwe if they are not negro, or Norway if they are not white (there was a recent shooting of anybody off color in Norway (including Indian, Arab, African), to protect genetic purity of the race, and the guy barely got slapped on the hand, meaning that's how most people feel over there, they don't like forced breeding), or Mongolia if they are not mongoloid, or even a Native American reservation in the US, if they come up too low on score for being Native American.
- I'm assuming you're from Norway living in the US. You sound like a communist instigator. People come to the US to become millionaires, not to spread the word about the benefits of socialism and communism. That's for Norway and Sweden, where people like to cooperate and be friendly with each other, not for the US. People come here to dig gold in a gold rush with a bucket and a shovel, and fuck all the hookers, while hoping they'll hit that big rock of gold that'll make them instant millionaires. Or before that, to become free farmers after their indentured servitude term of 30 years is up, as opposed to serfs in their old land. Socialism and collective interest starved the first settlers to the point of somebody killing his own wife, because socialism, lack of private property, creates a bunch of lazy fucks that die in the misery of not giving a fuck. One of my favorite commentaries describing America is http://www.cato.org/publicatio... [cato.org] Private Property Saved Jamestown, And With It, America By David Boaz. Even if it may not be true or historically accurate, who cares. But that was private property with 3 acres for everybody, where they could give a fuck, not universal rent for everybody, where the landlord walks in and out without a warrant, because it's not your house, or you have to bucket the hot water, because you can't make a connection yourself to the washer (btw, lucky you, most people need to go to laundromats), and if you try to escape rent, we knock your house down with an excavator, shoot your tires on the highway to make you late from work to get a taxi to miss payments, or sell you a cheap car with a loose, fluid coupling steering, and a remote in it to spin you into the side rail at 60 mph on the highway. But the powers that be made only my pinky hurt.

Re:Or just, y'know... (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47687323)

Of course everyone dreaming about becoming a millionaire, and the prevalence of hookers or hooker like people, is also what's wrong with America, that invites things like 9-11. There is two sides to every story, to Norway, and to America: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. That's both of them.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47687165)

I could live on 450/mo right now, in my present setup, if I did not have to drive anywhere. But I'd have to drop Internet service, maybe even natural gas, and keep rent, electric, and food. Oh and no insurance of any kind, of course. But that's like that already. I would also not have to pay taxes other than sales. I'd have to be eating a lot of rice though, but it would be doable.
And on an income like that, in a different housing situation, I'd be a millionaire in the sticks, where, if you can get CAUV, property tax is like $20/year, which comes to $2/month. That's what I'd call cheap housing, and $450/$2=225x, which means each month you earn 224 months worth of housing cost surplus. Actually with such low housing cost food becomes the dominant item, and you still have to spend like $50/mo on that, unless you grow it yourself, and make the pottery from clay, clothing from flax, blacksmith stuff from ore, etc, yourself, and then you don't even have to pay sales tax, if you can be that self sufficient. But you still gotta pony up the $20/yr for property tax, else they sell your parcel on sheriff sale.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685905)

I don't think it's a second currency needed as much as there needs to be an organizer for small change transactions... there's a reason why candy bars went to $1 or more, allowing a 40 cent transaction via debit card isn't profitable. PayPal's an example of such a thing, but it's reputation has been trashed in the past.

Re:It's not going to work (2)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47687367)

Emusic charges 48 cents a song, and the supply is so immense, that the pressure on that huge, 48 cents downward is tremendous, as I could buy, instead of 24 songs on $12/mo, I don't know, 1000 songs? The sellers eager to get a piece of the pie, any tiny bit of piece, instead of all of nothing for one of them, like in a raffle ticket, are many. Such is the situation with intellectual property where the creativity of the public is let loose by opening the floodgates. Prices go to zero. I mean I see gorgeous free graffiti riding public transport trains, and it's much better, and subtle and creative, on the East Side that's almost fully black, than on the West Side that's more mixed with white, hispanic and black. Asians don't do graffiti, as far as I know, but they get good paying jobs after getting a college degree. So anyway, the intellectual creativity of people is bursting at the seams, even for free, let alone getting paid for it. That's why cents are not fine enough granularity, when you're talking a price of 0.00000023 cents for an item, and that's where bitcoin comes in. Of course in a world where they can lock down creativity better, and erect all kinds of cock blocks - such as creating music on the cloud that you hope to sell on emusic, when in fact somebody else will sell it, under their name, if it's any good, and yours gets listed too, but not presented to buyers much -, so when they take away even that, the ability to create something at all offline and sell it to your buddies in the neighborhood without it going through the network, or authorship being questioned, then they can reinstate previous intellectual property prices. Mind control, flow of information control, has always been the biggest game in town. And the powers that be may not find bitcoins tasty after all, compared to blocking everyone off from access to sell intellectual property, such as organic chemistry book authors from india selling ebooks in the US, or music artists from Brazil selling mp3's in the US, etc, etc. It's a different world these days, everybody stressed to the breaking point over that extra cent.

Re: It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686097)

Are you high?

Re: It's not going to work (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47687403)

Does it really matter?

P.S. Substance abuse is for retards. I never been drunk in my entire life, let alone high. I don't smoke either.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685861)

> Bitcoin is falling in value so rapidly that it doesn't work.

Forest and trees dude.
(1) Bitcoin is just version 1.0
(2) As a payment method rather than a value store it doesn't matter all that much if it falls or rises in value.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 months ago | (#47687651)

Bitcoin is falling in value so rapidly that it doesn't work.

Wrong.
https://coinbase.com/charts [coinbase.com]

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685741)

>bitcoin
>revenue

It has to actually be worth something and able to buy stuff to be considered revenue

Exchanges (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47685763)

Pay per page with BTC? Good luck browsing the web when you have to keep finding ways to turn dollars into bitcoins when exchange after exchange shuts down. Where is MTGOX now? And good luck getting web sites to agree on standard ways of integrating with mobile wallets.

Re:Exchanges (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 months ago | (#47685787)

Also have fun waiting 20 minutes for your microtransaction to clear.

The alternative answer is simpler: I simply don't care enough about most content providers to mourn or want to prevent their passing. They shut down, some other group opens up, better luck next time convincing me you aren't completely disposable. This is what newspapers are slowly discovering: the pay walls go up, and then you realize that they basically just report whatever is on someone's blog anyway.

Re:Exchanges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685865)

> Also have fun waiting 20 minutes for your microtransaction to clear.

Forest and trees dude.
(1) Bitcoin is just version 1.0
(2) Microtransactions don't need to worry about clearance, just like most stores don't need you to sign for a credit card payment under $10. It simply isn't worth the effort to cheat on a microtransaction.

Re:Exchanges (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 2 months ago | (#47687219)

It simply isn't worth the effort to cheat on a microtransaction.

Will it be worth the effort to be paid by one? The processor will want a cut, the currency exchange will want a cut (twice), the people keeping the system secure will want a cut ... just because the amount per transaction is tiny doesn't mean the cost per transaction will scale down similarly. And if the value of the currency is unstable, you'll have to run every flippin transaction through the currency exchange. Otherwise subscribers or the processor will game the system.

Re:Exchanges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687327)

You are doing that thing where you imagine the worst case scenario in order to rationalize your preconceptions rather than think about what it would take to make a system work. That kind of shit is for teenagers. I hope you are a teenager because then at least you'd have an excuse.

Re:It's not going to work (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685673)

Ad blockers repel content providers....

This is web 2.0, baby. We're the content providers. And ad blockers make my content providing tolerable. You want my content? Block the ads. Oh, look at that; /. does just that. "Ads Disabled Thanks again for helping make Slashdot great!"

Re:It's not going to work (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685745)

The thing is, blocking Slashdot ads can cause you to miss things. I wouldn't know about UDoo or their obvious problem without that ad.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685923)

> I wouldn't know about UDoo or their obvious problem without that ad.

Lol. I have no idea what "UDoo" is and I don't even care enough to google it. Tons of other stuff to care about on the internet, if missing out on the occasional something or another is the price I have to pay for avoiding the mental grinding of ads, I am good with it.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686485)

I cared enough to google it and is a worthy ad that I'm now interested in buying it to play with it and design things with it. Unfortunately, with my adblocker, I never knew it even existed.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687373)

If it really is something useful to you then eventually regular people in your circles will talk about it and then you'll find out about it.
Kind of like what just happened.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#47687481)

Well, that's no problems as it makes is a mutual repulsion society. That form of advertising earned Washington post a complete script and cookie block https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org] from me, and if the page shows up blank from now on that's no problem for me. Now if script blocker https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org] would only add notes that show up for a blocked script so you can remember why you blocked it. I also target advertising companies that are complicit in marketing stupidity and kill their scripts from there on in.

If you adds are not offensive, or false, or too in your face, or bloody quite you survive, I don't mind however in you break those rules I will break your site by killing your scripts and cookies, NO COOKIES FOR YOU or for those who assist you in your malignant advertising.

Re:It's not going to work (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47685671)

All advertising eventually repels people.

Exactly. This is why, throughout history, companies that advertize have consistently failed, while companies that just sit back and wait for the world to beat a path to their door have prospered. Clearly, advertising doesn't work.

Ads associate you with cheapness

So true. This is why companies like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, by advertising heavily, devalue their products, and only make pennies on the dollar compared to unadvertised brands available from eBay and shipped from China.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 2 months ago | (#47685683)

+1 for the snark.

Re:It's not going to work (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685713)

Snark that misses the point.

He wasn't talking about companies that buy ads, he's talking about companies the sell ads c.f. "ad whore."

Re:It's not going to work (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 2 months ago | (#47685901)

Snark that misses the point.

He wasn't talking about companies that buy ads, he's talking about companies the sell ads c.f. "ad whore."

Yeah, he's talking about successful companies. While correlation isn't causation, I have to admit he has a point.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687431)

Bill might have a point, but it is unrelated to the OP's claims.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686061)

Well, that's not entirely true. The companies you mention advertise heavily in certain circles and not at all in most. Doing that, web style, would indeed make them seem cheap. As to the unadvertised brands, if you're talking about knockoff copies, it's been my observational experience that many people actually seek those things out because they don't want to pay for the actual brands but they want people to think they did. Our government, which spends more money on tracking crap like that down than they do on actual problems most of us want solved, is the contributor to the lack of success of those companies, not advertising or lack of it.

Re:It's not going to work (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#47686219)

Spammy advertising doesn't work and repels customers. Spam email, annoying product placement, animated/interactive adverts and the like put people off eventually. That's why you don't get "1ouis Vvitt0n" emails, or at least not from Louis Vuitton.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686623)

But you do get movies with very obvious, obnoxious product placement. And I've seen minutes of TV shows devoted to cars from America's #1 brand (going as far as that literal car commercial during an episode of House where one of the protagonists start extolling the features of their new car out of nowhere)

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686513)

Not true at all. Ads help get product reach to people that never heard of their products. Without ads, most of the daily products you use today wouldn't be available. Unfortunately, the vast majority of ads are terrible, annoying and most don't want their products, yet they keep pushing that I have to have it.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47685843)

All advertising eventually repels people.

That's kind of delusional. People still watch the super bowl for the commercials, after all.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686011)

On a side note: Be thankful for ad blockers.

Find: ** [slashdot.org]
Replace: *

Hopefully I'll never see another Buy It Now affiliate link again.

It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686137)

Unfortunately, that's not true. Look at Microsoft!

And AdBlock Plus does not remove the buy it now in the text. At least not yet.

Re:It's not going to work (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 months ago | (#47686525)

I agree that ads are distracting, and they do decrease my enjoyment of reading, but not so much that I need to block them or refuse to look at material with advertisements.

"Cheapness" is also something that is a false value. If I have a reason to trust the words on the page of a story with distracting formatting and ads as being a higher class of journalism than something in a pristine, well formatted, advertisement-less site, I will continue to read the sloppy site and glean what I can from it. I will also tolerate the ads to support the site, unless I know of a better way for them to obtain support.

The reality is that in this current world, we're in the Wild West of content, but in the past, that was the case as well. Copyright and such came about and was effective because you could control a physical medium to some degree, but before that, you'd get ripped off flagrantly. It used to be common for the latest plays and such to end up in unauthorized performances in places like the American West, because no one could enforce that. In those days, you took the money you could get, and relied on patronage for the rest. And to be honest, I think we may need to return to patronage if we want a truly ad-free environment, but patronage has the stink of aristocracy or old money to it, but could be democratized by something like Kickstarters on a wider scale. Just be ready for our understanding of the creative business to change.

Point being, if the Washington Post simultaneously becomes both low quality and ad ridden, it is doomed. However, that is not necessarily the case if it actually uses that money to maintain a certain level of quality in its reporting and analysis.

Re:It's not going to work (2)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 months ago | (#47686757)

There is no coming back from a reputation as an ad whore.

Unless of course you are actually advertising prostitution...
NSFW - http://www.sherisranch.com/ [sherisranch.com]
in which case being "an ad whore" is exactly what you were shooting for!

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687269)

Try watching 'Crackle' (like a free netflix but with ads) and see if you aren't disgusted. They show the same ad each time a minimum of twice back-to-back (as if we're stupid) and it increases from there. By the time I'd watched about a half hour of Godzilla the same ad was playing 4 times in a row each break. I turned it off at that point.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687599)

neither adblock nor noscript get rid of them. they're embedded into the html source. best you could do is a userscript to remove the href and the css-added 'buyitnow' button and leave the actual article text alone.

What took them so long? (5, Funny)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685591)

So apparently Washington Post has joined the Amazon Affiliates program.... that's so 1990s of them!

Amazon Prime (1)

JeffElkins (977243) | about 2 months ago | (#47685601)

The initial stories of the purchase made sure to note that this was a "personal purchase" by Bezos. If WP is going to embed ads, is a digital subscription going to become part of Amazon Prime?

Re:Amazon Prime (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 months ago | (#47685743)

It doesn't matter if the Washington Post is personally owned or not - Bezos' personal fortune is dependent on both it and on Amazon.com, and he's the one calling the shots with both companies. So this attempt to use one of his companies to drive business to another of his companies shouldn't be surprising.

Re:Amazon Prime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685989)

At least the Washington Post has some value now, other than lining bird cages.

Bezos asks for more U.S. government corruption? (3, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 2 months ago | (#47687509)

I was wondering why the Washington Post was spamming me! How did the Washington Post get my email address? Now I know. Jeff Bezos is allowing his "personal purchase" [politico.com] to have the email address I gave to Amazon.

Bezos apparently bought the Washington Post so that he can use it to try to force legislators to give him attention. The U.S. is becoming even more a rich-get-richer country.

The subjects of the spam messages:

{SPECIAL PREVIEW} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

{24 HOURS ONLY} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

{EXTENDED} Summer Sale: JUST $19 -- SAVE UP TO 81% OFF -- for One Year of Unlimited Digital Access!

I think it is a very effective advertising campaign. The effect will be that people will try to avoid buying things from Amazon. Also, after the "Summer Sale", digital access to the Washington Post will cost $100 per year!

So what's the problem here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685637)

I get why the submitter might have his panties twisted by this, and I can see why the Slashdot editors would post it thinking it might be provocative, but really, what's the big deal here?

Nobody is forcing you to read the Washington Post. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything from Amazon. You can easily avoid both of them, if you want, without any harm or negative effects to yourself. So what's the big deal here?

This obviously isn't like the near-monopoly situation we had in the mainframe world in the 1960s and 1970s, where IBM was really the only viable choice. It isn't like the near-monopoly situation in the PC world in the 1990s, when Windows was the only OS available with most new computers. It isn't even like the utilities near-monopolies or monopolies that exist in many areas.

Online news is one of the most non-monopolistic fields there is. If you don't like what the Washington Post is providing, you're free to get pretty much identical or similar content at one of the many other thousands upon thousands of online news providers who aren't owned by Amazon. The situation isn't as flexible when it comes to retail, but you still have numerous options available.

Re:So what's the problem here? (2)

grcumb (781340) | about 2 months ago | (#47686621)

Nobody is forcing you to read the Washington Post. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything from Amazon. You can easily avoid both of them, if you want, without any harm or negative effects to yourself. So what's the big deal here?

Just because neither of us hangs out with him doesn't mean I don't get to tell you what a giant douchebag Jeff Bezos is. That's one of the joys of the First Amendment, my friend! Freedom of speech is the freedom to bitch inanely about things that don't directly affect you.

You, of course, are equally free to tell me to shut the fuck up, or to take your own advice and not bitch about something that doesn't interest or affect you....

... But if you do decide to keep talking about the problem, and maybe even about how to address or resolve it, then you see the true glory of Open Public Dialogue - the very thing that makes Slashdot such a lovely place to be. :-)

And no, I am not being in the least bit sarcastic, Sheldon.

They already do this... (0)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 2 months ago | (#47685655)

They already do this with things such as stock quotes. They put "Apple" in there, and it automatically adds the ticker symbol, the day's performance, and a link to more information.

I don't see how this is any different.

Re:They already do this... (2)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47685793)

the stock thing provides additional information about a stock. this is an inline ad. the difference is like day and butts.

Re:They already do this... (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 2 months ago | (#47685987)

Stock exchanges make money, and trading stocks is a way for companies and investors to make (or lose, but that's not the hope) money. It's an inline ad for the stock of the company being mentioned. A very well hidden inline ad, but an ad nonetheless.

Re:They already do this... (2)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47686023)

no. it doesn't go to a location where you can buy or sell stocks, and companies don't pay for placement in articles, and it adds value to the article. buy it now links do not add value.

Re:They already do this... (0)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 2 months ago | (#47686035)

Sure they do. If someone wanted to know where to get more information about the referenced item and buy it, that's added value.

It's only not added value if that's not something you want to do. Just as if, if you are not interested in the stock or its performance, it adds no value for you.

The argument here is not about whether it adds value - it does. The argument is over the type of value it adds, the cost of that value, and whether the added value is worth the cost - which is considerable.

Re:They already do this... (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 2 months ago | (#47686725)

It's not different. I find the ticker thing mighty annoying, too.

hi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685669)

Can I post here?

Well in surorised anyone reads and clicks ads. But I'm smarter than the average Facebook user, so idk

New Amazon patent: (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 months ago | (#47685693)

One-Click boo boo

Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (5, Insightful)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | about 2 months ago | (#47685699)

I'm not having a serious problem with this.

I hate today's commercials so much, I mute them if I can't fast forward them, and am almost forced to only watch DVR'ed content, and tend to avoid watching live TV now. I run adblock. When its a site I go to frequently, I whitelist it, and quickly block it again once I see an ad that does popups, or automatically plays audio/video, or otherwise detracts from my reading.

I would go nuts if a "buy it now" button popped up while reading fiction, but this is a newspaper article. I don't find the button intrusive, because I'm not trying to follow artistic nuance in a newspaper article. It doesn't really take up the screen, and they're placed in front of products to sell, namely "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Great Gatsby".

It seems to me no more intrusive than a banner ad, and I'm much more annoyed at large rectangular ads that break up article paragraphs. So what am I missing here?

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 months ago | (#47685775)

It seems to me no more intrusive than a banner ad, and I'm much more annoyed at large rectangular ads that break up article paragraphs. So what am I missing here?

IMO, the apparent conflict of interest. In an ideal free market, ad placements are competitive. Exclusive deals between entities which enjoy very large market-shares in their respective markets have a high probability of inhibiting GDP growth in the long run, according to both empirical and theoretical economics.

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685863)

In other words, fire the writers who don't adhere to using certain words in news stories.

Looking at an example, it's way to intrusive. It's pathetically sad. If it were simple blue text with no giant button, that'd be less bad.

I am reminded of IntelliTXT.

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (1)

Mandrel (765308) | about 2 months ago | (#47685871)

Yes, the anti-competitive nature of such vertical integration is bad for the economy. The links are also bad for the individual because of their distraction, because they turn an independent information source into a sales force, and because they give preferential treatment to one particular vendor.

But Slashdot does something similar with its book reviews.

The Paper that brought down a President (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47686025)

The Washington Post, historically one of the most respected daily news sources, was hemorrhaging money while attempting to follow demand and make the transition from dead tree news juggernaut to an internet news site.

Major influence peddlers of the past, major newspaper owners were often more interested in the power derived from an ability to shape public opinion than the bottom line...although they were a great deal more profitable before instantaneous news became impossible to compete with.

Bezos is dealing with the challenge of ushering the decaying giant into the new World, and in some fashion, that includes monetizing the operation. A button for Amazon purchases? Were you expecting a Rakuten link?

Re:The Paper that brought down a President (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 months ago | (#47686691)

Bezos is dealing with the challenge of ushering the decaying giant into the new World, and in some fashion, that includes monetizing the operation. A button for Amazon purchases? Were you expecting a Rakuten link?

Identifying and understanding the reason that an inefficient trade agreement occurs does not make it efficient. I know why a scorpion stings me, but I do not consider it a good thing.

Re:The Paper that brought down a President (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47686787)

Identifying and understanding the reason that an inefficient trade agreement occurs does not make it efficient.

Identifying and understanding are the keystone to education and betterment.

I know why a scorpion stings me, but I do not consider it a good thing.

Therein lies the behavior modification. Good and bad aside, you damn sure learn not to place your stingables in harm's way of another scorpion.

less intrusive (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 2 months ago | (#47685949)

It seems to me no more intrusive than a banner ad

i have my problems with Amazon, but I'm glad this is happening

it's a way for owners of newspapers to make their online portion profitable without affecting editorial funciton

see, print has never been "dead"...it's always been a failure of the business model of the owners of the paper...usually based on a complete misunderstanding of **how to make money from the internet**

status quo in tech says, "scape personal data from users to deliver custom ads & charge more for those ads"

Amazon's method here is nothing new or 'innovative' but it's **application** here is innovative in the sense that it can systemically provide a solution to a bad business model

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (1)

McGruber (1417641) | about 2 months ago | (#47685969)

I'm not having a serious problem with this.

Did you know that Politics and Prose [politics-prose.com] is the best independent bookstore in Washington and, IMHO, one of the best bookstores in the country? The Politics and Prose wikipedia page says it original co-owners "became known as literary tastemakers." [wikipedia.org]

Consider that as you re-read the example I choose for the summary:

At Politics and Prose, the traditional [AMAZON BUY IT NOW] version — featuring the iconic eyes floating on a blue background — sold better than the DiCaprio [AMAZON BUY IT NOW] cover.

Do you see the problem now?

I'll end with a shout-out to the NPR program On The Media [onthemedia.org] - I look forward to hearing OTM cover this issue!

(This post not edited by Brooke.)

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47686127)

Do you see the problem now?

Not even a little. The whole point of owning a newspaper is the ability to print whatever crap you want to. If Bezos wants to use his pet paper to pimp Amazon to the few dozen elderly people who still read it, more power to him. Individuals who own newspapers publishing what they want is the very essence of the First Amendment.

Are you offended that Democratic-party-publishing-organ WaPo is being used for dirty, dirty profits? Suggesting people listen to Democratic-party-publishing-organ NPR to get their opinion about it? Are you itching to suggest some government regulatory power to help out here?

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 months ago | (#47686195)

New Washington Post headlines . . .

"Hurricanes to slam the entire US coasts . . . and the stuff in between!" [click here to buy a hurricane survival kit]

"Martians land in Washington and attack the White House!" [click here to buy guns and ammo]

"Ebola epidemic hits US!" [click here to buy skin lightening cream, because only white folks will get the vaccine]

Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 2 months ago | (#47686313)

I would go nuts if a "buy it now" button popped up while reading fiction, but this is a newspaper article.

When newspaper articles are written so as to be conducive to advertizing, they are fiction of the worst sort.

Wow, seriously - that is annoying (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 months ago | (#47685705)

There were a LOT of those "buy it now" links scattered all through the article!

If I were a Washington Post subscriber, I might very well cancel my subscription over something like that - it completely breaks up the flow of the article. That's highly annoying.

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (5, Insightful)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47685799)

there's also something called "journalistic integrity" in which advertising content is separate from news content. The next step is for WaPo to shape its news coverage to maximize its affiliate volume. also change its name to huffpo.

Bwahahahhaha!! (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 2 months ago | (#47685913)

"journalistic integrity", that's a good one.

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685917)

The content-sales line has been blurred beyond repair. In-text ads like this has been a dream of the ad buyers since day one of the web, and they're starting to become acceptable. It's now inappropriate to talk about a title in Amazon's collection without a hyperlink to that page, and Amazon will gladly pay on a sale of that item from a customer that comes that way.

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47686029)

The content-sales line has been blurred beyond repair.

this is the difference between content creation and journalism. Go read buzzfeed or huffpo if that's what you expect of your news.

It's now inappropriate to talk about a title in Amazon's collection without a hyperlink to that page, and Amazon will gladly pay on a sale of that item from a customer that comes that way.

I've never seen this before in a respectable news source. Nytimes, WaPo, and LATimes are the 3 top-tier papers in the nation.

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686327)

Too late [youtube.com]

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (1)

reikae (80981) | about 2 months ago | (#47685889)

I disagree; if all ads were as small and inconspicuous as these are, I would even consider getting rid of Adblock altogether to support the content providers. I prefer these instead of banners, even if the links do break up the flow somewhat.

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (1)

JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) | about 2 months ago | (#47685967)

The annoying part is not the link itself, but the stupid button. The different color of the text lets me know that it might be a link and hovering the mouse over it will show me where the link goes. If it says "amazon" then I can safely assume I could buy the item in question there. It should be just an innocuous as a similar link to a blog or another article.

Re:Wow, seriously - that is annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686501)

Do subscribers still see them?

I'm not sure these buttons belong to the Wash Post (4, Informative)

Nate the greatest (2261802) | about 2 months ago | (#47685711)

Did anyone else notice that the affiliate tag on the links suggest that the links belong to Slate magazine and not the newspaper? For the record, Bezos didn't buy Slate last year, and I don't think he owns it now. http://www.slate.com/blogs/mon... [slate.com] Given the unanswered questions, I'm going to assume there's more to this story. I think this could be a syndicated article which arrived with the links. Or perhaps something broke in the WP's servers, I don't know. But I do know that I checked a half dozen other articles and didn't see any affiliate links.

Re:I'm not sure these buttons belong to the Wash P (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 2 months ago | (#47685845)

Slate is the national online magazine that the Post bought from Microsoft about a decade ago. So, it's a co-owned property. Seems like they programed the Post's website whenever a title is mentioned, link to the appropriate Amazon page.

Re:I'm not sure these buttons belong to the Wash P (1)

Nate the greatest (2261802) | about 2 months ago | (#47685983)

I don't think it's co-owned. Read the article I linked to. Also, I can't find any other affiliate links to Amazon, so there is no evidence to support the idea that "whenever a title is mentioned, link to the appropriate Amazon page". If that were the case then song titles would also link there.

Re:I'm not sure these buttons belong to the Wash P (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 2 months ago | (#47686703)

Per Wikipedia,

Slate is a United States English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by The Washington Post Company.

So, if Bezos owns the Washington Post and the Washington Post owns Slate, well, there we have it. WaPo's using the "slatmag-20" affiliate ID to simplify things for accounting purposes, I guess.

Re:I'm not sure these buttons belong to the Wash P (1)

Jayfar (630313) | about 2 months ago | (#47686987)

No. Bezos bought the Washington Post newspaper and online version, but he did not buy the Washington Post Company, which owns slate.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/mon... [slate.com]

--quote--
First, Slate is a property of the Washington Post Company but is not part of the Washington Post. Neither it nor Foreign Policy nor the Root have been sold. In fact, Bezos isn't even buying the building in which the Post is currently located.
--end quote--

Re:I'm not sure these buttons belong to the Wash P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686529)

Nah, they're just using the affiliate tag to track the effectiveness of the WP placement. Maybe they're willing to donate clickthru credits to Slate as a gesture.

What matters is that the placement is in Bezos' paper and the links are to Amazon.com.

Washington Post Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685919)

It's part of their sincere continuing effort to be more responsive to their readers, providing more choices and opportunities, more in tune with today's world, more socially responsible, improving worldwide literacy, etc.

Get used to it (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 months ago | (#47685979)

There are ads (buy now) everywhere in the modern world (buy now).

From billboards, to clothes, the drink you are holding, to the car that just passed you on the road, its invaded every part of our lives. Everyone is competing for your attention 24/7. Its not going away.

Lost chance (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 months ago | (#47686033)

The literary executor of George Orwell's estate could had accused Amazon of using Newspeak [wikipedia.org] . But maybe would be Doublespeak the right language for the dystopian present of 2014.

Re:Lost chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686277)

The literary executor of George Orwell's estate could had accused Amazon of using Newspeak [wikipedia.org] . But maybe would be Doublespeak the right language for the dystopian present of 2014.

George Orwell did warn the world about Newspeak, didn't he? BUY IT NOW [amazon.com]

Re:Lost chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687333)

thanks for cheapening the post Bezos! dueche

This would explain why Stripe is sponsoring blast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686063)

Seems to do what Amazon did:
https://github.com/julianshapiro/blast

mo3 dowN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686321)

has ste4dily IS DYING LIKE THE propaganda and

Impressive! (1)

BobandMax (95054) | about 2 months ago | (#47686331)

Just when I thought there could not possibly be another reason for not reading WaPo. Wow, Bezos is a true innovator!

Why the fuss? (3, Interesting)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#47686523)

Just add 'washingtonpost.com##.buyitnow' to your adblocker and never see it again.

I don't care who does it for what reason, if it's the owner, his son or his dog, I just block it as soon as I see it.

Buy It Now is an Ebay trademark (1)

ayesnymous (3665205) | about 2 months ago | (#47687267)

Buy It Now is an Ebay trademark.

advertising works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687563)

when you're advertising something I want/need, at the best possible price. Only then is it useful against me. I've never clicked on an ad and bought anything.

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