Vibrant Media, for desperate and stupid publishers.

I got emailed by Vibrant Media today.

The company Nick mentioned them the other day in the Wired story about Fark selling their editorial to advertisers.

Vibrant’s idea is an old one. In fact, I heard it a million times from people back in the old days (think: 1985-1999). We were all trying to figure out this “new media” thing. And we thought “what if we made the words in the story link to advertising?”

We shot the idea down in 10 minutes because:

  1. it felt sleazy (or tacky as Nick described it)

  2. it bastardizes the editorial

  3. it is annoying and confusing to the readers

  4. it is the first step in a slippery slope in which publishers give up their editorial space.

Why is anyone even taking this company seriously? Are we that desperate? If we are then “check please!” I’m out of here.

There is editorial and there are adsNEVER SHALL THE TWO MEET. That is it. You can stop trying we are not going to give in. While I’m at it, can you please stop using these b.s. dotcom era works like “contextual” to mask what you’re doing please?

Vibrant’s sleaziness is apparent just by the way they describe their technology:

The publisher-side technology delivers advertisers’ targeted messages with media placements adjacent to and within the content creating a vital new revenue stream for web publishers.

Give me a farking break guys if you’re such geniuses and you are so proud of this technology why not describe it for what it is:

We put ads in the middle of your content.

Now, don’t go putting a bunch of comments below this telling me that Will Smith drove an Audi in I Robot, or that people drink Diet Coke on Friends. I really don’t care what Hollywood does in the movies or TV. Publishing is different, and we will not give up the editorial space.


You want to advertise you buy an ad, and that ad is outside of the editorial space.

You want you ad to be in an editorial style, that’s fine just put “Advertisement” or “Advertorial” at the top.

That’s it. That is far as we are going to go. Stop trying; we’re not going to go there. The only publishers that will use this software are a) desperate ones, b) ones without ethics or c) people who make a mistake.

I’m hoping that Forbes drops this slimy technology and makes themselves part of that last group (the ones who made a mistake by using this stuff). I mean, the fact that Forbes would use this stuff makes me sick to my stomach. Come on guys, you’re supposed to be first class, this is bush league.

I’d rather spend 12 hours a day with the sales team pounding the phones to make an honest buck then make more by selling out my writers.

Vibrant Media will fail in the next 12 monthsI guarantee it. Anyone wants to bet me a Knicks game and Nobu dinner on it take me up on it in the comments. I will warn you that I will order 12 pieces of $11 Toro so this will not be a cheap date.

End rant.

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