Alexis C. Madrigal, writing for The Atlantic, produces a fascinating account of creating bots to drive traffic on websites. Madrigal notes that 61.5 per cent of traffic is not human-created on the Internet and identifies how journalists with no experience at writing code can stir ad networks and exchanges in somewhat shady ways (a move that drives down prices for legitimate ads, too).
Meantime, Brendan O'Connor looks at the end of the golden era of spam. Writing for The Awl, he examines the phenomenon of placing links through blog comments and the effort to combat their congestion and distortion of Internet traffic. He concludes their days are numbered.
As goes advertising, so goes media, and AdAge and RBC Capital Markets have conducted their fourth annual survey to examine the particular presence of social media platforms Facebook and Twitter in the ad realm. The results are in many ways indicative of the early snapshot of Twitter's fortunes in the public markets: lots of excitement but lots of waiting for the next person to make the move in using it as an ad platform. The results suggest Twitter and Facebook are still principally marketing platforms, not ad operations.