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Citizen journalism and advertising

Doc Searls has an interesting post on his IT Garage blog, called AdTension. He’s writing about the ability of users to block multiple types of online advertising, and how, to be successful in the online environment, advertisers need to understand that relationships with consumers must be built on something besides counting eyeballs. He writes:

We need to start imagining the marketplace as it exists now, and wants to exist, in the online world. This is a marketplace where customers are participants, and not just consumers. Where they are no longer just a mass of passive “eyeballs”.

What can we do to enable conversations and relationships — and not just transactions — between sellers and buyers in a market category? This is a question we raised in The Cluetrain Manifesto more than six years ago; and we’ve still only begun to answer it.

What makes that question so hard to answer isn’t what Bennie Smith calls “a negative vibe toward advertising”. Its the persistent disdain by advertisers and media toward the customers they insult by calling “eyeballs”.

This sounds remarkably like some of the justifications for engaging citizens in journalism. What would advertising look like that gave citizens broad and easily understood choices about what types of advertising to see, in what form, for what products, how and when? Choices that allowed them to engage and interact with the advertising, the product design, and with other consumers who have experience with the product?

What would a news site that practiced citizen journalism AND citizen advertising in the same place look like?

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