"I’m sorry. Our intentions were good."
And with that, the man who invented the most hated pop-up ad admits the hell he unleashed on Web users.
Ethan Zuckerman, in a piece for The Atlantic, penned an article about why the Internet's advertising-based revenue models stink.
"I have come to believe that advertising is the original sin of the Web," Zuckerman writes.
Well then, why further sully the Garden of Eden with pop-up ads? With businesses already fighting for revenue in the early days of the Internet, Zuckerman's company, Tripod.com, was trying to find a model that worked.
It spawned the dreaded pop-up ad.
"It was a way to associate an ad with a user’s page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content," he writes. "Specifically, we came up with it when a major car company freaked out that they’d bought a banner ad on a page that celebrated anal sex."
We sentence Zuckerman to a lifetime of trying to click exactly on the little X to close out of the pop-up, only to have an endless supply of other ads open.
Next up, let's find the glutton for punishment who invented changing homepage backgrounds into one giant ad, meaning it's barely safe to click anywhere on the page.