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Re: decreased caching efficiency?

  • From: Christian Kuhtz
  • Date: Fri Oct 20 11:35:46 2000

On Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 10:47:35AM -0400, Daniel Senie wrote:
> William Allen Simpson wrote:
> > Dana Hudes wrote:
> > >
> > > I vehemently disagree with the statement that impressions do not make any sense,
> > > only clickthroughs. There is such a thing as brand awareness, a situation where
> > > a banner ad is good for itself even if it doesn't lead to click through.
> > >
> > Of course, in that case, the benefit is to the advertiser.  That is,
> > they get the benefit, but you don't get paid.  Not my problem.
> So, when Sears buys a full page advertisement in the Boston Globe, they should
> get that for free, and only have to pay the Globe when someone shows up at
> the door holding a copy of the ad?

Try not to compare apples and oranges. If your assumptions are bad, that
doesn't lend it for your conclusions to be accurate. ;-)   (I'd love to see
a serious non-flame response from the content junkies to address some of
the verbiage below written by me, a service provider junkie).

The trucking companies aren't sponsoring Sears ad's or the Boston Globe by
shuttling around the Globe issue (including the printed ad) for free.  In
fact, as long as when a customer buys them (or they are pre-paid delivered
to their doorstep) the issues look exactly like they came from when the Boston
Globe printed them.

Why do you care how the trucking company schedules its trucks, or what types
of trucks it owns?  It's irrelevant.. as long as...

All the Boston Globe and shop owners care about is that they meet whatever 
SLA allows them to sell the paper at a well-defined time in the morning.

Sure there's a problem with caches breaking content.  On the other hand,
paying your hometown ISP doesn't give you guaranteed world-wide rights towards
an SLA.

SLAs cost service providers money to enforce.  So, how do you provide 
settlement between your implicit expectation and the myriads of different
contracts people around the world have with their subscribers?  Are you sure
you *REALLY* want to be billed for the cost you might incur?

Caches are a response to the lack of settlement, and the recognition that as
long as site owners provide reasonable assumptions, caches will do reasonably 
well following those assumption.  If a website is designed loosy, caches will
do poorly and so on.

Caches are in fact a reflection of the lack of settlement, or rather a totally
different settlement mechanism in the Internet.

Ever heard of the phrase "there is no such thing as a free lunch"?  Think
again.  Just for a minute.

Somebody has to pay for the pipe at some point.  So, if you want guaranteed
delivery, I'm sure no SP would ever turn you down if you wanted to subsidize
the infrastructure your guaranteed delivery is occuring on by reimbursing them
for their costs (or at least contribute).

The Internet is not like other media in that there's not neccessarily the
"cost causer cost" principle at work.  In fact, a lot of times you get what
looks like a free ride.  And you get exactly what you pay for.

If you want something else, *PAY* for a CDN.

> Sears gains brand recognition through its ads in newspapers, on TV, and on
> any other medium it employs.

Sure it does.  Are you going to tell a broadcasting station that it can't 
MPEG compress your ad as it is broadcast to be transmitted more efficiently
over a satellite link or other digital distribution network?

No, obivously not, because it is in your best interest to allow them to reach
the furthest possible audience.

That's what SPs do.  It's a means for them to control the explosion in bw
that they have to carry with no or little additional revenue dollars coming in
to pay for it.

> Banner advertising impressions serve exactly this purpose.

Except that you're stirring up all sorts of false assumptions about the
similiarity between these other media and the Internet.

> For example, go to Yahoo and do a search on Honda automobiles. Do you think
> it's a coincidence that the banner ad that shows is a Honda ad? Do you think
> Yahoo only gets paid for that ad if someone clicks through it? What is it
> about this medium which you think makes it so different from any other?

See above.

(may I note that Y! stock just got tanked despite beating earnings because of
 among other things the fact that "click thru revenues" and "banner ads" in
 general are having less and less of an affect on users.)

So, how does Y! pay the entire world for carrying it's traffic?  Somewhere in
your math there's a flaw as to who gets to pay for what.  And only if you 
close that missing link, you'll understand why there's a difference, 
particularly who pays for bw on the Internet.

> > That seems to follow "not make any sense", but YMMV.
> > 
> > > It is NOT for YOU to decide what business model makes sense for MY
> > > business relationship with MY advertisers.
> > >
> > Nope.  You can have any business relationship you'd like.  But,
> > by the same token, it is not for *YOU* to decide that *I* have to
> > pay to support YOUR business decision.
> > 
> > Last time I looked, there's no constitutional right that
> > guarantees that you can make money.
> I wonder if you've told your customers that you do the equivalent of
> clipping all the ads out of the newspaper you deliver to them? I don't
> know that the courts will consider your arguments to be valid. 

This is beside the point of caching, but..

My $.02, quite frankly, if a newspaper had all blank pages where there are
ads now, I would not mind at all.

The cutouts are ugly (and are implying in your assumption that they make the
product cumbersome to use, which is a false assumption because lack of banner
ads does not make a wbepage cumbersome to use).

But, say a printer (because the contract w/ Boston Globe specified no 
reimbursement relative to the number of pages) decides to not print the ads
because it saves him ink.  It's a free market, you can find a different 
printer and make sure the contract specifies he must print ads.  You bet your
supply chain will notice the difference in weight and start billing you

Point is, THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH.  Why are you *STILL* expecting one.

Or, better yet, the printer uses a different printing process for reoccuring 
ads to be more efficient.  Contract specifies he can or doesn't explicitly 
prohibit that.

Or, better yet, the customer who buys the paper clips the ads out himself or
pays somebody to do so after they purchase the paper. Are you going to sue
him, too, and why should you have an right to demand what happens with the
article once I purchase it?

So, how would you feel about an ISP who offers their customers junkbuster
service to blow away all ads upon request by their customers, saving everybody

In fact, one might argue, once you dump the packet on a wire payed for by 
somebody else, you relinquished ownership of the content.  How would you
like that?  

Isn't caching or other types of content distribution networks a much better 
approach all of a sudden?  One that allows everybody to live and prosper
rather than one living off the other?

> I do
> expect it'll be the courts that settle this.
Sure, and don't expect them to follow your logic.  The logic I just described
looks awfully good to the various legal departments, and you can bet you
will have just about any communications provider of any kind, land, 
terrestrial wireless, satellite etc countersuing.

> ISPs claim the right to decide what traffic to pass over their wires. 

And why is that wrong since they're paying for it?  ISPs are not common

> At
> the point at which you start selectively editing that content (which is
> essentially what's happening when you alter the content in some fashion)
> you may well get yourself in trouble later.

Well, not so fast.  Perhaps I gave options to my subscriber and my subscriber
said he wanted to be cached, or have his ads junkbusted.

> > 
> > > I pay my ISP to carry IP packets around.
> > 
> > But, you don't pay ME to carry your IP packets around.  My customers
> > pay me.  I pay my upstream.  Therefore, I pay my upstream as little
> > as possible.
> And you've informed them that you filter and modify the information they
> look at over the Internet, right? I don't recall seeing that in the
> terms of service for the providers I use.

Woah.  Where again did it *guarantee* delivery or a specific SLA?  Do you
also want to have the terms under which rerouting happens in a SPs network
in the customer contract? I think not.
That's like stating that a trucking company can only use Mack trucks to deliver
the Boston Globe.  If you push it that far, your content may not get all that
far because people may flat turn you down.  Sure, subscribers may complain,
but they will scream even more if you charge them for the additional cost 
they incur.

Remember now, as a subscriber you pay for bandwidth plus whatever other
provisions the contract may have.   That bandwidth creates cost somewhere.  

And you can bet that if you torpedo a SPs business model by generating more 
cost for them by generating disproportionate bw amounts which cannot be comp'ed
by the subscriber revenues, you will get cancelled, the contract change or
whatever else to make it fit again.  Bottom line, it will have a consequence
because the SP hardly will let you put them out of business.

There is no free lunch.

Christian Kuhtz                                     Architecture,
<[email protected]> -wk, <[email protected]> -hm                       Atlanta, GA
                                                    "Speaking for myself only."