The Money Issue – Rob Walker – Consumed – Marketing and Advertising – New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/magazine/09wwln-consumed-t.html?ex=1362718800&en=e2fa0d6f12cafff0&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

I have dallied on FreeRice.com and TheHungerSite.com before, and – though suspicious that my clicks were for naught – put my two seconds’ of time in just in case. Well, my word – it turns out the sites are legitimate. And not only legitimate, but incredibly productive. Thanks, Kelrose for the heads-up.

The rice is paid for by advertisers: banner ads for Regent International Hotels, Alibris books, Shutterfly and others accompany every click, courtesy of a largely automated ad-serving technology that hooks up online marketers and Web sites. In its first three months, this system generated $250,000 for the W.F.P. All in all, FreeRice is a triumph of converting passivity into engagement. And in a stunning rebuke to those who say one person can

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