Death of Macromedia Flash

And you can blame us, the Norwegians, for it.
As for web advertising, Norway lies a couple of years behind the rest of the world. Companies still believe it’s a good thing to sell and produce huge ads, ads with lots and lots of animations. Ads that fill about two thirds of the front page of pretty much any web-based newspaper. Ads that double the download size of the same newspapers front pages.

But that’s not what’s going to kill flash. Not alone.
Many of these flash ads are interactive. Interactive in the sense that they try scaring the living daylights out of you when you mouseover them, shouting “Geirangerfjorden”, or making you believe that Volvo sounds just like your average F1 car. Which it, incidentally, doesn’t, and never will. Unless Volvo, of course decides that they want their cars forbidden because of noise pollution.
So, even though I said that Norway’s a couple of years behind, ad-wise, we’re also a couple of years ahead. When the novelty and news value of AdWords/AdSense wears off, it’s going to swing back to more intrusive advertisements again. And believe me: The next-generation intrusive ads we’re seeing here _do_ work, and they _will_ be used.
And just like ads killed popup windows, ads will kill Flash. I have already turned it off, and I’m not turning it on again.

Leave a comment


  1. You’re so right! I’m thinking about disabling support for Flash as well, as in uninstalling it completely from my PC. I have no need for it. It doesn’t give me anything *extra*.
    I predict that Flash soon can be as easilly disabled in browsers as JavaScript (and popup windows). When it happens, Macromedia will have to come up with a rock-safe solution that prevents this from happening again in the future. If they don’t, Flash can R.I.P. — and the sooner, the better, imho.

  2. Would be interesting to ask Jens Chr. Brynildsen about the future of Flash and whether it’ll be disabled just like popups. He’ll be speaking on the next Last Thursday meeting, 2003-08-28. See “their homepage”: for more information (sorry, only in Norwegian).

  3. I know what he will say 😉 hehe

  4. Just a comment. I’ll try to get more in-depth later. But I feel that in this case removing Flash because of annoying ads is similar in many ways to cutting of your nose to get rid of bad smells.
    Its better to look at the cause of the problem and attack it there. If you visit sites that display such highly annoying ads, complain to the sites. If they get enough complaints they will pull the ads. It works, we have seen that happen before with web-technology being used in highly annoying ways..
    I think its also important to school the people making these ads in the effect of making them. By adding sound that “attacks” the user and leaves the user without any choice but to accept it – they are annoying the crap out of many possible customers. And given enough would-be-customers that has turned into angry-will-never-buy-from-you consumers, I am willing to bet any company would pull the sound ads.
    Flash is not the problem here. Neither is your browser, even if that too allows for sound to come out of your speakers without you asking for it. The problem is as always people and their misuse of technology.

  5. Hm. I can understand your argument, Jarle, but there is just a small fraction of users that care enough to write an e-mail, or make a phone-call with their complaint. Formulating fifteen words of “Stop this, or loose me” requires much more effort than simply uninstalling a plugin, or disabling it through simple configuration of your browser.
    Opera already has the option of enabling/disabling Java, Javascript, GIF animation, sound in web pages (which sadly doesn’t affect Flash), and all other plugins, and if ads become annoying enough, I expect browser vendors to include options for disabling Flash as well.
    I know that Flash can, and indeed *is*, used for potentially useful applications, but the problem is that my internal cost/benefit-calculation favours disabling Flash instead of writing angry, personal e-mails.

  6. Flash og brukarvennligheit

    Flash MX 2004 gir fantastiske muligheiter, både på godt og vondt.