A BRAVE new world : Taking a look at the new brave browser

Listening to my favourite podcast – Software Engineering Daily – I came across a great interview with Brendon Eich , the guy who famously invented the initial version of JavaScript in 10 days.

The interview itself was very interesting from a software engineering point of view, but what really caught my attention, is when Brendon introduced his new Business venture – Brave Browser – The new Brave browser blocks the ads and trackers that slow you down, spend your bandwidth, and invade your privacy.

I am not totally obsessed with web privacy and I do believe that advertising does play a role in the Web Economy, but I also realize that the internet has become a polluted due in part to the whole advertising eco-system is has spawned.

I have been making use of browser plugins like Adblock plus and Ghostery and Duck Duck Go for years in order to minimize the levels of advertising and tracking I have to endure whilst using the internet.

You may want to check out my post on my personal blog on how to get your privacy back, in which I discuss in a little more detail on how and why I changed my web browsing habits and the tools I use to do so.

My main issue with the Advertising ecosystem, that not only is it dsitracting and spawned a proliferation of sites that their sole reason for being is sell advertising space, but it also largely contributes to making the internet a security hell hole.

The sole purpose for all these tracking companies collecting all your browsing data, is to be better able to serve you more distracting adversting that you don’t really want. There is very little value they actually provide, yet they leave you wide open to absuse and security threats.

In my opinion the advertising industry has broken its trust contract with society in general. It has become too invasive into our personal lives and is seeking too much of our personal information. This information is open to abuse, from too many third parties.

Here is where it hits reality. You’re being tracked against your will. It’s not helping the publishers. It’s not even helping the advertisers. There’s a lot of fraud, a lot of waste. Who is it helping? It’s helping a bunch of and parasites. Let’s fix that problem and then let’s talk about the value of giving out data.

We can’t trust Google and Facebook

Two of the largest corporations of our times make the vast majority of their income from Adversting, therefore it must come as no surprise that they have no interest in addressing the issues within the online adversting industry. The situation is the same across most of the Social Media ecosystem.

Most Social Media organisations derive large portions of their revenue from Advertising. In order to maintain growth and pay back capital and returns to shareholders their primary objectives to generate revenues are based on selling more advertising space and ensuring ads a clicked.

Addressing Click Fraud, inefficiencies and security concerns within the industry does not

Other great shows to listen to get more insight into the flaws within the Online Adversting industry;

At threenine.co.uk we have obviously been delving deeper into the online advertising fraud sector with the devvelopment of our Stop Web Crawlers free WordPress plugin

How does Brave Help?

I thought I’d download and take a closer look at Brave. The install instructions can be found Linux install instructions

Brave includes Ad and Tracker blocking as default. So there is now no need to download any additional plugins or extensions for your browser.

I have to admit my browsing speed has dramatically increased. I noticed significant speed improvements on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even the BBC News.

Up to a whopping 60% of page load time is caused by the underlying ad technology that loads into various places each time you hit a page on your favorite news site.
And 20% of this is time spent on loading things that are trying to learn more about you.

New Business Model

Brave just isn’t about removing or blocking dodgy advertising, it is more about providing you with more control about the advertising and marketing you actually want. It also provides a platform for publishers to actually make more money from their content, by removing the layers of unneeded and unwanted middle men involved in the online adversting market.

This new model may not be perfect, but is an innovative approach. I have signed my personal blog up, garywoodfine.com in order to establish how successful and what the pitfalls are to this model.

Mobile Browser

I have also installed the Brave Browser on my mobile – iPhone 7 – in order to give a full test. I have to say I am overall impressed with the browser and I am sure it will make it’s way as my default browser of choice on all my devices.

I have to admit it is still very early days, as I have only been making use of the browser for the past week. However, I will provide an update in a couple of months, but the time being here are the 5 differentiators that make Brave Unique.

  1. It can stop ad tracking and serve you anonymous replacement ads.
  2. It can load pages much faster by circumventing the bloat from adware.
  3. It seeks to create a user community around the browser.
  4. It can completely eliminate ads if you pay for the service, either with your preferred payment method or with payments you accrue by running Brave in ad replacement mode.
  5. It could pay you to surf, but only in bitcoin as a percentage of the Brave network’s ad revenue and only if you sign up for a Brave wallet, with an email and phone number in your name.

Conclusion

I appreciate the irony that as someone who seemingly makes a living from digital marketing, would be advocating the use of browser that in theory would be making my life infinitely more difficult, by introducing the additional challenge of not being able to collect valuable data.

I have to counter that argument by saying that as a marketer I am too acutely aware that there are far too many internet tracking services available, and in truth the value provided by these services is steadily dimishing.

The dirty little secret of the digital marketing world is that a vast majority of digital marketers actually already make use of a number of services such as Tor Browser to browse competitor websites or even to crawl and extract data for comparison.

Yes, one could argue that these practices are grey or even dubious in nature, but the truth is they do occur.

A number of digital marketers will also willingly install various Ad Blocking or anti tracking plugins to their personal browsers in order to eliminate or even reduce distractions.

So the lesson here is, that if digital marketers are going to such lengths in order to remain anonymous or to be undetected, then why is this most basic liberty not available to all. The Brave browser enable us all to enjoy these basic rights.

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Gary Woodfine

Helps businesses by improving their technical proficiencies and eliminating waste from the software development pipelines.

A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.
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