Personalized Ads... Again

from the gee,-haven't-we-heard-this-before? dept

For years and years (and years) we've been hearing predictions about how more "personalized" ads were on the way. New technologies were going to know that you don't have a dog and you'd never see dog food commercials any more. However, it never seems to happen. Still, the Associated Press is predicting once again that it's coming (this time, for real!). However, in the article, it becomes clear some of the reasons why it hasn't really caught on. First, it's important to separate out the two types of personalization they discuss. One is situational. If you're watching a TV program or surfing the web on a mobile device, it's reasonable to offer different commercials. That's not a breakthrough -- it just seems obvious. It's how Google's contextual ads work -- based on what you're looking for, rather than who you are. However, the more detailed personalization based on an individual is much more troublesome for a lot of users. Many people just don't like the idea of sharing that kind of information with advertisers, even if it means more relevant ads. It creeps them out, and advertisers have done little to reassure users that they won't misuse the data (or that the ads are that much more relevant).
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  • identicon
    Laidlaw, 28 Dec 2005 @ 3:59am

    I don't mind

    I don't mind the general ads. After all, somebody has to pay for the services that I wouldn't or couldn't afford to pay for on my own.

    But you are right, I don't want the advertiser, and refuse to give out information that I consider private (bugmenot!).

    Companies that collect and store this kind of information have proven themselves to be unreliable with regards to protecting it, so why should I give it to them? If they require me to give it, then they don't need my traffic.

    The day that Tech dirt becomes a subscriber site, is the day that I stop visiting and sending my friends there. Though if Tech dirt were to start advertising on their website (barring the occasional boast, and mentioning of their own services), I wouldn't complain any either.

    I realize that this creates a less specific service, in that I might see ads for music that I would never be interested in, or that I might see ads for lama food, even though I don't own a lama. But that is fine by me!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Xen Dolev, 28 Dec 2005 @ 5:42am

    Personalizing Ads

    Advertisers are not the first to personalize ads. Google's web-based email client Gmail allows Google to automatically scan private emails in order to target relevant ads toward them. People find that kind of personalization invasive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      haggie, 29 Dec 2005 @ 9:50am

      Re: Personalizing Ads

      A couple million Gmail users would disagree.

      Personally, I use Gmail all day and I don't even notice the ads and I have never clicked on one.

      To me, that is the genius of Google. I get a fantastic web-based email service for free, Google makes gazillions, and the whole thing is paid for by the marketing budgets of companies whose products I don't use.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    alterntives, 28 Dec 2005 @ 7:46am

    accepted behavior VS 'reasonable'

    If you're watching a TV program or surfing the web on a mobile device, it's reasonable to offer different commercials.

    No, what you are claiming is 'reasonable' is nothing more than a common event. common!=reasonable.

    For a while, the 'reasonable' advertising was 'this program sponsored by X' and all you got was X commercials.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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