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Newsflash: I don’t need you to tell me what I want to buy.  I already know, and anything I need is a web search away.

… Go find a better business plan.  One that doesn’t coopt me as your marketing R&D department.

… If you want me to buy your merchandise, then spend your money making something really good.  If it’s good and I decide I need it, I’ll find you.

You won’t need to sneak up on me.

via www.newsome.org

Kent's rant about targeted ads struck a chord – I ignore them whenever possible. However – much of what we receive for free on the internet is financed by advertising. If a significant proportion of us in some way "tune out" the advertising, and click rates start to drop off, what happens next? Do the ads become MORE intrusive, better "targeted" via even more privacy violation … or do we start paying for services more often? My preference is to vote with my wallet for services I find useful, and avoid ads that way – but I suspect I'm in the minority here (I'll have Kent for company though!).

Longer term, the answer possibly lies with VRM and related personal data management ideas, but these will be a hard sell to people who only look for easy ways to interact on the Web, unless it can be made almost as unnoticeable as the ads we're trying to get rid of. Now there's a challenge …