Don Marti

Mon 19 Aug 2013 06:30:14 AM PDT

Adversariality and web ads

I have an RSS feed aggregator that subscribes to feeds from people in the online ad business, and also from people looking at the online ad business from the outside. Why does it sound like one group is talking about targeted ads as ponies everyone wants, and the other is talking about them as rats to be exterminated?

From within the online ad business, increasingly detailed tracking, profiling, and targeting of users is a great idea. A recent example, from Jeremy Ozen, is The Ad Industry Must Stand Up for the Collection of Mobile Data.

Meanwhile, everyone else who writes about online ads just wants to avoid being tracked, profiled, and targeted. Here's a recent example of that. Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing covers a browser plugin intended to make it harder to profile your traffic based on surveillance.

So why the big difference? Why does adtech seek relevance, but regular people avoid it? Let's see if I can put it in 140 characters.

I'm interested in what your company says to existing customers, the public, and your mom, not what you'll say on my doorstep to make a sale.

How's that? More in Targeted Advertising Considered Harmful

Bonus links

Seth Godin: No one ever bought anything on an elevator

The Ad Contrarian: Playing The Other Guy's Game and 4 Reasons For Advertising's Radical Remake

Jonathan Mayer To 'Do Not Track' Working Group: I Quit (via Doc Searls Weblog)

How low-paid workers at 'click farms' create appearance of online popularity (via The New Inquiry)

Print Is Dead? 'Vogue' Has Its Second Biggest Issue Ever

Benefits of advertising include the placebo effect? Drug ads may enhance drug performance

The Public-Private Surveillance Partnership - Bloomberg (via John Battelle's Search Blog and Comment is free: Glenn Greenwald on security and liberty)

Bob Garfield: The Natives Are Feckless: Part One Of Three (via Doc Searls Weblog)

Data Brokers Don't Know You From A Naked Man Stumbling On The Beach

34 Insights From Nassim Taleb (via The Big Picture)