Friday, May 23, 2008

Internet Advertising

This article in the Washington Post is very interesting. It talks about how website owners can make 10 times more money from advertisers by tracking users for the purpose of displaying tailored advertisements.

The article says:
The growing practice of "behavioral targeting," or sending ads to online users based on their Internet habits, is now under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission, whose review could shape not only Web advertising rules but the character of the Web itself.

For while public interest groups argue that compiling profiles of largely unsuspecting Internet users ought to be illegal, online advertisers and publishers respond that their ad targeting tactics protect privacy and may be essential to support the free content on the Web...

Behavioral targeting promises to bolster sagging online ad revenue with a more profitable approach.
Interestingly, on Facebook within the past few months I've noticed advertisements that are almost creepy--like they know too much information about me. A few ones I noticed were: "Want To Learn Spanish by Teaching English in South America?," "Be a Fan of Empowerment," "Te Gusta Julieta Venegas?" and "Put a Link to Us on Your Blog for Cash." There were more too.

It's like they somehow peeped at my info and said hey, these are ads that this girl is likely to click on. To be honest, it makes me uncomfortable.

Oh, and after writing this post I googled "advertising" and the first link that popped up was for Facebook ads: "Reach the exact audience you want with relevant targeted ads."

I'm feeling even more uncomfortable...

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