Sunday, August 26, 2012

You Might Like...

Because you liked "Wallace and Gromit" you might like "Cujo."

People who searched for "Mary Poppins" also looked at "The Nanny State: How much regulation is too much?"

Based on your interest in FoodTV, we recommend Christian Mingle.

And the list goes on. And I will never understand it.

If you're on any Internet site that has advertising and tracks your visits, you've seen these ads. The ones that look at what you've done in the past, compare it to other people's histories, and then inter-/extra-polate what they think you should be interested in, next.

What really gets me, though, is when - on some sites, at least - you mark an ad as uninteresting, and it wants to know why. I've had ads like "Christian Mingle" (a real site) and ads for "Sexy Women in Your Area," as well as ads in languages I don't speak. And then there are the really fun ones, like attack ads which are against things that I've actually told the sites I like.

I kind of like clicking on some of those and then choosing the reason why I don't like them. I use a lot of "Other" for those, because then I can write in things like "I'm a happily partnered gay man, so I don't think I care to date any of the Sexy Women in my Area" or - as I wrote earlier this week in response to one that was in Spanish "Yo no hablo espanol." (Oddly enough, I've never gotten an ad in French.)

I fully realize that much of the money made by Internet sites comes from those click-throughs. So, each time you click on an ad, the company (either the referral, the refer-ee, or both) might make money. That's why so many of them are so salacious - and why so many of them make it hard to figure out where the "close" button is.

Earlier tonight, I clicked on something just as my screen refreshed. Suddenly, I was looking at a photo of someone I didn't know, instead of looking at an email. I'm sure that now I'll get solicited for all the things that he likes, since I clicked on him.

Of course, there are those people who suggest you get some software that blocks all ads. (Really, stuff does exist out there.) But I just found out about a new movie that's coming out later this year through one of the rare well-targeted ads. So I guess I'll keep them around for a while.

Oh, and by the way, see all those blogs listed in the left-hand margin? If you like mine, you might like those, too...

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