It’s nearly 2 A.M. and I am cram studying for Intro to Media Systems exam in the morning. I’m also sitting here wishing I wasn’t cramming for it because all of the articles are amazingly interesting and I want to sit here and blog about each one. Unfortunately, I have a lot more to read I’ll only get through one tonight and will have to make it really quick.
One of the articles I have to read for the class is called “Retargeting Ads Follow Surfers to Other Sites”, which I’ll google and put a link to at the end. Although this article was written sometime in 2010, I’m surprised it hadn’t been brought more to light as it is still very relevant. The article starts off relating a story that I personally found familiar but never thought much about: how I tend to see the very same ads on nearly every website I hop on to, and it’s usually always ads of websites and products I’ve shown interest in. The article goes on to explain how this is a new advertising method called “Retargeting”, which most major internet companies are now employing. It collects data and information about individual consumers in order to give viewers “the right ad at the right time.” According to the article, this data collection is gathered through the cookies transferred every time a specific computer (I.P. Address) logs on to a specific website, making it easy for advertisers to understand what a consumer is most interested in. While this seems virtually harmless to advertising companies, a lot of privacy agencies are hesitant.
What interested/irked me the most about this article is that it claimed, “People have grown accustomed to being tracked online and shown ads for categories of products they have shown interest in, be it tennis or bank loans.” When I first read that line, I remember thinking. . . “Are you serious? Why would anyone be accustomed to this, it’s scary to think that everything we do is tracked!” But then thinking it over, I realized I inadvertently have been accustomed to it. . . it’s not like I never noticed that my Facebook ads and YouTube ads all happen to deal with makeup and beauty schools, which I’m really interested in. In fact, more often I do find myself clicking on these ads, I guess the advertisers win and I can’t really complain.
I guess this new fast-pacing world leaves less room for skepticism and paranoia. . .