Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google is watching what you watch

In the news today, Google will use your web surfing and YouTube video selections to create a profile that will allow advertisers to target you for search-based ads. Naysayers, Luddites and worry-warts will cry 'Big Brother' but hey, Big Brother is coming whether you cry or not. And we will welcome him with open arms because stuff we do gets easier and more relevant to our needs. Behavioral targeting is a good thing. And it will move into other aspects of our media consumption. Calero Media Systems develops IP for making advertisements you view on TV, relevant to the media you watch on TV. In other words your personal interests affect what products are pushed on you. If I watch "24" on Fox, or the "The Unit" on CBS, I am probably not a customer for "Depend". And therefore, I neither benefit from nor want to see the commercial. (I also don't want to see commercials for "Flomax", even though I am a 55+ male with a prostate inflating like a circus balloon, I want to get medical information from my doctor, not the Ad Agency that just ran the "Depend" commercial).

On the other hand, if I search for "Depend" (which I had to do to create the link above) then Google now thinks that I "might" be interested in male incontinence. Just because Big Brother is watching, doesn't mean he is paying attention.

Watching what you watch is how you get to watch for free.

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