Weighing Good and Bad

August 4th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We believe people know too much about us. Oh, not the things we post here — hard facts such as name, rank, and serial number. We realize they want all of this to target advertisements toward us. As we’ve said before, and as Adam L. Penenberg says in this Wired article:

Maybe, but I don’t even see advertising on the Internet. I tune it out, like, say, Yanni in an elevator. I also don’t understand why publishers aren’t more concerned about the integrity of their data — unless, of course, all they care about is the illusion of accuracy.

Of course there are ways to get around registration (including the born-of-frustration ones outlined in the article). We’ve included a few links below to help. Never let it be said that we don’t focus on public service. We get worked up because registration is annoying and inconsistent. We can’t remember things like passwords and user names (we try, but then along comes a site that requires something that falls outside our standard name-password-for-sites-like-these process). One of our biggest fears (topping, perhaps, the palm tree falling on our car during an earthquake one) is that we will lose the New York Times cookie we set in 2000. No clue what the user name or password is.

Print advertisers don’t really know the demographics of readers. We promise you, the Los Angeles Times, of which we are print subscribers, has no clue how much money we make, our politics, or where we shop. Which is fine because the last time we studied ads was when we were shopping for new cell phone service. We believe if the process (registration) is turning off the target audience (readers), then perhaps the process should be revisited. Yes, we get the economics. But when you build an online news site and nobody comes, does it still sell ads?

File Under: Square Pegs