While writing a reply to a commentator on my ‘Rant in Czech Minor’ it became quite clear to me that we have come to a close end of the wave of freedom that we have recently been experiencing on the Internet (ie. blogs replacing old methods of news gathering, etc.). The developments in the fields of streaming, torrents, youtube, social networking sites and such make it fairly obvious that the fishing net is once again over us and it’s too late to jump out.

The example I propose here caught my attention today.

From E-Bay:

Customising Your eBay Experience. We’re rolling out programs and working with partners that help make our sites and services, and some of the ads you see on the web, more relevant and useful to you. Naturally, because we’re a transparent community, we will provide you with choices about these programmes. You’ll notice a new preference now available in My eBay -: named AdChoice -: that lets you tell us whether you want us to use the information we have about you to customize the ads you see. You’ll be able to sign in and change your advertising preferences in My eBay at any time. In some cases, we may also use information from other companies to select the right audiences for our promotions. In the revised Privacy Policy, you’ll see a new Marketing section that describes in more detail our collection and use of information for these and all our marketing programmes.

Now, just last year I read a book by Douglas Rushkoff called Coercion: The Professional Persuaders and Why We Listen and one of the parts I remember most clearly was one dealing with Rushkoff belief that the technology was already there, at the time of writing (2000), to use on-line targeted advertising, which would be sophisticated to a level where ads would not only identify you by name (ie. Buy this product, Mr. so and so), but
would also maximize the potential of you buying such product by identifying your previous choices with utmost accuracy.
I am very well acquainted with the targeting formula that Amazon or Google use, but it seems that the companies who are fairly quickly becoming dominant (and controlling) over the Internet, deem us ready for a new advancement in persuasion in the on-line marketing field.