Home > Computing, Opinions > Ad tracking, and how to do it right

Ad tracking, and how to do it right

Now, long time readers (I know you’re out there. Show yourselves!) will realize that I’m not a very commercial guy, being in favor of free data and Creative Commons and new patronage, where the community at large sponsors their favorite artists by donating money to them. Part of it has to do with the fact that most ads, regardless of how manipulative¬† they are…. are just retarded. It’s to the point that I (an amateur at advertising) think I can do it less offensively, if not necessarily as effectively.

This one is a few years old, but I remember seeing it, and other similarly themed ads like “Is it real or fake”, and everyone’s favorite, “The ugliest dog ever” plaguing Youtube for a few months. Now, Google has an option where users have advertisements tailored to their needs, but I’ve turned that off. I imagine that their adwords and targeted messages probably have all sorts of desperate pleas and painfully obvious scams floating about them.

Now, as I see it, there are two solutions, and both of them involve filtration by humans. One of them is to have the operator of a site choose which ads display or don’t display, which is one of the main functionalities of Project Wonderful. Obviously, this only really works on specialized sites like webcomic hosting, but a competent user is going to end up with ads that are less obtrusive and more interesting to viewers than on average.

The other, more general solution is just to put a like/dislike toolbar under your advertisements, and let the viewers choose which advertisements they want. Now, if this is implemented, you’re probably going find that dislikes significantly outnumber likes, which makes sense, especially if you haven’t been paying much attention to what you advertise. But even then, you’ll have some chance to determine what kind of advertisement offends your audience the most, and shift towards less blatantly idiotic adverts. This would work better on more diverse, heavily traffic’ed sites, like news portals or Youtube, mainly since the increased mass of community would reduce the effects of vote manipulation.

“Less obtrusive” and “More interesting” seem contradictory, perhaps, but an unending stream of garbage advertisements is going to drive the more intelligent viewers away and reduce brand loyalty. As you should know, the elites have all the money; pushing them away is going to destroy your support, unless you somehow manage to get enough pay-per-view rates to finance your website. That’s right, get those autorefresh scripts out.

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