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    • An essay by J. Paul Duplantis from EmergentWeb.org

      I guess I am on this kick again. Just can't shake it. I wrote an essay back in March on this and the continued barrage of nonrelevant ads into my digital footprint is keeping the argument alive for me. I believe I must have seen this ad from HostGator 50 times on different media platforms in the last week. I have to ask - what in the hell does this have to do with me. 

      Not the service. I actually might be in the market for a service like this is in the future. No~ the advertisement. Granted, this ad may speak to the interests of many out there which is fantastic. No judgment whatsoever. It just doesn't speak to me. It actually turns me off the service. Are there any ads that do the same thing for you? They are lost opportunities for engagement in my mind. I could see the necessity of shotgun ads in the past before technology could tune images and moving images to my interests but here we are knocking on the doorstep of 2020 (The future by all accounts) and I am met with this? 

      How do you solve this? You allow me to keep my interests stored in a personal and private silo where advertisers have to knock on my door and ask my explicit permission to advertise to me. I would say yes as long as they met the criteria for providing advertisement of services that match the interests I designated. And if there were an AI assistant in my silo, I might even be open to discovering interests I never thought of before and therefore related products and services. I argue under this model, businesses who care enough to understand their customers could increase sales. 

      So now HostGator would be competing for my interests rather than my clicks. Could they create a library of ads built around an ecosystem of interests that could be aligned with my personal silo? In the near future, yes. But not until personal silos are a thing. More of a chicken and egg argument. This is the reason why in my opinion it is important to create technologies where my interests and activities hide behind a personal silo. Build this and they will come (hopefully). Tim Berners Lee and Inrupt are working on personal silos through their Solid POD framework and I know others are working on similar tech. 

      Unless we would like to keep the doors of our cars, our homes, and our bank accounts open permanently, I just don't know why we would want to keep the doors of our experiences open. It will never be perfect but once we begin to regain control of these experiences, I believe the opportunities for engagement and commercial transactions are limitless. They would just serve the interests of the consumer more than the provider. But isn't that still a win for all involved? Is it advertising if we are interested? Wouldn't this change in perception be healthy for purveyors of goods and services?

      One way to find out. Let's build it. What do WE have to lose???

    • Paul,

      Businesses in general tend to get locked into mindsets that cause them to not be innovative in many areas of their operations. Some businesses like Kodak have failed to look ahead. One of the reasons that Google Panda had the effect that it did was because businesses focused on the short-term (keywords) instead of the long term (interesting fresh content).

      One of the main reasons that Univac in the 1960s failed to outpace IBM in market share was because businesses were invested in punch cards and weren't interested in the technological superiority of the Univac system.

      About the only thing that really succeeds in getting the corporate world's attention is when their user base begins to dwindle or when a disruptive technology acquires users at a faster rate of speed than the industry's long term participants.

      My reason for saying this, is that I think that focusing on the user base is more likely to produce results than focusing on the industry providers.

      I don't know whether the browser known as Brave will ever outpace Google Chrome (especially since it uses the same engine) but just as Google disrupted Yahoo and Altavista so also I think that disrupting the internet advertisement industry will begin with a newcomer and not with the entrenched players.

      Added: I think that the advertising industry has demonstrated repeatedly that it cannot be trusted to keep the information which it gathers secret. Even if a company is trustworthy if it gets bought, the new parent company may exploit what was previously protected.

    • Businesses in general tend to get locked into mindsets that cause them to not be innovative in many areas of their operations.

      I couldn't agree with you more. Specifically something I am writing on currently.

      About the only thing that really succeeds in getting the corporate world's attention is when their user base begins to dwindle or when a disruptive technology acquires users at a faster rate of speed than the industry's long term participants.

      Again, just spot on. The users are the ones who will drive this change. Provide tools to let them shine without taking away the incentive for providers with consumers interests at heart to grow and we could see this disruption or better yet an evolution.

      As far as the Brave browser, I have been giving it a chance for the last several months and it just seems to be slow. I have been moving over to Mozilla a little more lately as I know they are working on quite a few privacy controls. Knowing Mozilla grew from Netscape who lost the browser wars but is now dedicated to an open and decentralized approach is interesting to me. I also liked their response to the Contract for The Web in sharing their concern for Big Tech signing the contract without any means to hold them accountable.

      At the same time, we would like to see a clear method for accountability as part of the signatory process, particularly since some of the big tech platforms are high profile signatories. This gives more power to the commitment made by signatories to uphold the Contract about privacy, trust and ensuring the web supports the best in humanity.

      We decided not to sign the Contract but would consider doing so if stronger accountability measures are added. In the meantime, we continue Mozilla’s work, which remains strongly aligned with the substance of the Contract. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2019/11/28/mozilla-and-the-contract-for-the-web/

      You make great points here. Thank you for sharing.