I’m having trouble imagining even more targeted advertising,

but that is apparently a flaw in my imagination, not an actual limit to what is possible.

Already, if I shop at a site like overstock.com, and look at, say, earrings – for the next several weeks about a third of the webpages I visit will have banner ads from overstock showing the exact earrings I was looking at. It all seems a little creepy and big-brother-ish to me.

On the other hand, I can see how it might work out well on an informational site. It could come in handy. Say for example that I did develop my “Adult Learning Methodologies” webpage into an actual fully developed tool. If User Smith logged on and looked up a lot of information about Case Studies, while User Jones surfed around the guided discussions area, then maybe the next time User Smith logged on the site could one day display any updated Case Studies posted since his last visit, while Jones would immediately see new posts about discussion groups. Hmmm…

It’s not quite the same, of course. To really mirror the kinds of targeted advertising/content presentation that the Yahoo! guy and his comrades were talking about in that Podcast, it would have to be true that when User Smith visited other sites, content about Case Studies would appear in sidebars, pop-ups, or banner ads. That goes right back to the creepy.

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