Random Indeed: A Blog

Transference About Groovy Things

Hurrah! Random Ads

Since using the “private” window in Firefox, and going “incognito” in Chrome, I have been alerted to new and wondrous items and experiences!  Previously, when search engines knew my preferences, they pushed to me:

  • Ads for items I had already purchased
  • Ads for similar items to those I had already purchased
  • Ads for items I had searched on behalf of work needs but had no interest in
  • Ads for items I had accidentally clicked on but had no interest in
  • Ads for items the ad algorithm thought I would like based on mining my…searches?....e-mails? This resulted in items like baby diapers (I’m beyond child-bearing days,) bikinis (um, no.), and a certain style of shirt that I do in fact like, but really prefer buying at Arc.

Now! Ah, now.  Now I receive ads for

  • Yummy looking chocolate peanut butter cups
  • Sales from major retailers
  • Announcement of new films, unmatched to perceived “tastes” on my part

The question for advertisers: Am I more apt to buy the randomly generated items?  I’m not sure.  But they do annoy me less. They don’t feel intrusive.  They look more like what they are: a necessary means of keeping my access to the Web free most of the time.  When I glance at them I don’t get that slightly sad  - “oh yes, that was generated by that night of searching when I was deeply depressed,” feeling, or that “I bought a toaster already!  Stop with all the toasters!” feeling. 

Of course we all do have the option of adjusting our ads.  But it’s an annoying process that doesn’t seem to stick.  (Do it once – do it again when you’re computer has been mysteriously refreshed at some point.)

So.  For now. Thank you Private, Icognito searches!  Hello Peanut Butter Cups!