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Use cookies to make websites look better

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No one actually looks at website banner ads (those things down the side, and across the top of some websites which are usually unconnected with the content of the website itself). Rather, they are a sort of ambient decoration to your online existence, like a digital wallpaper encouraging you to lose weight and shop at Amazon.

Thankfully though, banner ads are becoming more targetted, and the banner ads you see will be different to those your friends see. This is because they are triggered by the content of the cookies stored on your computer, the slightly illogical rationale for this being that if you have shopped at a certain website, that website should then bombard you with banner ads, despite you having demonstrated that you are already aware of its offerings.

Anyway - it is of course obvious that proper management of the cookies on your computer can be used to control the placement of banner ads on websites you visit; you can control the 'wallpaper' of your online experience. For example, let us imagine someone who likes to look at attractive young women in expensive underwear. All that this hypothetical person would have to do would be to visit an online lingerie provider, put a few items in their 'shopping cart' and then close that browser tab. The presence of a cookie from this website indicating that they had nearly bought some skimpy underwear would then result in other websites displaying banner ads showing lingerie-clad women.

This idea then is to properly industrialise and control this process through an interface which can write cookies to your computer and change sets of cookies at a single click, depending on who might be looking over your shoulder (e.g. You could go from a cookie set which would cause lingerie ads to be shown to one which would cause gardening supply ads to be shown).
hippo, Dec 14 2014


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Annotation:







       Even better than visiting sites would be a collection of said cookies that you could visit on line, acquire, and manipulate yourself. For example, cookies from other sites that you bring to your own, bestowing them on unsuspecting visitors.   

       Or see how other folks live: acquire a collection of cookies typical of a demographic you want to explore and see how your browsing experience changes.   

       I have seen these cookies. There is no reason they could not be assembled. But could it be possible to hack cookies for fun, such that new, unsuspected properties emerge?
bungston, Dec 14 2014
  

       //they are triggered by the content of the cookies stored on your computer, the slightly illogical rationale for this being that if you have shopped at a certain website, that website should then bombard you with banner ads, despite you having demonstrated that you are already aware of its offerings.//   

       You know what, you're right.
Were I trying to advertise online, I might well wish to only show adverts to people who hadn't already visited the site. At least for a while. It might make the advertising budget go further.
Perhaps this already happens, and we just don't notice it.
People really complain about being tracked when they notice the ads 'stalking' them. I wonder whether they'd mind this opposite. It would be exactly the same information being retained, but it seems quite genteel.
Loris, Dec 14 2014
  

       Yes that might already happen, I don't know though how much visibility an online retailer has of the cookies written by other retailers which are stored on your computer. If they're able to see all the cookies you've got they could do lots of very sophisticated analysis...

In researching this idea, I've seen a link between visiting an online retailer and then subsequent banner ads from that same online (lingerie) retailer. I don't know whether the banner ad software can see all your cookies or whether just some are visible to it.
hippo, Dec 16 2014
  

       Cookies are just text files, no? How would they be selective to one retailer?
bungston, Dec 16 2014
  

       I like this idea. See the web thru the eyes of another and foil advertisers at the same time.
the porpoise, Dec 16 2014
  

       //and foil advertisers at the same time   

       Assuming the advert is by the Bacofoil company, that could get very recursive....
not_morrison_rm, Dec 16 2014
  

       If we used websites to improve cookie baking, we could complete the circle. Hmm... websites that shared recipes... that seems novel...   

       Then the singularity happened.
RayfordSteele, Dec 16 2014
  


 

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