h a l f b a k e r y
"Not baked goods, Professor; baked bads!" -- The Tick
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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
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
||Even better than visiting sites would be a
of said cookies that you could visit on line,
and manipulate yourself. For example, cookies
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
||I have seen these cookies. There is no reason
could not be assembled. But could it be possible
hack cookies for fun, such that new, unsuspected
||//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.
||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.
||Cookies are just text files, no? How would they be selective to one retailer?
||I like this idea. See the web thru the eyes of another and foil advertisers at the same time.
||//and foil advertisers at the same time
||Assuming the advert is by the Bacofoil company, that could get very recursive....
||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.