Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Advertising 2.0

RSS is disintermediating the www - no kidding - of course it is. The question is, why do consumers find this useful?

After all, RSS erases the utility consumers might derive from html, javascript, etc. I know a lot of you will disagree with me, but I think the reason is that RSS basically very efficiently destroys crappy and ever-nastier web tracking and ads.

Now, of course, the paradox is that RSS is just about to be hit by a deluge of ads itself.

And these ads are going to be even more costly, in terms of privacy, than simple (or behavioural) web ads.

That's because your feedreader know a hell of a lot more about you than your browser does, so it can target ads much more efficiently. Think about it this way - Google targets ads based on a few keywords you type in. Feedreaders can serve up ads based on all the info in the feed - that's a rich lode to mine for advertisers.

Now, of course, this may lay the groundwork for a truly disruptive scenario - one where ads are more beneficial to both consumers and advertisers, by being less nasty, but much better targeted. This is what I've called profile-based advertising.

Make no mistake, it's just around the corner - viz Google's recent RSS ads move is really a move to pre-empt the fairly significant number of start-ups and incumbents alike working on this.

The only question is - will it be disruptive in a way that's beneficial to consumers, to advertisers, or to both. I think the pendulum can swing either way, because feedreaders have a lot of control over consumers at the moment.

-- umair // 4:28 PM // 0 comments


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