Tuesday, May 29, 2007

If you still think traditional mass media has a future...

Google's announcement of plans to be so good at knowing what you like that it'll be able to become your personal advisor should send a shudder down the spine of any media company relying on interruptive ads of any description for its survival.

Google' plans to build the most comprehensive database of personal information ever. And while civil libertarians are jumping up and down, google is insisting it will all be on a strictly volunteered basis. ie share more - get more back - in the language of the commons...

According to the Belfast Telegraph: "The ultimate aim is to make Google so personal that it can target people known to be interested in certain products or services just from their Google activities. It is expected that one day users could ask a computer 'What should I do today?' or 'Which job should I take?' and it will tell them the answer."

To be fair, this is just adsense writ large and rather more cleverly. The concept is the same: Deliver things to people they actually want.

Are google in an arms race with engagement marketeers? More likely, it's part of the engagement solution.

What is certain is that a printed ad in a mass media publication, a banner ad not personally targeted on anything but the most niche websites, a TV ad running amid the 10pm news... none of it can hope to get anything close to the power of this.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?