Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Questions for 2007 from the NYT

The NYT Bits blog has some fun "Questions We Thought, But Didn't Ask, in 2007" ([1] [2]).

My favorites, first on Web advertising:
I am married with a house. Why do I see so many ads for online dating sites and cheap mortgages?

Should I be happy that I see those ads? It means Internet advertisers still have no idea who I am.
Then on Facebook:
As my number of Facebook friends inevitably expands, with second and third-tier acquaintances and complete strangers joining my network (I am too nice to deny them), doesn't the value of my "social graph" decline?

If Facebook users routinely say they ignore the ads on the site, how has the company become so valuable?

If Internet supremacy is inherently ephemeral ... why isn't their inevitable declines baked into the stratospheric valuations of today's online leaders?
On a related note, Saul Hansell has some "New Questions for a New Year" with some harsh thoughts on the search giants, including Google's inability to "create a significant advertising business for any format other than text ads", Yahoo's failure to become "the best company to work for" which is leaving them with nothing but "a site that is just an old habit in need of changing", and Microsoft's need to go "through MSN and Windows Live with an honest assessment of their business prospects" and determine "how many of the new initiatives" are "rational" investments. As for MySpace, Saul snipes, "Does anyone care anymore?"

1 comment:

JX said...

Regarding the question about advertising and houses and marriage: I, for one, am glad that the advertisers don't know too much about me.

On the other hand... when I look at many of the senseless AdSense ads out there (you know, the generic stuff that pops up when Google AdSense really don't find anything that matches well), I sometimes wonder why Google doesn't peek into my search history and present me with an ad that matches.

So I guess I'm a little ambivalent here.