Thursday, December 13, 2007
Bread Crumbs, Worked for Hanzel and Gretel, but Not for the Web
As usual, there I was driving on I-25 listening to NPR... You know, National Public Radio... Moving on, they had a story about how users leave bread crumbs every time they visit sites on the web. This gets used in marketing research to see what users are looking at and what they want so ads are created for certain pages to draw these customers in. Very complicated and sneaky stuff. Well, there are lots of users that don't want to leave bread crumbs. This is an invasion of privacy to some. Ask.com has created a way to search without leaving bread crumbs. This has users ecstatic, but advertisers not so much. The bread crumbs gave advertisers a great way to do marketing research and figure out their target market's browsing habits. I, personally, don't want people to know what I'm browsing for... not that I need to hide it or anything like that... Continuing to move on... Many users don't realize they are being watched. I didn't know until I heard the report on NPR. With more and more people learning about this, issues and protests are coming out. Maybe, advertisers will figure out how to do their research without the aid of bread crumbs and users will feel better knowing they are not being watched.