“Back in the day.” the older I get, it seems like “the day” is more of an ideal than an actual time. I know with the rate of change is certainly not as long ago as it used to be.
One of the things from back in the day was that you watched the commercials and only in Soviet Russia did the commercials watch you. (you’ll get the reference or you won’t)
For many of us, the better part of our childhood was spent quietly watching the commercials, talking during the show and getting yelled at for it.
The ability to fast forward through the commercials on TV as adults is still magical. Occasionally my wife points out that it’s live TV when I futility press the fast forward button ever harder in the hopes I don’t have to lose another three minutes to injectable face-lift medications.
With the advent of the Internet the questions of who pays for what has, for the most part, been settled for now.
Website content is generally free and no one gives it a second thought. We know/assume that the ads on the sites we visit are somehow what keeps the “lights on” for the site.
There are, of course, exceptions. Mainly broadcast content. (television and movies) Some traditional (read papers and magazines) media charge for access to their on line content if you aren’t on board already.
Back in the day the closest advertisers could get in the way of feedback was Neilson ratings and survey data.
The ways of tracking for marketing and research purposes has changed so very, very much since then.
Over this series of articles I’ll break down how this data gets collected, collated, sold and resold. And how you can limit your online presence of you wish as well as some more philosophical meanderings about a system that constantly re enforces your likes and world view while actively limiting things that are disagreeable.