Back in 2004, I asked:
“What are we actually building here? A lot of people in my profession wear rose-colored glasses and believe we’re helping to make information free to the world, but some of the early proponents of television believed the same thing. Are we really just building the next version of TV, one even more powerful because it knows your name and shopping habits?”
I thought I was being cynical then, but now I’m not so sure. Google continues to carve out a huge share of the Internet advertising market, in large part by figuring out what we’re paying attention to. The quality of the content doesn’t really matter to them – only the number of eyeballs they can advertise to does. Sounds a lot like commercial TV, doesn’t it?
So far, has the Web been better than TV, or just more targeted? And is it really worth giving up so much privacy in order to get it?