I know I should probably care about continually losing more privacy in the virtual world of the Internet, but in reality… I don’t. Sure, I understand the right and need for privacy, but I also believe the only practical business model that presents a possible win-win while improving personal lives in a very practical manner is targeted marketing.
Personally, I have no fear of embracing a web-wide identity… it might actually enhance children’s ability to identify anonymous predators by reducing the total volume of anonymous users. Perhaps society could adopt a cultural paradigm that anonymous Internet users are politically incorrect… sort of a blackball effect. But really, what’s wrong with being targeted by marketing? I would rather be presented relevant ads than meaningless ones. If the ad informs me of a product or service which I may find useful, then I consider it an advantage. I have the free will to ignore, take no action, or make a purchase. In the bigger picture, it’s not like we have a choice that includes NO advertising. I fear it’s either pertinent ads that might possibly offer a value or a stream of errant random ads.

I suspect there will soon be a wide variety of interconnected community platforms offering innovative ways to improve our lives. Friends and family will commonly communicate via streaming quality webcams networked with large plasma screens. People can use their cell phones to start the coffee pot or turn the tv on moments before walking in the door. I liken the upcoming Internet revolution to a desktop PC vs. the benefits I receive from the computer in my car… better performance, better fuel economy, less emissions, etc. The current Internet is a desktop. It’s great to explore, utilize in an active manner, but I’m anxious to receive the passive benefits from the many new user-customized applications possible with the information superhighway.

It seems practical to consolidate the entire spectrum of web applications into a central control with an Internet-wide identity… a virtual address for all to see. Of course, there will always be faceless anonymous users. But for the rest of us… throw out your welcome mat. Company’s coming for a virtual visit. You may even see a Netflix ad targeting you for a cool chick flick to watch before bedtime. smile There are more and more homes, gardens, farms, etc. cropping up on Facebook every day. We can now shape our virtual experience in almost limitless fashion. We can live on a farm, in a fairy garden, or be 1920’s gangsters. We can live virtually, however we choose. Let’s extend the benefits of the Internet into our personal lives.

The future is bright. We need to consider the very real possibility that targeted marketing presents opportunities of gaining much more than we lose. Besides, targeted marketing isn’t new. It’s been a part of advertising since the beginning. Companies choose magazines, tv and radio stations, etc., according to their demographics. Deal with it.

I am certainly thankful for the right to have this discussion. That’s what America is all about. Throw in a cup of left-wing. Add about 8 oz. of right-wing with just a pinch out of the middle… and we’ve got a fair concoction of cautious optimism. On this matter, I’ll be optimistic… you be cautious. wink Together we can move humanity forward to achieving its dream of world peace, prosperity and good health. A world wide web of barrier-free capitalistic entrepreneurship will be the economic machine to get the job done.

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