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Thursday, March 01, 2007

So, this is rather...specific

This was the pop-up on my opening screen. Coincidence? Or have these things gotten more sophisticated?

A few - well, ten - years ago I was in the mood to buy a house. I started looking around, checking out mortgage calculators and real estate listings. After a while I started noticing that a lot of the pop-up ads on my Internet Explorer seemed to be geared towards someone shopping for a house. Now, maybe this is the law of selective attention in action; maybe these ads had been there the whole while, but because I was on the market for a house I noticed them. Or maybe every site I had visited had deposited a cookie that could be viewed by some ad-targeting program - so that if, say, I had been visiting a lot of travel sites, I would start getting ads for vacation destinations.

(I never did buy a house back then. That was when my grandmother let me know that she wanted me to buy her house. Which I eventually did.)

Thing is, I haven't been looking for a job online. I've mentioned my situation on my blog, and in some e-mails, and in some comments on other blogs - but that's it. So if this isn't a coincidence, how did an ad-targeting program learn I am now on the market?

3 comments:

Lauren said...

Maybe they know we're friends, and since I am looking for jobs online... they automatically assume that you must be too. :)

hedera said...

Nobody gives coincidence enough credit. You've seen these ads before. You just didn't notice them because you weren't looking for a job. Good luck, by the way.

George said...

Wow ...

I was just thinking that, hedera.

Brother H - If you are willing to relocate to southeast Virginia I may be able to help you with work.