Here's an interesting article about "adtech" -- those automated algorithms that companies like Google and Facebook use to spy on you and serve up advertisements that they think you will respond to. The major upshots are:
- Adtech is at best wildly ineffective, and at worst actively damaging, for brands that are trying to advertise.
- The core precepts of adtech is going to be illegal in Europe starting next year.
I'm not sure how accurate all this is -- it sounds a tad self-serving in favor of traditional advertising, so I take it with a grain of salt -- but I suspect there's a substantial grain of truth in it. It clarifies a distinction that the tech world has been trying very hard to blur, between direct sales and branding. It appears to me that adtech works a little for direct sales, but I suspect the article is right that it's inappropriate for serious branding.
I find myself ever more glad that Querki's business plan is specifically not built on the "spy on the users for purposes of advertising" model, which is looking ever more rickety. Asking people to pay for a service is old-fashioned, but it at least makes sense...