Internet marketing: More evidence

We must have all seen it. Make any search online, and pretty soon those pop-up advertisements will appear on your email sidebars, or on other websites that you frequent. You will likely receive emails from suppliers of those products too, as well as all those ‘buying suggestions’ from the likes of Amazon.

There has been a lot of discussion about the topic of Internet Privacy recently. I think it is safe to assume that there has never been any. The ubiquitous ‘Cookies’ know their stuff, and everything we do is tracked, down to the most obscure search. Have a look at your Spam folder on WordPress, for example. When I bought some toys for our grandson, the Spam started to include offers for things like stair gates. After I searched online for wood stain to be used on exterior woodwork, I received many Spam emails about new fencing, garden gates, and spray-painting devices.

I suppose it comes down to the old adage that if you are doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear. The problem is, what is considered to be wrong? When I do research on ISIS or other organisations for a blog post, does that flag me as a terrorist suspect? If I look into the rise of Nazi Germany to get background for a short story, do I become associated with the Far Right? Once we log on to our computers, write emails, blog posts, or do any Internet searches at all, we open up the inner workings of our minds to anyone who cares to look, or to buy that information from others.

Some people believe that by using complicated software, they can conceal their activities from the ‘seekers’. They also use non-Microsoft platforms, and never use search engines like Google. They have ‘encrypted’ emails, and even go so far as to subscribe to redirected servers, in the hope of hiding their location. Trouble is, we all need one basic tool to access the Web. A phone line. Once you plug that into the back of your router, you have no control over what is monitored on it.

So, stop worrying about it, I suppose. It is intrusive, it can be annoying, and not unlike someone being able to have installed an implant in your head. The only way to avoid it is to unplug your computer, and throw it away. And it doesn’t seem likely that we are going to do that, does it?

On a lighter note, you may recall the two posts I published earlier about The Beetley Bra?
If any of you doubt that the Internet is monitored, look no further than the email I received today.

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60 thoughts on “Internet marketing: More evidence

  1. As the prices of the internet keep rising I’ve often thought of cancelling out of the madness it sometimes offers. Having to yearly buy virus protection, because simply turning on the computer can become very sick.. or the endless hours spent when I could be outside shoveling snow in the winter or mowing the lawn in the spring. The novels I’ve written are all waiting on their finalization and the books I’ve bought need reading. Now, that I’ve canceled my t.v. and moved to Netflix solely for entertainment I find there is very little to interest me even there. They are continually offering up shows to watch from my past viewing, instead of letting me just pick for myself. So much to weed through to get to something of interest. Hum… but how would I cope in a world that has completely gone via the web?

    But, without this technology we would have never met so to speak, and I’d not be leaving this odd comment on your blog. Hum .. In the end it’s not all bad and I am thankful for your friendship…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t watch TV on the Internet at all, Laura. I still use the ‘free’ channels (subject to the BBC license fee.) I am pleased to hear that your novels are finished, and wish you success with them. Our broadband prices keep going up too, but all aspects of life online (for me and Julie) still make it worthwhile. I do sometimes imagine life without TV or Internet, just reading books, and watching films. But I would dearly miss the interaction, and the online ‘conversations’. It took me a long time to get into the 21st century, and I don’t want to abandon it just yet.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed Pete. If I think something is spam now, I mark it as spam and then delete. I’ve had ones that look like they are leaving a comment on your blog and then find out they’re selling insurance, or worse, an ‘adult’ site.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that it’s a lost battle. With my research for books and translations I get some very weird e-mails sometimes but hey, it comes with the territory. I’m off to Spain and will be helping at several book events so might not be around that much but I’ve left some posts programmed. Be well, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The bra is a gift that keeps on giving, as they say!🀣 The one time where those annoying pop up ads made you – and us – laugh! I think about this kind of thing, as well- and console myself with the thought that if people are watching me, they’d soon get bored to tears. But, of course, writers do reasearch weird things sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. They are mostly amusing, John. If they really bothered me, I could pay to go ‘ad free’. I generally ignore them, but I am interested by how quickly they latch on to any Internet search.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You sure have to be careful these days! People are always complaining about the government watching our every move, but it’s really Google, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, etc, etc. My better-half knows exactly what I’ve been shopping for by the ads next to our email page!! So much for an Anniversary surprise this year!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do quite a bit of research for my detective novel, and, of course, the cookies respond to that with relevant advertisement pop-ups. It’s annoying, but sometimes also amusing. You just have to wonder how effective this cookie business really is. Maybe there’s a “Cookie Cutter” program out there that will cut this marketing ploy off at the source….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to give you a laugh, Kim. I don’t think they even know which email addresses or blogs are male or female, as such. They just have some device that sends out their stuff in its millions.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha! love the ending! So true! Use a search engine to plan a vacation, look for a restaurant, research refrigerators and you are bombarded with ads for the next month. What puzzled me this week was on Facebook, where I kept getting ads about this new product to erase wrinkles with lots of before and after pictures! I do not believe in such products (well maybe a little) and have rarely if ever researched them so I have to wonder if they looked at my face (it is ‘face’book after all) and determined I really needed it! (I don’t think I do. Yet.) πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I try very hard to forget about this all, because I get too stressed and anxious when I overthink about the all-seeing Big Brother. I tell myself that I’m not the only fish in the sea, that everyone gets tracked on the internet and in fact there are people who willingly put much more information about themselves online. I avoid targeted ads and content by using anonymous mode, so I’m not reminded that every step I make online is recorded somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, RW. Not much point being stressed and anxious about something you cannot avoid. As for being anonymous, this is your IP address, provided to me by WordPress, along with your ‘undisclosed’ email address, in order to approve your comment. 109.80.106.— (I have left out the last three digits, so as not to worry you. But you get the point.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  9. I know you are not a fan of Facebook. Recently I got a lecture about how to target my election campaign to voters in this Congressional District on Facebook. With the trend of people using the computer to interact with sites and people with whom they agree and not communicate with those on, say, the other side of the issue, the ability of information buyers to focus their advertising might well move in a more inclusive direction and use the same information to subtly try to work at changing people’s exposures to carefully structured β€œalternative” information and points of view. This kind of reverse targeting would have given you a different set of responses to your β€œbra” blogs.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Theo. I don’t know much about Facebook advertising, but I have no doubt it will be necessary for you to engage on that, and Twitter, to get your message across to the modern voter. Using the trends to target groups on similar wavelengths, like blogging communities, could be a bad assumption on their point, due to the varied and international nature of blogging.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  10. Well that made me laugh Pete, I often get emails advising me that I now need Viagra and the latest thing I need is an indoor puppy potty trainer πŸ™„ I assume I get the viagra ones because of the age thing, but am bemused as to why they think I have a puppy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps because you lost Skye, they are trying to plant the suggestion in your mind.
      I get lots of emails about American cars. Not only can I not afford them, I wouldn’t be able to buy them here anyway. But I don’t write about cars, so presume they are picking up on my occasional anti-American pieces. It appears random, I know, but there is undoubtedly some method in their interrogation of our habits.
      Glad you enjoyed the Sports Bra thing. That gave me a laugh! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Back in ther day I was hit hard by the old “COINTELPRO” program by my government….so I make it as easy as I can so the fools do not have to hurt themselves trying to get the “skinny” on chuq. Plus NSA has been monitoring the citizens since at least 1969…if they want you they will get you….have a good day my friend….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember reading about ‘key stroke programmes’ when they first started. That made my hair stand on end at the time, not easy, when you have little left on top!
      Like you, I just type away, and think, “To hell with it”.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That had me laughing when I got to the end, but a very good point made.
    Eddy Winko is a result of the internet, invented to make me less identifiable, but non the less still snooped upon. Personally I think we have little to fear, there simply are not enough people employed in snooping to snoop on us all, we are simply the victim of algorithms looking for key words and I have to say using the darkweb to hide something is probably a sure fire way to be caught. Even the security services tend to report what people have done after the event, after they have had time to trawl through the masses of data that is collected.
    As someone recently said they didn’t see the point in advertising based on your search as you have normally bought what you want by the time the new adverts appear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right about the advertising. We bought a new iron from Amazon, and they bombarded me with adverts for steam irons for months afterwards. It didn’t seem to occur to them that having just bought one, we were no longer in the market for that device.
      I don’t really worry at all mate, just got amused by the Sports Direct advert.
      As for your anonymity, we know that didn’t work. It only took me a short time to ‘discover’ your real name, by looking at your blog and email address etc. And I wasn’t even trying!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The ‘Russian Wives’ is definitely an age-related thing, Elizabeth. I started getting those emails as soon as I turned 50, and they keep coming. As for the ‘Hot Asian girls’, those sites do not seem to be gender-restricted, as I doubt they even look at the names, just send out bulk emails daily to the millions of addresses they have bought (legitimately) from the providers.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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