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Chapter 14. promoting your site > types of ads - Pg. 327

promoting your site 327 Of course, this isn't far afield from what newspapers and magazines have always done--creating a weekly section on Autos, or running ads near related content. The model works well online and is applied widely across portals and news sites. user targeting Online ads can also be targeted toward specific users, based either on the profile they've created with a particular site or more generic facts about their computer. Most user targeting is still quite primitive--focused mainly on simple facts like computer type. Be- cause web servers can detect what platform (Windows, Macintosh, Unix) a user is on, ads can be displayed to one platform or the other. So Apple Computer could--if it wanted--show its ads only to people who already use a Mac. Eventually, though, user targeting will become far more sophisticated, as our ability to collect and analyze data on individual users grows. And it's bound to raise a few legal and ethical eyebrows. On a personal level, I'm deeply conflicted about these developments. On one hand, I'm concerned about the privacy issues raised and about corporate control of personal information. On the other hand, I love getting ads that are targeted to my needs. If I could live in a world where all ads catered to my personal interests in historical fiction, strong coffee, rugged winter wear, and Cynthia Rowley dresses, I'd be a very happy shopper. Except, as I said, for that whole privacy thing. types of ads Since October 1994--when HotWired first launched and brought advertising to the web--the basic unit of online advertising has been the banner ad, a simple strip along the top of a web page. Over