Language has historically been butchered by politicians pushing their own agenda, but as networks get better at spreading information quickly, we are immersed in more information than we know what to do with, and more people are voting for ideas / spreading messages without even thinking through what they are voting for. I can't count how many times I have felt duped by supporting things that I later found out to be pure crap.
In a blog post Google tells us why they are buying DoubleClick:
In short, Googleâ€™s acquisition of DoubleClick will benefit all parties in the online advertising business, including advertisers, publishers, agencies and, most importantly, consumers.
Wow! The world is going to be better for EVERYONE!!! Gee those guys really are out to make the world a better place.
Corporate drivel has been around far longer than I have, but the fundamental changes that are occurring right now are due to people voting for causes without even thinking what their votes mean. Of course that has always happened, but now we have quick direct measurable feedback of how people reacted, searchable databases of past successful marketing campaigns, and a network quickly willing to go wherever potential revenue exists.
Networks are trying to capture and spread passion in ways that have never been possible before. Consider Google Earth Outreach, which allows non-profits to spread their messages on Google Earth. Every non-profit using this builds the Google brand, which helps Google make more money selling ads for Ponzi schemes, among other things.
Was that unfair? Perhaps, but the point is that even if we are a good judge of character it is hard to understand the full affect of our actions on a network so complex. Worse yet, marketers realize that people vote for many ideas without even thinking them through or reading them. Good headline...wow. So then people package information to cater to the hollow voting systems.
Marketers (like me) are creating more and more elegantly wrapped and packaged informational research studies that starts with the end goal, and collects whatever facts are necessary to justify them. Consider The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth, a study which came up with results like Nearly 58 percent said government should be doing more, not less. What should the government be doing more of? What question did they ask to get that result? Worse yet, even by calling that study crap (and linking to it) I just voted for it and gave it further credibility.
The endless drive toward efficiency by ad networks is hollowing out the viability of profitable content creation, while increasing the profit margins for those spreading remarkably biased misinformation.
It really doesn't matter what compartment we put ourselves in. Someone is willing to act as a leader, tell us what we want to hear, and display targeted ads. Should information agents look beyond popularity when considering the value of information? Will the web end up further fracturing society by making it too easy to find like-minded people who have little care for truth?
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