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More patent fun – advertising

Google seeks RSS ad patent | The Register

Fantastic. Yet more protectionism of the blatantly obvious. I’m surprised that no-one’s pulling up the prior art from, say, campaign management and tracking in the mail outbound email systems. All of the major players offer the ability to encode each link so that you can track who clicked what, where in the mail, for a given offer code etc etc etc. Just because this is to be delivered by RSS rather than into our inboxen this is to be a new invention?

As an advertiser, I can only see this increasing costs. As a customer I simply await an ad filter for my news reader.

That cynicism aside I’ve noted that a number of feeds already include adverts – mainly where the site has an existing ad engine. These mainly seem to relate to alternatives or add-on sales. There’s a possible benefit to having in-feed ads that can help support blogs or other non-commerce sites. In the same way that Google’s ad inclusions can give a useful amount to highly-trafficked and well-converting sites, I can see how my RSS habits (i.e. skim through the feed, hardly visiting the sites any more) would reduce that revenue.

If ads keep chasing us like this then using the web will become evermore complex and demanding of the ‘humanoid’ common sense filters. Could even be as demanding as, gasp, talking to other people one day…