Quote of the day
Those were the days...

All free, at the modest price of your privacy

Targeted marketing comes in so many forms these days. And to think I was a bit worried about this trend when there's services like Pudding Media (from Valleywag, via Adriana's Furl feed):

There's a new Skype competitor, dubbed ThePudding, on the Web. And ThePudding is completely free*. All you have to do is agree to let Pudding Media listen in on your calls. To compensate users for the breach of privacy, the company claims, "ThePudding uses breakthrough technology that makes your conversations fun and interesting." In other words, anyone using ThePudding will be served contextual ads based upon topics overheard in your conversation! It's like Google's Gmail, but for talking. Remember when we were freaked out by the idea of Google scanning our email to pick out relevant ads? And how we all got over it?

That's what Pudding Media CEO Ariel Maislos would have you believe, anyway. He explains, "The trade-off of getting personalized content versus privacy is a concept that is accepted in the world." Besides the firm is targeting youths, who judging from their MySpace and Facebook habits, aren't concerned with privacy. In other words, targeting the young and the weak.


I read about ThePudding the other day and am not a big fan of the idea.

GMail didn't trouble me as much, maybe because I have several e-mail addresses I can use and I felt the GMail offering was worth the 'price' as it was better than what HotMail was offering. (And GMail uses computers to scan my mail, not people.)

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