Stumbling for your dollar.

From time to time, I’ll waste countless amounts of time on the interwebs clicking the “Stumble” button on my Mozilla Firefox toolbar and magically, a website will show up to my like or dislike. I can then choose whether or not I find it browse worthy and continue on stumbling upon random webpages with another click of the “Stumble” button. This free service is offered through the website StumbleUpon, which takes the liberty of sifting through websites based upon your interests. I have been blindly using this service without even realizing that you can actually share your finds with other people–making it ultimately a social bookmarking site, but that’s not what I’m addressing, so we’ll just skip that part.

I read this article, “StumbleUpon launches personalized ad recommendation engine” and while, I understand that advertising is just another annoying part of life that we all must put up with, I feel like this is just going a little too far. It’s already bad enough that we are bombarded with advertisements everywhere else in our daily lives from the commute to school to just a quick run down to the grocery store. When I get home, I would rather not be spoon-fed advertisements during my daily browsing sessions, although we already put up with that anyways. BUT by implementing this new personalized ad recommendation feature to StumbleUpon only heightens the problem. I fear that we will never fully get away from advertisements and while it is good for business, it is just plain annoying to click out of all those pop-up ads (despite having pop-up blockers enabled on my browser) not to mention scary that the things that you like show up randomly on the sidebars of all your searches. It could get a little embarrassing if say, I had all these Hannah Montana ads show up in the google search sidebar when a friend of mine used my computer…. (Oh, and trust me, I am NOT a fan of Hannah Montana.)

StumbleUpon launches personalized ad recommendation engine

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3 thoughts on “Stumbling for your dollar.

  1. As an advertising/ pr major, I was condemned by one of my professors for something everyone is guilty of, changing the channel during commercials, or DVRing and essentially eliminating commercials. Now that I think about it, my job is going to be creating those ads, and I feel i should be giving the same respect to other advertisers as I would want. But, anyways, advertisements are a part of everyday life and have been for awhile. We wouldn’t find out about the new box office hit, the newest eco- friendly hybrid, or the best toothpaste for your teeth without them. I feel this new media tool is a good addition for the advertising business. I know I get annoyed when facebook posts ads for things that interest me which I admittedly fall for and click on, but I’ve also come across a few gems that way. I feel that the pop up is a little phased out and now websites give us the choice to click on what we want and what ads we want to view. I don’t feel this as a burden really, seeing as we basically have the free will to go to the sites (of our interest) if we want, and if we don’t, it’s basically more clutter on the page.

  2. Like nkacz08, I have an advertising history (marketing minor) and I somewhat disagree with both the post and the comment. I have never used StumbleUpon, but like most everyone, I have been on Web sites where ads are personalized toward users, much in the same way TV ads are personalized toward the target market of the TV show. I don’t think that it’s wrong of Ad/PR majors (or marketing minors in my case) to ignore Web site ads or fast forward through commercials. On the contrary, I think it’s more of a learning experience to find out what you are ignoring and why you are ignoring them. If this is a field you enjoy and you don’t like ads, then surely the average joe is going to click through the ads and fast forward and it’s up to us to figure out how to get through to them.

    In regards to StumbleUpon’s personalized ads, it’s hardly new technology and I actually like when web sites are funded by ads. On web sites I like, I often click on the ads (even if I have no interest in the product at all) because the web site gets more money if the ads have more click-throughs.

    The flip side of NOT having ads is having to pay for web sites we all visit frequently or have that web site close down due to lack of funding. I have experience with both of these things and it’s not great. I can deal with sidebar ads and pop up ads so long as the quality of the web site is free and worth the hassle.

  3. While I can see how ads help build revenues, for certain websites, I’d much rather be able not be barraged with multiple windows and sidebars, but kudos to you for clicking on the ads. Maybe its not just the ads that are bothering me, but rather the jumbled webpage layouts some of these sits have. *sigh*

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