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.)