Saturday, August 14, 2010

Who Does Google Think I am?

For the record: I love the ladies, my lady in particular.  She would not love it if I were to help another lady with her pregnancy pledge to create yet another little lady.  My love of the ladies is from a distance - I don't want to be a lady or sound like one. [To be PC, every word in that sentence should have a footnote of "Not there's anything wrong with that."]

Google targets its text ads based on the content of your e-mails.  Facebook does similar things, based on your profile interests.  FB advertisers can target people who like a particular sports team, based on on demographic data they have collected on those fans.  Google's automated practice of reading your mail would probably result in a privacy panic if other companies did it, but we trust Google.

First there was the targeted Google Ad for with the Pregnancy Pledge, where I could price myself genetically and then apply to contribute genetically to furtherance of the species.  Or maybe they thought I was the woman who wanted the "vials," which gets us to:

I just got the text ad "Transgender Voice Surgery - - Travel To Korea For Cutting Edge Voice Feminization."  Not my thing.  Not really physically possible, I think.  I would be their great white male whale.  My voice would have to go up four octaves.  Maybe I'm wavering when I think of it.  Two octaves could enable me to speak at a normal volume.  Imagine the bass on the car of a guy who has the entire value of what would be his 401K installed as hardware in his car.  My head resonates with itself like that bass.  So anyway, my voice sounds loud to me.  But it also sounds male, and for a guy who can barely do one pull up, the little things take a difference.

I still remember a friend's horror as a teenager, as he described receiving some sample feminine products in the mail because some database decided he was female.  He threw them in his sister's room and ran.

We're fragile, Google.  Respect our masculinity.

The Wall Street Journal just did a long series on how web sites collect huge amounts of data and cross reference it with more data to effectively target consumers.  If they know what they are doing then I don't know me.  Or if I do know me (and I spend a fair amount of time with me), I have effectively created a privacy shield so dense that no marketer can truly apprehend me.  If I weren't me, I would pay to be me.  It would be a monthly fee to someone who would keep the Z-list paparazzi out of my life. 

In the end, I'm sure I'm making it worse by clicking on all of these weird ads to find out what's going on.