Great ideas are hatched over pie. True story: Twitter happened over pie (ed: not true).
So over pie with Dan Sinker & Thomas Levine, I brought up a nascent idea I’ve been joking around the past few weeks: an ad network (with real ads mined from real historical documents) for businesses which no longer exist. Really this is part of a bigger NYPL / secret journalism organization which will not yet be named project to mine historical ads for POI’s, but the joke clicked.
And then things got a little too real when one of us joked it should be in the possible CSV storefront.
So here now, in no uncertain terms, is how you would build your own real-time, old-time ad bidding aparatus to demonstrate how ads are sent to you as you browse the web today:
- People walk into an actual storefront. As they browse or check out they’re handed an actual newspaper. The ads in the newspaper are stamped on (with actual stamps) by a person!
- In the minutes before you get your newspaper, there are several advertisers who are looking to buy from users like you. Your personal profile details put up for an auction in a back room trading floor in the rear of the venue.
- The store collects all kinds of data on you, from your conversations with the assistants (which get logged), to your wandering patterns (as done by a store rep who follows you everywhere and draws your path on a store floorplan map), what you’re wearing, what stores you came from, and so on.
- As the auction for you ends, a printer stamps on the ad from the winning advertiser, and you get handed your newspaper.
- Once you leave the store, we send someone to tail you across the internet, so we know more about you if and when you come back into the store, but you can totally tell this person you want to opt-out.
If you’d like to help make this comic illustration of the internet’s new monetary infrastructure come to life, drop me a line. We’ll make it happen.
Well at least my tumblr domain works again. Too bad I don’t post to here anymore. Or have a good design. I should fix that too.
As a kid, I used to sit there and use Kid Pix for hours. I’m not even sure why. I loved it so much. I miss it.