Politics and Grassroots

How do you like that? Facebook and microtargeting

This was a big week for Facebook, which stepped up its presence in the battle with Google to control the internet on computers.  (This is slightly different from the battle to control the internet through your phone or the internet through your TV or the battle control the internet through the cord surgically affixed to your brain stem.)

By spreading tentacles throughout the web, Facebook will latch your profile more closely to your online activity.  Sure, it’s a little creepy, but it’s also voluntary; no one has to have a Facebook account after all.

Setting aside privacy concerns, this is a really big [BIDEN] deal in a year when political insurgency is all the rage (no pun intended).  In a great post at TechRepublican, Jordan Raynor outlines how establishment political support (such as Florida Governor Charlie Crist enjoyed a few months ago) can be trumped by a campaign which connects directly with supporters and leverages that energy to create its own momentum.

Facebook is going to become a better and better place to do that – providing in 2010 and 2012 what the concept of microtargeting was in 2002 and 2004.  In those years, Republicans used consumer data to identify potential supporters – if you shop at a certain place and subscribe to certain magazines, for instance, you might fit a profile of a Republican voter.

Now, you can profile your supporters (who may or may not belong to your party) and directly serve them online ads.  The possibilities are pretty exciting – unless you’re sick of political ads.

You will be.  You will be.

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