We are still getting the daily newspaper here at Mellowcat HQ.

Cat on the newspaper

I was reading it and noticed an ad for something, and wondered how the newspaper decided to show me this ad based on my prior newspaper reading activity. Of course, that’s not currently possible for the print newspaper, unlike its web counterpart. The print version can’t (as of this writing) record and transmit which sections are opened and what headlines and articles are read. The advertisers are limited to generic information available in aggregated subscriber data collected by the publisher, and that’s why you see full-page ads for hearing aids.

Some of us will insist on receiving a daily newspaper delivery until such time as we are not able to walk out our own front doors and reach down to pick up the paper. There’s still money to be made by targeted marketing, so I expect the daily newspaper will soon be personalized for each household, and instead of front page stories about faulty Bay Bridge bolts, ours will feature Mick LaSalle movie reviews, Jon Carroll cat columns, and yesterday’s Giants game summary (in season). All of the ads will be for REI, eventually transitioning to full-page ads for hearing aids.

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