Yep, welcome to the brave new world of campaigning.
Sure, you are already starting to feel the lag from the never-ending machinations of he would be the next to further drive this nation into the ground, but they are even starting to find you in your happy places.
News broke the middle of last week, thanks to ProPublica, that Pandora was allowing political advertisers access to their targeted email sharing for the first time this year. Not that this should be surprising. Online companies live and breath off ad revenue, and certainly services like Pandora are no exception.
That this would shift to the political landscape was hardly a shock, either, except for maybe how long it's taking to fully envelope the Internet campaign culture. I mean, haven't we already heard about up-and-coming candidates leveraging social networking marketing to swing elections into their favor? People are already advertising every imaginable kind of shit on Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., so why get wound out over ads for political campaigns? More to the point, do presidential campaigns even fucking end anymore? Yes, that question is targeted to Mitt Romney and his people.
Both mainstream parties have been going to town with this, mining valuable voter email addresses in local and national races and battling for the online voter, an ever-growing demographic to exploit without the need for a mess of doorknockers and local phone banks.
Despite people getting overly indignant about the horrors of a pop-up ad on a free service, what this is apparently coming down to is just how Pandora is targeting their ad recipients. Pandora offers targeting based on favorite artists and music, as well as the standard age, gender, state groupings, as well as state, county, or congressional district the candidate and his staff are sweating.
Yep. This is what we have to look forward to for the next few months. Non-stories like this. A "controversy" over an opt-in on a web radio site? Hasn't "Woman receives spam pop-up" surpassed "Man bites dog" by this point in history? And you wonder why the "two-party" system will never go away...
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(Best Overall Writing), 2011 Blogger's Choice Awards