If they know I'm not in the U.S. ...

Advertisements for participation in the annual green card lottery might be considered an example of personalization on the web. After all, these ads don't appear on the screens of anybody who lives in the United States. Those advertisers know that we're from outside, and they probably rather correctly assume that we'll happily accept the opportunity to win one of the available slots in that lottery.

But if the web is so great at knowing that I'm from outside the United States, couldn't it also know that I don't need that card? The answer, of course, is that what we've got here is an example of bogus personalization. I don't get upset at the internet and start yelling at it because it's mistakenly assumed (assuming, of course that "the internet" can "assume" anything) that I don't have U.S. citizenship. I never had such an expectation to begin with. And in a similar vein, I certainly don't assume that vast numbers of people are posting information onto the web just so that they can bother me or distract me from whatever tasks I'm supposed to be attending to.

Go to: It's nothing personal.