I can relate, I was born in the early 70's, and I feel like a relic around all the newer technology. Things sure have changed. I bet our parents felt the same way though. My biggest fear about all this new technology that can be used to gather my personal information is knowing that they can use it to try to influence the way I think or feel about something. I have to say that the personalized ads make me insane. Every time I purchase something online, I start seeing ads for that store or item everywhere. Don't they understand that I already placed my order, and would have gotten everything I wanted from them?
I think advertizers are losing out too, because it won't bring them many completely new customers. If I ever start a blog or cookie business I will try to find advertisers for related, but unique products, and write about topics that help people see a completely different point of view on the subject. By coming together as a cookie community, we can use the opportunity to increase knowledge and understanding, and to expand the available supplies and new inventions we have access to.
I also belive bloggers should research a company thoroughly before advertizing for them. I lose respect for a blogger and their opinion when they sell ad space to companies I don't want to support. If a company is not trying to be eco-friendly, has no fair-trade policies, is not careful about fair labor or child labor, expresses prejudice towards certian groups, or invests heavily in immoral or greed-centered financial institutions, I don't want to buy their products or see their ads. If anyone involved is catching our attention by using "train-wreck" stories that capitalize on someone's misfortunes, joke in a way that hurts someone, or teaches our children that it's okay to entertain ourselves at someone else's expense, I am not interested. If their ads are teaching our children that a princess should be skinny, busty, and blond, or that a princess theme cookie is not as good, as artistic, as special or as 'perfect' as a name brand princess cookie, I want to avoid them. I sit in the privacy of my home, on my own computer, in my own bed, and get a little angry that they are trying to sneak in uninvited and tell me what to buy, or how to think or feel.
If all the most popular cookie bloggers vetted advertizers before putting their ads up, it would improve the reputation of the whole industry, and make the world a better place for all of us. The people who wanted to advertise on cookie-related sites would feel pressured to improve their policies in order to compete for the best ad space and our cookie dollars. Since almost every time we click on something it improves someone's site traffic, and somebody makes money by advertising to us, we are essentially voting with our dollars by clicking, even if we purchase nothing.
I believe it is important to be exposed to as many different ideas, viewpoints, news stories, etc. as possible to stay a well-rounded person, and to keep from creating even more polarized attitudes on important issues. I am troubled that more and more of what I see online is being narrowed down into the categories I am already involved in, and that it is tailored to focus on what they think I want to see. When it comes to cookies, for example, I would much rather see new designs, products, and decorating viewpoints, than ads for stores where I already shop and posts about products or techniques I have already tried.
We are artists as much as bakers, and by narrowing our field of exposure we risk stagnating, or even getting bored because of all the repetition. It is hard to come up with new inspiration when we are immersed in the same things as always, and everyone else in our circle is too. I say freedom for new cookie ideas and inspiration! Lol, sometimes I crack myself up.