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A Word About Privacy, Data Mining, and Advertising on AboveTopSecret.com

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posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 09:59 PM
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As we continue to grow (our traffic levels are about 2.2 times the levels of this time last year) we're in the early stages of developing our own sales force to directly sell ads on our sites. With some very minor exceptions over the years, all of our banner advertising comes from 4 or 5 network services that provide banners to thousands of websites. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the overall number of ads by working directly with marketers to place better quality more relevant advertising on our sites.

One of the items that came up in today's planning session was that of the perception of "social media" sites in regards to privacy. There's been a lot of negative news about "social networks" and/or "social media" sites as it relates to the activity of invading personal data for the purposes of delivering targeted marketing. I want to reassure our members that we have never, nor will ever use such information for that or any other purpose. In fact, to drive that home with unquestioning clarity, I've updated the following...

Our advertising media kit...

We believe firmly in the user as part of the crowd of minds that work collectively to refine ideas into brilliant statements of relevance. Part of that belief is the deep respect for our users and their privacy. We do not share the data of our users, nor do we "data mine" their preferences or posting history in an effort to deliver targeted advertising. The content that utters forth from their efforts is sufficient material for exceptionally well-targeted advertising techniques.

Our privacy policy...

At no time will your personal profile information, posting history, or any other activity specific to your time on our websites be used for the purposes of targeted messages from advertisers or marketers purchasing ads or other marketing products on these websites.




posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 10:20 PM
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I doubt that anyone who has spent any time on this site would think otherwise, but it's good to see it put out there.

I never worry anyway, since I have no money to buy anything.



posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 10:21 PM
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Thank you ATS and SkepticOverlord.

This forum site stand as a pillar, proving sites can be successful and keep their membership protected.

I, for one, greatly appreciate this and do find interest in the ad placements. My children are about to mute my speaker due to my lil obsession with the "hello" emotionicons ad, but I like it.



posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 10:29 PM
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Your a true Class Act SO,

Anyone that has been around anytime at all knows that you and the other Admin, have our, the Members, best interests at heart...

But it is nice that you always manage to keep us informed, no matter how busy you are...

Thank You

Semper



posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Our advertising media kit...

Media kit?Where is it exactly?(Goes looking...)

Ah this media kit!

[edit on 26-11-2007 by tormentor]



posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 12:19 AM
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I, for one, am against most forms of advertising and methods of focusing adverts onto individuals. It's a nasty society practice that has to change.

A lot of people in this forum are trying to inform others about global problems and possible solutions, but you don't see any major advertising about such things.

All we generally see is the new and improved whiter than white washing powder or how much you could win if you buy into a monthly subscription.. You know what I mean, the general brain numbing/washing type of advertising.

As for those 'smiley' adverts.. well, I cant think of anything more terrible than to be bombarded with sounds I don't wish to hear so why should I have to turn my sound down/off on my system. I may be watching/listening to something else whilst browsing.

I cannot understand the millions that are spent on advertising to maximise profits... seems contradictory to me. If I know I need something, I'll go looking for it and might see something else along the way (like how I found this forum).

Advertising is akin to mental torture/brain washing. If something is repeated enough times, the brain keeps it recorded and it becomes so familiar that you are tempted to the dark side..



posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 03:54 AM
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Ad Lib


Originally posted by Extralien
I cannot understand the millions that are spent on advertising to maximise profits... seems contradictory to me.

If they didn't maximize profits, there wouldn't be millions to spend on ads.


I stopped watching TV about five years ago because I got tired of the brainwashing, and it is definitely true that ads are a form of brainwashing.

Then again, ads are what make it possible to cover the enormous costs of running a popular website, and constitute the only funding model I know of which reliably scales as a site's popularity grows.

Models based on soliciting donations or forced subscriptions have a very disappointing track record on the Internet, and come with all sorts of nasty baggage such as the need to collect financial information from members, among other things.

How many conspiracy fans want to give away something like that?


As things stand, all you need is an email address (which can be an impersonal throwaway Hotmail address) and a pseudonym of your choosing and you're in business.

I think putting up with ads is a small price to pay in lieu of shelling out money or personal information in exchange for access to the many benefits ATS offers.

And hey, the arrangement we have has been working pretty darn good so far.





[edit on 11/27/2007 by Majic]



posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 05:47 AM
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Not completely relevant to topic, but none the less I found this pretty interesting...

Seems they made more cash from it than selling the space..


In 2007, the world's fourth-largest metropolis and Brazil's most important city, São Paulo, became the first city outside of the communist world to put into effect a radical, near-complete ban on outdoor advertising. Known on one hand for being the country's slick commercial capital and on the other for its extreme gang violence and crushing poverty, São Paulo's “Lei Cidade Limpa” or Clean City Law was an unexpected success, owing largely to the singular determination of the city's conservative mayor, Gilberto Kassab. Billboards, outdoor video screens and ads on buses have been eliminated at breakneck speed. Even pamphleteering in public spaces has been made illegal, and strict new regulations have drastically reduced the allowable size of storefront signage. Nearly $8 million in fines were issued to cleanse São Paulo of the blight on its landscape.


www.oddee.com...



posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by Extralien
Advertising is akin to mental torture/brain washing. If something is repeated enough times, the brain keeps it recorded and it becomes so familiar that you are tempted to the dark side..

While there's lots of ad campaigns that would fit into your description, or worse, the fact remains that advertising is an important component of a commercial society.

We ran some ads on national radio stations...
ats-noory.mp3
ats_ad_1.mp3
ats_ad_2.mp3
ats_ad_3.mp3
And while they didn't achieve the intended results, we do have a 28% increase in sustained overall traffic, and lots of new members because of these ads running for three months.

Currently, the ads we display are essentially the left-overs. As we expand, we anticipate bringing in advertisers with products and services that make more sense for the kind of people that visit our sites... and maybe even bring in something of value.



posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 05:27 PM
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SO,

Thank you for your reply and I understand.

It has made me think though.

I own an internet cafe and would be more than happy to advertise your site on my systems. Perhaps in the form of wallpaper for the pc screens, or a banner link in my net cafs forum, or both. Maybe even posters that I can place on the wall in net cafe or at the main entrance.

Do you have a banner exchange system for relevant web sites? I could probably list about 30 sites that I use and feel that no harm would be done to submit this forum to any of those sites that are happy in accepting such contacts and growth.

If that method proves to be succesful, then perhaps this forums members could submit the sites they use or are aware of to a section in this forum. Once these sites have been reviewed, then a submission can be made.

Sometimes, word of mouth can be far greater than any amount of advertising (might save you a few bucks too)

Anyway, on a lighter note...
Patriotism is supporting your forum all the time, and your forum members when they deserve it.




posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
... advertising is an important component of a commercial society.

Currently, the ads we display are essentially the left-overs. As we expand, we anticipate bringing in advertisers with products and services that make more sense for the kind of people that visit our sites... and maybe even bring in something of value.


could the ads that run here go to some type of vote? perhaps we could decide collectively what types of products or services ATS'ers would endorse beside our spoken word?

Sri Oracle



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 04:54 AM
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reply to post by Extralien
 


So they leveed the fines and then the revenue went where...? Gone. Done.

Agreed that advertising gets out of hand, but you can't just ignore the fact that the money and space could be used for better purposes.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by Rhain


I, for one, greatly appreciate this and do find interest in the ad placements. My children are about to mute my speaker due to my lil obsession with the "hello" emotionicons ad, but I like it.


I suggest that you not download that one. It contains one of the worst spywares out there.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 08:30 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Excellent stance SO, and unusually ethical (considering all companies and corporations) of you to actually tell us and ensure us you won't and don't data mine or sell private information (like say e-mail addys) .. Always the best from ATS.



posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 08:44 PM
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Thanks for the info. Was seeing allot of ad stuff, was wondering.



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