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Forty-something Tech Entrepreneur, Five Children, Not Available.

Why does Live Messenger think I need a date?  Does it know something that I don’t know?  You see, I’ve been happily married for twenty years, as of today (yes, today is our anniversary!), and haven’t been part of the dating scene since my early twenties.

So why does Live Messenger persist in serving up LavaLife advertising to me, telling me that thousands of singles, just like me, are waiting to meet me?  Why is there a persistent LavaLife tab on the Messenger window?  Old world advertising model, right?  So it would appear.  Just push enough advertising at enough eyeballs and sooner or later someone will click on it.

Except that Microsoft knows that I’m 42, married, and only interested in using Messenger for business networking.  That data is part of the profile info I filled out when I signed up for Messenger.  They just don’t do anything useful with that information.  In fact, Messenger can probably detect that my network connection is in Palm Springs at the moment.  By comparing that location to my home location (also in my profile),  it could infer that I am here on business or a vacation, and offer up advertising for local restaurants and site seeing. 

Messenger is crying out for some relevance engineering.  Microsoft could do a much better job for their advertisers, and their users, by targeting the Messenger Live experience better.  Microsoft might find that they have more advertising slots available to sell if they targeted the advertising better, advertisers might get better results and be willing to pay a higher CPM, and users like me might actually click on advertising relevant to our specific interests.

In the meantime, I’m heading out for a special dinner this evening with the best, and only, date I’ve had in over twenty years.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Stephen Oakes August 16, 2006, 12:00 pm

    As potential consumers become turned off by such advertising, as seen in messenger, these firms will be forced to become more innovative in their approach than ever before. Colleagues in the financial advisory services industry have told me that the cold-calling approach is no longer applicable in attracting client assets. Now, they have to venture out and actually travel to niche markets and interact on a personal level in order to get their foot in the door. It reminds me of how banner ads lost their advertising appeal because the ads were completely unrelated to the content written on the site. Google adsense seems to continue this evolution. When this process becomes completely efficient in grabbing our consuming attention, I am afraid that most people will dig themselves further into debt. Not a win-win senario in my mind!

  • Randy Charles Morin August 16, 2006, 2:39 pm

    I have you beat. I’ve been dating my wife since I was a teenager :-p

  • Shannonp August 16, 2006, 3:24 pm

    You make some astute comments about Live Messenger. Happy Anniversary.

  • Arshad Merali August 16, 2006, 5:30 pm

    How true… its a good thing that the ads on your blog are relevant to me 😉

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Jim Courtney August 16, 2006, 7:12 pm

    I can assure you that you will be getting LavaLife ads for at least another 19 years! Our 39th comes up Saturday. Maybe when I start collecting Canada Pension Live Messenger will finally find another advertiser for me.

  • MatthewS August 16, 2006, 10:30 pm

    Hey Alec. Happy Anniversary. Perhaps LavaLife needs your Relevance Engine?

  • Jay Goldman August 17, 2006, 3:30 am

    Alec –

    All the best! Congrats on twenty years and on the very relevant observations.


  • MUM August 17, 2006, 11:30 am

    Happy anniversary Janice & Alec, one day late! Yer everlovin” MA(in-law)

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