Relevance minus trust equals?

Not much, according to Bill Day of WhenU. Online advertising companies are known for talking about relevance.

Not much, according to Bill Day of WhenU. Online advertising companies are known for talking about relevance.  Many seem to think that if their ads are relevant, the web users will take interest and maybe even click through and buy something.  Think about those pop-up ads for a competing site's airline tickets (or whatever).  Does relevance make the ads any more acceptable? ZDNet readers answered that question.

Day doesn't think so.  He cites an example where he was stopped at a long traffic light and approached by a "squeegee guy" wanting to clean his dirty windshield.  His windshield was indeed dirty and in desperate need of cleaning.  But did Day allow squeegee guy to touch his windshield?  No way!  Why?   The answer is simple.  Day says squeegee guy made a fatal mistake.  He did not ask for permission. Day says "No one touches my car without getting my explicit permission first."   Do you adware company folks get that?  It's really a simple concept.  Of course in practice, it's not that simple.  We've had that discussion about 10,000 word EULAs and such a number of times already, so I won't repeat it now.

I really relate to Day's example of squeegee guy.  It reminds me of an incident at a car wash when I was approached by a overly enterprising young man who wanted to sell me a new windshield because mine was badly cracked.  It took 3 emphatic NO's to get rid of him.  I thought of him as a human pop-up, but the problem was I couldn't dismiss him with a mouse click.

At any rate, besides the squeegee guy story, Day writes about his dislike of being tracked, using Amazon.com as an example.  It's an interesting read and he offers some very relevant suggestions for others in his industry.