Web Marketers Get Personal

I am not sure if I should burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the idea, or give kudos for an idea which has a right mix of permission and spookiness (sorta). I am leaning towards the former, for now, only because there’s way more hype in the market right now than there should be.

The news: Starting next week, a handful of marketers in the United States will begin sending customized ads to Internet users who land on About.com, Lycos and nytimes.com, among other Web sites. So, instead of seeing a random advertisement, you might see ads addressing you by name, mentioning some of your past purchases at the site and urging you to return.

The company behind the new ads, Dotomi, is the brainchild of Yair Goldfinger, who created the technology that eventually became AOL’s IM service. According to John Federman, Dotomi’s CEO and the former publisher of PCWeek, Goldfinger developed Dotomi’s “direct messaging” system as a kind of commercial analog to IM.

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