Aug 15

Marc Hedlund

Marc Hedlund

Cookies: Now With Less Frequent Annoyance

This quote from Spyware Heats Up the Debate Over Cookies in the NY Times, about increases in the number of cookies users are deleting, is fantastic:

It isn't necessarily just corporate America that is threatened by the anticookie fervor, [Lorraine Ross, vice president for sales at] said - the deleters stand to suffer, too. For example, cookies help a computer limit how many times a user sees annoying ads like a floating, animated message. Such "frequency caps," to use industry parlance, are common among publishers. "So cookies are a really good thing for managing the user's experience," she said.

Take our cookies so we can annoy you less often. Nice try!

There's such a disconnect between the view Ms. Ross represents and the reality of user perception of ads and cookies. The old joke, "I know I'm wasting half of my ad budget -- I just don't know which half," is getting put to the test by better response measurement tools provided by the Internet. Ms. Ross, the people who are going through the painful user interface experience of figuring out how to delete cookies? They're seeing the wasted half.

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Comments: 2

  mardoen [08.15.05 08:52 PM]

this made me smile: "the people who are going through the painful user interface experience of figuring out how to delete cookies" -- I've just figured out how to use Mac::PropertyList to build a cookie filter for Safari ;)

And it was definitely worth the time.

  Josh Peters [08.16.05 03:35 PM]

I've definitely enjoyed using the Permit Cookies ( Firefox extension. It's best used by setting your default cookie behavior to "hell no, we don't need no stinkin' cookies" and then an "Alt+c" will allow you to change that when a site just refuses to work without them. You can also allow for session cookies this way. Quite nice.

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