Technology, specifically in relation to the Internet, continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. It has forced every company to evaluate how it advertises. This has led to a shift from the traditional media of print and TV. The Internet is now where its at. That being said, companies that are able to capitalise on this are making a killing. The King of this realm is obviously Google.
You know you have seen their ads on various websites, especially if you follow any forums or blogs. They kind of hang out at the top, bottom, or side of the page and say “sponsored by Google” or something equivalent. Often times these are now “smart ads”, where the advertised content is derived from some reference on the page. I could be discussing the merits of the new Corvette, and an ad will appear for a Chevy dealer. Pretty slick, eh? That is until it screws up. I could be reading about cedar decks, and there will be an ad for Cedar Point. No harm, no foul. I just brush it off, as these missteps happen less and less frequently as the software evolves. Yeah, well, that was only until the other day.
I was perusing a racing forum when the banner ad came up advertising bbwromance.com. If you are familiar with dating parlance, a BBW is a big beautiful woman. I was dumbfounded as to why this was being advertised. I quickly re-read the entire text of the page. Nothing referred to anything large, big, or woman-like, so I chalked it up to an error by the software. But I got to thinking – maybe Google thinks race fans like larger women? Perhaps female race fans are larger? After brushing that off, I then started to sweat. I’ve dated a few chunkers in my day, what if Google is now so intuitive that it can figure out the tendencies of the computer operator?
I got over this Orwellian fear by taking another sip of my sambuca. So, I decided to migrate to Google itself. I typed “BBW Personals” into the box and hit enter (which in retrospect wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a great idea, because now it will appear every time I try to search for something starting with B). Believe it or not, the first page of results yielded 9 separate BBW dating sites. 9? That was staggering to me. Isn’t 9 for larger women overkill and splitting the herd? My interest was piqued at this point so I went to one of the sites. I went looking for a “F” who is between 18 and 35 and lives in Michigan. It yielded 487 results! Let’s say that number is a tad high and use 400 as an average instead. Times 9 sites, that means that there are 3,600 women in this state alone that are looking for love on the Internet – and are using a size-specific dating site. I just cannot wrap my arms around this. I guess they do need lovin’ too, as the expression goes.
Some additional sambuca later I decided to look at a few profiles. There was actually a line in the profile for “size.” This actually made me laugh out loud, primarily because there is no reason for it in the first place (given the intent of the site) but especially because of the delineations that they evidently had to choose from such as “large and lovely”, “curvy”, and “offensive tackle.” Seriously though, I enjoy that the Internet can bring people of varying interests together. There are dating sites for farmers, for Hispanics, for Jews, etc. Heck, many of my honour roll were met via the Internet. And it brought back memories looking at some of the profiles, especially to discover that many elements of the “decoder key” that I developed to read between the lines of a profile were actually true (and still accurate).
The following day I was using a different computer on a different forum. An ad came up for a company that makes custom brasseries – for women sizes 36B to 58J. I suppose I can now delete that e-mail I was going to send to Google.
Off to get another sambuca,