The online advertising problem: bullet points
Here's a quick outline of the online advertising problem.
Advertising gains signaling value when it's attached to something that the user sees as difficult or expensive to produce.
Advertising gains signaling value as its apparent cost increases.
Advertising loses signaling value as it's attached to less valuable resources.
Advertising loses signaling value as it becomes more targetable, since the user can't tell how much of the resource was funded by the ad impression that he or she saw.
Advertisers tend to pay less for ad media with lower signaling value.
Internet advertising has a problem: it's targeted increasingly finely, and is therefore less valuable to advertisers.
Solution: Design infrastructure and applications to make tracking more difficult.