Are we having fun yet?

Wireless networking is great — when it works, which wasn’t the case at mi casa Sunday afternoon. One moment all was well. Next moment web access down! Call the parmedics, stat! I restored connectivity after some frustration. Seems my Surfrider web modem (from Comcast) shut out the D-Link wireless router. Went to bed connected. Woke up off-net. Again. Grrrrr.

I wasn’t around 80 years ago, but this experience reminds me of what I’ve read about the early days of radio, when reception was unreliable for reasons ranging from broadcasters transmitting outside their frequencies to, quite literally, interference from sunspots. Broadband is great but it’s not an appliance. It breaks too often and costs too much.

But that sounds like a rant. A change of mood is in order.

Big excitement at CES over online advertising sales. Larry Marcus with the San Francisco-based investing firm WaldenVC told Media Daily News“Internet advertising is now a $10 billion industry. That’s an incredible thing for content providers.”

And Yahoo is set to unleash a campaign, directed at potential advertisers, touting its ability to target ads to specific demographic and behavioral groups. You may not see the campaign unless you work at a targeted ad agency or client. According to MediaPost “Yahoo! plans to use domain targeting with the campaign, which will involve displaying ads to visitors coming from Internet protocol addresses of specific companies–including ad agencies, clients, and prospective clients.”

That should be a powerful demonstration of what online can deliver. But will the audience be there? In the off hours, I mean. Sure, my office network hums along thanks to the system guys who shield me from the complexity. But I’m not supposed to be shopping at my desk. At home, where I’m presumed to do all that personal stuff, those damn sunspots keep interfering.

Tom Abate