31 January 2019

January Amazon Yahoos

For the second straight month -- Old December Yahoos was the first -- the Yahoo news service picked up zero chess stories from the mainstream press. There was, nevertheless, one chess-related item in my news feed.

'Sponsored --$-- Amazon.com'

In fact, it didn't appear just once. After the first sighting it appeared every time I browsed the Yahoo news feed for the next few days, occasionally popping up several times in the same feed. It's composed of links to the Amazon pages that I referenced while working on three recent posts, one for each of the three chess blogs that I maintain:-

  • Acknowledging an Important Source (World Chess Championship; January 2019) • 'Chess World Championships' by James H. Gelo

  • 'Players and Pawns' (this blog; January 2019) • 'Players and Pawns: How Chess Builds Community and Culture' by Gary Alan Fine

  • Chess960 Phase Zero (Chess960 FRC; November 2018) • 'Play Stronger Chess by Examining Chess960' by Gene Milener

Targeted advertising gone wild? I imagine that the infrastructure for the mechanism that enables these connections is expensive, and it's only to remind me that I once showed an interest in some books.

In 'December Yahoos' I used Google News to locate chess stories of potential interest to a wider audience. If real stories are too mundane -- news like Kramnik retires, Magnus takes Tata, or Grand Chess Tour expands -- how about featuring something like this?:-

Or this?:-

That last story would be a good candidate for an occasional series I used to run: 'Weird Chess News'. Maybe I should revive it.

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