I used to run amuck for a mucking firm. Well, actually, I was a journalist covering new mobile technologies for a trade journal.
It was exciting to be up on all the latest technologies, but while my coverage was touted as editorial content, I couldn't shake the feeling that all I was really doing was promoting a new way for advertisers to intrude on people's communications, in this instance the placement of ads to cell phone users.
This ethical quandary came to mind today as I read the newest press release from Apple announcing the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
The five-day event, which runs from June 9 to June 13, will feature, as the company describes it, "the first ever iPhone track for mobile developers...to fully explore the capabilities of the OS X iPhone 2.0 software...a breakthrough way for developers to wirelessly deliver their applications to iPhone and iPod touch users."
While this means evolutions in GPS navigation, instant delivery of vital info, like restaurant menus and movie times, and currently unimagined utilities, I can't ignore the reality that this also means new tactics for advertisers to get their message in front of the eyes of the populace.
I understand that the ads on this site and in the print mag pay my salary and that ads are as much a part of life as editorial content. But the hippie in me remembers when cable TV was promoted as ad free, when the web was devoid of advertising and spam email, and yes, I can even remember watching comedian Jackie Vernon running amuck on the Ed Sullivan Show. I might download the episode to the iPhone I plan to buy next month.