A call from Claria
Unlike most bloggers out there, I am not afraid to give a fellow marketeer (heh) a call. And so, I appreciate Kristine and the thirty minute exchange we had before I was so rudely interrupted by another client.
So here are the errors I admit to have made in my post.
1) PersonAL web is the name of the product (DOH)
2) It is NOT a social networking tool. It is only a homepage that displays ads and internet (RSS fed) content tailored to your surfing habits.
3) It does not at this time do any browser hijacking of search engine results.
4) Gator was the only previous name of the company. GAIN and the Gain Adserver were basically product networks within the Gator company.
2 and 3 can, in theory, change, but Kristine said that she is not aware of any current plan to change them.
I have changed my blog post to reflect these factual errors.
The quote from the Wiki is true, Kristine says that it was a misguided and failed experiment. I say "Why didn't anyone figure that out before they slaughtered their reputation?" However, hindsight is 20/20.
Do I trust Claria? Despite the call, which I really do appreciate and has pulled Claria's reputation from "Gutter Trash" to "Possibly on the road to recovery" in my mind, I still am uncomfortable saying I trust them.
Is Personal Web dangerous? At this time, after my call with Kristine, I do not believe it is. However, one change to a set of Terms of Service that they know 99% of their customers won't read and it could BECOME dangerous, just like Gator became dangerous.
I appologize for the factual errors presented in my blog entry though. I hope that Claria and Personal Web proves me wrong over the next few years and they become a front runner in smart advertising solutions that MAY someday help independent developers by providing extremely targetted advertising at reasonable prices.
Until then both I and my large client will continue to ban their advertisements and not support their company.