When gmail first came out, privacy advocates were all up in arms about how google was going to use the text of your e-mails to target ads to you. And I see their point, but google swore nobody was actually going to read your e-mail and I personally was willing to risk it for the awesomeness that is gmail.
It turns out, I actually like the gmail ads, especially the ones that run in one line across the top of the window. There are so many goofy small businesses that buy ads. I keep seeing one for a website that has nice-looking cheap peruvian yarn. (Of course, now that I *want* to find it, I can't. Trying all kinds of searches in my gmail. Perhaps the ads expired. I did get several other knitting ads. And this, which could be useful.)
Just now I was trying to find my notes from a story I wrote about vanilla, because I wanted to buy some vanilla beans and I couldn't remember the names of the online sellers my sources had recommended to me. I searched and searched and finally found them, but then they were both way more expensive than I wanted. But then I noticed this ad for a store at the top of the window and was like, hey, guess I can check there - and they had the best prices I'd seen. So I went for it. What the heck. I like the google ads, I might as well support the people who buy them. I hope the beans aren't bad.
P.S. Ha! I've blogged about this before! And now I know how to knit...and those recycled silk yarns are still beautiful....