Curious Facebook advertising!

I’m sort of vaguely aware that Facebook employs some rather clever technology that means that it caters its advertising to individual users. So if you like a particular band, it will advertise similar bands etc.

But sometimes it’s just plain uncanny! A friend has just linked me to a page entitled ‘blowing the horn of Gondor to get your mate’s attention’. I thought this would be pretty funny to actually do, so I naturally went straight to Google to see if you could buy one, but I saw nothing. However, when I went back to Facebook there was a strangely relevant advertisement. It wasn’t a replica of the horn of Gondor, oh no, it was in fact Eddard Stark’s sword (from the Game of Throne’s series). Of course, those in know will know that both Boromir (who possess the horn of Gondor) and Ned Stark are both played by Sean Bean.
I assume that’s the connection. But it’s a pretty roundabout way to do it! I don’t know if my google search had anything to do with it though. Does anybody actually know how it works?

And, anything like that happened to you?

Facebook does have a similar word-related approach to advertising as Google. If you post anything in your status, or someone posts on your wall, it will usually automatically adjust the advertisements to match. It probably focused on “Gondor” which triggered a fantasy theme ad, hence the GoT.

I’m pretty sure it’s linked heavily to data mining:

http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/jason.frand/teacher/technologies/palace/datamining.htm

Basically, cookies and whatnot track your searches during Internet use.