The excellent online peer-reviewed journal about the Internet, First Monday, has moved from www.firstmonday.org to Open Journal Systems at the University if Illinois at Chicago. Its new (unmemorizable) URL is www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/ and it now requires a free registration. Its archives have been moved here also. In a big step forward, it now has RSS and Atom feeds, so I've subscribed in Bloglines and will be seeing new things as they're posted rather than every few months when I happen to remember I haven't visited the site in awhile.
From the September 2007 number, check out Desperately seeking the consumer: Personalized search engines and the commercial exploitation of user data by Theo Röhle. Here's the abstract:
With reference to surveillance studies theory, this paper critically assesses the role of personalized search engines as a mediator between advertisers and users. It first sketches the economic and technical background of online marketing and personalized searches. Then, it engages in an in–depth discussion of two examples of personalized search engines with regard to the data collection process used and the way in which this data is used for advertising purposes. The discussion shows that users’ information needs, as well as their personal data, are subject to a growing pressure in terms of commercial exploitation. Essentially, search engines now fulfill the task of translating information needs into consumption needs.
Link: First Monday. --Dennis