The advertisement for advertising on SnowForecast.com claims "a huge ski and snowboard audience" which can help drive "more interested visitors" to your site through targeted placement of your ads.
For most of my experience on SnowForecast.com that made sense - I was seeing ads for skiing-related products and services such as Sun Valley Resort and REI. As a visitor to SnowForecast.com, I expect and even appreciate this kind of advertising. It just might prove useful, meaning the publisher and its advertisers are gaining a better sense of me and my kind as consumers and sponsoring the things we like. When a site I like has advertisers I like, there is a kind of harmony on the Interwebs and I surf on worry-free.
Then you get something like what I saw yesterday, with Ron Paul's shit-eating grin daring me to continue enjoying my content, compliments of gun-toting, pro-life Republicans.
I can't figure out which is worse: that a hard-right Texas conservative thinks he has an audience among people who ski? Or that he may be right and SnowForecast.com is playing to his base in permitting this kind of 'targeted' advertising.
Chances are Ron Paul's cloying mug wouldn't be here if it weren't getting clicks and here's what troubles me the most. Is he courting the swing voter or motivating the base? My in-group ideal of skiers and snowboarders as being left-leaning, open-minded environmentalists with a splash of humanist hippie sensibility, is taking a beating at this dissonance in advertising.
Then I think of my connection through Dallas a few years back on my way to Vail from the East Coast. It seemed every fat cat oilman in Texas was on that flight (less the super elite, Ken Lay-level that eschew the riffraff for their private/corporate jets) tan and coiffured and decked out in knee-length shearling, fur and sheepskin like the Clan of the Cave Bear, and I'm reminded of the new demographic of skiing now that it truly is a past time for the rich.