Sapna Maheshwari, who covers advertising for the New York Times, talked about how she uses technology to write about her beat.
Here is an excerpt:
What tech tools do you use to monitor what advertisers are doing with our data on websites, apps and gadgets?
Digital advertising can be tough to track because so much of it is automated and personalized. But I use Ghostery, a browser extension that shows you the data collection tools that companies are using to track your activity on any given site, along with the option to block them. Often, these companies are building robust pictures of your habits, sometimes across devices, which can ultimately be used to sell ads.
I’ve also used services like Moat Pro and Pathmatics, which monitor online ads and can give you some insight into what pitches brands are running and where. (That was particularly helpful with some of the advertiser boycotts we saw last year on sites like Breitbart.) I also keep tabs on some Facebook and Reddit groups that talk about marketing and scams.
More than anything, though, I do lots of phone interviews — despite what they say about millennials and phones — and meet with brand marketers and people at ad agencies and ad technology companies to hear what they’re thinking about and working on.
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