What Time Is It in the Cloud?

cloud.jpegThese days, my head is in the cloud.

More and more companies are rolling out cloud computing solutions and applications. On the consumer level, it’s getting easier and easier for documents, spreadsheets, e-mail, calendars, presentations, you name it, to live in the ether somewhere above the hard drive, always on and always accessible.

Way cool, and an emerging opportunity for advertisers and marketers to push relevant, contextual messages to cloud computing users.

But what time is it in the cloud? I’m wondering this as I shuttle between the East and West coasts, wielding a battery of BlackBerry, mobile phone, and the laptop I’m using to access the book I’m writing entirely on Google Docs (not a word of the manuscript is on my hard drive).

Some of these devices are set to the time zone I’m actually in, others are set to the one I live in. So how’s an advertiser to know what’s relevant messaging? Should an ad be pushed for a business or service in Sonoma (where I’m speaking today), or New York (where I live?). Does the cloud know if I’m working at lunchtime or at dinnertime?

Geo- and daypart targeting has long been used in traditional as well as interactive marketing. When life literally shifts to online — as users move into the cloud — how will this element of targeting be achieved?

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