If Nick Nyhan wasn't such a good moderator, odds are that the folks on our panel would have politely agreed with one another on every question asked. But when Nick asked Ari Schwartz and Trevor Hughes to explain the differences in their approach to the cookie problem, the shit really hit the fan. It quickly devolved for a second into four people trying to talk over one another. At one point, I think I felt Nick's hand on my shoulder - perhaps he thought I was about to throw a chair, Springer style. At one point, I disagreed with Ari's assertion that there wasn't any benefit to a consumer accepting a third-party ad server cookie. Thankfully, Esther Dyson was on my side. (Every once in a while, you need to go see Esther live, if for no reason other than to simply be reminded of how scary-smart she is.)
In the end, I think it was an interesting treatment of a less-than-sexy topic. I think I got most of my major points across with respect to how the ad industry should deal with consumer vis-a-vis cookies (TRANSPARENCY, TRANSPARENCY, TRANSPARENCY). Now, if we could just end this polarizing situation in the industry and avoid sweeping the issue under the carpet (again), we might actually have a shot at preserving cookies and addressing the problem once and for all.