Skip to main content

Analyze This, Part 1: Inquiring Minds Want to Know, So I'll Tell 'em

                                               

I’m reading Stephen Baker’s The Numerati (2008). Slightly out of date by now, but interesting nonetheless.  The one thing I’ve gleaned from it so far is that blogging is a very powerful tool, and I have not been making use of it.

According to Mr. Baker, computers worldwide are very hard at work reading all the blogs (yes, all of them) to dig out information about which products we use, how we feel about them, and what all of this says about us. It’s about how marketers figure out which "bucket" to put us in.  It is part of the system that includes monitoring our supermarket loyalty cards to parse out our buying patterns and use psychological tricks to nudge us toward higher-priced items.

I read several paragraphs about different kinds of shoppers and noticed that Baker was describing me. It gave me a brief thrill of gratification, but that was very brief indeed. The paragraph finished up by defining me and my ilk as “barnacles.”

            Barnacles, from a retailer’s perspective, are detestable creatures. They’re the folks…buying discounted goods, and practically nothing else. Like the mollusks clinging to a ship, they hitch free rides and contribute nothing of value.

Sometimes I detach my clammy little suction-cup hands from the hull of the Ship of Commerce, spread my wings, and briefly become a "Butterfly":

            …customers who drop in at the store on occasion, spend good money and then flit away, sometimes for months or years on end. They’re unreliable, and retailers are warned to avoid lavishing attention on them.

It would be nice to “spend good money” more than once every 5-10 years, really it would. I’m much more inclined to gripe about a lack of legal tender than to rhapsodize about my latest purchases.

To my knowledge, I mention such things very rarely. This is for two reasons:
  1. I’m afraid someone will tell me “You use Smith brand? Anybody who’s anybody uses Jones. You are soooooooooo uncool.” Yes, it’s true: I never recovered from high school.
  2. Just as bad, I don’t buy new, cutting-edge stuff. Nearly everything I ever bought new is now very old, and everything else since that time is second-hand or bargain-basement. It’s just the way I roll, peeps.
 But who knows? Maybe I’d be doing the world an untold service by detailing my life as a consumer.


With that noble goal in mind, I’ll try my hand at writing the sort of blog that computers like to read. (To be continued)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Subway Journey Home

by The Urban Blabbermouth. Comments are welcome! ~ There is a ritual to theNew York City subway system. Once there, you lose your humanity.  You are transformed into a savage, brutal and selfish automaton.  Savage in that you push and shove other riders out of your way to get into the subway car.  Brutal in that you never excuse yourself for any atrocities that you commit to get in the subway car.  Selfish in that you never give up your seat to anyone, no matter how crippled or old or pregnant they are.  Automaton in that you never look at any one else as a human being.

Now there are certain strategies that you can employ to be a successful subway rider.  You can stand by the door and obstruct the way just to be selfish and ornery.  That strategy is designed to increase your standing with your fellow passengers by impressing them with how vicious you can be pushing back at people trying to push into the car.  Whenever I see this strategy employed, I immediately piggy back on it.  I move …

Im gonna git u Sukkah

by The Urban Blabbermouth [who may or may not be shown in the photo above... - v-E] ~ True story. I am walking to my car and I notice a couple of Jewish fellows, twenty somethings, with the bouquets of what looks like bamboo or palm. I know they are Jewish for they look Hasidic. They are wearing long black jackets, wide brim black fedora hats, and have curly sideburns. In truth, I classify all Jewish who dress like this as Hasidic although they may identify themselves differently. They are standing near the corner canvassing passersby.

Encyclopedia Brown Bear

by The Urban Blabbermouth
~
At an age when other children decide to set up lemonade stands, Baby Bear decided to start a detective agency. His decision resulted from his experience in the Goldilocks home invasion. If you don't know this well-publicized crime case, Google Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Baby Bear wanted to become a policeman to help the other denizens of the Forest with their troubles and to maintain justice for all. Alas, the police did not accept children as applicants.

Baby Bear ran to his community library and borrowed the renowned guide, The Hardy Boys' Detective Handbook. Baby Bear spent the next twenty days, the library's lending period, studying the text. He chose the business name of "Encyclopedia Brown Bear Detective Agency" after his hero, Leroy "Encyclopedia” Brown. Baby Bear's dad hung the business sign across the garage door and opened a folding card table and four chairs in the entrance below.

On the first day, the Big Bad Wolf…