September 17th, 2007
Another in a long line of WTF-type emails from Amazon.ca’s “if you like this then you’d surely like this…”:
I ordered a copy of All in Together Girls, a book of short stories, by Kate Sutherland — as I haven’t read it yet, if anyone can illuminate me how exactly it relates to a second-rate movie novelization of a sports film I will never see, I’m all ears.
We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated All In Together Girls by Kate Sutherland have also purchased Facing The Giants : Movie Novelization by Various Contributors. For this reason, you might like to know that Facing The Giants : Movie Novelization is now available. You can order yours at a savings of 27% by following the link below.
| Facing The Giants : Movie Novelization
Never Give Up. Never Back Down. Never Lose Faith.
After six consecutive losing seasons, high school football coach Grant Taylor believes things can’t get any worse. He’s wrong. With fear and failure defeating him in football and in life, the downtrodden coach and husband turns to God in desperation. Trusting that God can somehow do the impossible, Coach Taylor and his Shiloh Christian Eagles soon discover how faith plays out on the field.
August 18th, 2007
…After the second presidential election when George Bush won and he mused that for the very first time he realized how truly different his thinking was from the rest of his country.
April 17th, 2007
According to Variety magazine as they review Everything’s Gone Green and decide that RRHB’s band is ‘jangly’ and from BC.
March 12th, 2007
Like most mornings, I start my day off by reading various different newsletters. There’s an article in the Globe today about being a blogger, and it attempts to answer the standard five ‘good reporting’ questions about the topic. One thing caught my attention though, as it’s an article that’s pretty much for the people who have been, well, living in a virtual cave the last couple years, and that’s the idea that blogging isn’t so much the thing as it is the thing that allows you to do the thing.
So let’s say you’ve been reading all about blogs and blogging and bloggers, and now you’re interested in trying it yourself — despite how ridiculous you feel when you say the word “blog,” or when you try to imagine introducing yourself by saying: “I’m a blogger.”
Don’t feel bad. It is kind of a ridiculous word, when it gets right down to it. But it’s really just a tool, like a typewriter, or a computer. The word “blog” is just a term for what happens when you use a piece of software to publish your thoughts about a topic (or topics) on the Internet for others to read. Try telling friends “I’m a publisher,” and see how that feels.
For some reason, I had never thought of it as a tool, but as the end product, and this point of view sort of changes the philosophy of blogging in a way: it’s no longer about what you publish but about how you publish (ie, it’s the software you use, not what you’re writing about that defines you).
I had always been under the assumption that by blogging you are therefore a blogger (I blog therefore I am), and regardless of which software you choose to self-publish, it’s the content and the message that’s most important. The above kind of derails all of that, and moves thought about the internet back into pre-web 2.0 (and yes, I am loathe to use that terminology, but it fits dammit, it fits!) in the sense that stripping the content from the blog effectively reduces the software to yet another function of our digital world.
Not everyone who uses a typewriter is a writer, not everyone who uses a computer is a programmer, but everyone who blogs should be (if they are active) by definition a blogger. And why is it a ridiculous word? How is it any more ridiculous than ‘journalist’ other than the fact that the word’s etymology has had a few more hundred years to evolve.
Am I right? Or am I just being too sensitive on the morning after a time change when my brain is perhaps working in blogger overdrive. Or maybe it’s just another example of mainstream media trying to derail the whole concept of self-publishing by negating its very real ability to, ahem, make a point?
March 7th, 2007
I don’t quite understand how David Adams Richard’s The Friends of Meager Fortune won this prize. Yes, he’s a great writer, but it’s not a great book, and the subject matter makes it a heck of a lot more interesting than the prose itself, which says a lot. But maybe I just need to give it another chance?
February 8th, 2007
…By one ridiculous email after another.
This morning I opened up my email to find yet another useless ‘if you like this you’re sure to love this’ email from Amazon.ca. First off, let me say that I heart Amazon and do use their site all the time. What I find frustrating is the very odd computer program that matches up the likes and dislikes, which obviously doesn’t know its head from its motherboard’s a**.
And I quote:
We’ve noticed that customers who have expressed interest in Snow by Orhan Pamuk have also ordered Still Life With Husband by Lauren Fox. For this reason, you might like to know that Lauren Fox’s Still Life With Husband is now available in Hardcover. You can order your copy at a savings of 37% by following the link below.
Okay, here are all the things that are wrong with this:
1. I did not order Snow, I merely browsed the title while doing research for my Around the World in 52 Books. Amazon should not be recommending books based upon browsing, it makes me feel like my every single movement is being watched, categorized and then pounced upon. It makes me want to destroy my profile and never shop there again.
2. Seriously? Still Life with Husband? Compared to Nobel-prize winning Pamuk? Here’s the description:
Yes, it’s an affair novel, but file this adroit but placid debut under chick lit for early marrieds—the ones who are not sure they want to be on the baby-house-‘burbs track. At 30, Emily Ross is a Milwaukee freelance writer with a part-time job as assistant editor at a medical journal called Male Reproduction and a marriage to “steady, staid” Kevin, a technical writer she met in college. Kevin, “innocent and intolerable,” wants a baby and a house. Emily is ambivalent and bored. A few pages in, Emily meets David Keller, a dark, good-looking writer/editor at the local alternative newspaper, and starts an affair. Things, as expected, do not go well, but Fox’s voice is steady, moving easily between comedy and drama.
They’re comparing Snow, crimes against Turkishness-Amnesty call out serious-type writing to chicklit, and not just any old chicklit, but vapid, trite and obviously clichéd chicklit.
I’m all for the terribly abused and over-used long tail philosophy of marketing, but the problem remains that Amazon is attempting to harness what should just come naturally: a person making connections through books and finding new authors based on external recommendations. This recommendation system shouldn’t be some computer program that’s matched up two books that wouldn’t be caught dead being catagorized together on a table if the bookstore were any less virtual. Obviously, there’s a problem with the circuitry. And for now, under no circumstances will I be ordering Still Life with Husband.
October 31st, 2006
Here is the number one reason why traditional marketing and/or advertising models are failing: this guy.
The whole thing is just wrong. Or is it me? Being one of the ‘target’ market he’s talking about, I can honestly say I’ve never been interested in: catfights, freakish people turned into fabulous people, train wrecks (unless it’s in Unbreakable), or dates gone horribly wrong unless they involve Michael Vartan, Jennifer Garner, and some kick-ass spy gear.
I read, I watch movies, and I do a lot of shopping for shoes, but that doesn’t mean a fellow who admits to smoking, drinking and gambling in his first corporate post can “reach” into my “untapped” market.