Tuesday, 10 February 2015

My Obsession with The Bachelor

A couple weeks ago when my friend asked me to join her Bachelor fantasy league, I didn't think much of it but picked which girls I liked the best based on the premiere and their little bios on the Bachelor website.

I've never actually followed The Bachelor before - I've seen a couple episodes and I know about the drama with Tierra.

So this is my first season where I'm actually attached to the show and the girls. Although I kind of hate the "Farmboy" Bachelor, he has picked some good girls and he knows how to keep the drama coming.

Last night was probably the best episode, and it can only be summed up as "Bitches Be Crazy."

In the best way possible, it was Kelsey vs. Ashley on the 2-on-1 in the middle of nowhere. After confrontation, and a whole buttload of crocodile tears, both girls were sent home. I was definitely team Ashley, even if her crying and snorting is so gross and annoying. At least she never faked a panic attack.

I'm still sitting at second last in my fantasy league (damn you Juelia!) but I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

And my money's on Britt or Whitney.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Grammy Night!

Tonight's the big night! Gaga has already won her award, and her outfit is flawless!

I'll be live tweeting the night over here even though I should be studying for my midterm tomorrow.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Tumblr and Teens

If you haven't heard - Tumblr is the fastest growing social network right now, ahead of Instagram and Pinterest.

I joined Tumblr over 4 years ago, quickly falling in love with the simplicity and design of it. I was easily able to craft my own blog, reblogging content I loved and posting my own pictures and favourite content. Tumblr skews young - it was perfect when I was 19 and super interested in the alternative subcultures that I didn't get to see in the local mall.

I started following queer authors and feminists, social justice leaders and activists. Finally, my eyes were opened to different situations outside my small suburb in Waterloo.

Businesses have finally gotten on board; I now see advertisements for McDonalds and Taco Bell on my dashboard. Bands have Tumblrs, and even Laurier has gotten involved with the platform.

Tumblr skews very young, and I find myself becoming more and more uninterested and more and more out-of-the-loop. So many of the popular jokes are about highschool, and here I am finishing my undergraduate degree.

It's a weird feeling growing out of a social network. It's only been a couple years, but I guess I'm growing out of Tumblr and into LinkedIn.

What a weird feeling.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

On Privacy and the Internet

A while ago, Tim Cook published a statement about privacy and the Apple philosophy. My favourite quote from his statement is this:
"A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product."

While this is a sentiment I've been repeating for years, I found it interesting to hear it come from Mr. Cook. My first thought was that he's talking about Facebook and Google. I thought "who is he targeting with this? Who is he alluding to?"

Of course Apple is different. They don't make money off ads, they make money off selling overpriced products and services to willing fans. Sure, some of the stuff is free, but they don't make money off services supported by advertising.

 An important thing to remember is who has their hand in the cookie jar. If you're not paying for something, then where is the company getting their money from? Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft.... you can be sure they're not non-profits.

And if you're not paying for it, someone else is. It's important to know who that person is.

Monday, 1 December 2014

My Inbox is Exploding

My inbox is exploding.

It does this every year. I'm apparently on so many mailing lists, and every store is having a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sale. Stores I don't think I've ever bought anything from. Stores I've never even visited (either in person or online).

How did they get my email? Or more importantly, why do they think I care about their sales?

Some companies do it better. Amazon sent me an email saying the video game I've been looking at is now on sale. Threadless sent me an email saying the t-shirt I voted for is printed and on sale.

Others are very, very bad at it. I got an email about powertools from some company I've never heard of. I got an email about accessories for iPhones (I have a Samsung). I got an email about PS4 games on sale. I have no interest in any of these things. Why am I getting emails about them?

I understand that email marketing is an important form of marketing, especially when you're selling stuff online. I get that. But why are you sending mass emails to people who don't care? All you've done is lost me; I unsubscribed to each one.

Don't send mass emails unless you know I care. If you bought my email from someone and I have no recollection giving it to you, then odds are I don't care. You might get some interest, but you're probably pissing off way more people than you're selling to.

And for the love of God - make sure there's an unsubscribe button on your email so I can get rid of you for good.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Why I Hate The Internet: FHRITP

A disturbing trend has picked up steam online.

It all started with a video where prankster John Cain pretended to be a journalist reporting on a missing woman when he accidentally says he'd "f--k her right in the p---y." The video went viral, and now people are harassing female reporters, yelling the phrase while these women are reporting on air.

I'm disgusted. I saw the video a while ago, and while I didn't really think it was funny, I also didn't think anything of it.

Now people (almost always men) are targeting these women in their workplace, ruining their broadcasts and demeaning them in front of their audience. It's scary, it's hurtful, and it's completely disgusting. What kind of person thinks this okay? What kind of person does this?

Sometimes I hate the internet and what it spreads.

And I'm not even linking the video.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Man Walks Into Starbucks

"A man walks into Starbucks and before he gets to the counter someone says to him you’ll never guess which eight celebrities used to be baristas and he tries to guess and suddenly he’s drinking coffee in Buzzbucks." - Pete Davies, from here

Online stores get away with a lot of stuff that would never fly in real life.

No, I don't want to do your survey. No, I don't want to hear about other weird things you want to recommend. No, I don't want you to tell me how to shop. No, I don't care about your membership plans. No, I don't want your advertising on my facebook feed.

"A man walks into Starbucks and he has to wait and watch a video but after five seconds he can go in if he starts skipping."

Noise in the real world is everywhere, but it seems like it's so much easier to avoid. You don't get pushy people asking for your email before you're allowed to enter the store. You don't get forced into watching some promotional piece before you can see what's on sale. And if I was just in a store, I don't see ads about what I was looking at all over my life.

If you want to get me to buy things, you have to make it easy for me. Don't make me sign up, don't ask for my personal information unless you need it for something directly related to my purchase. I tried to buy a digital album yesterday and they wouldn't let me buy it unless I gave them my home address and phone number. No, you don't need that, and I'm not trusting you with more data than is necessary.

It's time companies wake up and see why people are leaving their online stores. I love online shopping, but once I get a popup asking me to sign up for something, you can bet I'm running the other way.

The beauty of online shopping is that if I like your product, I can do a quick google search and find it somewhere else. I don't need to get it from you, and you can bet I'm not going to if you make me just through hoops to give you my money.

Check out more "a man walks into Starbucks" here.