People farming

Tonight my email address was used by Tango to spam me with fluff about their product and an invitation to like their Facebook page.

What will it take to help the marketing world grasp what is going on with the web? They really don’t have a clue. All of those agencies who label themselves “social”, and who have in fact devalued the term to such an extent that it is becoming unuseable. “Doing social” “doing digital” – the language makes my flesh creep. They still use words like capturing, targeting, campaign, blitz. Militaristic words that seemed to make sense in a past world of mass, where if you shouted loudly, and expensively enough at enough people, you could claim to have had an impact on sales.

They try to apply these mass techniques on the web and the result is to make customers feel like they are part some ill conceived people farming experiment. It could be so different. I really do want to buy stuff, I need to buy stuff and am longing to have more meaningful conversations with the companies who want to provide me with stuff. However I have less and less patience with stupid people who treat me like an idiot and shout at me about crap I don’t want when I am trying to do something else!

8 thoughts on “People farming

  1. The key is in the words, "when I am trying to do something else." The relation of mind to computer is intimate and very intention-to-act oriented. Ads and pop ups and giant newspaper giveaways intrude like interlopers invading synapses.

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  2. I agree with the sentiment but feel we should not give up on useful words because some are devaluing them. Whatever words we use to replace the devalued words will in turn be misused. I'd also welcome advice on a response to these emails that starts polite and becomes more forceful. I do not know enough to be certain that marking them as spam has much impact on the sender, but would be willing to make a few simple responses to deter spammy senders e.g.1 check you havent subscribed to this email, if you have, unsubscribe2 if you haven't reply with standard header e.g. "do not send me unsolicited email again"3 if you receive this type of email again, or if there is no reply address on original email, mark as spam and block the specific address or domain.Maybe there should be another step between 2&3

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  3. A Canadian philosophy professor cum wag once upon a time wrote a book titled "Better Living – In Pursuit of Happiness from Plato to Prozac" in which he stated the basic purpose of marketing has today become to make you dissatisfied with your life.Marketing's sister domain of advertising has thus become the means to help you decide how you are going to come to terms with your dissatisfaction ?Is this Round "n" of are marketing and advertising on balance good or bad ? Ergo, is Google a passive people farmer (even though they provide people with an essential service in today's world) ?

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  4. I love that quote. It's interesting isn't it. Google are if anything using us more than conventional advertisers. In fact to them we ARE the product. But it somehow feels less insulting.

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  5. to them we ARE the product. But it somehow feels less insulting.It's passive .. and arguably it's 'aggressive'. Hmm .. sign o' the times ?;-)

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